Archive for December, 2006


floccinaucinihilipilification noun, facetious setting at little or no value.

ETYMOLOGY: 18c: from Latin flocci and nauci ‘at a trifle’, nihili ‘at nothing’, pili ‘at a hair’ + -fication.

Source: Chambers Reference Online


Hexakosioihexekontahexaphobia (literally, “fear of the number six-hundred-sixty-six”) is the fear that originates in the Biblical verse Revelation 13:18 which indicates that the number 666 is the Number of the Beast, linked to Satan or the Anti-Christ. Outside the Christian faith, the phobia has been further popularized as a leitmotif in various horror films.

Hexakosioihexekontahexaphobes will strongly avoid things related to the number 666. A prominent example is of Nancy and Ronald Reagan who, in 1989, when moving to their home in the Bel-Air section of Los Angeles, had the address of 666 St. Cloud Road changed to 668 St. Cloud Road. Some women also expressed concern on giving birth to a child on 6/6/2006.

Rarer is trying to avoid the number as it relates to other numbers. For example, the fraction 2/3 has a repeating decimal of .666…. A severe hexakosioihexekontahexaphobe may avoid all fractions that would include this recurring decimal. Those with hexakosioihexekontahexaphobia may consider it bad luck to get three sixes in a hand of poker, even though this is usually quite a good hand.

Many are afraid of the digits 666, rather than the quantitative number adding up to this amount.

Source: Wikipedia

desire line

desire line (di.ZYR lyn) n. An informal path that pedestrians prefer to take to get from one location to another rather than using a sidewalk or other official route.

Earliest Citation:

Study participants also drew charts of pedestrian traffic to take note of what are delightfully termed “desire lines”—paths actually made by walkers as opposed to those created on the drawing board.

—Thomas Frick, “Rebuilding Central Park,” Technology Review, August 1987

Source: Word Spy.



demonym (plural demonyms)

1. a name for an inhabitant of a specific place that is derived from the name of the place, such as American or Mancunian


French: ethnonyme m

Source: Wiktionary.


Tetration (also exponential map, hyperpower, power tower, super-exponentiation, and hyper4) is iterated exponentiation, the first hyper operator after exponentiation. The portmanteau word tetration was coined by Reuben Louis Goodstein from tetra- (four) and iteration. Tetration is used for the notation of very large numbers. Tetration follows exponentiation in the sequence:

1. addition

2. multiplication

3. exponentiation

4. tetration

where each operation is defined by iterating the previous one.

Multiplication (a x b) can be thought of as B instances of A added together, and consequently exponentiation (ab) can be thought of as B instances of A multiplied together. So a step further can be taken, and tetration (ba) can be thought of as B instances of A exponentiated together.

Source: Wikipedia.


picayune US colloq noun 1 anything of little or no value. 2 any small coin of little value, especially a five-cent piece. adj petty; trifling.

ETYMOLOGY: 19c: from Provençal picaioun, an old Piedmontese copper coin.

Source: Chambers Reference Online.


quotidian adj 1 everyday; common-place. 2 daily. 3 recurring daily. noun (in full quotidian fever) a fever that flares up every day.

ETYMOLOGY: 14c: from Latin quotidianus, from quotidie daily.

Source: Chambers Reference Online.