a word or two

It’s been a while since I cozied up to the online Oxford English Dictionary, and it’s long overdue. Remember Pigpen?

["Pig-Pen" is a major male character in the Peanuts comic strip by Charles M. Schulz (1922-2000). He is best known as the character with a cloud of dirt that constantly follows him.] Wikipedia

Well, I’m like Pigpen, only I don’t have a cloud of dirt, I have a pile of paper wafting about me and any adjacent surface. - a drift of little notes scribbled to myself, ideas and such, but especially, a miscellany of words, each one carefully hand-printed by me so I can read them accurately. when I go to look them up. There’s nothing more frustrating than trying to find a word I have misread or misspelled.

Okay. I’ll sort them out and give them my divided attention when I sit down to watch the baseball game tonight. (Have to find out who’s in the World Series next week.) So much to do!

Come back if you love words.


First, a few local, rural words, that I probably won’t find….four of them - and I struck out. (FYI: smeuse; crizzle; puthery; zown) If you fid them, let me know

One more, but it came with the definition:

ammil “the sparkle of morning sunlight through frost” — not sure where I got that. Nice, though.

concupiscent adjective formal: flled with sexual desire; lustful: concupiscent dreams. (THIS WAS in my dormant vocabulary; I knew it but I’ve never used it. Nice one though.)

periphrasis noun (pl.periphrases |-siːz| ) mass noun: The use of indirect and circumlocutory speech or writing; an indirect and circumlocutory phrase. a rather pompous periphrasis. Grammar: The use of separate words to express a grammatical relationship that is otherwise expressed by inflection, e.g. did go as opposed to went and more intelligent as opposed to cleverer. ORIGIN mid 16th cent.: via Latin from Greek, from periphrazein, from peri- ‘around’ + phrazein ‘declare’.

bricolage noun (pl.same or bricolages) [ mass noun ] (in art or literature) construction or creation from a diverse range of available things. the chaotic bricolage of the novel is brought together in a unifying gesture. [ count noun ] something constructed or created from a diverse range of things. bricolages of painted junk. ORIGIN French.

stuccatori stucco |noun [ mass noun ] THIS came from some thing I was reading about Italian archiitecture; Tne plaster used for coating wall surfaces or moulding into architectural decorations. a shabby house covered in crumbling stucco. [ as modifier ] : rich stucco decoration. ORIGIN late 16th cent. (as a noun): from Italian, of Germanic origin.

steganography noun [ mass noun ]: The practice of concealing messages or information within other non-secret text or data. ORIGIN late 16th cent.: modern Latin steganographia, from Greek steganos ‘covered’+ -graphy.

sigillography NOT THERE, BUT I found these two words in Kate Akkinson’s ”Transcription” and she gave a hint of their meaning. She calls “non-secret text” ordinary text. In sigillography the message is concealed in seals (not the animal but “a piece of wax, lead, or other material with an individual design stamped into it, attached to a document as a guarantee of authenticity.”

I came across a set of challenges in the Times Literary Supplement. It’s well past the deadline to offer answer(s) but you just want to know these words for the pleasure of knowing them, don’t you?

bovaric My guess would be that Flaubert was the source of this adjective, derived from the nature of his character in the eponymous novel Madame Bovary.

gripple/ pinkster/ pliskie /snod

I’ll try elsewhere, but I’m going to bed now - oops! Another scrap of paper:

velleity noun (pl.velleities) formal: a wish or inclination not strong enough to lead to action: the notion intrigued me, but remained a velleity. ORIGIN early 17th cent.: from medieval Latin velleitas, from Latin velle ‘to wish’.

putamen noun (pl.putamina|-ˈteɪmɪnə| or putamens) Anatomy: The outer part of the lentiform nucleus of the brain. DERIVATIVES putaminal adjective ORIGIN late 19th cent.: from Latin, literally ‘shell remaining after pruning’.

tumid adjective 1 (especially of a part of the body) swollen: a tumid belly. 2 (especially of language or literary style) pompous or bombastic: tumid oratory. DERIVATIVES tumidity |-ˈmɪdɪti| noun; tumidly adverb. ORIGIN mid 16th cent.: from Latin tumidus, from tumere ‘to swell’.

philtrum noun Anatomy: the vertical groove between the base of the nose and the border of the upper lip. • the junction between the two halves of an animal's upper lip or nose. ORIGIN early 17th cent. (in sense ‘love potion’): Latin, from Greek philtron ‘love potion’.

apotropaic adjective: supposedly having the power to avert evil influences or bad luck: apotropaic statues. DERIVATIVES apotropaically adverb

ORIGIN late 19th cent.: from Greek apotropaios ‘averting evil’, from apotrepein ‘turn away or from’

sidereal adjective: for with respect to the distant stars (i.e. the constellations or fixed stars, not the sun or planets). ORIGIN mid 17th cent.: from Latin sidereus (from sidus, sider- ‘star’)

Milwaukee is winning..