Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Wednesday Word: Piffle

piffle |ˈpifəlnounexclam. informal nonsense.ORIGIN mid 19th cent.: diminutive of imitative piff-.
Lovely word--you can practically spit it on someone talking gibberish.

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Thesaurus Thursday

There are bad day and there are good days. Yesterday was one of the latter. After a swim I stopped at my favorite used bookstore to visit the kitties. I spotted one of them right away playing, and did the natural thing--got down to eye level to take a picture. Kitty did what was natural to him: got up, climbed on my shoulders and proceeded trying to chew my ear off. In the literal sense.

After my eventual escape--ears mostly intact--I went browsing and immediately found a 1933 Roget's Thesaurus. I've been looking for something like it for a long time. It's a cheap reprint, but I don't care; my interest is in the content. Old thesauri are a great source to find archaic words. You know, in case I ever decided to write a historic novel.

This book has some nice old expressions too. For example under "relief" it lists: temper the wind to the shorn lamb and lay the flattering unction to one's soul. However, it has nothing about rescuing one's ear from the maws of kittens.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Wednesday Word: Epicene

epicene |ˈepiˌsēnadjectivehaving characteristics of both sexes or no characteristics of either sex; of indeterminate sex: the sort of epicene beauty peculiar to boys of a certain age.• effeminate; effete: the actor infused the role with an epicene languor.nounan epicene person.ORIGIN late Middle English (as a grammaticalterm): via late Latin from Greek epikoinos (based on koinos common).
Until yesterday I had no knowledge of the existence of this word. You'd think it should be listed as a synonym for androgynous but my dictionary doesn't think so.

Monday, March 16, 2015

Vintage Monday: Two Gentlemen from Vienna

A handsome couple aren't they?

I know the picture was taken in Vienna because of the photographer's address, but it reminds me of the strange custom of changing the name of some foreign cities and countries. Not just the English do it either. The Hungarian name for Vienna/Wien is Bécs. Don't ask me why; I have no idea.

Meanwhile, I'm pretty sure New York is called New York in most of the world, but United States of America is Eggyesült Államok in Hungarian. (And Hungarian is magyar.) This gives rise to the frequent joke of calling Egybesült Államok. Egybesült is when you fry or deep-fry foodstuff and two pieces get stuck together in the process. Not unlike these two gents are stuck together. Ha! I knew I could bring it back around. :)

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Wednesday Word: Churlish

churlish |ˈCHərliSHadjectiverude in a mean-spirited and surly way: it seemschurlish to complain.DERIVATIVES churlishly adverb.churlishness nounORIGIN Old English cierlisc, ceorlisc 
Now here's a perfectly good word that has fallen out of favor. It would be an interesting experiment calling people churlish with a big smile. Would they be affronted or take it as a compliment?

Monday, March 9, 2015

Vintage Monday: Daylight Savings

Unlike most everyone else, I'm not aghast over "losing" an hour, or wander around torpidly--well, no more than usual. The reason is that I'm on daylight savings time all year around. This is just when the rest of the world catches up with me.

In my opinion, we all should stay on daylight savings all year around. I mean, when would you rather have an hour of extra sunlight, in the morning while driving to work, or at the end of the day when you can actually enjoy it?