med_cat: (SH education never ends)
vir·tue sig·nal·ing [ˈvər-chü ˈsig-nəliŋ]:
origin: (April 18, 2015) British; James Bartholomew, from an article in The Spectator.

med_cat's recent entry, led to discussing another modern term re: social trends.

When I worked high end retail, it was easy to get wrapped up in the glamour of big name labels; if you wore expensive things, people often treated you better, sometimes a lot better, but one day I had to remind myself that buying something by Gucci or Prada did not actually make one a "better" person.

But...what if it could?
Read more... )
med_cat: (cat in dress)
Cross-posting from [ profile] 1word1day

-A cloud walker; one who lives in the cloud of their own imagination or dreams, or one who does not abide by the precepts of society, literature, or art;
-An unconventional, unorthodox person.

From Portuguese “nephele” cloud and “batha" - a place where you can walk

Used in a sentence:
“Always the nefelibata in grade school, his social calendar was generally wide open; but now that he’s a billionaire, he finds it difficult to decide which event he wishes to grace with his much sought after presence.”

Grandiloquent Word of the Day: Podsnappery
-An attitude toward life marked by complacency and a refusal to recognize unpleasant facts
-Smug self-satisfaction and a lack of interest in the affairs of others

From Podsnap + -ery, referring to a character Mr. Podsnap in Charles Dickens' Our Mutual Friend (1864–1865), in which this word was also coined. Podsnap was "conscious that he set a brilliant social example in being particularly well satisfied with most things, and, above all other things, with himself”

Used in a sentence:
“These may be said to have been the articles of a faith and school which the present chapter takes the liberty of calling, after its representative man, Podsnappery.”
~Charles Dickens - Our Mutual Friend

(both are from Grandiloquent Word of the Day FB page)
med_cat: (dog and book)

Vaguebooking is any update on a social network (although primarily Facebook) that is intentionally vague. Status updates which fall under the category of vaguebooking can be long or short, but most comprise just a few simple words. Regardless of the length they all have one thing in common – to elicit a response from friends and followers.

While the majority of us will just be clear about something that has happened or why we’re upset, vaguebookers take great delight in beating around the metaphorical bush. Seeking attention while giving away as little as humanly possible.

Definition from the Urban Dictionary, and a few examples

A few more examples (you can even submit the ones you find)

Why it's usually not a good idea:

5 Reasons Vaguebooking is Destroying Your Relationships

The next time your friend posts a vague FB status, reply with this video

A slightly different perspective:

In Defense of Vaguebooking

(cross-posting from [ profile] 1word1day)
med_cat: (cat in dress)
Crossposting from [ profile] 1word1day

Grandiloquent Word of the Day: Mouse Potato
(MOUS po•tay•toe)
-A person who spends large amounts of their leisure or working time on a computer.

Combination of couch potato and computer mouse.

Used in a sentence:
“Would you quit being such a mouse potato and go get some sun, you’re starting to frighten the children!”

(from Grandiloquent Word of the Day, on Facebook)
med_cat: (cat in dress)

Grandiloquent Word of the Day: Blatherskite
-Someone who speaks at great length without saying anything important.
-A person who talks at great length without making much sense.
-A person who blathers on a lot.

From Scots, alteration of blather skate, from "blather" or "blether" - blather + "skate" - a contemptible person
First Known Use: circa 1650

Used in a sentence:
“You know, that blatherskite has the absolutely most ridiculous hair style I’ve ever seen.”

(courtesy of Grandiloquent Word of the Day, on FB or Tumblr--do check it out)

(cross-posting from [ profile] 1word1day)

med_cat: (SH education never ends)

Jul. 13th, 2016 | 08:08 am

mugwump (MUHG-wump) - n., (pejorative) a person who acts independently or remains neutral, especially in politics; a person unable to make up their mind on an important issue; (US politics, usually capitalized) a Republican who refused to support the party nominee, James G. Blaine, in the presidential campaign of 1884.

First entered the American flavor of English in 1832, adopted from an Algonquin language, probably either Massechusett or Natick, mugquomp, great man, syncopated form of muggumquomp, war leader. At the time it was used complementary, but during the contentious presidential race of 1884, many Republicans refused to support Blaine and switched sides to support Grover Cleveland, who won in a close election. The New York Sun snidely called them "little mugwumps," and the sense immediately switched to turncoat: in The Devil's Dictionary, it's defined "In politics, one afflicted with self-respect and addicted to the vice of independence." I expect use of this term to go up in the months ahead, pointed at both pro-Saunders Democrats and anti-Trump Republicans.

Mar. 24th, 2017 | 07:51 am

mundungus (mun-DUN-guhs) - n., (obs.) tripe, offal; (arch.) a cheap, foul-smelling tobacco.

Adopted in the first sense in 1641 from Spanish mondongo, tripe/entrails, and extended to the tobacco the next century. And yes, this is the origin of Mundungus Fletcher from Harry Potter.

And that wraps up a week of M words. Will another theme week start up again Monday? -- stay tuned!


Mar. 22nd, 2017 | 07:39 am

middlescence (mid-l-ES-uhns) - n., the middle-age period of life, especially when considered a difficult time of self-doubt and readjustment.

Or, the mid-life crisis considered as a watershed equivalent to adolescence. Adjectival form is middlescent. Coined in 1965 as a portmanteau of middle + adolescence.


(from Larry's Pretty Good Word of the Day, [ profile] prettygoodword)
med_cat: (woman reading)
News and Politics:

Robert Reich: Republicans Are Afraid Trump Is Genuinely Nuts:
The former secretary of labor reflects on a Washington more divided and fearful than ever.

(thanks to [ profile] elenbarathi)

The Westminster attack is a tragedy, but it’s not a threat to democracy, by Simon Jenkins

The terrorists’ aim is not just to kill a few but to terrify a multitude. For politicians and media to overreact would play into their hands.

(thanks to [ profile] lindahoyland for this one)

Languages, History, and Literature:

15 Encouraging Spanish Phrases a Bilingual Spanish Speaker Would Like Everyone to Learn

The Coolest Things You Wish Were True About the Middle Ages

The Crows of Pearblossom, by Aldous Huxley--the only children's book he wrote. The illustrations are quite charming as well.
med_cat: (woman reading)
#WhanThatAprilleDay17--to be held on April 20th this year; do take a look at the article, it is very amusing!

And some recent tweets from the same author:

Roses are redde
Pegasus unicorns have winges
May everye part of the universe protect
Al those who nerdily love obscure thinges

Look at the worlde from but one view
How deadened - al thinges are -
But chaunge thy thought - and questioun new:
Yt sparkleth - lyke a star

Lat us go to a beautiful place at eve
And talke, and singe, and daunce;
Even thogh the dayes be darke
We yet retayne romaunce.
med_cat: (SH education never ends)
Originally posted by [ profile] prettygoodword at Thursday word: busticate
busticate (BUS-ti-kayt) - v., to break into pieces.

While you might, quite reasonably, assume this is yet another colorful 19th-century North American coinage, formed along the lines of absquatulate by putting the Latin verbal suffix -icate on the native English bust (which is itself a variant form of burst, which dates back to Old English) -- you would be wrong if you did so. It is, in fact, a colorful early-20th-century North American coinage formed by et cetera: the earliest citation I can find is from 1906 (Eric Partridge dates it to 1915, which shows what he knows). Here's one from 1908:
We all know that there is nothing so easy to macerate, percolate, absquatulate, and totally busticate as the Ten Commandments.
The Pharmaceutical Era

med_cat: (Fireworks)
(Cross-posting from [ profile] 1word1day)
Well, this is my last post in the comm for this year--may the coming year be munificent to all of you, your friends and families! See you in 2017 :)


, adj. mu·nif·i·cent \myu̇-ˈni-fə-sənt\

1 : very liberal in giving or bestowing : lavish

2 : characterized by great liberality or generosity

munificence, noun
munificently, adverb


"A munificent host who has presided over many charitable events at his mansion"

"... I repeat,
The Count your master’s known munificence
Is ample warrant that no just pretence
Of mine for dowry will be disallowed;
Though his fair daughter’s self, as I avowed
At starting, is my object."

(Robert Browning, "My Last Duchess")


back-formation from munificence, from Latin munificentia, from munificus generous, from munus service, gift

Did You Know?

Munificent was formed back in the late 1500s when English speakers, perhaps inspired by similar words such as "magnificent," altered the ending of "munificence." "Munificence" in turn comes from "munificus," the Latin word for "generous," which itself comes from "munus," a Latin noun that is variously translated as "gift," "duty," or "service." "Munus" has done a fine service to English by giving us other terms related to service or compensation, including "municipal" and "remunerate."

First Known Use: 1581
med_cat: (SH education never ends)
Originally posted by [ profile] ersatz_read at Monday words: colportage, bovarysme

I missed last week, so two words this week.

colportage (kŏl′pôr′tĭj), noun
The distribution of cheap popular literature, including sensational novels, romances, religious tracts, and chapbooks.
The people who hawked such items were called colporteurs.

The term 'colporteur' has nothing to do with Cole Porter.
It comes from French colportage, which might be derived from collum, neck + porter, to carry; i.e., to carry on one's neck.

bovarysme (bohv-ar-eezm), noun
A tendency toward escapist daydreaming in which one imagines oneself as the hero or heroine of a romance and refuses to acknowledge everyday realities.

Etymology:  named for the protagonist of Flaubert's novel Madame Bovary.
med_cat: (Blue writing)
...What do you think? Any favourites from this list? ;)

Part 2: )


med_cat: (Default)

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