Thursday, 31 May 2012

Entry: lissome (adj.)

In context: "'With a heartbreakingly lovely face, too, Hall, all peachy and lissome, like big pretty girls get.'"

Definition: Supple, limber; lithesome; lithe and agile.


Other:  Etymology:  Contracted variant of lithesome adj.  


Also see Hal: 'I'm going to have to keep her away from this kid Ortho Stice up here, because he really is a Rubensophile.  After P.M.s when we sit around he'll go on and on about enormous breasts and melon bellies and quivery laps until we're all grimacing and pinching out nose-bridges.  And what you meant was not lissome.'




SNOOT score: 1
 
Page: 1015

Source: Oxford English Dictionary   


Entry: solecistic (adj.)

In context: See previous.

Definition: Of the nature of or involving solecism:

a. In speech or diction
b. In thought or conduct.

Okay, and solecisim (n.):

An impropriety or irregularity in speech or diction; a violation of the rules of grammar or syntax; properly, a faulty concord.



Other: I don't have the review handy, but here is a relevant anecdote from The Monthly:


In a book review, ‘Authority and American Usage', Wallace revealed that his mother, Sally, used to fake a coughing fit if one of her two children uttered a solecism at dinner, and would continue to splutter and choke until Wallace or his younger sister, Amy, figured out and corrected their mistake. While it was a light-hearted game, Wallace wrote that he was slightly chilled by the idea of children being brought up to think that a linguistic error might deprive their mother of oxygen.

SNOOT score: 3
 
Page: 1014

Source: Oxford English Dictionary   


Wednesday, 30 May 2012

Entry: retardate (adj.)

In context: "'--- pretends he gets the most retardate PR staffer he can make hold crayons to send grotesque solecistic pseudo-impersonal replies to her pathetic letters.'"

Definition: Held back or in check; impeded; delayed.

but also, though I'm no fan of the usage:

A person who is retarded (retarded adj. 2); spec. a person diagnosed with learning difficulties or a mental disability.


Other:

SNOOT score: 1
 
Page: 1014

Source: Oxford English Dictionary   


Entry: antebellum (adj.)

In context: "'I can't see the Séperatisteurs considering Québec a true part of Canada any more than Lesotho saw himself as part of SOUTHAF.  Poutrincourt keeps thumping the fact that there's no valid comparison between Québec and our own antebellum South.'"

Definition: Previous to the war, i.e. spec. the American civil war (1861–5), the S. African war (1899– 1902), or either of the wars of 1914–18 and 1939–45.

Other: Etymology:  Latin phr., ‘before the war’, used attrib. or as adj.

SNOOT score: 1
 
Page: 1014

Source: Oxford English Dictionary   


Tuesday, 29 May 2012

Entry: jaspers (n.)

In context: "'The Nelson Eddy guys in silly hats and equestrian jaspers.'"

Definition

I can't figure out what he's talking about here - I've been trying to find some sort of equipment or clothing-related usage of jaspers, but no luck.  Then again, I don't really know much about the equestrian world.  Actually, I don't even like horses.  I like pretty much all animals, but for whatever reasons, I don't get the appeal of horses. 

If you wanted my vote on horse for animal of the year it would be nay.

1. A kind of precious stone.
 a. As rendering of Greek ἴασπις or Latin iaspis, name among the ancients for any bright-coloured chalcedony except carnelian, the most esteemed being of a green colour.


but also, while not really relevant here, but interesting:

U.S. colloq.  A person, fellow: usu. with contemptuous overtones; spec. a rustic simpleton, ‘hick’. Also (with capital initial) used as a nickname (see quot. 1929, 1952).



Other:

SNOOT score: 1
 
Page: 1011

Source: Oxford English Dictionary   


Entry: caries (n.)

In context: "The caries are Himself's legacy."

Definition: a. Pathol. Decay of the bones or teeth. 

Other: I knew the word as decay of the teeth - interesting that it applies as well to bones.

SNOOT score: 1
 
Page: 1010

Source: Oxford English Dictionary   


Monday, 28 May 2012

Entry: gynecopia (n.)

In context: "'4's pretty much of a gynecopia also, but within a narrower demographic psychological range of potential Subjects.'"

Definition: Neologism.  An... abundance of females?

Other:

SNOOT score: 1
 
Page: 1009

Source: Oxford English Dictionary   


Entry: ainsi

In context:"'Ainsi then.'" 

Definition: ?? This?

Definition: thus, so, in this way

Ainsi soit-il - So be it

Mes parents sont morts, ainsi je suis orphelin - My parents died, so I'm an orphan

C'est mieux de le faire ainsi - It's better to do it like this

ainsi que - (just) as

Ainsi que je t'ai déjà dit - Just as I've already told you



Other:

SNOOT score: 1
 
Page: 1009

Source: french.about.comhttp://french.about.com/od/vocabulary/g/ainsi.htm


Sunday, 27 May 2012

Entry: seraphic (adj.)

In context: "'Time.  Yo.  I think you meant seraphic.  I also think you meant lascivious and mesmerized.'"

Definition: 1. Of or pertaining to the seraphim.

seraphim (n.):

1. In Biblical use: The living creatures with six wings, hands and feet, and a (presumably) human voice, seen in Isaiah's vision as hovering above the throne of God.

2. By Christian interpreters the seraphim were from an early period supposed to be a class of angels, and the name, associated with that of the cherubim, was introduced in the Eucharistic preface and subsequently in the Te Deum, and thus became extensively known. The presumed derivation of the word from a Hebrew root meaning ‘to burn’ (see above) led to the view that the seraphim are specially distinguished by fervour of love (while the cherubim excel in knowledge), and to the symbolic use of red as the colour appropriate to the seraphim in artistic representations. In the system of the Pseudo-Dionysius, the chief source of later angelology, the seraphim are the highest, and the cherubim the second, of the nine orders of angels.


Other


Speaker is correcting 'salivious' and 'hypnotized'.


lascivious (n.): Inclined to lust, lewd, wanton.


There isn't really a field of angelology, right? 

SNOOT score: 2
 
Page: 1008

Source: Oxford English Dictionary   


Entry: salivious (adj.)

In context: "'But it's not like flirtatious or salivious, your manner."

Definition: Intentional neologism/misspeaking.  I've got a few ideas - want to share yours?

Also, if you Google it, definitely some sort of link to Minecraft and World of Warcraft.



(See next context for clarification.)

Other:

SNOOT score: 1
 
Page: 1008

Source: Oxford English Dictionary   


Hey bro - if you're tuning in today, happy birthday!

Saturday, 26 May 2012

Entry: maunder (v.)

In context: "My, this machine does let one maunder on."

Definition: Idle, incoherent, or rambling talk or writing; an instance of this.

but also

3.
a. intr. To talk in a dreamy, rambling, or incoherent manner; to ramble or wander in one's talk. Freq. with away, on. Cf. dander v. 2a.

1. intr. To grumble, mutter, moan. Now regional.

a. intr. To move or act in a dreamy, idle, or purposeless manner; to dawdle. Freq. with along, away, over. Cf. dander v. 1.



Other: Definitely a word I recognize from Scrabble study (also UNARMED, MANURED, and DURAMEN)

SNOOT score: 2
 
Page: 1006

Source: Oxford English Dictionary   


Entry: xerography (n.)

In context: See previous.

Definition: A dry copying process in which an electrically charged surface retains both the charge and a pigmented powder on areas not illuminated by light from bright parts of the document, so that a permanent copy may be immediately obtained by placing paper on the surface and applying heat to fuse the powder to it; photocopying.

Other:

SNOOT score: 1
 
Page: 1006

Source: Oxford English Dictionary   


Friday, 25 May 2012

Entry: unperspicuous (adj.)

In context: "Through the verdict rendered was no worse than a rather unperspicuous "Normal to Upper-normal" (sic), the penultimate modifier has caused, as you might anticipate, much pacing and high-decibel whingeing, as well as vows of eternal xerography from here on out."

Definition: Here Avril might mean: 


(Note: these definitions are for perspicuous (adj.))


1. a. Easily understood; clearly expressed; lucid.






or


†2. a. Conspicuous in rank or merit; eminent, distinguished. Obs. (rare after 17th cent.).

Other: Keep in mind this is still a letter from Avril to 'Filbert' (Orin)

SNOOT score: 3
 
Page: 1006

Source: Oxford English Dictionary   


Entry: whacked (v.)

In context: See previous.

Definition: Interestingly, the OED doesn't have a verb-form entry for whacked.  All they've got is:

1. Tired out, exhausted.
2. whacked out: mad, crazy; spec. intoxicated with drugs. 



Other:

SNOOT score: 1
 
Page: 1006

Source: Oxford English Dictionary   


Thursday, 24 May 2012

10,000 views

We're going to reach 10,000 views in the next week or so.

Anything you'd like to do to celebrate?  I'm very pleased to have reached so many people!
Entry: swotted (v.)


In context: "As for me, I've swotted and wakked all morning..."

Definition: intr. To work hard at one's studies; to ‘bone up’. Also trans., to ‘get up’, ‘mug up’ (a subject); more rarely, without up.


Other:

SNOOT score: 1
 
Page: 1006

Source: Oxford English Dictionary   


Entry: aprick (adj.)


In context: "Every floral unit on the ground has its pistil aprick and petals atremble in a truly shameless fashion."

Definition: pred. Erect, pricked or pricking up.

Other: That's quite the sentence, for a letter from a mother to a son.

SNOOT score: 1
 
Page: 1006

Source: Oxford English Dictionary   


Wednesday, 23 May 2012

Entry: saluki


In context: "Saluki-faced Thierry Poutrincourt leans back in her chair and and presses her palms hard against her temples..."

Definition: A large, lightly built hound belonging to the breed so called, with feathered tail and feet and large pendant ears; formerly called the Persian greyhound. Also attrib.

Other: So apparently that description wasn't meant to be entirely complimentary.

SNOOT score: 1

Page: 310

Source: Oxford English Dictionary   


Entry: jerkin (n.)


In context: See previous.

Definition: A garment for the upper part of the body, worn by men in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries; a close-fitting jacket, jersey, or short coat, often made of leather. Since c1700 used in literature mainly historically, or in reference to foreign countries; and some dialects for a waistcoat, an under vest, or a loose jacket. Whence in modern use, usu. a sleeveless jacket or waistcoat (see quots.).

Other: And here's something for the fashionable gent.


If you should ever get it muddy, make sure you take your jerkin off outside.

SNOOT score: 1
 
Page: 310

Source: Oxford English Dictionary   


Tuesday, 22 May 2012

Entry: wimples (n.)


In context: "...flocks of Ursuline nuns with frozen wimples covered up to like U.N. Day Hal'd found mostly dry and repetitive, the wig-and-jerkin gentmanly warfare stilted and absurd..."

Definition: A garment of linen or silk formerly worn by women, so folded as to envelop the head, chin, sides of the face, and neck: now retained in the dress of nuns. Also gen. a veil.


Other: Check out this foxy, slender summer number, if the words themselves don't quite paint the number.

SNOOT score: 1
 
Page: 310


Source: Oxford English Dictionary   


Entry: verbiform (n.)


In context: "By the time it's down to Boys A-14's, Troeltsch's delivery gets terser even as his attempts at verbiform tends to have gotten more lurid..."

Definition: A neologism, apparently (?), though the meaning is clear if we continue to the quotation:'

"...e.g.: LaMont Chu disebowelled Charles Posisilova 6-3, 6-2; Jeff Pen was on Nate Millis-Johnson like a duck on a Junebug 6-4, 6-7, 6-0; Peter Beak spread Ville Dillard on a cracker like some sort of hors d'oeuvre and bit down..."


Other:

SNOOT score: 1
 
Page:  309

Source: Oxford English Dictionary   

Sunday, 20 May 2012

Entry: eustacian (adj.)

In context: "Schacht was just looping the d in mail fraud when Jim Troeltsch's pseudo-radio program, backed by its eustacian-crumpling operatic soundtrack, came over 112 West House's E.T.A.-intercom speaker up over the classroom clock."

Definition: Neologism.  Maybe DFW means eustachian (adj.):


Used as the distinctive epithet in the names of certain anatomical structures or organs which were discovered by Eustachius. †Eustachian medulla: the medullary portion of the kidneys. Eustachian tube (occas. Eustachian canal): a canal leading from the upper part of the pharynx to the cavity of the tympanum, which it appears to supply with air; hence Eustachian catheter, an instrument for inflating the Eustachian tube with air. Eustachian valve: a membranous fold at the orifice of the vena cava inferior, which in the fœtus directs the current of blood from this vessel to the foramen ovale and left auricle.

Other:

SNOOT score: 1
 
Page:  308

Source: Oxford English Dictionary   


Entry: grange (n.)

In context: See previous.

Definition: I'm confused by this one, as none of the definitions make sense:

1. A repository for grain; a granary, barn. arch.

2.
a. An establishment where farming is carried on; †also, rarely, a group of such places, a village (obs.). Now applied to: A country house with farm buildings attached, usually the residence of a gentleman-farmer.

b. esp. Hist. An outlying farm-house with barns, etc. belonging to a religious establishment or a feudal lord, where crops and tithes in kind were stored.

†3. A country house. Obs.

†4. fig. in various senses. Obs.

5. U.S. A lodge or local branch of the order of ‘Patrons of Husbandry’, an association for the promotion of the interests of agriculture.
 



Other: Maybe ZZ Top can shed some light on this vexing issue.

SNOOT score
 
Page:  

Source: Oxford English Dictionary, YouTube   


Saturday, 19 May 2012

Entry: distaff (adj.)

In context: "Later blacklisted off both the Virginia Slims and Family Circle professional distaff circuits after trying to organize the circuits' more politically rabid and unwrapped players into a sort of radical post-feminist grange that would compete only in pro tournaments organized, subsidized, refereed, overseen, and even attended and cartridge-distributed exclusively to not only women or homosexual women, but only by, for, and to registered members of the infamously unpopular early-Interdependence-era Female Objectification Prevention and Protest Phalanx..."

Definition: a. As the type of women's work or occupation.

Other: Above is only one of the definitions.  I'm curious how it's connected to the etymology:


Etymology:  Old English distæf , supposed to be for dis- or dise-stæf , the second element being staff n.1; dis or dise is apparently identical with Low German diesse (Bremen Wbch.) a bunch of flax on a distaff, and connected with dize v., dizen v. ‘to put tow on a distaffe’ (Ray).

SNOOT score: 2
 
Page:  307

Source: Oxford English Dictionary   


Entry: batsoid (adj.)

In context: "...E.T.A. senior Ted Schacht has taken Mary Esther Thode's perennially batsoid 'The Personal is the Political is the Psychopathological: the Politics of Contemporary Psychopathological Double-Binds..."

Definition: A neologism, but I think I can safely say, without looking it up, that it means of a less than sound mind.  Right?


Other:

SNOOT score: 1
 
Page:  306

Source: Oxford English Dictionary   


Friday, 18 May 2012

Entry: candent (adj.)

In context: "This is mostly for certification reasons, plus all but one of the prorectors are low-level touring professionals, with low-level professional tennis players in general being not exactly the most candent stars in the intellectual Orion."

Definition: 1. At a white heat; glowing with heat.

Other: Great word!  If I was a bit less nice and taught older students, I might be tempted to use much the same remark, if just once.

SNOOT score: 4
 
Page:  306

Source: Oxford English Dictionary   


Entry: taffeta (n.)

In context: "Tony wore summer taffetta."

Definition: A name applied at different times to different fabrics. In early times apparently a plain-wove glossy silk (of any colour); in more recent times, a light thin silk or union stuff of decided brightness or lustre. In the 16th c. mention is also made of ‘linen taffety’. In recent times the name has been misapplied to various mixtures of silk and wool, and even cotton and jute, thin fine woollen material, etc.

Also, interestingly:

b. fig. Florid language; = fustian n. 2.



Other:

SNOOT score: 1
 
Page: 305
  
Source: Oxford English Dictionary   


Thursday, 17 May 2012

Entry: phosphenes (n.)

In context: "The first thing that didn't augur very well was a shower of spark-sized phosphenes from the ceiling of the swaying train, this plus the fiery violet aura around the heads of the respectables who'd quielty retreated as far as possible from the various puddles in which he sat."

Definition: A subjective sensation of light produced by mechanical stimulation of the retina (as by pressure on the eyeball) or by electrical stimulation of various parts of the visual pathway.

Other: DFW has a perhaps singular talent for making detox sound like less than a day at the park.

SNOOT score: 1
 
Page: 304
  
Source: Oxford English Dictionary   


Entry: bilirubin (n.)
 
In context: "He smelled of bilirubin and yellow sweat and wore week-old eyeliner that simply did not fly if one needed a shave."

Definition: A reddish pigment, C33H36O6N4, occurring in bile.


Other: I would imagine that description was useful to less than, what, five people?

SNOOT score: 3
 
Page: 304
  
Source: Oxford English Dictionary