Monday, 29 October 2012

Site Update:

Hi all.  I've been moving all weekend and I do not have Internet access in my new apartment.  The site will not be updated for a couple of days, but I hope to have it going by the end of the week at the latest.

Thank-you for your patience!

Sunday, 28 October 2012

Entry: kertwang (n.)

In context: "Avril had eschewed an office door even before the cleaning-lady kertwang, for simple enclosure-reasons."

Definition: A neologism.  Presumably situation, debacle, and/or problem.


Other:

SNOOT score: 1
 
Page: 512

Source: Oxford English Dictionary   

Saturday, 27 October 2012

Entry: cyanosis (n.)

In context: "Her lips and cheek-points are the vague robin's-egg of cyanosis."

Definition: Blueness or lividness of the skin owing to the circulation of imperfectly oxygenated blood (esp. as caused by congenital malformation of the heart); blue disease, blue jaundice.

Other: Good or bad?

1851   S. Judd Margaret (1871) ii. ii. 193   His love for me produces a cyanosis.

SNOOT score: 1
 
Page: 512

Source: Oxford English Dictionary   

Friday, 26 October 2012

Entry: moppetish (adj.)

In context: "At the Enfield Tennis Academy, for the last four years, Dr. Dolores Rusk is supposed to hold a kind of distaff community meeting with all female players judged naïve and moppetish enough to be potential diddlees - the youngest of these is Rhode Island's pint-sized Tina Echt, just seven but a true cannibal off the backhand side - to interface in a discreet but nuturingly empowering group setting, etc., and nip any potential Phielyisms in the bud."

Definition: From moppet (n.): A baby; a young child, esp. a girl; a darling, a favourite (freq. as a term of endearment). Also (depreciative): a frivolous or gaudily dressed woman.


Other:  

SNOOT score: 1
 
Page: 511

Source: Oxford English Dictionary   

Thursday, 25 October 2012

Entry: insouciant (adj.)

In context:"Hal was confident Pemulis would remove the insouciant hat the minute they were called in on what was presumably going to be the carpet."

Definition: Careless, indifferent, unconcerned.

Other: I love this word.

Etymology:  French, < in- (in- prefix3) + souciant caring, present participle of soucier to care < Latin sollicitāre to disturb, agitate.

and I like this too:

1888   Pall Mall Gaz. 12 Jan. 2/1   On such subjects, an insouciant agnosticism is the most philosophic attitude



SNOOT score: 5
 
Page: 509

Source: Oxford English Dictionary   

Wednesday, 24 October 2012

Entry: pantalone (n.)

In context: See previous.

Definition: See pantaloon (n.): Theatre. Usu. with capital initial. Originally: (in Italian commedia dell'arte) a Venetian character representing authority and the older generation, typically depicted as a lean, foolish old man in a predominantly red costume that included Turkish slippers, pantaloons (see sense 2c), a close-fitting jacket, and a skullcap. Later: (in English harlequinade) a similar character who is the father, guardian, or elderly suitor of the heroine (Columbine), and the frequent butt of the Clown's jokes. Now chiefly hist.


Other:

SNOOT score: 1
 
Page: 507

Source: Oxford English Dictionary   

Tuesday, 23 October 2012

Entry: jongleur (n.)

In context: "Perseus, he wore the hat of a jongleur, or pantalone."

Definition:  The Norman French term (technically used by modern writers) for an itinerant minstrel, who sang and composed ballads, told stories and otherwise entertained people.

also, more generally, a juggler.



Other:

SNOOT score: 1
 
Page: 507

Source: Oxford English Dictionary   

Monday, 22 October 2012

Entry: anorak (n.)

In context: "By the time Johnette Foltz could break away and get over to them, the fellow had Erdedy by his anorak's insulated lapels and was leaning him way back over the edge of the Literature table so that Erdedy's waterproof lodge boots were off the ground, and the fellow's face was right up in Erdedy's face in a show of naked aggression..."

Definition: A weatherproof jacket of skin or cloth, with hood attached, worn by the Inuit in Greenland; a similar garment elsewhere.


Other:

SNOOT score: 1
 
Page: 506

Source: Oxford English Dictionary   

Sunday, 21 October 2012

Entry: catalepsy (n.)

In context: "...the increasing emotional abstraction, poverty of affect, and then total emotional catalepsy..."

Definition:  A disease characterized by a seizure or trance, lasting for hours or days, with suspension of sensation and consciousness.


Other: Holy, is this ever fascinating (italics mine):

Wikipedia:

Catalepsy is a symptom of certain nervous disorders or conditions such as Parkinson's disease and epilepsy. It is also a characteristic symptom of cocaine withdrawal. It can be caused by schizophrenia treatment with anti-psychotics, such as haloperidol, and by the anesthetic ketamine.  In some cases, isolated cataleptic instances can also be precipitated by extreme emotional shock  – one well known example of this was the reaction of 1968 Olympic long jump medalist Bob Beamon on understanding that he had broken the previous world record by over 0.5 meters (2 feet).  Protein kinase A has been suggested as a mediator of cataleptic behavior.  Other causes of catalepsy include reuptake inhibitors of adrenergic neurotransmitters such as Reserpine.

SNOOT score: 1
 
Page: 5

Source: Oxford English Dictionary, Wikipedia   

Saturday, 20 October 2012

Entry: anechoic (adj.)

In context: "There were about maybe two dozen beginning recovering addicts there in the anechoic vestry of an upscale church in what Erdedy figured had to be either west Belmon or east Waltham."

Definition: Before you read the definition, try breaking the word apart.  

..
..
..

Free from echo.

Other:

SNOOT score: 3
 
Page: 503

Source: Oxford English Dictionary   

Friday, 19 October 2012

Entry: dihedral (adj.)

In context: "The mattress, a Simmons Beauty Rest whose tag said it could not by law be removed, now formed the hypotenuse of a right dihedral triangle whose legs were myself and the bed's box spring."

Definition: Math. Of the nature of a dihedron

dihedron (n.):    In the geometrical theory of groups, the portion of two superposed planes bounded by (or contained within) a regular polygon.

Not much better?

Here's a picture... which should be helpful?


Other:

SNOOT score: 1
 
Page: 495

Source: Oxford English Dictionary, Greg Egan   

Thursday, 18 October 2012

Entry: declivity (n.)

In context: "Our home's whole subdivision was spread along a severe hillside, which meant that the view from my parents' bedroom on the first floor was of just sky and sun and a foreshortened declivity of lawn."

Definition: Downward slope or inclination (of a hill, etc.).

Other:

SNOOT score: 1
 
Page: 494

Source: Oxford English Dictionary   

Wednesday, 17 October 2012

Entry: metastisate (v.)

In context: "'And at night this one spot here we've isolated and identified seems to spread and metastisate...'"

Definition: Presumably metastasize (v.): intr. Pathol. Of a disease, esp. a tumour: to spread from one part or organ to another; to undergo metastasis

and

intr. Chiefly U.S. In extended use: to transfer or spread from a place of origin; spec. to intensify or escalate in an undesirable manner.



Other:

SNOOT score: 1
 
Page: 492

Source: Oxford English Dictionary   

Tuesday, 16 October 2012

Entry: culcate (adj.)

In context: "...as the culcate handle navigates the inguinal canal..."

Definition: We aren't really off to a great start this week - another neologism, and this one I haven't any idea about.  Thoughts?


Other:

SNOOT score: 1
 
Page: 488

Source: N/A

Monday, 15 October 2012

Entry: aphrasiac (adj.)

In context: "...behind fluttering lids the aphrasiac half-cellular insurgent who loves only to sweep and dance in a clean pane sees snow on the round hills of his native Gaspé..."

Definition: I can't find this anywhere, so I'll go with neologism.  Unable to speak, perhaps?

Other:

SNOOT score: 1
 
Page: 488

Source: N/A

Sunday, 14 October 2012

Entry: aphonia (n.)

In context: "...the strangled and impeded sounds of absolute aphonia..."

Definition: Aphonia is the inability to speak. It is considered more severe than dysphonia. A primary cause of aphonia is bilateral disruption of the recurrent laryngeal nerve, which supplies nearly all the muscles in the larynx. Damage to the nerve may be the result of surgery (e.g., thyroidectomy) or a tumor.

Aphonia means "no sound." In other words, a person with this disorder has lost his/her voice.



Other: Dysphonia, in case you were wondering:

Dysphonia is the medical term for disorders of the voice: an impairment in the ability to produce voice sounds using the vocal organs (it is distinct from dysarthria which means disorders of speech, that is, an impairment in the ability to produce spoken words). Thus, dysphonia is a phonation disorder. The dysphonic voice can be hoarse or excessively breathy, harsh, or rough, but some kind of phonation is still possible (contrasted with the more severe aphonia where phonation is impossible).



I'm trying not to give too much away with the In Context section.

SNOOT score
 
Page: 4

Source: Wikipedia

Saturday, 13 October 2012

Entry: natal (adj.)

In context: "...Lucien's first sounds are reduced from howls to a natal gargle..."

Definition: Of or relating to a person's birth; resulting or dating from a person's birth; connected with a person from birth. 

... fits best here.

Other:

SNOOT score: 1
 
Page: 488

Source: Oxford English Dictionary   

Friday, 12 October 2012

Entry: transperçant (adj.)

In context: "There are maybe about six or nine A.F.R. here in the drafty back room, silent as ever, seated with motionless wheels, flannel blankets obscuring an absence of the legs, also of course flannel-shirted, masked in synthetic-blend heraldic-flag irises with flaming transperçant stems at the chin and slits for eyes and round utter holes for mouths..."

Definition: French for 'piercing'.

Other: While this might not exactly fit the purpose of Definitive Jest, nothing scores SNOOT points like a SNOOTy French phrase.  Don't use the one from Monday, though.

SNOOT score: 1
 
Page: 486

Source: Oxford English Dictionary   

Thursday, 11 October 2012

Entry: variegated (adj.)

In context: "...Lucien can see the variegated glints of passing low-chassis headlights off a whole long single-file column of polished metal wheels stolidly turning, being turned by swarthy hands in fingerless wheelchair-gloves."

DefinitionComposed of persons of various characters or kinds; heterogeneous; motley. rare.

makes the most sense here, but also:

 Marked with patches or spots of different colours; varied in colour; of diverse or various colours; many-coloured, vari-coloured; spec. in Bot.


Other: Also, In the specific names of animals, birds, etc.







Which gives us a bit of a runaway usage example:


1783   J. Latham Gen. Synopsis Birds II. i. 99   Variegated chatterer.
1783   J. Latham Gen. Synopsis Birds II. i. 181   Variegated Bunting (Emberiza principalis).
1792   G. Shaw Musei Leveriani 38   The Variegated Baboon.
1801   G. Shaw Gen. Zool. II. 17   Variegated Cavy.
1801   G. Shaw Gen. Zool. II. 123   Variegated Marmot.
1802   G. Shaw Gen. Zool. III. i. 235   Variegated Lizard.
1804   G. Shaw Gen. Zool. V. ii. 439   Variegated Sun-fish.
1814   W. E. Leach Zool. Misc. I. 117   Variegated Coucal. 


Also, I could swear I'd already included this word, but apparently not.


SNOOT score: 1
 
Page: 484

Source: Oxford English Dictionary   

Wednesday, 10 October 2012

Entry: illumine (v.)

In context: "Through the door's window, passing headlights illumine a disabled person in a wheelchair laboring along the rutted walk outside the Portuguese grocery opposite Antitoi Entertainment's storefront."

Definition: To light up, shed light upon; to shine upon or into; to light up in token of rejoicing or honour.

But here, more prosasically

To become light or bright; to be illuminated.



Other:

SNOOT score: 1
 
Page: 483

Source: Oxford English Dictionary   

Tuesday, 9 October 2012

Entry: impost (n.)

In context: "...before O.N.A.N.ite experialist impost made any sort of struggle or sacrifice remotely necessary..."

Definition: A tax, duty, imposition, tribute; spec. a customs-duty levied on merchandise. Now chiefly Hist.


Other:

SNOOT score: 1
 
Page: 482

Source: Oxford English Dictionary   

Monday, 8 October 2012

Entry: va chier, putain! (phr.)

In context: "...Bertraund felt the gesture was a subtle affirmation of solidarity with partriotic Struggle everywhere and stood for Victoire, but Licien suspected a U.S.A. obscenity laughingly flashed at persons who would not comprehend its insult, just as one of Lucien's sadistic école-spéciale tutors back in Ste.-Anne-des-Monts had spent weeks in Second Form teaching Lucien to say 'Va chief, putain!', which he (the tutor) claimed meant 'Look Maman I can speak French and thus finally express my love and devotion to you..."

Definition: Well, this may be one I'll just to leave to the reader's devices.  Suffice it to say, the phrase does not mean exactly what the tutor claims.


Other:

SNOOT score: 1
 
Page: 481

Source: Oxford English Dictionary   

Sunday, 7 October 2012

Entry: interdicted (v.)

In context: "...sad little gestures that M. DuPlessis would have interdicted with a merry laugh and a friendly hand on Bertraund's bowling ball of a shoulder."

Definition: Forbidden, prohibited; debarred, precluded: see the verb.

Other:

SNOOT score: 2
 
Page: 481

Source: Oxford English Dictionary   

Saturday, 6 October 2012

Entry: monomitotic (adj.)

In context:"...more or less loners, self-contained, a monomitotic cell, eccentric and borderline-incompetent..."

Definition: From mono (comb. form): Used in words adopted from Greek and in English formations modelled on these, and as a freely productive prefix, with the senses ‘one, alone, single’, ‘having, involving, etc., one’, indicating that a characteristic or property is present singly or uniformly.

and

mitotic (adj.): Of or relating to mitosis; of the nature of mitosis; undergoing or involved in mitosis.


Other:

SNOOT score: 1
 
Page: 480

Source: Oxford English Dictionary   

Friday, 5 October 2012

Entry: aerodyne (n.)

In context: "...a thick M.F. cup, caught by a sudden gust as it falls, twirling, is caught at some aerodyne's angle and blown spinning all the way of the storefront of one 'Antitoi Entertainment'..."

Definition: now chiefly hist. a heavier-than-air aircraft; an aeroplane.

Also, helpfully from Wikipedia: heavier-than-air aircraft, deriving life from dynamic motion through the air.



Other:

SNOOT score: 1
 
Page: 480

Source: Oxford English Dictionary, Wikipedia

Thursday, 4 October 2012

Entry: finials (n.)

In context: "...whitewashed WASP church roofs' finials further west..."

Definition:  An ornament placed upon the apex of a roof, pediment, or gable, or upon each of the corners of a tower, etc.; a similar ornament serving as a termination to a canopy or the like, or to the end of an open seat in a church.


Other:

SNOOT score: 1
 
Page: 479

Source: Oxford English Dictionary   

Wednesday, 3 October 2012

Entry: tympanum (n.)

In context: "An intriguing single-decker medical-looking bldg. with a sort of tympanum over the smoked glass door..."

Definition: The vertical recessed face of a pediment, often adorned with sculpture.

but also:

 A drum or similar instrument, as a tambourine or timbrel (esp. ancient); also, the stretched membrane of a drum, a drum-head.



Other:

SNOOT score: 1
 
Page: 479

Source: Oxford English Dictionary   

Tuesday, 2 October 2012

Entry: propinquous (adj.)

In context:  "A couple Canadian and Nuck-owned stores mashed in here and there, between the propinquous Spanish three-dekcers, looking subjugated and exiled and etc."

Definition: A variant of propinquituous (adj.):

That is in propinquity (in various senses); nearby, close at hand.


Other:

SNOOT score: 2
 
Page: 4

Source: Oxford English Dictionary   

Monday, 1 October 2012

Entry: crèche-type (adj.)

In context: "...an all-out full-cast crèche-type scene hung from a second-floor balcony..."

Definition: From, I assume crèche (n.):

A public nursery for infants; an institution where the infant children of poor women are taken care of while their mothers are at work, or in hospitals, etc. In later use, a day nursery for babies and young children.

Though, interestingly, crèche can also mean:

A representation of the infant Jesus in the manger, with attending figures, often displayed at Christmas.

Other:

SNOOT score: 1
 
Page: 479

Source: Oxford English Dictionary