Monday, November 24, 2014

word of the day: schnecken

The word of the day is schnecken:

sweet, spiral, snail-shaped rolls made from raised dough with chopped nuts, butter, and cinnamon.
< German: literally, snail, Old High German snecko.  (
"But it would not be going to far to say that the coexistence of the pretzel croissant and the Cronut is worth thinking of as a form of competition, if only on purely Darwinian terms, in which all coexistence is a competition held briefly in equilibrium, particularly because their coexistence is representative of something new, pervasive, and quite possibly perverse: the hybridized and fetishized schnecken."
 - Adam Gopnik, "Bakeoff: What is happening to our pastry?", 3 November 2014 The New Yorker 

Sunday, November 23, 2014

word of the day: foolscap

The word of the day is foolscap:

a type of inexpensive writing paper, especially legal-size, lined, yellow sheets, bound in tablet form.
so called from the watermark of a fool's cap formerly used on such paper (
"What stands out in my memory is not so much the dish itself - I've both cooked and eaten it so often that I know it by heart - as the recipe's length.  It covered two closely written sides of lined foolscap, and began with detailed instructions on how to turn on and light a gas burner."
 - John Lancaster, "Shut up and eat: a foodie repents", 3 November 2014 The New Yorker 

Saturday, November 22, 2014

word of the day: zeppole

The word of the day is zeppole:

"Delicious fried cookies made with ricotta cheese. These are also known as Italian doughnuts"  (

"Either the President's in town or they're selling zeppoles on Seventh Avenue."

 - Paul Noth, cartoon, 6 October 2014 The New Yorker

Friday, November 21, 2014

word of the day: knaidel

The word of the day is knaidel:

a dumpling, especially a small ball of matzo meal, eggs, and salt, often mixed with another foodstuff, as ground almonds or grated potato, usually served in soup.
< Yiddish kneydl dumpling; compare Middle High German knödel lump, ovary of a flower, German Knödel dumpling (

"chopped liver first or herring or eggs and onions,
then matzo-ball soup or noodle or knaidel, followed by
roast veal or boiled beef and horseradish..."

 - Gerald Stern, "The world we should have stayed in", 6 October 2014 The New Yorker

Thursday, November 20, 2014

word of the day: imprimatur

The word of the day is imprimatur:

1. an official license to print or publish a book, pamphlet, etc., especially a license issued by a censor of the Roman Catholic Church.
2. sanction or approval; support.
Neo-Latin: let it be printed, Latin: let it be made by pressing upon (something) (

"'We fled the country when we heard what was happening at Bluttenbad, taking only our leotards, tights, toe shoes, and tennis rackets (picking up alarm clocks for symbolic, not time-telling, purposes as we skulked through Amplochacha in the dead of night), and by the grace of God, on fake passports, we journeyed to a distant land with intentions to immigrate once a cousin there could secure through hidden connections our fast-forward imprimatur,' explained Kamila on behalf of Ladislas, Toosla, and Laslo to Rafael Todos los Muertos, who'd tracked them down and was conducting an elusive interview by phone....

"'It's either the apogee of design for this apoplectic decade or a blunder of vast dimensions,' equivocated Jacomino Vervazzo, withholding his weighty imprimatur from Eloria's new opera house - where dislocated divas and truculent tenors alike declared they would never air their arias."

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

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

word of the day: adumbrate

The word of the day is adumbrate:

1. to produce a faint image or resemblance of; to outline or sketch.
2. to foreshadow; prefigure.
3. to darken or conceal partially; overshadow.
Latin adumbrātus shaded (past participle of adumbrāre) (

"'The orgy in the grand salon tonight shall consist of five discrete movements, or courses, if you will,' adumbrated Amaranthia to an odd assortment of overnight guests - all cellists, composers, or chefs....

"Dulac's lambent adumbration of the incipient denouement sets the reader up for an expose of the most trifling indiscretions and not the perfidious betrayals that actually unfurl at the end of her roman a clef Tatiana's Bear."

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

Monday, November 17, 2014

word of the day: soubrette

The word of the day is soubrette:

1. a maidservant or lady's maid in a play, opera, or the like, especially one displaying coquetry, pertness, and a tendency to engage in intrigue.
2. an actress playing such a role.
3. any lively or pert young woman.
< French: lady's maid < Provençal soubreto, derivative of soubret affected, ultimately derivative of Old Provençal sobrar < Latin superāre to be above (

"Katya began slipping up in matters that required discretion, so Jacaranda persuaded the butler to administer a timid spanking without removing his gloves, and the wayward soubrette also received a mild reproof in her own handwriting as dictated by Mustafovic himself in his suite at Hotel Artaud....

"'Throw in your dishtowel, you retrograde roustabout, and take a disinterested shuffle through the Seven Deadly Virtues with my svelte soubrette and me,' said Yolanta to the tarted-up bartender on the outs with his boyfriend, Flip."

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