words are sexy

brabble

brabble (BRAB-uhl) - v., to squabble.


To bicker, to wrangle, to stubbornly argue, especially (and this is apparently a strong connotation) about trivial things. Dates to mid-Tudor times, from Middle Dutch brabbelen, of uncertain origin, possibly imitative.

---L.
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bibliophagist

Theme week! Because it's been a while since I did one, and I had a bunch of words in the queue beginning with B.


bibliophagist (BIB-lee-uh-FEY-jist) or bibliophage (BIB-lee-uh-FEYJ) - n., a voracious reader, a bookworm.


So not the literal insect that physically devours books, but the person who metaphorically devours their contents. As Erasmus said, as a student, "When I get a little money I buy books; and if any is left I buy food and clothes." Coined in 1881 from Ancient Greek roots bíblos, book + phageîn, eat + -ist, person.

---L.
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epeolatry

epeolatry (e-pee-AWL-uh-tree) - n., worship of words.


Coined in 1860 by Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr., in The Professor at the Breakfast-Table, from Ancient Greek roots épos, word (also the root of epic) + latreia, worship (best known from idolatry, worship of idols). Note that lógos, most commonly understood by English speakers as meaning "word" actually had the more general meaning of "something spoken" (and so comparable to saga) while épos was more precisely a single word.

---L.
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turbid

turbid (TUR-bid) - adj., (of water) thick or opaque with or as if with roiled sediment; heavy or thick, as smoke or fog; confused, muddled, turmoiled.


The water sense is the original (from Latin turbidus, disordered, from turba, turmoil/crowd/disturbence), with the cloudedness then extended to actual roiling clouds, and then further extended to metaphorical uses. Not to be confused with turgid, meaning overblown/pompous (with an original sense of swollen), which is possible given that things disordered and pompous can both be hard to understand.

---L.
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interlocutor

interlocutor (in-ter-LOK-yuh-ter) - n., someone who takes part in a conversation, esp. formally or officially.


So, could be an interviewer or a participant in a stage dialogue. A specialized use is the master of ceremonies of a minstrel show, who was played as a straight man who bantered with the other performers (and in staging usually was physically between them). Dates to around 1510 adopted from a noun form of Latin interloquor, to speak between (as well as to issue an interlocutory decree), from inter-, between + loquor, speak.

---L.
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evection

evection (ih-VEK-shuhn) - n., a perturbation of the moon's motion in its orbit due to the attraction of the sun.


If the earth and moon were all by their lonesome in space, without a sun, the moon's orbit would be a perfect ellipse. With the sun, the moon's pulled off that ellipse in a direction that changes throughout the year that's the earth's orbit around the sun -- so it has a wobble, or libration, of about 1.274°. This was known in ancient times (and its discovery attributed to Ptolemy). The current name was given by 16th century astronomer Ismaël Boulliau, in a treatise that expanded on (and attempted to explain) Kepler's elliptical theories, from the Latin ēvectiōn, a going up, from ēvectus, the past participle of ēvehere, to raise up, relating it to his hypothesis of conic sections and orbits.

---L.
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axonometric

axonometric (ak-suh-noh-ME-trik) - adj., of a projection of drawn objects, having all three axes drawn to scale.


This results in showing all orthogonal edges to scale and all parallel edges as parallel, but diagonal and curved lines being distorted and prevents any sort of perspective. There are three kinds of axonometric projections: one in which all three axes are shown with the same scale (isometric), two are the same and one (usually the vertical axis) different (dimetric), and all three different scales (trimetric). Wikipedia, as usual, has details and helpful diagrams. Coined in 1869 from Greek roots axōn axis + métron, measure.

---L.
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polyglot

polyglot (POL-ee-glot) - adj., speaking, writing, or written in several languages. n., someone who speaks several languages; a book with the same text in several languages, esp. a Bible; a mixture or confusion of languages.


Multilingual. Generally used for more than three, as until then we have the more precise bilingual and trilingual. Adopted in early 16th century from Latin, from Ancient Greek polýglōttos, many-tongued, from poly-, many + glôtta, tongue/language.

---L.
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buhrstone

buhrstone or burrstone or burstone (BUR-stohn) - n., a tough, silicified limestone formerly used to make millstones; a millstone made with it.


Silicified means impregnated with silica, essentially the softer lime particles have been bound together with quartz or flint or similar harder material. The bu(h)r(r) in this case is burr, as in a rough edge on something that has been cut -- buhrstone typically has multiple cavities that originally housed fossilized shells, and the edges of these cavities make for good cutters for grinding grain.

---L.
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snaffle

snaffle (SNAF-uhl) - v., to appropriate for one's own use, esp. by devious or irregular means.


To purloin, snatch up, seize. Also, as a noun, a type of horse bit (plus a derivative verb, meaning to put one on), but that's not the interesting-to-me meaning. The bit dates to the early 16th century, origin unknown, and the swiping to the early 18th century, also origin unknown and apparently entirely unrelated. I forget where I snaffled this one from.

---L.
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