Tuesday, May 31, 2011


e-loign (ĭ-loinˈ)

verb (archaic)
1. To remove something a long distance.
You won't realize the great distance you have eloigned, until you look around and realize how far you've been.

Synonyms: 500 Miles, emigrate, immigrate, journey, travel, migrate.


pac-if-i-cat-or-y (ps-f-ktr)

1. Inclined toward making peace.
When things get stressed out around here, I like making soup. A good pacificatory soup has a thick broth, usually potato or butternut squash with lots of garlic and chilli.

Synonyms: calming, conciliatory, composing, neutralizing, pacified.

Sunday, May 29, 2011


chi-can-er-y (shĭ-kāˈnə-rē, chĭ-)*

1. Deceit through trickery or sophistry.
To vice, innocence must always seem only a superior kind of chicanery.

Synonyms: aspersion, calumniation, calumny, deciet, deception, defamation, dishonesty, disinformation, distortion, duplicity, evasion, fable, fabrication, falsehood, falseness, falsification, falsity, fib, fiction, forgery, fraud, guile, hyperbole, inaccuracy, invention, libel, lie, mendancity, misrepresentation, misstatement, myth, obloquy, perjury, revilement, slander, stratagem, subterfuge, tale, tall tale, white lie, whopper, quibbling.

* Be careful not to pronounce it chick-cannery. That just has terrible connotations and sounds silly.

Friday, May 27, 2011


rev-er-ie (rĕvˈə-rē)

1. An abstract state of musing.
It is a good idea to be alone in a garden at dawn or dark so that all its shy presences may haunt you in a reverie of suspended thought. - James Douglas
I keep slipping into this reverie, in which your chest and back and shoulders are big and strong again and full of air and life. In my reverie, you still live on Douglas Street and the ducks in Beacon Hill Park mock you with their laughter. I am beginning to prefer reverie to reality, for there you will always be.

Synonyms: absent-mindedness, abstraction, castles in the sky, contemplation, daydream, detachment, dream, fantasy, head trip, inattention, meditation, mind trip, musing, phantasy, thought, trance.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011


us-que-baugh (ŭsˈkwĭ-bôˌ, -bäˌ)

1. Irish and Scottish whiskey
2. An alcoholic drink that was originally made from barley and produced by the Celts of the British Isles.
Over a noggin of usquebaugh, he would confess every dirty deed he committed in the past three weeks and THAT was ne'er a short list.

Synonyms: drink, whiskey.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011


nec-ro-man-tic (nĕkˈrə-mănˈtĭk)

1. Involving communication or resurrection of the dead, especially through black magic.
Saying "I told you so" should never involve necromantic feats.

Synonyms: bewitched, clairvoyant, conjuring, demonic, eerie, enchanted, ensorcelled, entranced, ghostly, haunted, imaginary, mystic, occult, otherworldly, parapsychological, runic, spectral, thaumaturgic, weird.

1. A magic trick or feat of conjuring.
If necromantics only worked, I could settle a few things with someone I miss.

Synonyms: abracadabra, bewitchment, charm, cunjuration, enchantment, hex, hocus-pocus, incantation, jinx, magic, mumbo jumbo, voodoo, witchery.

2. A magician or conjurer.
I'm a set-up for the moon when its bright,
I'm incurably necromantic.*
And I shouldn't be allowed out at night,
With anyone quite like you.

Synonyms: charmer, conjurer, diabolist, diviner, enchanter, enchantress, fortune teller, illusionist, magician, medium, mentalist, necromancer, seer, shaman, sorcerer, theurgist, trickster, warlock, witch, witch doctor, wizard.

* I may have mixed up romantic and necromantic here, which isn't hard. Necromantic sounds a little like a what you feel on a date with a vampire. Really, this is the most necromantic song I know.

Friday, May 20, 2011


rap-ture (răpˈchər)

1. Being moved by wonderful emotions.*
Every time she thinks of Jesus, the corners of her mouth turn up and her eyes gloss over, as the rapture overcomes her.
2. Being literally moved from one place to another, especially from here to heaven.
I welcome the rapture. Jesus loves me: he calls me "Baby" and says "kiss me like you mean it!"

1. The act of doing the above to someone.
Just click on the link, you'll get the idea. It's a good song by the Magnetic Fields.

Synonyms: bliss, buoyancy, cloud nine, delectation, ecstasy, elysium, enchantment, euphoria, exaltation, glory, heaven, nirvana, paradise, ravishment, rhapsody, seventh heaven transport.

* Teachers used to call this "letting your imagination run away with you" or "getting carried away." Today, we still call it that.

Thursday, May 19, 2011


raus* (rouz)

1. A parade or street show connected to the circus.
In the old days when the circus came to town, they would set up their tents and go on a raus about town to let everyone know they were there.

Synonyms: autocade, cavalcade, demonstration, exhibition, fanfare, panopoly, parade, procession, show.

* This is an archaic term that I found in a circus glossary. I think it takes its meaning from the German, meaning to get out, and from the English homonym: rouse.
** Rein Raus is a song by Rammstein.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011


mum-mer-y (mŭmˈə-rē)

1. A performance by mummers.*
All the world's a mummery,
And all the men and women merely mummers;

They have their exits and their entrances,

And one man in his time plays many parts,

His acts being seven ages. -
The Bard.**
2. A pretentious show or ceremony.
In 2011, the mummery of royal weddings was made most evident by the hats.

Synonyms: carnival, circus, costume ball, facade, festivity, front, masquerade, pretense, subterfuge.

* If there's one thing I can't stand about theatre life,*** it's the mummery of all the mummers.****
** It started out as a quote, but I modified it.
*** I'm lying. I love everything about theatre life!
**** A mummer is an actor or a player.

Monday, May 16, 2011


gen-u-flect (jĕnˈyə-flĕktˌ)

1. To bend at the the knee, especially in worship.
No one is laughing at God this Saturday;* many will genuflect.
2. Grovelling.
Is it a coincidence that God and super villains both want the same thing: masses of inferior beings genuflecting at their feet.

Synonyms: beseech, boot lick, bow, cower, crawl, crouch, gesticulate, grovel, kneel, kowtow, prostrate, snivel, worship.

* In the future, when I am editing this collection of blog posts for a book, I will edit Saturday out to read: the Second Coming of Christ 21 May 2011.

Sunday, May 15, 2011


fun-am-bu-list (fy-nmby-lst)

1. A tightrope* walker or practitioner of funambulism.**
After being told all his life that he was walking a fine line, Garfield became a funabulist.

Synonyms: tightrope walker.

* It's not really fair to specify, since it can mean slack rope too, but that's just not as fun!
**Funambulism is the art of rope walking.

Saturday, May 14, 2011


brag-ga-do-ci-o (bra-gə-ˈdō-sē-ˌō)

1. Empty boasting.
I conceal the emptiness of a long day's work with braggadocio about how wonderful my customers are.
2. A deranged 1970s font.
See example on right.

Synonyms: bluster, boast, brag, crow, gasconade, gloat, prate, puff, rodomontade, shuck, swagger.

Friday, May 13, 2011


sat-ur-nine* (sătˈər-nīnˌ)

1. Melancholy or even sardonic in nature.
Only Werner Herzog can make Where's Waldo saturnine.**

Synonyms: aberrant, abnormal, ailing, brooding, dark, deadly, depressed, despondent, diseased, dreadful, frightful, ghastly, ghoulish, grim, grisly, gruesome, horrid, macabre, malignant, melancholy, moody, morbid, pessimistic, sick, somber, sullen.

* This word has Saturn as its root because astrologers believe that people born under Saturn possess this particular outlook a little more than other people do.
** You really should click this link.


ei-do-lon (ī-dōˈlən)

1. A winged figure from Greek art (especially phases). This creature is usually part human, like a harpie.
In LARPing,* a good BBEG** would be an eidolon that keeps showing up.
2. A ghostly reflection or apparition.
On Friday the thirteenth, eidolons appear in shop windows as you pass. Don't stay out too late or the eidolons will get you!

Synonyms: apparition, banshee, boogie, demon, devil, ethereal being, harpie, haunt, kelpie, phantom, poltergeist, shade, shadow, spectre, spook, vision, wraith.

* LARP stands for Live Action Role Play.
** BBEG stands for Big Bad Evil Guy. My extensive research (about five minutes or so) points to the fact that eidolons are definitely big bad evil guys.

Thursday, May 12, 2011


mol-ly-cod-dle (mŏlˈē-kŏdˌl)

1. To overly protect or indulge.
Out of a sense of obligation for all of the kindnesses he's shown me in the past, I tend to mollycoddle my ex every time he phones in the middle of the night

1. A person, especially a man, who has been pampered and overprotected his (rarely her) whole life.
The self-indulgent mollycoddle takes it upon himself to say whatever comes into his mind, regardless of how it will make me feel.

baby, cosset, humour, pet.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011


gem-in-ate (jĕmˈə-nātˌ)

1. Arranged in, formed, or occurring in pairs.
If souls geminate at creation, God made you and I together; over the years, life had a different plan.

1. In a pair.
You and I are geminate spirits that strayed.

Synonyms: accompanying, bifold, coupled, corresponding, doubled, dual, dualistic, joint, like, paired, parallel, same, twin, twofold, very same.

1. In linguistics, a double or long consonant sound.
The geminate consonant sound distinguishes the difference between "night train" and "night rain."

Synonyms: doubled.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011


pa-rou-si-a-man-i-a (pāro͞ozīāmāˈnē-ə, mānˈyə)

2. Obsession with the second coming of Christ.
Second coming? Isn't that a Cialis commercial or something?*

Synonyms: Salt Lake City, the Pope.

*Sorry. I couldn't resist :)

Monday, May 9, 2011


subterfuge (sŭbˈtər-fyo͞oj)*

1. A deceptive trick to conceal a perceived truth.
As Admiral Richard E Byrd, Floyd Bennet** and Archie Belaney*** have proven, a clever subterfuge is one way of making history.

Synonyms: aspersion, calumniation, calumny, chicanery, deciet, deception, defamation, dishonesty, disinformation, distortion, evasion, fable, fabrication, falsehood, falseness, falsification, falsity, fib, fiction, forgery, fraud, guile, hyperbole, inaccuracy, invention, libel, lie, mendancity, misrepresentation, misstatement, myth, obloquy, perjury, revilement, slander, sweet little lies, tale, tall tale, white lie, whopper.

* When I was a kid, I loved mispronouncing this word as superfudge.****
** Historians have good reason to suspect that Byrd and Bennet lied about flying over the North Pole in 1927.
*** Archie Belaney is the infamous Grey Owl.
**** Superfudge is not the correct pronounciation of this word!

Friday, May 6, 2011


pulc-hri-tud-i-nous (pŭlˌkrĭ-to͞odˈn-əs, -tyo͞odˈ-)

1. Physically attractive.
I told my girl she was more pulchritudinous than anyone I'd met and she broke my nose!

Synonyms: adorable, beautiful, charming, chimerical, comely, cute, darling, delightful, delicate, dishy, dreamboat, divine, eyeful, fair, fetching, fine, foxy, good-looking, gorgeous, handsome, hot, hunky, kissable, lovely, mesmeric, nice, pleasant, pleasing, pretty, sexy, simply irresistible, stunning.

* HotForWords, an excellent Video Blog, also explains pulchritudinous well.

Thursday, May 5, 2011


flub (flŭb)

1. To undeniably screw something up.
The intern at Fox News, who flubbed the banner line on this news report, is going to be looking for a new job soon.

Synonyms: addle, blunder, botch, bungle, confound, err, fail, goof, jumble, lapse, mistake, misconstrue, misinterpret, misjudge, mistake, miss, slip.

1. The act or instance of such a colossal error.
The most embarrassing flub of the US media this year has been a Fox News banner line that read: "Obama bin Laden Dead."

Synonyms: aberration, befuddled, blooper, blunder, boo-boo, bungle, damn you auto correct, erratum, error, faux pas, gaffe, inaccuracy, lapse, miscalculation, misinterpretation, misjudgment, misstep, misprint, muddle, oops!, oversight, slip, slip up, snafu, solecism, trip, typo, typographical error, woopsy daisy.

* See Jenny Owen Youngs for more on relationships and flubbing up.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011


syc-o-phant (skfnt)

1. A parasitic mean flatterer, who falsely sucks up so as to get his/her way without doing any work.
Goddamn you... you... moocher... you... parasite... you suck-up little dick... you freeloading sycophant!

Synonyms: barnacle, dependent, flunky, leech, moocher, parasite, sponge, Stephen Harper.

* Pardon me, I was in an obstreperous mood and had to get that cathartic rant out of my system and am feeling much better now :)

Monday, May 2, 2011


why-for (hwīfôr)

1. Implores reason, justification, explanation, motive...
Oh, Canada, whyfor hath thou elected a Conservative majority?

Synonyms: why.

Sunday, May 1, 2011


ka-pow (kăpou)

1. The sound of a strong force, like a punch or a transformation.*
Kapow! Obama just punched bin Laden right in the face!

Synonyms: bam, bang, bap, biff, bloop, blurp, boff, bonk, clank, clunk, cr-r-a-a-ck, crash, crraack, crunch, flrbbbbb, glip, glurp, kayo, klonk, krunch, ooooff, ouch, owww, pam, plop, pow, powie, qunckkk, rakkk, rip, slosh, splat, sploosh, swa-a-p, swoosh, thunk, thwack, thwapp, uggh, urkk, urkkk, vronk, whack, whamm, whap, z-zwap, zam, zamm, zap, zgruppp, zlonk, zlopp, zlott, zok, zowie, zwapp, zzzzzwap!

* See onomatopoeia.


may-day (māˈdāˌ)

1. One way to say: "Help! My ship or airplane is going down," in a way that anyone can understand, regardless of language, because it is an international radiotelephone signal word.*
Politicians' unfounded attacks on one another are political code for mayday, when they think their own chances at winning office are sinking.

Synonyms: alert, caution, forewarning, SOS, warning.

* The word was thought up by a guy, named Frederick Stanley Mockford, as a distress signal. He adapted it from the French m'aider (help me).