Tuesday, October 23, 2012

word of the day: oleaginous

The word of the day is oleaginous:

Etymology:  < Middle French, French oléagineux of the nature of oil (1314 in Old French in an isolated attestation, compare also Middle French oligineux , oleogineux ), producing or yielding oil (1690) < classical Latin oleāginus of or relating to the olive tree, in post-classical Latin also relating to oil (5th or 6th cent.; alteration of earlier oleāgineus of or relating to the olive tree, in post-classical Latin also oily (4th cent.) < olea olive tree (related to olīva olive n.1) + -āgineus (in farrāgineus , corresponding to farr- , far corn: see farrago n.)) + French -eux -ous suffix. 
1.a. Having the nature or properties of oil; containing oil or an oily substance; oily, fatty, greasy. 
b. Producing or yielding oil. 
2. fig. Exaggeratedly and distastefully complimentary; obsequious, unctuous. (OED)

"Joe Biden watching Ryan, meanwhile, put me in mind of nothing so much as the great, grouchy, aged Eddie Albert in Elaine May’s matchless original, “The Heartbreak Kid,” narrowing his eyes in disbelief as he listens to the slick, oleaginous (and already married!) Charles Grodin courting his beautiful blond daughter: “ I heard everything you said… and I will tell you, quite honestly, I was very impressed. Very impressed. And I think I can also say, quite honestly… I have never heard such a crock of horseshit in my life.”"

 - Adam Gopnik, "Of babies and beans: Paul Ryan on abortion", 12 October 2012 News Desk

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