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erinaceous

May. 8th, 2019 | 08:04 am

erinaceous (er-uh-NEY-shuhs) - adj., of, pertaining to, or resembling a hedgehog.


Presumably especially their spininess. Taken directly from Latin ērināceus, from ēr (or possibly ēris), hedgehog, ultimately from PIE root *ǵʰḗr, hedgehog, a derivative of *ǵʰer, to be bristly.

Hedgy!
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---L.

Crossposts: https://prettygoodword.dreamwidth.org/772044.html
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dysphemism

May. 7th, 2019 | 07:44 am

dysphemism (DIS-fuh-miz-uhm) - n., the substitution of a harsh, disparaging, or vulgar expression for a more neutral one.


The opposite of euphemism. Examples: cancer stick for cigarette, bullshit for nonsense/lies, boneyard for cemetery, and dead tree edition for the paper edition of a publication. Coined in 1884 on the model of euphemism, replacing eu-, good with dys-, ill/bad.

---L.

Crossposts: https://prettygoodword.dreamwidth.org/771739.html
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chockablock

May. 6th, 2019 | 07:50 am

chockablock or chock-a-block or chock a block (CHOK-uh-BLOK) - adj., extremely full, crowded, jammed. adv., in a crowded manner, completely closed and full.


Originally a nautical term for the when the blocks of hoisting tackle have been pulled together so that no further movement is possible -- so the blocks are stuck, as if fixed in place by chocks. Imagine the lines in these are pulled until the round blocks are closed up:

Tackles with blocks
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Chocks themselves go back to Anglo-Norman, origin uncertain but apparently Gaulish, in turn taken from a Germanic root. Block has a solid PIE root meaning a thick piece of wood, in this sense also via Anglo-Norman instead of its Old English cognate which meant a plank or more specifically a ship's gangway.

---L.

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sorgo

May. 3rd, 2019 | 07:53 am

sorgo (SAWR-goh) - n., (dated) sorghum.


That is, any of a couple dozen species of cereal grains (genus Sorghum), the domesticated varieties of which are grown as cattle feed and for sugar syrup. This form of the name, rarely used now, is directly from Italian (sorghum is what you get when you toss it through botanical Latin first), from conjectured Vulgar Latin *syricum (granum), Syrian (grain) -- the Syrian part being from Greek, shortened from Assyrian, from Akkadian Ashshur, name of the kingdom's capital, probably from Assyrian sar, prince.

Sorgo in hand
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And that wraps up another week of WTFWFW -- back next week with the regular unsorted mix of whatever's next on the list.

---L.

Crossposts: https://prettygoodword.dreamwidth.org/771314.html
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colza

May. 2nd, 2019 | 08:07 am

colza (KOL-zuh, KOHL-zuh) - n., oilseed rape.


That is, another name for one of the rapeseed plants that produce rapeseed oil or canola oil -- specifically, Brassica napus subsp. napus. (Canola is made from this, Brassica rapa subsp. oleifera, and Brassica juncea.) The name is from French, from Dutch koolzaad, from kool, cole/cabbage + zaad, seed.

Colza rapeseed fields
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---L.

Crossposts: https://prettygoodword.dreamwidth.org/770939.html
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rioja

May. 1st, 2019 | 07:45 am

rioja (ree-OH-hah) - n., a dry red wine from the Rioja region of Spain.


Can also be a white or rose, but mostly white, noted for a distinctive vanilla bouquet and flavor.

A bottle of red ...
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---L.

Crossposts: https://prettygoodword.dreamwidth.org/770637.html
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squeg

Apr. 30th, 2019 | 07:41 am

squeg (SKWEG) - v., (of an electronic circuit) produce irregularly oscillating frequencies.


Often caused by having too much feedback. Etymology is unclear -- possibly a contraction of self-quenching, possibly a blend of squeeze and either peg or wedge.

---L.

Crossposts: https://prettygoodword.dreamwidth.org/770533.html
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vigia

Apr. 29th, 2019 | 08:01 am

Time for week 7 of words learned from playing solo mode of Words With Friends, or WTFWWF 7 -- this time, doing a 5x5, a workweek of five-letter words:


vigia (vi-JEE-uh) - n., a mark on a navigational chart indicating a possible reef or other hazard the exact location of which is unknown.


Done mostly on Spanish charts than English ones. From Spanish vigía, reef, earlier lookout, from Portuguese vigia, from vigiar, to look out, from Latin vigilāre, to keep watch.

---L.

Crossposts: https://prettygoodword.dreamwidth.org/770198.html
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esker

Apr. 26th, 2019 | 07:37 am

esker (ES-ker) - n., a long, narrow, winding ridge of gravel and sand deposited by a meltwater stream running under a glacier.


These are strikingly uniform in width along their length, and can wind about for several miles. Always found in glacial valleys. The name was adopted in 1852 from Irish eiscir, ridge of gravel, from Old Irish escir, ridge.

Esker serpentining along
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---L.

Crossposts: https://prettygoodword.dreamwidth.org/769881.html
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saurel

Apr. 25th, 2019 | 07:50 am

saurel (SAWR-uhl) - n., any of about 14 species of elongated marine fishes of the genus Trachurus with a row of bony plates on its sides.


Also called horse mackerel, jack mackerel, and skipjack -- and all of them quite edible. The type species is the Atlantic horse mackerel, T. trachurus or T. saurus, the latter species name being taken from the Late Latin name for the type of fish, from Greek saûros, both this type of fish and lizard (best known as part of dinosaur), of uncertain origin. To get saurel, pass the Latin name through French and while it's there tack a noun suffix -el on the end, and viola!

In Japanese, this is called aji:

Saurel
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---L.

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