?

Log in

No account? Create an account

cyma

Feb. 19th, 2019 | 07:40 am

cyma (SAI-muh) - n., a molding for a cornice with a partly convex and partly concave curve in an outline, used especially in classical architecture.


Cyma in, er, action
Thanks, WikiMedia!

Classified as cyma recta or cyma reversa depending on whether the concave part is above or below the convex part -- the above is recta. Possible plurals include cymas, cymae, and cymata -- we have trouble with the endings of Greek words (kûma = swell/wave) especially when imported via Latin.

---L.

Crossposts: https://prettygoodword.dreamwidth.org/758004.html
You can comment here or there.

Link | Leave a comment |

cebid

Feb. 18th, 2019 | 07:57 am

Back to WTF WWF, installment #4 -- this one focused on C words learned from solo mode of Words With Friends.


cebid (SEE-bid, SEH-bid) - n., any primate of the family Cebidae, comprising all New World monkeys except the marmosets and tamarins.


So all the capuchin and squirrel monkeys -- fourteen species all told. The name ultimately (after passing through scientific Latin) comes from ancient Greek kêbos, a long-tailed monkey, used as the genus name of some of the capuchins. A squirrel monkey type of cebid:

Cebid of the squirrel monkey persuasion
Thanks, WikiMedia!

---L.

Crossposts: https://prettygoodword.dreamwidth.org/757661.html
You can comment here or there.
Tags:

Link | Leave a comment |

canorous

Feb. 15th, 2019 | 07:46 am

canorous (kah-NOR-uhs, KAN-ohr-uhs) - adj., (rare) melodious, tuneful, resonant.


Nothing to do with dogs. From Latin canōrus, from canere, to sing -- so cognate of cantor.

---L.

Crossposts: https://prettygoodword.dreamwidth.org/757293.html
You can comment here or there.

Link | Leave a comment |

tortuous / torturous

Feb. 14th, 2019 | 07:47 am

tortuous (TOR-choo-uhs) - adj., winding, twisting, having many turns; convoluted, not straightforward, circuitous; devious, complex, highly involved.

torturous (TOR-cher-uhs) - adj. pertaining to, involving, or causing torture; painful, excruciating.


Two closely related but distinct words. A long legal case can be tortuous (highly complex and involved) and torturous (painful to get through). Both come from the Latin from torquēre, to twist -- the former directly via tortuōsus, the latter via Anglo-Norman from Latin tortūra, a twisting and by extension torment.

---L.

Crossposts: https://prettygoodword.dreamwidth.org/757187.html
You can comment here or there.

Link | Leave a comment |

spousebreach

Feb. 13th, 2019 | 07:40 am

spousebreach (SPOWS-breech) - n., (arch.) adultery; an adulterous act.


A breaching of the espousal. Dates back to Middle English and now rare, though Joyce (predictably) used it.

---L.

Crossposts: https://prettygoodword.dreamwidth.org/756851.html
You can comment here or there.

Link | Leave a comment |

leister

Feb. 12th, 2019 | 07:42 am

leister (LEE-ster) - n., a three-pronged fishing spear.


With barbs on the prongs -- either all three or just the two flanking prongs. A common fishing tool since the stone ages, still in use in places. The name dates to at least 1534, probably of Scandinavian origin -- as in Old Norse ljōstr, salmon-spear, akin to ljōsta, to strike, which has cognates in modern Norse-descended languages.

Fishing with a leister
Thanks, WikiMedia!

---L.

Crossposts: https://prettygoodword.dreamwidth.org/756607.html
You can comment here or there.

Link | Leave a comment |

goral

Feb. 11th, 2019 | 07:38 am

goral (GOHR-uhl) - n., any of four species of short-horned goat antelopes (genus Naemorhedus) of mountainous regions of southeastern Asia.


Which is to say, they're mountain goats that look rather like stocky antelopes -- closely related to the Rocky Mountain goat. Their ranges covers mountains anywhere from the Himalayas to Veitnam north to eastern Russia/northern China, as well as the Korean DMZ. The name came from the Hindi name for the Himalayan goral or ghural (Naemorhedus goral), from Sanskrit gaura, same. A Chinese goral:

Goral being cute
Thanks, WikiMedia!

---L.

Crossposts: https://prettygoodword.dreamwidth.org/756447.html
You can comment here or there.

Link | Leave a comment |

akebia

Feb. 8th, 2019 | 07:44 am

akebia (uh-KEE-bee-uh) - n., any of five climbing shrubs (genus Akebia) with purplish flowers, deeply divided leaves, and purple berries.


Native to east Asia, where its seeds are eaten and woody stems used for baskets etc., now cultivated elsewhere as an ornamental. The name comes from Japanese akebi, the name for a species native there.

Akebia blooming
Thanks, WikiMedia!


And that's another week of WTF WWF -- back next week with the usual mix before returning to this theme.

---L.

Crossposts: https://prettygoodword.dreamwidth.org/756171.html
You can comment here or there.

Link | Leave a comment |

gink

Feb. 7th, 2019 | 08:10 am

gink (GINK) - n., (slang) a person, esp. one regarded as foolish or contemptible.


Early 20th century Americanism (first recorded 1906), most often seen these days in historical hard-boiled dialog. :points to the title of The Lazy Gink's Guide to a Complete Hammett Collection
: Origin unknown.

---L.

Crossposts: https://prettygoodword.dreamwidth.org/755840.html
You can comment here or there.

Link | Leave a comment |

kenaf

Feb. 6th, 2019 | 07:53 am

kenaf (kuh-NAF) - n., a tropical Asiatic plant (Hibiscus cannabinus), similar to jute, grown for its fiber; the fiber from this plant, used to make rope and paper.


Native to south Asia, but exactly where it originated has been obscured. The name is from Persian, but the ultimate origin is completely unclear: it is one example of cognates of spread across a wide swath from central Europe to central Asia, including Germanic *hanapiz (which gave us hemp), Greek kánnabos (which gave us cannabis), and Sanskrit bhāṅga (in a backwards spelling to avoid a taboo, which gave us both ganja and bhang), among which no one has been able to convincingly identify the source.

a field of young kenaf
Thanks, WikiMedia!

---L.

Crossposts: https://prettygoodword.dreamwidth.org/755601.html
You can comment here or there.

Link | Leave a comment |