28.8.08

tricky words


it's that time again:


achronic – outside of time or considered without reference to time (?)
acme – the highest pinnacle of perfection or achievement
affectuate – to bring about or make happen
affektenlehre – the representation of various moods though the key a work of music is in
agelast – someone who never laughs, a humourless person
anacolouthon – a break in sequence when a sentence changes course
apatheia – serene passionlessness, as in the aftermath of tragic purgation
apograph – a copy or transcript
aporia – a confusion in establishing the truth or validity of a proposition
ascesis – self-discipline
asseveration – affirmation, emphatic declaration
asyndeton – the omission of conjunctions in sentences where they would normally be used
ataxia – jerky, uncoordinated movements; usually as a consequence of disease in the cerebellum
atheology – the study of the nature of god from an atheistic perspective
atrabilious – gloomy, bad-tempered (black bile)
bathos – insincere pathos; in discourse, a sudden descent ins style from the sublime to the mundane
belay – to fasten or secure (a rope); to tell someone to stop doing something (they were earlier instructed to do)
blazon – to announce something widely or ostentatiously; to create or describe a coat of arms using traditional symbols; a coat of arms or technical description thereof
bobo – bourgeois bohemian
brechtian – referring to brecht’s ‘re-functioning’ theory of politically active ‘epic theatre’, where plays and performances are intended to impact on the audience in such a way as to foster critical perspectives and effect social change
cacique – a native american chief in colonial period latin america; a local political boss; also a tropical bird of the same region
cassowary – a large, black, flightless bird, similar to an ostrich or an emu
chasen – a whisk used in japanese tea ceremonies
chyle – a milky fluid that forms in the small intestine during digestion
ciceronian – marked by ornate language, expansive flow, and forcefulness of expression
cloaca – the single excretory chamber in some animals into which the intestinal, urinary and reproductive tracts empty
coati – an omnivorous animal of south and central america, related to the racoon, with a narrow snout and a striped tail
collimate – to adjust the line of sight (of an optical instrument) so as to increase performance; to focus into a narrow beam or to render parallel
constative – relating to a statement or utterance that can be considered true or false
contrectation – sexual foreplay, or the impulse to embrace or caress sexually
coprolagnia – pleasure in the the apprehension of traces of excrement
coprolite – fossilised excrement
coryphaeus – the leader of a chorus in greek drama, any leader or spokesperson
costive – slow to speak or act, stingy, constipated
craquelure – a network of small cracks, as on the surface of an old oil painting
dago – derogatory term for a person of hispanic or portugese (originally italian) descent
data smog – stress, confusion, weakened vision, frustration etc. in the face of information
denotatum – that which a word refers to
depotentiate – to remove the effects or potency of
diablerie – witchcraft
diacritical – a sign or mark added to indicate a difference in pronunciation. diacritic – capable of distinguishing or making a distinction
dilettante – someone interested in art or some other specialised field, but who has only a superficial knowledge of it
disenstrangement – to bring together; make not strange, to render familiar (?)
egregious – bad, balatant or ridiculous to an extraordinary degree
elision – omission or contraction in language (e.g. he’s); or the suppression or omission of something
empery – sovereignty, dominion
encratic – produced and spread under the production of power
endo-language – inner language
enjambment – the continuation of meaning from one line of poetry to the next
entelechy – becoming, the inner nature of a thing which determines its development
enthymeme – an argument assuming the truth of, and therefore omitting, one or more premises from the logical sequence
epicene – having both male and female characteristics
epigone – an unoriginal or mediocre follower of an artist or thinker
epireading – reading ‘above’ or ‘upon’
eponym – the name of a person or character from which another name or term is derived
equipollent – having the same weight, validity, or effect
erotogenicity (erotogenic) – the production of sexual excitement or that which gives rise to sexual excitement
erysipelatous – suffering from erysipelas, an acute bacterial inflammation of the skin, producing a red, swollen rash
febrile – relating to or typical or indicative of fever
ferrule – a metal cap, cylinder, or connection joining pipes
fescennine – obscene or scurrilous
fons et origo – source and origin
fugacious – lasting a very short time
garboil – turmoil, confusion
gerontocracy – government by elders
gerund – a noun formed from a verb
glissage – sliding (fr.)
grammatolatry – worship of words; regard for the letter while ignoring the spirit of something
graphireading – reading focussed on the visual symbols of the text
grimoire – a book of magical rituals, conjurations, incantations etc.
hypotaxis – the subordinate status of one clause in relation to another separated from it by a subordinating conjunction
illud tempus – that time
in nuce – ‘in the walnut’; in plan, in embryo, first draft
incunabula – books printed prior to 1501
intercarnal – between flesh or bodies (?)
interregnum – the period between the end of one reign or regime and the beginning of the next; a period where there is no government or authority
jeremiah – a miserable person who complains a lot and makes dire predictions
kenosis – emptiness, self-emptying
koan – a zen buddhist riddle, used to focus the mind during meditation and to develop intuition
littoral - of or relating to the shore or the coast
lucullan – lavish, extravagant, luxurious
manumission – the act of freeing a slave by a master; releasing a person from slavery
menippean – like the satirical works of mennipus, used by bakhtin to refer to carnivalesque satire
metathesis: inversion of two speech sounds e.g. ax for ask
miles gloriosus – an arrogant, boastful, sometimes cowardly soldier, especially as a stock character in comedy
misoneism – fear or hatred of change, the new, or innovation
misprision – failure to report, on the part of someone who knows of, but did not commit it, a crime; neglect or dereliction of duty on the part of someone in public office
nembutsu – thinking of the buddha, mindfulness of the buddha
nephilim – a race of old testament beings, powerful giants, descended from angels
nigrescent – turning black
nosism – the practice of referring to oneself as ‘we’ (the ‘royal’ or ‘editorial’ we)
orthoepy – the study of the pronunciation of words
orthophemism – straight talking
parapraxis – freudian slip
parataxis – combination of clauses or phrases without cunjunctions like ‘and’ or ‘so’
penumbra – a partial outer shadow or indistinct peripheral area
phallophoria – festivals where phallic statues or symbols were carried around in ritual procession
philology – the study of the relations between languages and their history, especially with reference to the analysis of texts; the study of ancient texts, especially as indicative of cultural history
picquet – infantry outpost; late medieval military punishment
polyhistor – person of great erudition, possessing knowledge of many fields
praetorian – corrupt, fraudulent
preterite – belonging only in the past, referring to the simple past tense
punctilious – extremely careful about behaviour and etiquette; or about small details
purgation – the act of purging or being purged
putti – figures of angelic children or babies; ‘little loved ones’ or cherubs, the plural of putto (it.)
quid pro quo – ‘this for that’, the exchange of one item of value for another
raisonné – reason (fr.) in the philosophical sense, the capacity to distinguish truth and falsity, good and evil etc.
realia ad realiora – from reality to a higher reality
rebarbative – unpleasant or annoying
recusant – a roman catholic who would not attend protestant services; a person who refuses to obey authority
sabot – a wooden shoe like a clog; a sleeve placed round a projectile so that it can be fired from a weapon with a larger bore; the strap across the instep of a sandal or a sandal with such a strap
scrannel – thin, unmelodious
sententious – tending to use maxims or aphorisms; inclined to moralising; verbally succinct
sept – (in irish use) an anglicised term referring to a dominant ruling kingroup, (in scots use) a subdivision of a clan
seraphim – angels, celestial beings of the highest order
seriatim – one after another; in a series
sessile – descriptive term for a leaf or flower without stalk and attached directly to the stem; or an animal permanently attached to something (like a barnacle) rather than free-moving
spectrality – ghostliness; or that relating to or produced by a spectrum (an arrangement or organisation of components by frequency, energy, colour etc.)
spic – derogatory term for a person of latin american descent
stakhanovism – the soviet propaganda system, intended to boost worker productivity, holding up as an exemplar the miner stakhanov
stanislavskian – the naturalistic or realistic psychophysical acting method propagated by stanislavsky
steganography – hiding messages between the pixels of a graphic
striation – patterning or marking with parallel grooves or narrow bands
sub specie aeternitatis – ‘under the sign of eternity’
subserve – to help to further, promote, or bring about
substrate – the underlying language of a colonised people, upon which the new language (superstrate) is imposed (irish in ireland is the substrate for english)
subtilize – to produce fine distinctions and subtleties; to make more subtle
suffisance – sufficiency (fr.)
superficies – the outer surface or outward appearance of something
superstrate – the language of a later invading people, imposed on an indigenous people
tartuffe – a hypocrite who feigns virtue, especially religious
teknonymy – the practice of referring to parents by the names of their children
tergiversation – using detours, ‘back-turning’
testeria – the male equivalent to hysteria
textology – the study of texts
theogonic – referring to the angles, sides or shape of god (?)
time theft – also called ‘soldiering’ and ‘la perruque’ – deliberate slacking and inefficiency at work
vorurteile – prejudice (?)
votary – a devotee or disciple
wop – derogatory term for a person of italian descent


including some fugitives from the last round.


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