Tag Archives: etymology

Shitty Jobs

Was thrifting the other week and noticed a novel set during The Great Stink. I left the book but made a note to read up on the historical event, which was pretty interesting. My favourite part of the Wikipedia article, though, was this list of Sewage Related Occupations of the Era, which includes some fantastic […]

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Robinsonade – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robinsonade Robinsonade is a literary genre that takes its name from the 1719 novel Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe. The success of this novel spawned enough imitations that its name was used to define a genre, which is sometimes described simply as a “desert island story”… In the archetypical robinsonade, the protagonist is suddenly isolated […]

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Onomatopoeia – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Onomatopoeia Word of the moment: Onomatopoeia (occasionally spelled onomateopoeia or onomatopoeia) is a word or a grouping of words that imitates the sound it is describing, suggesting its source object, such as “click,” “clang,” “buzz,” or animal noises such as “oink”, “quack”, “flap”, “slurp”, or “meow”. The word is a synthesis of the Greek words […]

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solecism – Wiktionary

http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/solecism Solecism, n. 1. Error in the use of language, especially an error concerning etiquette. 2. In written language, the intentional use of misspelling and/or incorrect grammar to affect the vernacular of a particular dialect. 3. Any faux pas involving a transgression against the norms of expected behavior. [From the Greek Σολοικισμος (soloikismos); from Σολοικος […]

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Panjandrum | Define Panjandrum at Dictionary.com

http://dictionary.reference.com/search?q=panjandrum Word of the Moment: Panjandrum, n. A self-important or pretentious official. [Origin: 1745-55; pseudo-Latin word (based on pan-) coined by Samuel Foote (1720-77), English dramatist and actor]

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Defalcation | Define Defalcation at Dictionary.com

http://dictionary.reference.com/search?q=defalcation The Word of the Moment is one you have to enunciate very, very carefully… Defalcation, noun Law. 1. misappropriation of money or funds held by an official, trustee, or other fiduciary. 2. the sum misappropriated. [Origin: 1425-75; late ME: deduction from wages]

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Mithraeum – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mithraeum Word of the Moment: Mithraeum. Mithraeum is a place of worship for the followers of the mystery religion of Mithraism… The word has come to be used in the context of any secret place used for secret rituals.

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Exclamation mark – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Exclamation_point The history and usage of the exclamation mark, with a terrific alternative name: In typesetting or printing (and therefore when spelling text out orally), the exclamation mark is called a screamer or bang.

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French language: Internationally used French phrases

http://www.orbilat.com/Languages/French/Vocabulary/French-International.html Ohhhh, that’s it, Stumble – bring me the good stuff! A big list of french phrases and mots justes* that have wound their way into English conversation. It’s entertaining as etymology, but downright fun to read through the list in a haughty Parisien accent**. *snicker **redundant

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Pilcrow – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pilcrow Carrington‘s mention of “pilcrow” in our conversation the other day brought out the word nerd in me. Punctuation marks are so pervasive and auxiliary to a words that it’s hard to remember that they had to be invented at some point. I have a feeling a good part of my morning is going to […]

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