Saturday, 30 June 2012

Entry: cognito (adj.)

In context: "Randy Lenz, in his cognito white mustache and sideburns, is doubtless down at the pay phone..."

Definition: Well, incognito (adj.) is: Unknown; whose identity is concealed or unavowed, and therefore not taken as known; concealed under a disguised or assumed character.


So that could work, but this may also refer to how Lenz's disguise isn't a very inconspicuous or effective disguise at all.


Other:

SNOOT score: 1
 
Page: 363

Source: Oxford English Dictionary   


Entry: venulated (adj.)

In context: "An intoxicated street-guy with a venulated nose and missing incisors and electrician's tape wrapped around his shoes is trying to sing 'Volare' up at the empty podium microphone."

Definition: A neologism, perhaps surprisingly.  I'd guess something like 'strewn with veins', given the context and word form. 

Other:

SNOOT score: 1
 
Page: 362

Source: Oxford English Dictionary   


Friday, 29 June 2012

Entry: implacable (adj.)

In context: "In the home of a snot-strangled Canadian VIP and the office of an implacable Revere A.D.A. whose wife opted for dentures at thirty-five."

Definition: That cannot be appeased; irreconcileable; inexorable: of persons, feelings, etc.


Other: I love this word.


And on a personal note - I'm on summer vacation!  Two months of camping, travel, and fun.  I'll be in San Diego for a good bit of July, so if you have any suggestions for things to do, especially active things, please drop me a line.

SNOOT score: 3
 
Page: 359

Source: Oxford English Dictionary   


Entry: onionlight (n.)

In context: "...it stood casually checking its cuticles in the astringent fluorescence of pharmacies that took forged Talwin scrips for a hefty surcharge, in the onionlight through paper shades in the furnished rooms of strung-out nurses..."

Definition: A neologism.  I'd love to hear your best definition!

Other:

SNOOT score: 1
 
Page: 359

Source: Oxford English Dictionary   


Thursday, 28 June 2012

Entry: epiphanic (adj.)

In context: "Substance-dreams, and sometimes trite but important epiphanic dreams, and the Staffer on Dream duty is required to be up doing paperwork or sit-ups, ready to make coffee and listen to the residents' drams and offer the odd practical upbeat Boston-AA-type insight..."

Definition: Of the nature of or characterized by an epiphany; esp. in Lit. Theory, constituting or containing a significant moment of revelation.

Other:

SNOOT score: 1
 
Page: 359

Source: Oxford English Dictionary   


Entry: baroque (adj.)

In context: "The slow silent stick with the hook he held was what kept them all kneeling below the baroque little circumferences of its movement overheard."

Definition:   Irregularly shaped; whimsical, grotesque, odd. (‘Originally a jeweller's term, soon much extended in sense.’ Brachet.) Applied spec. to a florid style of architectural decoration which arose in Italy in the late Renaissance and became prevalent in Europe during the 18th century. Also absol. as n. and transf. in reference to other arts.

Other: I'm really, really surprised I haven't previously added this entry.  It shows up in Infinite Jest regularly.  


Etymology:  < French baroque adj., < Portuguese barroco, Spanish barrueco, rough or imperfect pearl; of uncertain origin.

In earlier Spanish, Minsheu 1623 has ‘berruca, berruga a wart’ (evidently Latin verruca), also ‘berrueco a hillocke, a wart,’ ‘berrocál a place full of hillocks’; modern Portuguese has besides barroco ‘rough or Scotch pearl,’ barroca ‘a gutter made by a water-flood’ Vieyra, ‘uneven stony ground’ (Diez), which some etymologists refer to Arabic burāq, plural of burqah ‘hard earth mixed with stones, pebbly place’ (Freytag). Diez has also suggested confusion of the ending with roca, rocca rock: the forms in o, ue, cannot come directly < Latin verrūca. Littré's suggestion that the word is identical with the logical term baroko seems to rest on no historical evidence; yet form-association with that may have influenced the later English and French use.


SNOOT score: 3
 
Page: 359

Source: Oxford English Dictionary   


Wednesday, 27 June 2012

Entry: apothegm (n.)

In context: "They all just smiled coy smiles and said to Keep Coming, an apothegm Gately found just as trite as 'Easy Does It!' 'Live and Let Live!'"

DefinitionA terse, pointed saying, embodying an important truth in few words; a pithy or sententious maxim.

Other:

SNOOT score: 2
 
Page: 358

Source: Oxford English Dictionary   


Entry: talismanically (adj.)

In context: "...you make it your business to start to get to know other members of the Group on a personal basis, and you carry their numbers talismanically in your wallet..."

Definition: In a talismanic manner; by or as by the influence of a talisman; magically.

To be a bit clearer, talisman (n.):  2. fig. Anything that acts as a charm, or by which extraordinary results are achieved.


Other:

SNOOT score: 1
 
Page: 354

Source: Oxford English Dictionary   


Tuesday, 26 June 2012

Entry: fremitic (adj.)

In context: "...and say in their fremitic smoker's croak that Well you at least seem like a ballsy little bastard..."

Definition: After a bit of searching, this is as close as I can get:

Etymology

From Proto-Indo-European *bhrem-. Cognates include Ancient Greek βρέμω (bremō), Middle High German breman, and Welsh brefu.[1]
Verb

present active fremō, present infinitive fremere, perfect active fremuī, supine fremitum.

    (transitive, with accusative) I murmur, mutter, grumble, growl at or after something; complain loudly.
    (intransitive) I roar, growl, hum, rumble, buzz, howl, snort, rage, murmur, mutter.
 



Other:

SNOOT score: 1
 
Page: 353

Source: Wikipedia    


Entry: nonuremic (adj.)

In context: "When Gately finally snapped to the fact, one day about four months into his Ennet House residency, that quite a few days seemed to have gone by without his playing with the usual idea of slipping over to Unit #7 and getting loaded in some nonuremic way the courts couldn't prove, that several days had gone by without his even thinking of oral narcotics or a tightly rolled duBois or a cold foamer on a hot day..."

Definition: From uremic (adj.): Of or pertaining to, marked or characterized by, uræmia.

Other: Though what I think DFW is saying here is that Gately hasn't though of getting high in a way that won't show up in some sort of urine testing.

SNOOT score: 1
 
Page: 349

Source: Oxford English Dictionary   


Entry: prognathous (adj.)

In context: "...a prognathous lady..."

Definition: Chiefly Physical Anthropol.

Having projecting or forward-pointing jaws, teeth, mandibles, etc.; having a facial angle of less than 90°; having a gnathic index of 103 or more. Of jaws or a lower jaw: prominent, protruding. Cf. opisthognathous adj., orthognathous adj.


Other: Easier to understand by seeing than reading.

SNOOT score: 1
 
Page: 348

Source: Oxford English Dictionary   


Entry: Balaclavan (adj.)

In context: "Though of the alcoholics and drug addicts who compose over 70% of a given year's suicides, some try to go out with a great garish Balaclavan gesture..."

Definition: From balaclava (n.) (I think):   Balaclava helmet (also Balaclava cap): a woollen covering for the head and neck worn esp. by soldiers on active service; named after the Crimean village of Balaclava near Sebastopol, the site of a battle fought in the Crimean war, 25 October 1854. Also ellipt.

Other: Here are a few pictures.  Every Canadian ought to know what a balaclava is, though only out of wintery necessity.

SNOOT score: 1
 
Page: 348

Source: Oxford English Dictionary   


Sunday, 24 June 2012

Entry: ravening (adj.)

In context: "...has finally removed its smily-face mask to reveal centerless eyes and a ravening maw, and canines down to here, it's the Face In The Floor, the grinning root-white fact of your worst nightmares..."

Definition: 1. That ravens (in various senses of the verb); rapacious, voracious, bloodthirsty; ravenously hungry. In quot. c1390   as n.: a person who ravens; the Devil.


Other: I had no idea this was such a badass word.

SNOOT score: 5
 
Page: 347

Source: Oxford English Dictionary   


Entry: nephritis (n.)

In context: See previous.

Definition:   Inflammation of the kidney; a type or instance of this.


Other: I sort of hate linking to a newspaper article with such obtrusive ads, but there is a pretty well-known Scrabble play/anecdote on our word.

SNOOT score: 1
 
Page: 346

Source: Oxford English Dictionary   


Saturday, 23 June 2012

Entry: cirrhotic neuralgia (n.)

In context: "-then vocational ultimatums, unemployability, financial ruin, pancreatitis, overwhelming guilt, bloody vomiting, cirrhotic neuralgia, incontinence, neuropathy, nephritis, black depressions, searing pain..."

Definition: Shockingly, I can't find an entry for this specific "disease", but here's a few hints:


cirrhotic (adj.) comes from cirrhosis (n.): 
A name given by Laennec to a disease of the liver, occurring most frequently in spirit-drinkers, and consisting in chronic interstitial hepatitis, with atrophy of the cells and increase of connective tissue. Called also hob-nailed or gin-drinker's liver. Subsequently extended to interstitial inflammation of the kidneys, lungs, and other organs.








while neuralgia (n.) is: 

Pain, typically stabbing or burning, in the area served by a nerve; (also) an instance, type, or case of this.

Other: The part of the sentence from Infinite Jest reminds me of a joke that ends with something like, "but you know me doc, can't complain."

SNOOT score: 1
 
Page: 346

Source: Oxford English Dictionary   


Entry: peritonitis (n.)

In context: "- then unbelieveable psychic pain, a kind of peritonitis of the soul..."

Definition: Peritonitis is an inflammation of the peritoneum, the thin tissue that lines the inner wall of the abdomen and covers most of the abdominal organs. Peritonitis may be localised or generalised, and may result from infection (often due to rupture of a hollow organ as may occur in abdominal trauma or appendicitis) or from a non-infectious process

Other: I'm not going to lie: a part of me, maybe all of me, cringes whenever I hit a slew of medical terms.

SNOOT score: 1
 
Page: 346

Source: Wikipedia  


Friday, 22 June 2012

Entry: grotesquerie (n.)

In context: See previous.

Definition:   Grotesque objects collectively; grotesque quality; a piece of grotesqueness.


Other: The entire OED on grotesque (adj.) is fascinating stuff.  Here's a few pieces:


 a. A kind of decorative painting or sculpture, consisting of representations of portions of human and animal forms, fantastically combined and interwoven with foliage and flowers.

 2. A clown, buffoon, or merry-andrew.  [So in modern French (as masculine n.).] Cf. antic n. and adj.

 3. Printing. A square-cut letter without ceriph, THUS; formerly called stone-letter.

 a. In a wider sense, of designs or forms: Characterized by distortion or unnatural combinations; fantastically extravagant; bizarre, †quaint. Also transf. of immaterial things, esp. of literary style.

†b. Of landscape: Romantic, picturesquely irregular. Obs.

Etymology:  Originally < early modern French crotesque n. feminine, an adaptation (by assimilation to Old French crote = Italian grotta ) of Italian grottesca ‘a kinde of rugged vnpolished painters worke, anticke worke’ (Florio 1598), ‘anticke or landskip worke of Painters’ (Florio 1611), an elliptical use (= opera or pittura grottesca ) of the feminine of grottesco adj. < grotta : see grotto n. and -esque suffix. (Compare Spanish grutesco, Portuguese grutesco, an alteration of the Italian word after Spanish gruta, Portuguese gruta = Italian grotta.) It is remarkable that Florio in both his Dicts. (1598 and 1611) has crotesca as an Italian word, explained as ‘antique, fretted, or carued worke’; this, if genuine, would seem to be a readoption from French. Before the end of the 16th cent. the French word was occasionally spelt grotesque, after the original It; this form was adopted into English about 1640, and has been the prevailing form ever since. But early in the 17th cent. writers acquainted with Italian had introduced the masculine form of the adj., crotesco, which occurs as late as 1646; the more usual Italian form grotesco appears as English first in the 1632 edition of Florio's translation of Montaigne, and did not become obsolete until the 18th cent.

The etymological sense of grottesca would be ‘painting appropriate to grottos’. The special sense is commonly explained by the statement that grotte, ‘grottoes’, was the popular name in Rome for the chambers of ancient buildings which had been revealed by excavations, and which contained those mural paintings that were the typical examples of ‘grotesque’. (See Voc. della Crusca, s.v. Grotta, §iv.) Although this seems to be only a late conjecture, without any actual evidence, it appears to be intrinsically plausible.


SNOOT score: 1
 
Page: 344

Source: Oxford English Dictionary   


Entry: imbricate (adj.)

In context: See previous.

Definition: a. Covered with or composed of scales or scalelike parts overlapping like roof-tiles; e.g. said of the scaly covering of reptiles and fishes, of leaf-buds, the involucre of Compositæ, etc.

Other:

SNOOT score: 2
 
Page: 344

Source: Oxford English Dictionary   


Thursday, 21 June 2012

Entry: curlicues (n.)

In context: "...a bright-black-country-western shirt with baroque curlicues of white Nodie-piping across the chest and shoulders, and a string tie, plus sharp-toed boots of some sort of weirdly imbricate reptile skin, and overall he's riveting to look at, grotesque in that riveting way that flaunts its grotesquerie."

DefinitionA fantastic curl or twist.

Other: If you thought I'd include pictures of curlicues, you're wrong.  I have pictures of curlicue fractals!

SNOOT score: 1
 
Page: 344

Source: Oxford English Dictionary   


Entry: epigrammatic (adj.)

In context: "The term's derived from an epigrammatic description of recovery in Boston AA: 'You give it up to get it back to give it away.'"

Definition: Of or pertaining to epigrams; of the nature, or in the style, of an epigram; concise, pointed.

epigram (n.): †1. An inscription, usually in verse


Other:

SNOOT score: 1
 
Page: 344

Source: Oxford English Dictionary   


Wednesday, 20 June 2012

Entry: ziggurats (n.)

In context: "...you can make coffee in 60-cup urns and stack polystyrene cups in big ziggurats and sell raffle tickets and make sandwiches..."

Definition: A staged tower of pyramid form in which each successive storey is smaller than that below it, so as to leave a terrace all round; an Assyrian or Babylonian temple-tower.

Other: Also 'zikkurats'.  Interesting etymology - the first I've noticed with an Assyrian root:


Etymology:  < Assyrian ziqquratu (also zigg-, sig(g)-, -ur(r)at) height, pinnacle, top of a mountain, temple-tower; compare zaqaru to be high (Muss-Arnolt).

SNOOT score: 1
 
Page: 343

Source: Oxford English Dictionary   


Entry: solander (n.)

In context: "Different-colored beanies spill from the rolling solander box, whose lock's hasp is broken and protrudes like a tongue as it rolls."

Definition: A box made in the form of a book, used for holding botanical specimens, papers, maps, etc.

Other:

SNOOT score: 1
 
Page: 342

Source: Oxford English Dictionary   


Tuesday, 19 June 2012

Entry: tripartite (adj.)

In context: "There's the sudden tripartite whump of three Empire Waste Displacement vehicles being propelled above the cloud-cover to points far north."

Definition: Divided into or composed of three parts or kinds; threefold, triple.

Other:I guess this one was sort of marginal as an entry.  So, uh, how about this?  If you take the letters in TRIPARTITE, add DGIOS, scramble 'em, you can spell PRESTIDIGITATOR (n.), which the OED defines thusly: 


A person who practises sleight of hand or legerdemain; a conjuror; a juggler. Also in extended use.

SNOOT score: 1
 
Page: 339

Source: Oxford English Dictionary   


Entry: equivocationary (adj.)

In context: "Pemulis tells Lord he cannot believe his fucking eyes.  He tells Lord how dare he don the dreaded red beanie over such an obvious instance of map-not-territory equivocationary horseshit as Ingersoll's trying to foist."

Definition: from equivocation (n.):  The use of words or expressions that are susceptible of a double signification, with a view to mislead; esp. the expression of a virtual falsehood in the form of a proposition which (in order to satisfy the speaker's conscience) is verbally true.

Other: I'd be utterly remiss if I weren't to link to Map Is Not Territory, by Jonathan Z. Smith.  Method and theory!

SNOOT score: 2
 
Page: 337

Source: Oxford English Dictionary   


Entry: attenuates (v.)

In context: "Hal wonders, not for the first time, whether he might deep down be a secret snob about collar-color issues and Pemulis, then whether the fact that he's capable of wondering whether he's a snob attenuates the possibility that he's really a snob."

Definition:  To weaken or reduce in force, effect, amount; in value, estimation; (obs.) to extenuate.


Other:

SNOOT score: 2
 
Page: 335

Source: Oxford English Dictionary   


Entry: dysenteric (adj.)


In context: "...Penn, now twenty-one and flailing away on the grim Third-World Satellite pro tour, playing for travel-expenses in bleak dysenteric locales..."

DefinitionBelonging to or of the nature of dysentery.

dysentery (n.):  A disease characterized by inflammation of the mucous membrane and glands of the large intestine, accompanied with griping pains, and mucous and bloody evacuations.


Other: Yum yum!  Enjoy your morning coffee!

SNOOT score: 1
 
Page: 333

Source: Oxford English Dictionary   


Sunday, 17 June 2012

Entry: eminence grise (n.)

In context: "Pemulis's chairlegs shriek and make red-skin peanuts spill out in a kind of cornucopic cone-shape and he's up in his capacity as a sort of eminence grise of Eschaton and ranging up and down just outside the theater's chain-link fencing, giving J.J. Pen the very roughest imaginable side of his tongue."

Definition: A term originally applied to Père Joseph (1577–1638), the confidential agent of Cardinal Richelieu; now extended to describe one who wields real though not titular control.


Other: I'd think chairlegs calls for, at the last, a hyphen.


The term translates as 'grey eminence'.  This from Wikipedia is helpful:  In 1612 he began those personal relations with Richelieu which have indissolubly joined in history and legend the cardinal and the original éminence grise, relations which research has not altogether made clear. He was so nicknamed for the grey friar's cloak that he wore over his habit, and because eminence is a title deferred upon cardinals.

SNOOT score: 4
 
Page: 333

Source: Oxford English Dictionary, Wikipedia