med_cat: (cat in dress)
gaillardia (GAY-lahr-dee-uh) - n., any of several American composite flowers of the genus Gaillardia widely cultivated for their large red, yellow, or bicolored flower heads.

Also called blanket flower, possibly because of colors that look like Native American blankets. Named in the 1880s for Gaillard de Charentonneau, an 18th-century French amateur botanist and patron of botany.

Gaillardia Fairy

There once was a child in a garden,
Who loved all my colours of flame,
The crimson and scarlet and yellow—
But what was my name?

For Gaillardia’s hard to remember!
She looked at my yellow and red,
And thought of the gold and the glory
When the sun goes to bed;

And she troubled no more to remember,
But gave me a splendid new name;
She spoke of my flowers as Sunsets—
Then you do the same!
—Cicely Mary Barker


Originally posted by [ profile] prettygoodword at gaillardia
You can comment here or there.
med_cat: (Basil in colour)
Cross-posting from [ profile] 1word1day
It caught my eye because there had been a film called "Svengali", and I hadn't known the title actually meant something, I'd assumed it was the last name of the main character or the name of the place.

(not seen the film, but some good-looking actors in it; it's on YouTube)

'Svengali' Bannon leaving White House

'A person who manipulates or exerts excessive control over another'

Svengali (“a person who manipulates or exerts excessive control over another”) cozened its way to the top of our lookups on August 18th, 2017, following multiple news reports that political strategist Stephen Bannon would soon be fired from his position at the White House.

Read more... )

med_cat: (SH education never ends)
Originally posted by [ profile] med_cat at Friday word: Gherkin
gherkin, n. gher·kin \ˈgər-kən\

1a : a small prickly fruit used for pickling; also : a pickle made from this fruit

b : the slender annual vine (Cucumis anguria) of the gourd family that bears gherkins

2: the immature fruit of the cucumber especially when used for pickling
West Indian gherkin:

First Known Use: 1661


It was salad with cheese and meat that was topped with slivers of gherkins.

susan selasky,, "Tiny cornichons are big addition to salads and sauces," 30 May 2017


Dutch gurken, plural of gurk cucumber, ultimately from Middle Greek agouros
med_cat: (SH education never ends)
Happened to run across this post on FB earlier this week and thought you might enjoy this compilation :)
Improve English Vocabulary

some uncommon words with their meanings

1. Cagamosis (noun): an unhappy marriage
2. agerasia (noun): the state of looking younger than one actually is
3. Hadeharia (noun): the practice of frequently using the word "hell" in speech
4. Estrapade(noun) : the attempt of the horse to remove its rider. (estrange: alienate or remove)
5. Auto-tonsorialist (noun): a person who cuts his own hair. (tonsorial= of or related to haircut or barbering)
6. Dactylonomy (noun): act of counting using one's fingers (dactyl: tip of the finger)
7. Jument (noun): An animal used to carry loads like horse or donkey (beast of burden)
8. Gargalesthesia (noun): the sensation caused by tickling
9. bombilate (verb): make humming or buzzing sound loudly. "a student was bombilating in the class while the teacher was delivering lecture"
10. maledicent (noun): a person who does frequent abusive speech


(cross-posting from [ profile] 1word1day)

med_cat: (dog and book)
(cross-posting from [ profile] 1word1day)

Several times, in the last few months, I've shared posts from the Grandiloquent Word of the Day FB page to this comm. So, I thought some of you might be interested in this announcement:

The Grandiloquent Word of the Day, by Jason Ott, is issuing a calendar for the upcoming year. You can reserve your copy in PDF and/or print today, and if you do, you will get a PDF bonus--The Grandiloquent Book of Shenanigans!

The deadline for pledging to reserve your copy is tonight, at 12 midnight.

And a bonus word from their FB page:


-The extreme or irrational fear of Woodpeckers.

From “yaffle" - a large green and yellow woodpecker (Picus viridis, family Picidae) with a red crown and a laughing call.
“phobia” via Latin from Greek - extreme or irrational fear or dislike of a specified thing or group.

Used in a sentence:
“Pinocchio was enjoying watching Saturday morning cartoons right up until The Woody Woodpecker Show induced a full-blown case of yafflephobia.”
med_cat: (cat in dress)
Crossposting from [ profile] 1word1day

I have recently read Mark Forsyth's Horologicon, which I highly recommend, btw.

In the book, he mentioned that Benjamin Franklin had compiled a list of terms for drunkenness, and all of them are listed in one of the appendices; since it's vacation season, and some people like to have a drink or two, I thought you might enjoy seeing some of the phrases from the list.

He's addled, been at Barbadoes, has a head full of bees, has had a thump over the head with Samson's jaw-bone, has been at war with his brains, has been catching the cat, has been to France, has been before George, has been at Geneva, has been to see Robin Goodfellow, has taken Hippocrates' grand Elixir, going to Jericho, an indirect man, going to Jamaica, going to Jerusalem, is a king, clips the King's English, has seen the French King, has salt in his headban, has been among the Philistines, is friends with Philip, contending with Pharaoh, has lost his rudder, eat too much pumpkin, has been too far with Sir Richard, is like a rat in trouble, has got out his topgallant sails, seen the dog-star, has made too free with Sir John Strawberry, has swallowed a tavern token, is pot valiant.
med_cat: (cat and books)
Little girl takes hamster who hasn't moved in days to vet - who makes a very odd discovery

Life would be a lot easier - and interesting - if our pets could talk.
As it is, we have to try and guess what's ailing our furry friends when we sense something is amiss.

No one, however - not even an rodent expert - could have guessed what was wrong with one worried little girl's hamster when she took it in to see the vet.


Scientists found 2 new primates, and they look like the best 'Star Wars' character.

This Awesome Periodic Table Tells You How to Actually Use All Those Elements

(you can download a printable version, too)


A Critical Look at "Dr." Robert Young's Theories and Credentials, which also explains in lay terms why all those "excess acidity in your blood is the cause for 99% of all illnesses" claims are utter nonsense.

A bit of retro-futurism:

How Soviet Artists Imagined Communist Life in Space

Vocabulary, reading, and writing:

The Grandiloquent Word of the Day 2018 Wall Calendar--take a look at some sample pages, and perhaps even make a pledge? ;)

Medieval Women Writers

A Guide to Writing Sherlockian Tea Habits

British Idioms, from Agatha Christie's Works
here they are: )
Applied psychology:

5 things I didn't want to hear when I was grieving and 1 thing that helped.

(nothing earth-shattering, but well-written)

Maryland attractions:

North Beach: Exploring a Local Gem
med_cat: (woman reading)
Snollygoster, n.


an unprincipled but shrewd person

About the word:

The story of its origin remains unknown, but snollygoster was first used in the nasty politics of 19th century America. One definition of the word dates to 1895, when a newspaper editor explained "a snollygoster is a fellow who wants office, regardless of party, platform or principles...."

Source: Merriam-Webster Online, Top 10 rare and amusing insults

--do check it out, some good ones there :)

(cross-posting from [ profile] 1word1day

Smile ;)

Jun. 4th, 2017 03:56 pm
med_cat: (cat in dress)

-An expression meaning: “No, really, I totally meant to do that, I swear!”

Origin: A 21st century neologism foisted upon the world via Twitter as a result of sleep deprivation and brachydactyly.

Used in a sentence:
“Don’t worry, I’m okay; covfefe!”

(from the Grandiloquent Word of the Day FB pg)

med_cat: (cat in dress)

-A play with an over-written and melodramatic plot.
-Mechanically contrived plot structure and stereotyped or unrealistic characterization in drama
-Well-made works of drama that have trivial, insignificant, or morally objectionable plots.

From the name of the French dramatist Sardou + doodle + -dom.

Used in a sentence:
“Some days, it feels like I’m the unwitting player in a sardoodledom.”

(from the Grandiloquent Word of the Day FB pg)

(cross-posting from [ profile] 1word1day)
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: (Default)

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