Posts tagged ‘Jonathan Swift’

Wednesday Word of the Week: culverin

Monday was a public holiday in Korea – where I live – so there was no Monday Masterclass this week. It will return next week. In the meantime, here’s a new word for the Lexicon.

cal·en·ture
/ˈkæləntʃər, -ˌtʃʊər/

–noun
Pathology . a violent fever with delirium, affecting persons in the tropics.

Origin:
1585–95; earlier calentura < Spanish: fever, equivalent to calent ( ar ) to heat (< Latin calent-, stem of calēns, present participle of calēre to be hot) + –ura -ure

—Related forms
cal·en·tu·ral, cal·en·tu·rish, adjective

Source: Dictionary.com.

I had several men died in my ship of calentures, so that I was forced to get recruits out of Barbadoes, and the Leeward Islands

Source: Gulliver’s Travels by Jonathan Swift.

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Wednesday Word of the Week: towardly

In contemporary English we can talk about things being ‘untoward’ – but what’s the opposite of ‘untoward’? How about ‘towardly’? Reminds me of a friend who likes to say he feels ‘gruntled’ when he’s happy or pleased. What sentences can you make with this week’s word?

to·ward·ly
/ˈtɔrdli, ˈtoʊrd-/

–adjective Archaic .
1. apt to learn; promising.
2. docile; tractable.
3. propitious; seasonable.

Origin:
1475–85; toward + -ly

—Related forms
to·ward·li·ness, noun

Source: Dictionary.com.

My son Johnny, named so after his uncle, was at the grammar-school, and a towardly child.

Source: Gulliver’s Travels by Jonathan Swift.

Word of the day: shift

shift /ʃɪft/

–verb (used without object)
6. to manage to get along or succeed by oneself.
7. to get along by indirect methods; use any expediency, trick, or evasion to get along or succeed: He shifted through life.

–noun
22. an expedient; ingenious device.
23. an evasion, artifice, or trick.

Origin:
bef. 1000; (v.) ME shiften to arrange, OE sciftan; c. G schichten to arrange in order, ON skipta to divide; (n.) ME: contrivance, start, deriv. of the v.

—Synonyms
1. substitute. 22. contrivance, resource, resort. 23. wile, ruse, subterfuge, stratagem.

Source: Dictionary.com.

my companions forced me to land on this coast, and then left me to shift for my self.

Source: Gulliver’s Travels by Jonathan Swift.

paddling out of the reach of their darts (being a calm day) I made a shift to suck the wound, and dress it as well as I could.

Source: Gulliver’s Travels by Jonathan Swift.

Word of the day: declivity

de·cliv·i·ty /dɪˈklɪvɪti/

–noun, plural -ties.
a downward slope, as of ground ( opposed to acclivity).

Origin:
1605–15; < L of dēclīvitās a slope, hill, equiv. to dēclīvi ( s ) sloping downward ( – de- + clīv ( us ) slope, hill + –is adj. suffix) + –tās -ty

Source: Dictionary.com.

The declivity was so small, that I walked near a mile before I got to the shore

Source: Gulliver’s Travels by Jonathan Swift.

culverin

Another word from Dracula.

cul·ver·in /ˈkʌlvərɪn/
noun
1. medieval form of musket.
2. a kind of heavy cannon used in the 16th and 17th centuries.

[Origin: 1400-50; late ME < MF coulevrine < L colubrīna, fem. of colubrīnus colubrine]

Source: Dictionary.com.

And also from Gulliver’s Travels:

I gave him a description of cannons, culverines, muskets, carabines, pistols, bullets, powder, swords, bayonets, sieges, retreats, attacks, undermines, countermines, bombardments, sea-fights