tricky words

more logophilia:

à rebours – going the wrong way, against the grain
abreaction – the release of unconscious tension through talking about or reliving the events which caused it
acousmêtre – the out-of-sight source of a sound or voice, especially in cinema (e.g. the voice of norman bates’ mother)
adipose – fatty, relating to fat
advertorial – a print ad set up to resemble editorial content in style and layout, print equivalent of infomercial
aesopian – (of speech or thought) elliptical, oblique, allegorical, subtextual, containing hidden messages, often in evasion of censorship
afflatus – creative inspiration, esp. that attributed to a divine source
ambient awareness – constant peripheral consciousness of others, as in incessant, but ‘weak’, online contact (‘ambient intimacy’)
anacrusis – one word prompting another
anchoritic – characterised by ascetic solitude
ankh – (also ansate cross) a cross with a loop as the top and a short crossbar, a symbol for life in ancient egypt
anupallavi – the 2nd verse, after the pallavi, in the carnatic music tradition
apraxia – inability to perform complex movements
argal – therefore (usually used to indicate that the reasoning is ludicrous or specious)
ataraxia – freedom from worry, peace of mind, the state of desiring nothing
aufgehoben – (gr.) voided, revoked, waived, repealed, abrogated etc.
aufklarung – the philosophical outlook of the 18th century, the age of enlightenment
augury – a sign, omen, or prediction, esp. that based on the observance of the appearance or behaviour of animals or birds
aus der luft gegriffen – ‘from the air seized’, airy-fairy, insubstantial, illusory
bbv – blood borne virus
bork – to misconfigure, esp. a computer or other complex device
cadastral – of or pertaining to a map indicating property limits, boundaries etc.
calico – coarse cotton cloth with a bright, motley pattern; such a pattern
carnatic – the south indian form of classical music, originating in the region of karnataka
carnographic – pertaining to writing concerning meat
casuistry – answering moral or ethical questions by the application of general rules; specious, bogus, or misleading argumentation
cento – a work wholly composed from passages or lines taken from other authors, re-assembled in a new order
charanam – the final verse, the 3rd section (after the anupallavi) in the carnatic music tradition
charybdis – a whirlpool-producing sea-monster in the shape of a monstrous mouth; a deadly whirlpool
chinoiserie – décor, furnishings etc. based on or inspired by ideas of chinese or oriental design, popular in france and england in the 17th and 18th centuries
chthonic – of the earth, relating to the gods and spirits of the underworld
clef de voûte – a keystone
cochonnerie – dirtiness; a dirty, spoiled, or valueless object
comorbid – a coexisting but usually independent medical condition
concupiscence – strong feelings of physical desire
cosmogony – the study of the origin of the universe or a theory explaining said origin
coulrophobia – fear of clowns
couvade – a practice in some cultures where the husband of a woman in labour takes to his bed as though also giving birth
craven – so cowardly or lacking in courage as to be worthy of contempt
crwth – an archaic stringed instrument, common to welsh music but at one time widely played in europe
cryptomnesia – concealed recollection: the reappearance of a long-forgotten memory as though it were a new experience; also, the idea that we remember everything that ever happened to us, and though the memories may be buried in our subconscious, they are still retrievable through hypnosis
cryptoportici – underground passageways, plural of cryptoporticus
decameron – (‘10 days’) a medieval allegorical work containing 100 novellas
diazeuxis – a dividing tone lying between two tetrachords and belonging to neither
doxy – set of beliefs, esp. religious ones
dyspraxia – poor motor coordination, sometimes occurring alongside dyslexia
dysthymia – mild chronic depression
eidetic – recalled or reproduced with exceptional accuracy and vividness, the ability to perform such recall
entheogen – psychoactive substance used to induce mystical or spiritual experience in a religious or shamanic context
enucleate – to remove the nucleus; to remove something from inside a capsule whilst keeping that capsule intact
epenthesis – interpositioning of a phoneme, e.g. ‘nuc-u-ler’ for nuclear
eremitic – of or relating to eremites – hermits, and their austere living conditions
eristic – characterised by argument or controversy
eschaton – the last days, end of time, return of christ etc.
escutcheon – a shield, esp. one which displays a coat-of-arms
espalier – a tree trained to grow flat against a wall; to train a tree in such a way
etiolate – to make weak, pale or unhealthy
eudaemonic – producing happiness and well-being (a eudaemon is a good or benevolent spirit)
euhemerist – a mode of interpretation holding that myths are reflections of actual historical events, given supernatural characteristics
exurb - residential area outside the city and beyond the suburbs, populated by wealthy people
exuviae – a skin or shell sloughed by an animal
eyrie – the nest of a bird in a high and inaccessible place; a building or stronghold similarly located
factitious – contrived, insincere; artifical or invented
fatidic – seeming to foretell the future
feculent – foul with waste matter
fecund – productive, fertile, creative
feuilleton – a section of a european newspaper containing reviews, serial fiction, and articles of general interest
fiduciary – a person or entity legally authorised to hold assets in trust for a beneficiary
fissiparous – describing organisms that reproduce by dividing into two equal parts, each of which then grows into a complete organism
fleur-de-lis – stylised design of a lily; in heraldry, usually associated with the french monarchy
fmri – functional magnetic resonance imaging
freikorps – (gr.) ‘free corps’, the post wwwi paramilitary organisations established in weimar germany
fulcrum – the pivot point or support around which a lever turns
ganglia – structures containing dense clusters of nerve cells; harmless swellings, like cysts
gavage – force-feeding through a tube going from the mouth or nose to the stomach; force-feeding a goose for foie gras; force-feeding cattle for veal
genotext – the musical aspects of voice – related to the kristevan semiotic
glissando – rapid slide through pitches of a scale, sliding between notes
golconda – a source of great wealth
grylli – monsters engraved in ancient stones (esp. in the form of walking heads)
gubu – grotesque, unbelievable, bizarre and unprecedented
gyan – knowledge (hindi)
harlequinade – pantomime-like slapstick adaptation of commedia dell-arte; buffoonery or clowning
hic et nunc – here and now
hieratic – relating to priests; fixed, formal and stylised in a traditional way
hierophant – a priest or priestly person; one who reveals or interprets mysteries or secrets
hypnerotomachia – ‘strife of love in a dream’, after the hypnerotomachia poliphili of manutius, 1499
imprimis – in the first place
in statu nascendi – in the process of being born
insouciant – cheerfully unconcerned
intichiuma – ceremonies directed towards the totem
intonarumori – noise machines
jeremiad – a long recitation of mournful complaints
jingdezhen – the porcelain capital, a city famed for its production of china
kaffeeklatsch – an informal gathering to drink coffee and chat
kenosis – christ’s act of partially giving up divine status so as to become a man; the emptying out of the self
kirk – (scots) a church
künstlerroman – the history of an artist, particularly how s/he came to write the present work
kunstwollen – (in aesthetics) the ‘will to form’
kwaito – south african rap, also referred to as ‘d’gong
laïcal – of or pertaining to the laity; secular
limn – to draw or paint, esp. in outline; to describe in words
loggiae – galleries open on one or more sides (ital., lodge)
ltrftw – long time reader, first time writer
macaronic – verse combining everyday language with latin or adding latin endings to everyday terms, usually for comic effect; involving a combination of two or more languages
manqué – having wanted to do or be something and been unsuccessful at it
manse – a house provided for by the church for a religious minister; a large and stately house
maugre – in spite of
melisma – a decorative melodic phrase or passage
meretricious – relating to prostitutes; being tastelessly, tacky or showy; deceptively pleasing or making a false show of being attractive
motivic – of or pertaining to a musical motif or motifs
muezzin – the mosque official who performs the call to prayer
mythologem – a basic theme of a myth
nabob – a very rich or powerful person
naiad – an aquatic, gill-breathing nymph; the nymph stage of aquatic insects
nolle prosequi – ‘do not pursue’, usually as a legal instruction to discontinue criminal charges
nomen gentilicium – ‘the name of the gens’; the name of the clan
normenon – a class of manmade products used primarily to communicate
nota bene – the full form of n.b., used to draw someone’s attention to some particularly important point or addition
nugatory – having little value, trifling; ineffective
oblomovism – sloth or intertia – oblomov is a ‘superfluous man’
ostinati –persistently repeated rhythmic patterns, motifs, or musical phrases
otm – on the money
pallavi – the equivalent of a refrain, the thematic line of a song
panentheism – holding that god is the eternal animating force of the universe (the universe is a part of god). as opposed to pantheism, which holds that god is synonymous with the material universe
parasocial – describing emotional relationships with people (like celebrities or fictional characters) who are effectively unaware of our existence
parlous – unsafe or uncertain; mischievous or cunning
petitio principii – fallacious reasoning in logic, where what is to be proved is already assumed to hold
phenotext – those elements of expression concerned with the unity of the subject through language – related to the kristevan symbolic
phlegmatic – lacking emotional display; not easily excited or concerned
piacular – (from piaculum) referring to acts done to atone for sinful or sacrilegious behaviour; requiring such acts of atonement and penitence
pleach – to interweave branches or vines so as to make a decorative shape, hedge etc.
pleonexia – excessive covetousness
poesis – meaning making
pollard – a tree with limbs cut back to encourage growth of foliage; to cut off the top of a tree in such a way
polonaise – a slow, stately dance; a piece of music for this dance, in 3/4 time
predation – the relationship between two species where one hunts, kills and eats the other; plundering or stealing
pro fanum - profane (‘before’ or ‘outside’ the temple)
profligacy – extreme extravagance or wastefulness; extremely low moral standards
prolepsis – a preface intended to anticipate and answer an objection to an argument
prolix – tediously wordy
prosaism – a dull or unimaginative expression or style of writing
prosectorium – ‘anatomical theatre’ or dissecting room
pulchritude – physical beauty
pyknon – condensation, density; in biology, a nonrandom sequence of repeated elements
qua – in the capacity or function of
quidnunc – a nosy or gossipy person
quotidian – ordinary or everyday
regnant – actually reigning; predominant or fashionable
ressentiment – a feeling of resentment, accompanied with the absence of means to act on or express that feeling
sala terrena – pavilion overlooking an open garden
sarcosis – abnormal formation of flesh
scrofula – tuberculosis of the lymph glands, esp. in the neck
sectary – member of a religious denomination or sect
seppuku – ritual suicide by disembowelment
seriatim – one after another; in a series
servitor – servant or attendant
sinthôme – lacanian term for the ‘symptom’ beyond analysis, the constitutive symptom that organises jouissance and ties together the real, the symbolic, and the imaginary
skaz – a mode of writing in russian literature using the oral speech patterns and vernacular of a narrator
slendro (also salendro) – a pentatonic scale, one of the two most common scales in indonesian gamelan music
speculum mundi – the ‘mirror of the world’
śruti – the smallest interval of the tuning system in indian classical music; roughly equivalent to a tonic
strategien gegen architekturen – strategies against architecture
sublunary – relating to or occupying the space between the moon and the earth; belonging to the material rather than the spiritual or intellectual world
summa – a summary or overview of knowledge in a given field; especially a medieval text on theology, philosophy etc.
syncrisis – confronting different discourses on the same topic
tamarind – a sour spice derived from the pulp of tamarus indica pods
tchotchke (or chachka) – (yiddish) a small decorative item or trinket; an attractive, unconventional woman; a bimbo
techne (or techné) – as distinct from episteme, craftsmanship or art, a method of knowing oriented towards making or doing, or achieving objectives, rather than towards disinterested abstract understanding
tessitura – the predominating pitch range in a particular piece of music
theosophy – (of religious philosophy) based on intuitive insight into the nature of god
tina doctrine – ‘there is no alternative’ (to the current order and state of affairs)
tldr – too long, didn’t read
tope – to drink alcohol habitually and in large amounts
trifecta – a bet in which the winners of first, second and third places are selected in correct place in order to win
tsotsi – south african gangster
tufa – a tuft of hair, feathers or similar material used as a flag or emblem
turgor – the state of being turgid; the status of the water inside a plant cell; the stiffness or fullness of a normally functioning capillary or blood vessel
uhuni – tanzanian gangster rap
unheimlich – unhomely, esp. in freud or in reference to freudianism
urbild – the original archetype
urgrund – the primeval ground of being
venial – easily forgiven or excused
verlan – (fr.) l’envers backwards: french urban slang, similar to pig latin, where syllable order is reversed
vide – used to refer a reader to elsewhere in the text; or to instruct a musician to skip ahead in the score
vulgate – everyday informal use of a language; a text generally accepted as being the most accurate version
wahuni – tanzanian criminals
zatoichi – a blind masseur and swordsman character in a longstanding japanese tv and movie series

rick-rolling was also new to me.

1 comment:

Susan said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.