Posts tagged ‘Dictionary.com’

Wednesday Word of the Week: crapulous

crap·u·lous
/ˈkræpyələs/

adjective
1. given to or characterized by gross excess in drinking or eating.
2. suffering from or due to such excess.

Origin:
1530–40; < Late Latin crāpulōsus. See crapulent, -ous

Related forms
crap·u·lous·ly, adverb
crap·u·lous·ness, noun

Source: Dictionary.com.

By the time Swelter’s monologue was dragging to its crapulous close, Mr Flay was pacing onwards, every step staking him another five feet from the reek and horror of the Great Kitchen.

Source: Titus Groan by Mervyn Peake.

Wednesday Word of the Week: cataplasm

cat·a·plasm
/ˈkætəˌplæzəm/

noun Medicine/Medical .
poultice.

Origin:
1555–65; < Latin cataplasma < Greek katáplasma. See cata-, -plasm

Source: Dictionary.com.

‘And that is arctium lappa; a good cataplasm of fresh roots cicatrizes skin eczemas.’

Source: The Name of the Rose by Umberto Eco.

See also cicatrise and cicatrix.

Wednesday Word of the Week: veronica

I had an appendectomy a few days ago, so there was no Monday Masterclass this week. But I can bring you another interesting lexeme today.

ve·ron·i·ca 1
/vəˈrɒnɪkə/

–noun ( sometimes initial capital letter ) Ecclesiastical .
1. the image of the face of Christ, said in legend to have been miraculously impressed on the handkerchief or veil that St. Veronica gave to Him to wipe His face on the way to Calvary.
2. the handkerchief or veil itself.
3. Also called sudarium. any handkerchief, veil, or cloth bearing a representation of the face of Christ.

Also called vernicle.

Origin:
1690–1700; < Medieval Latin veronica, alleged to be an alteration of vēra īconica true image ( see very, icon), subsequently also taken as the name of the woman who gave Christ the cloth

Source: Dictionary.com.

Consider our most real and tender pleasures – in the excitements of pain and mutilation; in sex as the perfect arena, like a culture-bed of sterile pus, for all the veronicas of our own perversions, in voyeurism and self-disgust, in our moral freedom to pursue our own psychopathologies as a game, and in our ever greater powers of abstraction.

Source: The Atrocity Exhibition by J G Ballard.

Wednesday Word of the Week: Tyrian/Tyrian purple

Tyr·i·an
/ˈtɪriən/

–adjective
1. of or pertaining to ancient Tyre or its people.
2. of the color of Tyrian purple.

Origin:
1505–15; < Latin Tyri ( us ) (< Greek Týrios, derivative of Týros Tyre) + -an

Tyrian purple

–noun
1. Also called Tyrian dye . a highly prized crimson or purple dye of classical antiquity, originally obtained at great expense from a certain shellfish: later shown to be an indigo derivative and synthetically produced, and now replaced by other synthetic dyes.
2. a vivid, purplish red.

Origin:
1575–85

Source: Dictionary.com.

A new mood was on her … no longer icily terrible as in the judgment-hall, no longer rich, and sombre, and splendid, like a Tyrian cloth, as in the dwellings of the dead.

Source: She by H Rider Haggard.

Wednesday Word of the Week: bertha

I used to have a cat called Bertha. She was great and I still miss her. It turns out that ‘bertha’ is also a word.

ber·tha /ˈbɜrθə/

–noun
a collar or trimming, as of lace, worn about the shoulders by women, as over a low-necked waist or dress.

Origin:
1835–45; named after Bertha (died a.d. 783), wife of Frankish king Pepin the Short; she was famed for her modesty

Ber·tha /ˈbɜrθə/

–noun
a female given name: from a Germanic word meaning “bright.”

Source: Dictionary.com.

It was one of Kitty’s happy days. Her gown did not feel tight anywhere, her lace bertha did not slip down, her rosettes were neither crumpled nor hanging off, her pink shoes with their high curved heels did not pinch but delighted her little feet.

Source: Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy.

Wednesday Word of the Week: theophany/theophanic

An example of logophany, perhaps?

the·oph·a·ny
/θiˈɒfəni/

–noun, plural -nies.
a manifestation or appearance of god or a god to a person.

Origin:
1625–35; < Late Latin theophania < Late Greek theopháneia. See theo-, -phany

—Related forms
the·o·phan·ic /ˌθiəˈfænɪk/, the·oph·a·nous, adjective

Source: Dictionary.com.

It is the most immediate of the paths that put us in touch with the Almighty: theophanic matter.

Source: The Name of the Rose by Umberto Eco.

Wednesday Word of the Week: tatterdemalion

Another example of lexical erudition and a humongous list from The Name of the Rose.

tat·ter·de·mal·ion
/ˌtætərdɪˈmeɪlyən, -ˈmæl-/

–noun
1. a person in tattered clothing; a shabby person.

–adjective
2. ragged; unkempt or dilapidated.

Origin:
1600–10; first written tatter-de-mallian and rhymed with Italian; see tatter 1 ; -de-mallian < ?

Source: Dictionary.com.

From the story he told me, I pictured him among those bands of vagrants that in the years that followed I saw more and more often roaming about Europe: false monks, charlatans, swindlers, cheats, tramps and tatterdemalions, lepers and cripples, jugglers, invalid mercenaries, wandering Jews escaped from the infidels with their spirit broken, lunatics, fugitives under banishment, malefactors with an ear cut off, sodomites, and along with them ambulant artisans, weavers, tinkers, chair-menders, knife-grinders, basket-weavers, masons, and also rogues of every stripe, forgers, scoundrels, cardsharps, rascals, bullies, reprobates, recreants, frauds, hooligans, simoniacal and embezzling canons and priests, people who lived on the credulity of others, counterfeiters of bulls and papal seals, peddlers of indulgences, false paralytics who lay at church doors, vagrants fleeing from convents, relic-sellers, pardoners, soothsayers and fortunetellers, necromancers, healers, bogus alms-seekers, fornicators of every sort, corrupters of nuns and maidens by deception and violence, simulators of dropsy, epilepsy, hemorrhoids, gout, and sores, as well as melancholy madness.

Source: The Name of the Rose by Umberto Eco.