Log in


Oct. 25th, 2016 | 08:00 am

sperate (SPI-rat) - adj., hoped for; esp. (Law) of a debt, having some likelihood of recovery.

To quote a legal dictionary, "In the accounts of an executor and the inventory of the personal assets, he should distinguish between those assets [that is, debts owed the estate] which are sperate, and those which are desperate." Adopted from Latin speratus, past participle of sperare, to hope.


Link | Leave a comment | Share


Oct. 24th, 2016 | 08:27 am

luetic (loo-ET-ik) - adj., having or pertaining to syphilis, syphilitic. n., a syphilitic person.

From lues, an older medical name for syphilis, from Medical Latin, special use of Latin luēs, plague.


Link | Leave a comment | Share


Oct. 21st, 2016 | 07:51 am

écorché or ecorche (ey-kawr-SHAY) - n., an anatomical model or illustration a body with the skin removed.

To allow study of the underlying musculature or, in art, as a figure study for a work or as a training exercise. Adopted in the 19th century from French, where it literally means skinned/flayed.


Link | Leave a comment {3} | Share


Oct. 20th, 2016 | 07:43 am

1word1day: prolegomenon

Link | Leave a comment | Share


Oct. 19th, 2016 | 07:49 am

vilipend (VIL-uh-pend) - v., to regard (something) as of little value or worthless; to despise, vilify.

Same root as vilify, in fact, (as well as vile) but a different shade of meaning. Adopted in the mid-15th century from either Late Latin vīlipendere, to consider cheap, from Latin vīlis, cheap/worthless + pendere, to consider. It dropped out of common use (or really any use at all) in the 19th century.


Link | Leave a comment | Share


Oct. 18th, 2016 | 07:57 am

limacine (LIM-uh-seen, LIM-uh-sin, LAI-muh-seen) - adj., of, pertaining to, or resembling a slug.

Sluglike. Application to current events is left as an exercise for the reader. Coined in the 1880s from Latin līmāx, slug/snail, related to līmus, slime (from PIE root *lei-/*slei-, slimy).


Link | Leave a comment | Share


Oct. 17th, 2016 | 07:54 am

thrummy (THRUM-ee) - adj., covered or edged with thrums.

Which is not very useful unless you know that a thrum is an unwoven end of a warp thread or a fringe of such ends, and by extension any short loose thread. So, having a shaggy (or sometime downy) edge or surface. This sense dates to Middle English, descended from Old English thrum meaning ligament (esp. of the tongue), of Germanic origin.

No, I don't remember where I stumbled upon this.


Link | Leave a comment {2} | Share


Oct. 14th, 2016 | 07:40 am

ganister (GAN-uh-ster) - n., a fine-grained quartzose sandstone used to line refractory furnaces; a similar synthetic product made by mixing ground quartz with fire-clay.

Bessemer furnaces could not be made with ordinary fire-clay bricks, and could not be developed until someone realized that quartz-like ganister (to use the name Cornish miners used for it) that lay underneath coal seams had a much higher melting temperature and so could be used to line the furnace. The name is first recorded in 1811, but aside from the Cornish connection, origin unknown.


Link | Leave a comment | Share


Oct. 13th, 2016 | 07:43 am

1Word1Day: bursiform

Link | Leave a comment | Share


Oct. 12th, 2016 | 07:35 am

ultimogeniture (uhl-tuh-moh-JEN-i-cher, uhl-tuh-moh-JEN-i-choor) - n., a system of inheritance in which the youngest son or youngest child inherits an estate.

Also called postremogeniture and, during the middle ages, borough-English. Contrast with the much more common primogeniture, inheritance by the oldest. As a custom, ultimogeniture tends to occur in places where the youngest child is expected to "keep the hearth" by staying home and maintaining the parents, while the older children go out into the world and make something of themselves. Coined in 1882 from Latin roots ultimus, last + (primo)geniture.


Link | Leave a comment {3} | Share