Tuesday, 31 July 2012

Entry: brillantined (adj.)

In context: "[Holding brillantined head at that angle people in bifocals have to, to read]:"

Definition: From Brillantine (n.):

Brilliantine is a hair-grooming product intended to soften men's hair, including beards and moustaches, and give it a glossy, well-groomed appearance. It was created at the turn of the 20th century by French perfumer Edouard Pinaud (a.k.a. Ed. Pinaud).[1] He presented a product he called Brillantine (from the French brillant meaning "brilliant") at the 1900 Exposition Universelle in Paris. It consisted of a perfumed and colored oily liquid.[2]

Brillantine was used as the French title for the film Grease in Quebec, Canada (but not in France).[3]


Other: *This isn't product-placement and I don't endorse its use.

SNOOT score: 1
 
Page: 404

Source: Wikipedia


Monday, 30 July 2012

Entry: saprogenic (adj.)

In context: "...his platform all but necessitates the second-tier option of transforming certain vast stretches of U.S. territory into uninhabitable and probably barbed-wired landfills and fly-shrouded dumps and saprogenic magenta-fogged toxic-disposal sights?"

Definition:   Causing decay or putrefaction; also, produced by putrefaction.

Other:

SNOOT score: 2
 
Page: 402

Source: Oxford English Dictionary   


Sunday, 29 July 2012

Entry: aspersion (n.)

In context: "...it's not the administration's immediate concern to point the levelling finger of blame or aspersion just yet or right now."

Definition: The action of casting damaging imputations, false and injurious charges, or unjust insinuations; calumniation, defamation.

Other:

SNOOT score: 3
 
Page: 401

Source: Oxford English Dictionary   


Saturday, 28 July 2012

Entry: claque (n.)

In context: "Gentle's claque of doo-wopping Motown cabinet-puppets have purple dresses and matching lipstick and nail polish..."

Definition: An organized body of hired applauders in a theatre; hence transf. a body of subservient followers always ready to applaud their leader.

Other:Cool!

Etymology:  French claque a smack or clap of the hand; a band of claqueurs; < claquer to clap.


SNOOT score: 3
 
Page: 400

Source: Oxford English Dictionary   


Friday, 27 July 2012

Entry: dirndls (n.)

In context: "...so they'd shell out for little paper theater tickets and file in in their sweater vests and tweeds and dirndls and tank up on espresso at the concession stand and find seats and sit down and make those little pre-movie leg and posture adjustments, and look around with that sort of vacant intensity..."

DefinitionA style of woman's dress imitating Alpine peasant costume with bodice and full skirt.

Other: Here is a picture.  I still remember the first time I played this word in Scrabble.


I thought it might be interesting to list all of the 7-letter Scrabble words with only one vowels.  Even counting Y as a vowel, though, there are 97 options, a bit too many to post.  The only 9s I could find, though, were: STRENGTHS and TSKTSKING.


SNOOT score: 1
 
Page: 397

Source: Oxford English Dictionary, Wikipedia   


Thursday, 26 July 2012

Entry: involuted (adj.)

In context: "...they're watching a incredibly violent little involuted playlet called 'The Medusa v. The Odalisque'..."

Definition: Involved; entangled; intricate; †hidden, obscure (obs.).


Other:

SNOOT score: 2
 
Page: 396

Source: Oxford English Dictionary   


Wednesday, 25 July 2012

Entry: panatela (n.)

In context: "...Teddy Schacht has been known to enjoy the occasional panatela."

DefinitionA long slender cigar, esp. one tapering at the sealed end.

but also:

slang. A cigarette made of marijuana from Central or South America. Also more generally: marijuana.


Other:Interesting usage and etymology:

1956   ‘B. Holiday’ & W. Dufty Lady sings Blues iv. 53   ‘Girl,’ he said, ‘come here. Jimmy's got the best panatella you ever smoked in your life.’


Etymology:  Apparently < Spanish panatela, panetela (see below), transferred use of panatela , panetela long, thin biscuit (1884 or earlier; 16th cent. in sense ‘kind of soup made from broth and grated bread’) < Italian panatella (see panatel n.).

The Spanish word is not attested in written sources denoting a cigar before 1884 (as also in the sense ‘long, thin biscuit’), but was apparently also borrowed into French (as panatella (1842); also 1846 or earlier as panetela, 1860 or earlier as panatela) earlier than into English.

In form panatella probably after French panatella.


SNOOT score: 1
 
Page: 395

Source: Oxford English Dictionary   


Tuesday, 24 July 2012

Entry: neoplastis (n.)

In context: "A devoutly religious experimental oncologist dying of his own inoperable colorectal neoplastic moans."

Definition: Not entirely sure on this one, but perhaps from neoplasm (n.), courtesy of Wikipedia:

Neoplasm (from ancient Greek νεο- neo-, "new" + πλάσμα plasma, "formation", "creation") is an abnormal mass of tissue as a result of neoplasia. Neoplasia is the abnormal proliferation of cells. Prior to neoplasia, cells often undergo an abnormal pattern of growth, such as metaplasia or dysplasia.[1] However, metaplasia or dysplasia do not always progress to neoplasia. The growth of neoplastic cells exceeds and is not coordinated with that of the normal tissues around it. The growth persists in the same excessive manner even after cessation of the stimuli. It usually causes a lump or tumor. Neoplasms may be benign, pre-malignant (carcinoma in situ) or malignant (cancer).

In modern medicine, the term tumor means a neoplasm that has formed a lump. In the past, the term tumor was used differently. Some neoplasms do not cause a lump.



Other: I'm back from California now, but am leaving again for a camping trip soon, so will continue with one entry a day until I have more available time.  Also, I should mention I'm reading and reviewing Every Love Story is a Ghost Story, a Wallace biography.  I'll post the review here when it's published.

SNOOT score: 1
 
Page: 3

Source: Wikipedia 


Monday, 23 July 2012

Entry: somnambulistical (adj.)

In context: "Which he does not want to mess up with any sort of telekinetic or somnambulistical shenanigans."

Definition: From somnambulance (n.): sleep-walking, somnambulism.

Other: What I really want to know, I just realized, is about shenanigans.  

Trickery, skulduggery, machination, intrigue; teasing, ‘kidding’, nonsense; (usu. pl.) a plot, a trick, a prank, an exhibition of high spirits, a carry-on.

Etymology:  Origin obscure.
orig. U.S.

First usage: 

1855   Town Talk (San Francisco) 25 Apr. 2   Are you quite sure? No shenanigan?


SNOOT score: 2
 
Page: 394

Source: Oxford English Dictionary   


Sunday, 22 July 2012

Entry: alfresco (adv.)

In context: "Summer and winter, indoors or alfresco."

Definition: 2. In the open air; also attrib. open-air-.


Other:

SNOOT score
 
Page: 389

Source: Oxford English Dictionary   


Saturday, 21 July 2012

Entry: hagiography (n.)

In context: "The first photograph, the first magazine, the gratified surge, the seeing themselves as others see them, the hagiography of images, perhaps."

Definition: The writing of the lives of saints; saints' lives as a branch of literature or legend.

Other: I've been looking forward to investigating this word since I noted it in Infinite Jest, though it was a term with which I was somewhat familiar.

SNOOT score: 2
 
Page: 389

Source: Oxford English Dictionary   


Friday, 20 July 2012

Entry: assuasive (adj.)

In context: "Like all good listeners, he has a way of attending that is at once intense and assuasive, the supplicant feels both nakedly revealed and sheltered, somehow, from all possible judgment."

Definition:   Soothingly persuasive; soothing.

Other:

SNOOT score: 1
 
Page: 388

Source: Oxford English Dictionary   


Thursday, 19 July 2012

Entry: fulgurant (adj.)

In context: "Lightning claws the eastern sky, and it's neat in the weight room's dark because Lyle is in a slgihtly different position and forward angle each time he's illuminated through the window up over the grip/wrist/forearm machines to his left, so it looks like there are different Lyles at different fulgurant moments."

Definition: Flashing like lightning.

Other: I sometimes wonder if just every once in a while DFW wrote a sentence simply to use a particular word.  I don't think I could resist.

SNOOT score: 3
 
Page: 387

Source: Oxford English Dictionary   


Wednesday, 18 July 2012

Entry: gurutical (adj.)

In context: "Confront the sorts of issues reserved for nighttime's gurutical tête-à-tête, whispers made echoless by rubberized floorsand much damp laundry."

Definition: Neologism again, but from guru (n.):   A Hindu spiritual teacher or head of a religious sect. Also in gen. or trivial use: an influential teacher; a mentor; a pundit.


Other: With an interesting etymology: Etymology:  < Hindi guru, Hindustani gurū a teacher, priest; Sanskrit guru originally an adj. ‘weighty, grave, dignified’.

SNOOT score: 1
 
Page: 387

Source: Oxford English Dictionary   


Tuesday, 17 July 2012

Entry: omniwetness (n.)

In context: "It had had a lemony, low-cal taste, the boy's omniwetness."

Definition: Neologism, though I guess omni- just about anything is okay.  omni-:   Forming compounds in which the first element has the sense ‘in all ways or places’, or ‘of all things’.

Other: I'm not sure that the above sentence gets less creepy when you learn more of Lyle, the taster, though he seems basically benevolent.

SNOOT score: 1
 
Page: 3

Source: Oxford English Dictionary   


Monday, 16 July 2012

Entry: purling (v.)

In context: "Arms purling, T-shirt darkly V'd, face and forehead ever gleaming."

Definition: The closest I can find is purling (adj.):

That purls, as a rivulet or stream; eddying, rippling; murmuring.


Other:

SNOOT score: 1
 
Page: 386

Source: Oxford English Dictionary   


Sunday, 15 July 2012

Entry: enjambment (n.)

In context: "This segues into an entr'acte, with continent squeezed in for world in 'It's a Small World After All,' which enjambment doesn't do the rhythm section of doo-wopping cabinet girls a bit of good, but does usher in the start of a whole new era."

Definition: The continuation of a sentence beyond the second line of a couplet. Now also applied less restrictedly to the carrying over of a sentence from one line to the next.


Other: Interesting!

SNOOT score: 2
 
Page: 386

Source: Oxford English Dictionary   


Entry: sympatico (adj.)

In context: "'So we're sympatico on the gradual and subtle but inexorable disarmament and dissolute of NATO as a system of mutual-defense agreements.'"

Definition: Did Wallace mean simpatico? Sympatico isn't found in the OED, though it is listed as an acceptable variant spelling in Scrabble.

Other:

SNOOT score: 1
 
Page: 385

Source: Oxford English Dictionary   


Saturday, 14 July 2012

Entry: jejune (adj.)

In context: "Mario's openly jejune version of is late father's take on the rise of O.N.A.N. and U.S. Experialism unfolds in little diffracted bits..."

Definition: Here:

Puerile, childish; also, naïve.

and

Unsatisfying to the mind or soul; dull, flat, insipid, bald, dry, uninteresting; meagre, scanty, thin, poor; wanting in substance or solidity. Said of thought, feeling, action, etc., and esp. of speech or writing; also transf. of the speaker or writer. (The prevailing sense.)

but also, interestingly:

Without food, fasting; hungry. Obs.

and

Unsatisfying to the mind or soul; dull, flat, insipid, bald, dry, uninteresting; meagre, scanty, thin, poor; wanting in substance or solidity. Said of thought, feeling, action, etc., and esp. of speech or writing; also transf. of the speaker or writer. (The prevailing sense.)


Other: There are more JJ words acceptable in North American Scrabble than you might guess, though most are variations on a root:


JIPIJAPA
JIPIJAPAS
JOJOBA
JOJOBAS
HAJJES
JEJUNAL
JEJUNA
HAJJI
HAJJIS
HAJJ
JIMJAMS
JUJUBES
JUJUBE
JEJUNENESSES
JEJUNENESS
JEJUNITIES
JEJUNELY
JEJUNE
JEJUNITY
JEJUNUM
JIUJITSUS
JIUJITSU
JUJUISMS
JUJUISM
JUJITSUS
JUJUISTS
JIUJUTSUS
JUJITSU
JUJUIST
JIUJUTSU
JUJUTSUS
JUJUTSU
JUJUS
JUJU


SNOOT score
 
Page: 3

Source: Oxford English Dictionary   


Friday, 13 July 2012

Entry: adipose (n.)

In context: "Who foresaw budgetary adipose rimmed with a really big knife."

Definition:   Adipose tissue; body fat.

Other:

SNOOT score: 1
 
Page: 383

Source: Oxford English Dictionary   


Thursday, 12 July 2012

Entry: dandling (v.)


In context: "....dandling its freshly bathed kids on its neatly pressed mufti-pants' knee."

Definition: From dandle (v.): a. trans. To move (a child, etc.) lightly up and down in the arms or on the knee. Also


Other:

SNOOT score: 1
 
Page: 383

Source: Oxford English Dictionary   


Entry: petroleated (adj.)

In context: "...rusty-hulled barges cruising up and down petroleated coastlines..."

Definition: Neologism, but I'm guessing it describes something befouled with petrol.

Other:

SNOOT score1
 
Page: 383

Source: Oxford English Dictionary   


Wednesday, 11 July 2012

Entry: effluvia (n.)

In context: "...the toxic effluvia choking our highways and littering our byways and grungeing up our sunsets and cruddying those harbors..."

Definition: †1. A flowing out, an issuing forth; a process or manner of issuing forth. Obs.

2. Chiefly applied to the (real or supposed) outflow of material particles too subtle to be perceived by touch or sight; concr. a stream of such outflowing particles.

 b. A stream of minute particles, formerly supposed to be emitted by a magnet, electrified body, or other attracting or repelling agent, and to be the means by which it produces its effects. Chiefly pl. (Now hist.; but it probably survived the theory which it strictly implies.) Also fig.



Other:

SNOOT score: 1
 
Page: 383

Source: Oxford English Dictionary   


Entry: shako (n.)

In context: See previous previous previous previous previous.

Definition:   A military cap in the shape of a truncated cone, with a peak and either a plume or a ball or ‘pom-pom’. (Not now worn by British soldiers.)

Other: This hat/cap makes me laugh.  Here it is.


Fascinating etymology:  < Magyar csákó, short for csákó süveg, more correctly csákos süveg peaked cap (csákos being an adj. < csák peak, believed by Hungarian scholars to be < German zacken point, spike).

The word has been adopted into several European languages; the French schako may be the proximate source. While the shako was still worn in the British army, the pronunciation was /ˈʃækəʊ/ among officers, but /ʃəˈkuː/ in the ranks.


SNOOT score: 1
 
Page: 1029

Source: Oxford English Dictionary, Wikipedia   


Tuesday, 10 July 2012

Entry: escudo (n.)

In context: See previous previous previous previous.

Definition: A Portuguese silver coin, originally of the value of a crown. Also applied to other former coins, gold or silver, in Spain, Portugal, and Spanish America.


Other: Uh...

SNOOT score: 1
 
Page: 1029

Source: Oxford English Dictionary   


Entry: calotte (n.)

In context: See previous previous previous.

Definition: A plain skull-cap; now esp. that worn by Roman Catholic ecclesiastics, etc.; formerly also the coif of a serjeant-at-law.


Other:

SNOOT score: 1
 
Page: 1029

Source: Oxford English Dictionary   


Monday, 9 July 2012

Entry: harquebus (n.)

In context: See previous previous.

Definition:  The early type of portable gun, varying in size from a small cannon to a musket, which on account of its weight was, when used in the field, supported upon a tripod, trestle, or other ‘carriage’, and afterwards upon a forked ‘rest’. The name in German and Flemish meant literally ‘hook-gun’, from the hook cast along with the piece, by which it was fastened to the ‘carriage’; but the name became generic for portable firearms generally in the 16th century, so that the type with the hook was subsequently distinguished as arquebuse à croc: see 2.


Other: Okay, that makes no sense to me, given the context.  It's +7000 with the humidity here, I have no air conditioning, so my attention span isn't as good as... hey, look, a puppy!

SNOOT score: 1
 
Page: 1029

Source: Oxford English Dictionary   


Entry: calpac (n.)

In context: See previous.

Definition:   A felt cap of triangular form, worn by Turkīs, Tartars, etc.; also an oriental cap generally.


Other: Also calpack and kalpak.  Pictures.

SNOOT score: 1
 
Page: 1029

Source: Oxford English Dictionary, Wikipedia   


Sunday, 8 July 2012

Entry: sallet (n.)

In context: Do you like hats?  Do you really like hats?  I hope so, because we're about to do the hat world tour.


"Troeltsch wears an InterLace Sports baseball cap, and Keith Freer a two-horned operatic Viking helmet along with his leather vest, and Fran Unwin a fez, and fierce little Josh Gopnik the white beanie with the dirty cart-wheel-track across it from this afternoon's debacle.  Tex Watson wears a tan Stetson with a really high crown, and little Tina Echt an outlandishly large plaid beret that covers half her little head, the Vaught twins a freakish bowler with two domes and one brim, Stephan Wagenknecht a plastic sallet - that is just scanning at random; the headwear goes on and on, a whole topography of hats - and Carol Spodek a painter's cap with the name of a paint company, and Bernadette Longley a calpac that obstructs the view of people behind her.  Duncan van Slack in a harquebus w/ buckle.  Should probably also mention Avril's wearing a Fukoama microfiltration mask, it being way too early in the day for supper for her anyway.  Ortho Stice wears a calotte, and the U.S.S. Millicent Kent a slanted noir-style fedora and Tall Paul Shaw, way in back, a conquistadorial helmet and escudo, and Mary Esther Thode a plain piece of cardboard propped on her head that says HAT.  Idris Arslanian's spectacular bearskin shako  is held in place with a chinstrap."

Definition: In mediæval armour, a light globular headpiece, either with or without a vizor, and without a crest, the lower part curving outwards behind.

OtherHere are a few images.

SNOOT score: 1
 
Page: 1029

Source: Oxford English Dictionary, Wikipedia