Maybe you're tired of learning new words with me and I know that not many of them stick the first time. Actually, I often seed my list with words I sort of know but don't have a firm grasp on, or pick them up them in a different context. So most of the words in the current list are from Ted Chiang's book of short stories - science fiction with a different vocabulary.
knurl noun a small projecting knob or ridge, especially in a series around the edge of something. DERIVATIVES knurled adjective ORIGIN early 17th cent.: apparently a derivative of knurl.
I like that one. Chiang used it as an adjective to describe wheels.
euonym: euonymus noun a shrub or small tree that is widely cultivated for its autumn colours and bright fruit. ●Genus Euonymus, family Celastraceae: numerous species, including the spindle tree. ORIGIN modern Latin (named by Linnaeus), from Latin euonymos, from Greek euōnumos ‘having an auspicious or honoured name’, from eus ‘good’ + onoma ‘name’.
Linnaean (system of classification): Linnaeus, Carolus (1707–78), Swedish botanist, founder of modern systematic botany and zoology; Latinized name of Carl von Linné. He devised an authoritative classification system for flowering plants involving binomial Latin names (later superseded by that of Antoine Jussieu), and also a classification method for animals .DERIVATIVES Linnaean (also Linnean) adjective& noun
dimorphic adjective chiefly Biology occurring in or representing two distinct forms: in this sexually dimorphic species only the males have wings. DERIVATIVESdimorphism nounORIGIN mid 19th cent.: from Greek dimorphos (from di- ‘twice’ + morphē ‘form’) + -ic.
ontogenic: ontogeny noun [mass noun] the branch of biology that deals with ontogenesis. Compare with phylogeny.• another term for ontogenesis. DERIVATIVES adjective,ontogenically |- adverb ORIGIN late 19th cent.: from Greek ōn, ont- ‘being’ + -geny.
ontogenesis noun [ mass noun ] Biology the development of an individual organism or anatomical or behavioural feature from the earliest stage to maturity. Compare with phylogenesis DERIVATIVES ontogenetic adjective, ontogenetically adverb ORIGIN late 19th cent.: from Greek ōn, ont- ‘being’ + genesis ‘birth’.
hermeneutics plural noun [ usu. treated as sing. ] the branch of knowledge that deals with interpretation, especially of the Bible or literary texts. hermeneutic adjective concerning interpretation, especially of the Bible or literary texts. noun a method or theory of interpretation. DERIVATIVES hermeneutical adjective,hermeneutically adverb ORIGIN late 17th cent.: from Greek hermēneutikos, from hermēneuein ‘interpret’.
COBOL noun [ mass noun ] a computer programming language designed for use in commerce. ORIGIN 1960s: from co(mmon) b(usiness) o(rented) l(anguage). [I Love Acronyms!]
terabyte (abbrev.: Tb or TB) noun Computing a unit of information equal to one million million (1012) or, strictly, 240 bytes.
aprodosia not in the online dictionary, but I know it, even without reading the story which is what it is about. I have prosopagnosia, i.e. face blindness. I can't map a face, can't remember faces until I see them a number of times. This can be very embarrassing or alienating.. People think I'm rude or ignoring them. I didn't know what it was until I read an article in the New Yorker a few years ago about tOliver Sacks () before he died. He had it, worse than mine. since then I have discovered that Brad Pitt has it and Tom Stoppard. Anyway, that osia fives it away. In Chiang's story people with aprodosia can't distinguish between appearances, good-looking or not so.
onager noun an animal of a race of the Asian wild ass native to northern Iran.●Equus hemionus onager, family Equidae. Compare with kiang, kulan. ORIGIN Middle English: via Latin from Greek onagros, from ohos ‘ass’ + agrios ‘wild’.
spall verb [ with obj. ] break (ore, rock, or stone) into smaller pieces, especially in preparation for sorting. the ore was spalled by young women seated at anvils.• [ no obj. ] (of ore, rock, or stone) break off in fragments: cracks below the surface cause slabs of material to spall off. noun a splinter or chip, especially of rock. ORIGIN late Middle English (as a noun): of unknown origin. The verb dates from the mid 18th cent.
ziggurat |noun (in ancient Mesopotamia) a rectangular stepped tower, sometimes surmounted by a temple. Ziggurats are first attested in the late 3rd millennium bc and probably inspired the biblical story of the Tower of Babel (Gen. 11:1–9). [One of Chiang's stories is about the Tower of Babel.]
homunculus (also homuncule) noun (pl. homunculi or homuncules) a very small human or humanoid creature.• historical a microscopic but fully formed human being from which a fetes was formerly believed to develop. ORIGIN mid 17th cent.: from Latin, diminutive of homo, homin- ‘man’.
parthenogenesis noun [ mass noun ] Biology reproduction from an ovum without fertilisation, especially as a normal process in some invertebrates and lower plants. cyclic parthenogenesis is well displayed in aphids. DERIVATIVES parthenogenetic adjective ,parthenogenetically adverb ORIGIN mid 19th cent.: modern Latin, from Greek parthenos ‘virgin’ + genesis ‘creation’. [I knew this one only from my Greek mythology - Zeus, you know.]
paralinguistic adjective relating to or denoting paralanguage or the non-lexical elements of communication by speech.
tautology noun (pl. tautologies) [ mass noun ] the saying of the same thing twice over in different words, generally considered to be a fault of style (e.g. they arrived one after the other in succession).• [ count noun ] a phrase or expression in which the same thing is said twice in different words.• Logic a statement that is true by necessity or by virtue of its logical form. DERIVATIVES tautological adjective ,tautologically adverb, tautologist noun,tautologize (also tautologise) verb, tautologous adjective ORIGIN mid 16th cent.: via late Latin from Greek, from tautologies ‘repeating what has been said’, from tauto- ‘same’ + -logos (see -logy) . [I LOVE TO USE THIS: i.e. repeat something someone has just said - it adds a nice touch of humour to a scene.]
This last word is not from Chiang. I got it from the Manchester Guardian and I guess I should have known it before. It is used commonly now in Europe, more than in North America: Shoah noun (the Shoah: another term for the Holocaust (see holocaust). ORIGIN modern Hebrew, literally ‘catastrophe.
There. Another day, another blog.