Thursday, 31 January 2013

Entry: frieze (n.)


In context:  "The Darkness's service motion was in the McEnroe-Esconja tradition, legs splayed, feet parallel, a figure off an Egyptian frieze, side so severely to the net he's almost facing away."

Definition: I had to dig for this one, but I think this is the best of the definitions: A band of painted or sculptured decoration.


Other:

SNOOT score 1
 
Page: 652

Source: Oxford English Dictionary   

Wednesday, 30 January 2013

Entry: pericardium-piercer (adj.)


In context:  "Helen Steeply of Moment, possessed of a certain thuggish allure but hardly the pericardium-piercer that Orin had made her sound like..."

Definition: A Wallace-ish way of saying heart-piercer. 

pericardium (n.): The membranous sac, consisting of an outer fibrous and an inner serous layer, which encloses the mammalian heart and the beginning of the major blood vessels. Also: the cavity or sinus enclosing or constituting the heart or corresponding organ in certain invertebrates. 


Other:

SNOOT score 2
 
Page: 652

Source: Oxford English Dictionary   

Tuesday, 29 January 2013

Entry: galumphers (n.)


In context:  "Apparently some higher-up had sent Mary Esther Thode out on her little yellow Vespa with the order for their match; she'd pulled up alongside Stice and Wayne just as they cleared the Hammond golf course, Hal a good half km. behind them with galumphers kornspan and Kahn."

Definition: from galumph (v.):  Orig., to march on exultingly with irregular bounding movements. Now usu., to gallop heavily; to bound or move clumsily or noisily.


Other: Etymology:  Invented by ‘L. Carroll’ (perhaps with some reminiscence of gallop  , triumphant  ). The sense in current use may vary according to different notions of what the sound expresses.

1871   ‘L. Carroll’ Through Looking-glass i. 22   He left it dead, and with its head He went galumphing back.

SNOOT score 1
 
Page: 651

Source: Oxford English Dictionary   

Monday, 28 January 2013

Entry: ossified (adj.)


In context:  "'Petrified', Marathe said.  'Ossified.  Inanimate.'"

Definition: In a state of ossification; bony, osseous.


Other: Also, relevantly:
Hardened or callous; rigid or fixed in position, attitude, ideas, etc.

and

slang (chiefly U.S.). Drunk, intoxicated.

1978   H. Wouk War & Remembrance xvi. 166   An odd lot, bored to death, mostly staying ossified on Tuscan wine.

SNOOT score 2
 
Page: 647

Source: Oxford English Dictionary   

Sunday, 27 January 2013

Entry: transperçant (adj.)


In context:  "In contrast with the violence and transperçant puncturing of the sunset..."

Definition: I'll admit some confusion on this one.  I've tried a few online translations, from French to English, and I keep getting back 'piercing'.  So, is it a piercing puncturing of the sunset?


Other: A little help?

SNOOT score 1
 
Page: 642

Source: Oxford English Dictionary   

Saturday, 26 January 2013

Entry: consumptive (n. and adj.)


In context:  "It was hard to pinpoint anything wrong or consumptive."

Definition: Characteristic, symptomatic, or suggestive of the disease consumption; associated with or accompanying consumption. Now chiefly hist.


Other: but also:

A medicinal agent used to reduce or eliminate morbid humours or diseased tissue.


SNOOT score 1
 
Page: 639

Source: Oxford English Dictionary   

Friday, 25 January 2013

Entry: penitent (adv. here)


In context:  "Tony Nwangi is saying something acerbic to Hal, who looks like he's kneeling penitent before Ingersoll, everyone at the surrounding tables inclined very subtly away from Hal."

Definition: That repents with sincere desire to amend the sin or wrongdoing; repentant, contrite.

and

Expressive of repentance.


Other:

SNOOT score 1
 
Page: 637

Source: Oxford English Dictionary   

Thursday, 24 January 2013

Entry: colposcope (n.)


In context:  "Axford has trouble even public showering, much less submitting nude to a female's inspection.  Hal is maybe the one male E.T.A. for whom liketime virginity is a conscious goal.  He sort of feels like O.'s having enough acrobatic coitus for all three of them.  Freer even has a like souvenir-colposcope bolted to the inside of his locker door..."

Definition: from colpo-: also colp- before a vowel, comb. form of Greek κόλπος womb, used = vagina in terms of Pathol., Surg., and Anat.

1940   E. Novak Gynecol. & Obstetr. Pathol. vi. 92   Colposcopy, the magnification of the cervix afforded by the Hinselmann colposcope.

Other: Got a bit behind!  Not having Internet access at home, combined with a lot of work and coaching got in the way, but I'll post all the missing entries today.

SNOOT score 1
 
Page: 634

Source: Oxford English Dictionary   

Wednesday, 23 January 2013

Entry: tektitic (adj.)


In context:  "The inappropriate found objects have had a tektitic and sinister aspect: none of the cheery odor of pranksterism; they're not funny.  To varying degrees they've given everyone the fantods."

Definition: Can't find tektitic, but tektite (n.): One of the small, roundish, glassy bodies of unknown origin that occur scattered over various parts of the earth.


Other:

SNOOT score 1
 
Page: 632

Source: Oxford English Dictionary   

Tuesday, 22 January 2013

Entry: saltire (n.)


In context:  "And two black girls on the breakfast crew reportedly found a set of squeegees on the dining hall's north wall, several meters up and hung crossed in a kind of saltire, placed there by parties unknown."

Definition: An ordinary in the form of a St. Andrew's cross, formed by a bend and a bend sinister, crossing each other; also, a cross having this shape. Hence, in saltire: crossed like the limbs of a St. Andrew's cross. per saltire


Other: Lots of pictures here

A word you'll learn very early on playing competitive Scrabble.  Also: realist, saltier, slatier, retails, tailers.

SNOOT score 1
 
Page: 632

Source: Oxford English Dictionary, Wikipedia   

Monday, 21 January 2013

Entry: carminative (adj.)


In context:  "'Trevor should have the cold, Axhandle, no?' Schacht says, tapping carminative capsules onto his palm from his own amber bottle."

Definition: Of medicines, etc.: Having the quality of expelling flatulence.


Other: Ha-ha.  This is pretty interesting: ‘A medical term from the old theory of humours. The object of carminatives is to expel wind, but the theory was that they dilute and relax the gross humours from whence the wind arises, combing them out like the knots in wool.’ Wedgwood.


SNOOT score 1
 
Page: 630

Source: Oxford English Dictionary   

Sunday, 20 January 2013

Entry: coruscant (adj.)


In context:  "...the NASA blanket twisting corsucant in the air high above the street..."

Definition: Glittering, sparkling, gleaming.


Other:

SNOOT score 2
 
Page: 626

Source: Oxford English Dictionary   

Saturday, 19 January 2013

Entry: swart (adj.)


In context:  "The engineer knows about ambulances and the Brigham Women's ICU and five-day rehab ward from the thick swart girl Notkin, the one with the disreputable hat..."

Definition: Dark in colour; black or blackish; dusky, swarthy.

specifically:

Of the skin or complexion, or of persons in respect of these.


Other: Wow! 

OE   Beowulf 167   Heorot eardode, sincfage sel sweartum nihtum.

SNOOT score 1
 
Page: 625

Source: Oxford English Dictionary   

Friday, 18 January 2013

Entry: appurtenances (n.)


In context:  "Their clothes and appurtenances are the same color as the men, in other words."

Definition: A thing that belongs to another, a ‘belonging’; a minor property, right, or privilege, belonging to another more important, and passing in possession with it; an appendage.


Other:

SNOOT score 1
 
Page: 623

Source: Oxford English Dictionary   

Thursday, 17 January 2013

Entry: greensward (n.)


In context:  "The hillside's grassy decline, not too steep, runs at a wedge's angle down toward Arlington St. and is one broad greensward, free of dog droppings because dogs won't go to the bathroom on inclined terrain."

Definition: Grass-covered ground; turf; an area of this.


Other: This is definitely a word I'm going use, even if I really have to force the issue.

SNOOT score 2
 
Page: 623

Source: Oxford English Dictionary   

Wednesday, 16 January 2013

Entry: verdigrised (adj.)


In context:  "This is out by Arlington St., in the Gardens' southwest corner, hidden by its ridge from the pond's basin and tourism booth and pavilion and the hub of radial paths and the giant verdigrised statues of ducklings in a row commemorating Robert McCloskey's beloved and timeless Make way for Duckings."

Definition: Coated or tainted with verdigris.


Other: From verdigris (n.): A green or greenish blue substance obtained artificially by the action of dilute acetic acid on thin plates of copper (or a green rust naturally forming on copper and brass), and much used as a pigment, in dyeing, the arts, and medicine; basic acetate of copper.

I thought this was likely to be an inflection invented by Wallace!

SNOOT score 1
 
Page: 623

Source: Oxford English Dictionary   

Tuesday, 15 January 2013

Entry: supine (adj.)


In context:  "Trying at the same time to give his bad skin some quality UV and a good chill's chap, the grad-work-study engineer of M.I.T.'s WYYY-109 lies bare-chested on a silvery NASA-souvenir space blanket, supine and cruciform at about the angle of a living-room recliner on the Public Gardens' far hillside."

Definition: Lying on one's back, lying with the face or front upward; (loosely) lying down, recumbent. Used also of the position.


Other: A very old word, around 1425 CE.  You can follow its development into several languages:

Etymology:  < classical Latin supīnuslying face upwards, flat on one's back, (of the hands ) turned palm upwards, (of the head or face) upturned, thrown back, (of terrain) flat, low-lying, sloping down, (of people) passive, sluggish < the stem of super above (see super- prefix) and superus higher (see superior adj.) + -īnus -ine suffix1.

Compare Old French sovin(11th cent. in Rashi; Middle French souvin), Anglo-Norman and Middle French supin, Middle French suppin(early 13th cent.), Old Occitan sobin, sopin(11th cent.), Catalan supí, Spanish supino(16th cent.), Portuguese supino(14th cent. as sobinho), Italian supino(early 14th cent.).
N.E.D. (1917) gives the pronunciation as (siūpəi·n) /s(j)uːˈpaɪn/ , occas. (siū·pəin) /ˈs(j)uːpaɪn/ . In British English, pronunciation with stress on the first syllable became usual during the first half of the 20th cent.; in U.S. English, stress on the second remains more usual.



SNOOT score 1
 
Page: 622

Source: Oxford English Dictionary   

Monday, 14 January 2013

Entry: möbiusizing (v.) 


In context:  "The wind keeps blowing the banners sideways, möbiusizing them and then straightening them back out with the loud pop of flags unfurling."

Definition: A neologism deriving from Möbius strip (n.): a surface having only one side and one edge, formed by twisting one end of a rectangular strip through 180 degrees and joining it to the other end.


Other: If a picture would help, here you go!

SNOOT score 1
 
Page: 6

Source: Oxford English Dictionary, Wikipedia   

Sunday, 13 January 2013

Entry: phylogenic (adj.)


In context:  See previous.

Definition: From phylogenesis (n.):   The evolutionary development of a species or other group of organisms through a succession of forms. Also: the evolutionary development of a particular (esp. anatomical) feature of an organism.


Other:

SNOOT score 2
 
Page: 622

Source: Oxford English Dictionary   

Saturday, 12 January 2013

Entry: decamped (v.)


In context:  "Some of the pond's flightier ducks have already decamped for points south, on some phylogenic cue..."

Definition: To go away promptly or suddenly; to make off at once, take oneself off: often said of criminals and persons eluding the officers of the law.


Other: I've always thought ducks looked particularly devious, perhaps criminal.  Especially the flightier ones.

SNOOT score 1
 
Page: 622

Source: Oxford English Dictionary   

Friday, 11 January 2013

Entry: sylvan (adj.)


In context:  "Not your ideal sylvan-type day for conventional lounging or public speculation."

Definition: Belonging, pertaining, or relating to, situated or performed in, associated with, or characteristic of, a wood or woods.


Other:

SNOOT score 1
 
Page: 621

Source: Oxford English Dictionary   

Thursday, 10 January 2013

Entry: nostrum (n.)


In context:  "Hardcore panhandlers stem like they're selling nostrums to small crowds."

Definition: A quack remedy or patent medicine, esp. one prepared by the person recommending it.


Other:

SNOOT score 1
 
Page: 621

Source: Oxford English Dictionary   

Wednesday, 9 January 2013

Entry: genuflecting (v.)


In context:  "...upwards of 60 million North Americans daily kicking and genuflecting..."

Definition: genuflect (v.): intr. To bend the knee, esp. in worship. †Also trans.


Other: Great, accessible etymology:

Etymology:  < medieval Latin genūflect-ĕre, < Latin genūknee + flectĕreto bend.

SNOOT score 1
 
Page: 620

Source: Oxford English Dictionary   

Tuesday, 8 January 2013

Entry: couture (n.)


In context: "...internal Froxx CD-ROM, electronic couture, all-in-one consoles..."

Definition:Fashionable dressmaking or design; used as a collective term for the designers or makers of women's fashionable clothes, esp. in Paris; also, the clothes made by them. So (la) haute couture : high fashion; the fashionable world; the leading dressmakers and dressmaking establishments collectively. Also attrib


Other:

SNOOT score: 1

Page: 620

Source: Oxford English Dictionary

Monday, 7 January 2013

Entry: collops (n.)


In context: "...his ex-ballplayer's collops and big hanging gut are one of Gately's great motivators for nightly situps."

Definition: A thick fold of flesh on the body as evidence of a well-fed condition.


Other:

SNOOT score: 3

Page: 619

Source: Oxford English Dictionary

Sunday, 6 January 2013

Entry: ailanthus (n.)


In context: "Joelle v.D. in her terry robe and gauze veil and still clutching a toothbrush has climbed out onto the little balcony outside the 5-Woman's window and into a skinny ailanthus beside it..."

Definition: More fully ailanthus tree. Any of several fast-growing, pinnate-leaved trees constituting the chiefly East Asian genus Ailanthus (family Simaroubaceae); esp. the tree of heaven, A. altissima, native to China and now naturalized in parts of Europe and North America, where it has been widely planted as a shade tree and for ornament but is now considered invasive. Also (in form Ailanthus): the genus itself.


Other: Relevant pictures can be found on the Wikipedia page.

SNOOT score: 1

Page: 614

Source: Oxford English Dictionary

Saturday, 5 January 2013

Entry: subdural (adj.)


In context: "...Gately feels adrenaline's warmth spread through him as his subdural hardware clicks deeper into a worn familiar long-past track."

Definition: Located or occurring beneath the dura mater.


Other: dura mater (n.): The dense, tough, outermost membranous envelope of the brain and spinal cord.

SNOOT score: 1

Page: 612

Source: Oxford English Dictionary

Friday, 4 January 2013

Entry: Donegal (n.)


In context: "Yet another guy with a necklace and a plaid Donegal is holding the rest of the resident at bay on the lawn..."

Definition: The name of a county in the north-west of Ireland; used attrib. or ellipt. to designate something produced in or peculiar to the county, esp. a type of tweed or a kind of coarse, knotted carpet.


Other:

SNOOT score: 1

Page: 608

Source: Oxford English Dictionary

Thursday, 3 January 2013

Entry: diffracts (v.)


In context: "The night is cold and glycerine-clear and quite still.  Very distant sounds of car horns and raised voices down on Comm. Green's receding at a run off up the little streetlet intoa  glare of highbeams that diffracts in the clouds of Gately's breath..."

Definition: To break in pieces, break up; in Optics, To deflect and break up (a beam of light) at the edge of an opaque body or through a narrow aperture or slit; to affect with diffraction n.   Also fig.


Other:

SNOOT score: 3

Page: 608

Source: Oxford English Dictionary

Wednesday, 2 January 2013

Entry: simonize (v.)


In context: "'Simonize my baby when I'm gone, Don Doon.'"

Definition:   trans. To polish by the application of Simoniz.


Other: Two interesting usages:

1949   A. Miller Death of Salesmani. 17   Remember those days? The way Biff used to simonize that car?

1953   Economist 25 July 258/1,   I have heard it said that Harvard University humanises the scientist and simonises the humanist.

SNOOT score: 1
 
Page: 607

Source: Oxford English Dictionary