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freshet

Feb. 24th, 2017 | 07:45 am

freshet (FRESH-it) - n., a freshwater stream flowing into the sea; a flood resulting from heavy rain or a spring thaw.


The second is the more common meaning, the first is the older meaning and sometimes marked as obsolete. A 1590's diminutive of fresh in its obsolete sense of ... a flood or a stream of fresh water, in turn from Old English fersc.

---L.

Crossposts: http://prettygoodword.dreamwidth.org/640755.html
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babassu

Feb. 23rd, 2017 | 07:53 am

1word1day: babassu

Crossposts: http://prettygoodword.dreamwidth.org/640304.html
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pargetry

Feb. 22nd, 2017 | 07:36 am

So a little while ago I ran parge -- in the comments, someone pointed out there's a collective:


pargetry (PAR-je-tree) - n., ornamental plaster- or stucco relief work applied to a flat surface.


Derived from parget plus the noun suffix -(e)ry in its sense of a collective/aggregate (compare greenery).

---L.

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charlock

Feb. 21st, 2017 | 08:07 am

charlock (CHAHR-lok) - n., a wild Eurasian mustard (Sinapis arvensis, formerly Brassica kaber) with lobed leaves and yellow flowers.


Also called wild mustard and field mustard (which more or less directly translates the current species name). Considered a pestiferous weed when it gets into grain fields, which it does with ease -- and it has spread to North America. The name dates back to Old English cerlic (Middle English form: cherlok), of obscure origin.

---L.

Crossposts: http://prettygoodword.dreamwidth.org/639995.html
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hematemesis

Feb. 20th, 2017 | 07:51 am

hematemesis (hee-muh-TEM-i-sis, HEHM-uh-TEM-i-sis, hee-mah-tuh-MEE-sis) - n., vomiting blood.


Not a good thing to do: potentially quite serious, especially if you lose a lot of blood. In case you need it, the ICD-10 code is K92.0. Coined in the early 19th century from Greek roots hemato-, of blood + emesis, vomiting. And no, I don't know how or why this ended up on my list.

---L.

Crossposts: http://prettygoodword.dreamwidth.org/639670.html
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handsel

Feb. 17th, 2017 | 07:55 am

handsel or hansel (HAN-suhl) - n., a gift for good luck at the beginning of a new year, new venture, and so on; the first payment received at a new business or at the start of the new year; the first installment on a payment; a specimen or foretaste of what's to come. v., to give a handsel to; to inaugurate auspiciously; to use, try, or experience for the first time.


A housewarming gift counts as an example, as does money given to a new graduate. Around here, the first dollar taken in by a store or restaurant is sometimes framed and put on display. In Scotland, the first Monday of each year was celebrated as the holiday of Handsel Monday (and in rural areas, there's Auld Handsel Monday, the first Monday after January 12, approximating the old Julian calendar date), though this was eventually supplanted by Boxing Day. Dates back to Old English handselen, delivery into the hand (from hand, hand + selen, gift), which is related to Old Norse handsal, promise sealed with a handshake, and modern Swedish handsöl, gratuity/tip.

---L.

Crossposts: http://prettygoodword.dreamwidth.org/639307.html
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quethe & fantod

Feb. 16th, 2017 | 07:48 am

1word1day: quethe + fantod

Crossposts: http://prettygoodword.dreamwidth.org/639058.html
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lunation

Feb. 15th, 2017 | 07:38 am

lunation (loo-NAY-shun) - n., the period of time from one new moon to the next, a lunar month.


Average length is 29.530588 days, or 29 days, 12 hours, 44 minutes, and 2.8 seconds, but this can vary anywhere from 29.26 to 29.80 days because of the effects of the Sun's gravity on the Moon's elliptical orbit and drag from tides distributed unevenly across the Earth's surface. Adopted in the 14th century from Medieval Latin lūnātiōn-, stem of lūnātiō, a nominalized form of Latin lūna, moon -- so a "mooning".

---L.

Crossposts: http://prettygoodword.dreamwidth.org/638860.html
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spavined

Feb. 14th, 2017 | 07:56 am

spavined (SPAV-ind) - adj., (of a horse) having spavin, any of several diseases that cause swelling of hock joint and lameness; (of a person or object) old, worn out, decrepit.


The hock is the ankle joint of the hind leg. Dates from the 15th century, from Old French (e)spavain, earlier form esparvain, spavin, originally swelling, origin unknown but probably Frankish.

---L.

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pomace

Feb. 8th, 2017 | 07:47 am

pomace (PUHM-is, POM-is) - n., the pulpy residue left after apples, grapes, or other fruit are crushed to extract their juice or after olives, nuts, or fish are crushed to extract their oil; any crushed or ground, pulpy substance.


When a fruit, especially grape crushed for juice for wine, also called marc. Fruit pomace is sometimes fermented to make a brandy (such as grappa) but more commonly is used as fodder. When this first appeared in the early 16th century, it was more commonly spelled pomys, probably derived from Medieval Latin pōmācium, cider, from Late Latin pōmum, apple, from Classical Latin, where it meant more generally fruit.

---L.

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