Another word I've seen before, but I didn't really think of it as word (just as a meaningless Spanish-sounding name). In the wonderful Tintin books by Hergé, one of the recurring characters who appears in several stories is a General Alcazar who was constantly either overthrowing the government of his fictional Latin American country or … Continue reading Linguistic Jokes
I'm not doing a great job about getting these up each Wednesday and Friday (having missed last week), but I think it's getting better. Anyway, I don't normally do consecutive words because if I ever hope to get through the letter A, much less the OED entirely, I can't get bogged down. This needs to … Continue reading It’s a Gene Wolfe Word!
Ancient poetic forms seem to have had more rigorous rules to follow. I sure wouldn't be able to write a poem worth anything following these rules.Alcaic, n. and adj.Prosody. A. n.A poem, strophe (stanza), or line written in Alcaic metre (see sense B.). Usually in plural.B. adj.Written or composed in a metre traditionally attributed to Alcaeus; relating to or characteristic … Continue reading An Archaic Form
It's kinda nice to know there's a word out there that means the opposite of blaming someone who brings bad news.albricia, n.Compare Catalan albixena (late 13th cent.), albíxera (14th cent. or earlier), etc. (often in plural; compare albricies (plural), Portuguese alvissara (13th cent.).Arabic bišāra (in Spanish Arabic usually bušāra) is ultimately < bašara to rejoice, … Continue reading Not Shooting the Messenger
It's been a while since I had an obscure female variation on a common word. This is one I never even thought about being possible or necessary. It seems more obscure than most of the others I've come across so far.albiness, n.Now hist. and rare.A female albino.
A nice useful word; it's a shame it's obsolete. Think about it for a second, you could use this in all kinds of situations. Fun bonus fact: it's a combination of two words, one of which is "all". So there's another obsolete word coming up when I eventually get to the next letter of the … Continue reading All Together Now
Though the word (phrase, really) and the definition would lead one to think of it as a result of the traditional Catholic prohibition against eating meat on Fridays, it's more prosaic. Just a surfeit of the item in question in a particular place. Though I do like the idea that beef is far preferable to … Continue reading Sounds Catholic, but it’s not
This is a word that Gene Wolfe would use to describe some fantastical monster. You could tell someone that it was a minor part of the Book of the New Sun, and they'd believe you without hesitation. Alzabo, destrier,... alastor. Yep.alastor, n.Usually with capital initial. An avenging demon or god. More generally: any avenger of … Continue reading Vengeance pursues! They are heating the cauldrons!
This wasn't entirely an excuse to link to something humorous from my youth. Turns out that "Alaskan" to describe something or someone from Alaska was not the original word. Thankfully, however, it was the one that caught on and this malformation was, by and large, forgotten.Alaskian, adj.= ALASKAN adj. Some later examples may represent a typographical … Continue reading Excuse me, do you have four quarters for a dollar?
Interesting that this and abracadabra both have uncertain origins. This word seems to have more of a faux-Arabic sound to my ear, as if the original coinage was attempting to play upon the mysterious and mystic perception of the Middle East. The tendency to have people vary the end of the word while retaining the … Continue reading Words of power