Friday, January 30, 2015

word of the day: hortatory

The word of the day is hortatory:

urging to some course of conduct or action; exhorting; encouraging
Latin hortātōrius encouraging, equivalent to hortā() (dictionary.com)


"After about half an hour, we landed on a small island named Adele, where we were greeted by a large sign: 'Have You Checked for Rats, Mice and Seeds?"  A few years ago, after an intensive campaign of poisoning and trapping, Adele was declared 'pest-free.'  The arrival of a single pregnant rat could undo all that work; hence the hortatory signage."

 - Elizabeth Kolbert, "The Big Kill: New Zealand's crusade to rid itself of mammals", 22 & 29 December 2014 The New Yorker

Friday, January 23, 2015

word of the day: caravansary

The word of the day is caravansary:

1. (in the Near East) an inn, usually with a large courtyard, for the overnight accommodation of caravans.
2. any large inn or hotel.
French caravanserai  
Persian kārwānsarāy, equivalent to kārwān caravan + sarāy mansion, inn (dictionary.com)




"'The time bomb will go off momentarily, so let's blow this caravansary,' said one Belladonna to another at the Palaz of Hoon after they'd read each other's tea leaves and faxed the pastry chef several suggestions for cachinnating his Rush of Cochineal cookies and trolloping his tiramisu."

 - Karen Elizabeth Gordon, Out of the Loud Hound of Darkness: A Dictionarrative

Thursday, January 22, 2015

word of the day: favela

The word of the day is favela:

a shantytown in or near a city, especially in Brazil; slum area.
Brazilian Portuguese: alleged to be a name given to a hill in the vicinity of Rio de Janeiro, where such towns were built circa 1900; literally, a shrub of the family Euphorbiaceae, derivative of Portuguese fava bean 
Latin faba (dictionary.com)




"'To put it quite brutally, sir, we may not be able to find your friend even if he does have a great sense of rhythm,' said the American consulate in Rio de Janeiro, which had followed Buenos Aires in the dentist's and robot's sentimental tour of the Southern Hemisphere.  'By now, his various limbs nd attachments may be turned into sidings and windowsills in the favelas - the hillside shantytowns.  You may certainly initiate a search yourself if you think you might recognize individual bolts and springs, nuts and screws, mechanical accoutrements, and, of course, the authentic human teeth you fitted him out with yourself as a professional and affectionate favor."

 - Karen Elizabeth Gordon, Out of the Loud Hound of Darkness: A Dictionarrative

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

word of the day: dirndl

The word of the day is dirndl:

1. a woman's dress with a close-fitting bodice and full skirt, commonly of colorful and strikingly patterned material, fashioned after Tyrolean peasant wear.
2. a full, gathered skirt attached to a waistband or hip yoke.
3. any skirt with gathers at the waistband.
German Dirndl, short for Dirndlkleid, equivalent to Dirndl young woman (orig. Bavarian, Austrian dialect, diminutive of Dirne young woman, Middle High German dierne, Old High German thiorna; akin to thane ) + Kleid dress (see cloth) (dictionary.com)




"'Oh!  What masterly use you are making of your silences and your predicates tonight!' commented Startling Glower during an effervescent lull in the conversation he was taping with Joubert Plume and his bride, the tongue-tied Nada Seria, hard at work on To Die in a Dirndl and intolerant of interruptions."

 - Karen Elizabeth Gordon, Out of the Loud Hound of Darkness: A Dictionarrative

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

word of the day: moribund

The word of the day is moribund:

1. in a dying state; near death.
2. on the verge of extinction or termination.
3. not progressing or advancing; stagnant:
a moribund political party.
Latin moribundus dying, equivalent to mori- (stem of morī to die) + -bundus adj. suffix (dictionary.com)




"I'm taking a carefree tutorial in thermodynamics and an intensive seminar in Samotrian, a moribund but influential language."

 - Karen Elizabeth Gordon, Out of the Loud Hound of Darkness: A Dictionarrative

Monday, January 19, 2015

word of the day: barouche

The word of the day is barouche:

a four-wheeled carriage with a high front seat outside for the driver, facing seats inside for two couples, and a calash top over the back seat.
dialectal German Barutsche  
Italian baroccio  
Late Latin birot (us) two-wheeled (see bi-1, rota1) + -ium -ium (dictionary.com)




"'This spell won't inure right away, so don't get jumpy.  In fact, you must feign indifference to its initiation and outcome, forget it was ever uttered,' explained the footman - an amateur magician - to Dariushka during one of their thaumaturgical trysts that was recorded in Dariushka's diary as: 'Speak to Trask about peacock blue or Vertigo Forest green upholstery for the barouche box."

 - Karen Elizabeth Gordon, Out of the Loud Hound of Darkness: A Dictionarrative

Sunday, January 18, 2015

word of the day: thamaturgy

The word of the day is thaumaturgy:

the working of wonders or miracles; magic.
Greek thaumatourgía (dictionary.com)




"'This spell won't inure right away, so don't get jumpy.  In fact, you must feign indifference to its initiation and outcome, forget it was ever uttered,' explained the footman - an amateur magician - to Dariushka during one of their thaumaturgical trysts that was recorded in Dariushka's diary as: 'Speak to Trask about peacock blue or Vertigo Forest green upholstery for the barouche box."

 - Karen Elizabeth Gordon, Out of the Loud Hound of Darkness: A Dictionarrative