Sunday, July 31, 2011


gauche* (gsh)

1. Left-handed awkward and clumsy.
Have cut my right hand on a broken glass and sprained my right leg, I look very gauche, hobbling around and whining about everything. I am really lucky to have such good friends to help me out and put up with me.
2. Winding; twisted; warped; -- applied to curves and surfaces.
I wondered as I did it, whether I would regret throwing out that pallet Amanda painted on, but she left it in a pile of garbage, so I wasn't sure what else I should do. Now, I feel like going out and buying her more pallets to use as gauche canvases.
3. Lacking grace and perceptivity in social situations; crude; tactless; socially inept.
The most vengeful people I know are either very gauche in their tactics and, therefore, not a threat; or they are so vindictive and conniving that I haven't recognized them yet and should be very afraid.
4. A mathematical term to mean skewed.
The whole photo seems crooked because the horizon line is so gauche.

Synonyms: all thumbs, awkward, blundering, blunderous, bulky, bumbling, bungling, butterfingered, clownish, clumsy, crooked, crude, elephantine, gawkish, gawky, graceless, ham-handed, heavy, heavy-handed, helpless, hulking, ill-shaped, incompetent, inelegant, inept, inexperienced, inexpert, lubberly, lumbering, lumpish, maladroit, oafish, ponderous, splay, stumbling, unable, unadept, uncoordinated, uncouth, undexterous, uneasy , ungainly, unhandy, unskillful, untactful, untalented, untoward, unwieldy, weedy.

* From the French word, meaning left.
** Looks like lefties get a bed wrap here, doesn't it?

Friday, July 29, 2011


oo-bleck (blk)

1. A non-Newtonian fluid made from two parts corn starch to one part water, with unusual physical properties.*
At this point, moving out of the province feels a little bit like running on oobleck. I hope to have a few days, after all is said and done, to just sit and say goodbye to the ocean. It might be a while before I see it again, even if the amazing people that I associate with it might come visit me someday. I wish the Pacific could do the same.
2. A fictional green precipitation in the Dr. Seuss book Bartholomew and the Oobleck.
What would you do if you were stuck in a big puddle of oobleck?


* This shit is something like a solid, but is actually a liquid... it's crazy!
** I know this term was meant to refer to the most delicious Frosty drink/dessert served at Wendy's restaurants, but it accurately describes oobleck as well!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011


op-er-at-rix (p-rtrks)

1. Same as a female operator/operatress.*
The nurse, who was operatrix of the x-ray machine, would have none of my whining or squirming about.

Synonyms: controller, operator, operatress.

* But it somehow sounds more domineering, doesn't it?
** You can see by the draconian eyes on the girl in the picture that she is a little evil.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011


drac-o-ni-an (drey-koh-nee-uhn, druh-)

1. Very severe or strict.*
I'm tired of draconian servitude toward schedules. I want to work when I feel like it and board a plane when I feel like it. Fuck it, I don't want to work...
2. Of or resembling a dragon.
This draconian princess cannot be killed by fire!

Synonyms: brutal, cruel, drastic, exorbitant, extreme, heavy-handed, oppressive, rough, severe, strict, very severe.

* This usage of the word takes its root from Draco, a famous lawgiver of Athens, 621 b. c. Used especially in the phrase Draconian punishment.


boo-jum* (bü-jəm)

1. A geometric pattern sometimes observed on the surface of superfluid helium-3.
First Dude: Dude! I don't think you should be drinking that stuff. We don't even know what it is!
Second Dude:
Nonsense! This is superfluid helium-3!

First D
ude: What? How can you tell?
Second Dude: Look at the boojum pattern on the surface. [Drinks the trippy-looking fluid and begins to morph into High-Pitched Voice Man.]

Synonym: trippy-looking pattern.**

2. A type of tree from California and Mexico that looks like the love child of a cactus and a Christmas tree.
Sometimes the boojums look like claws, reaching for the sun.

Synonym: trippy-looking tree.

3. An imaginary animal introduced by C. L. Dodgson (Lewis Carroll), as a particularly dangerous variety of ‘snark,’ into his “Hunting of the Snark.”
"For, although common Snarks do no manner of harm,
Yet I feel it my duty to say,
Some are Boojums---'' The Bellman broke off in alarm,
For the Baker had fainted away.
- From The Hunting of the Snark.
Synonyms: bad-tempered snark, cranky snark, snark on steroids.

* Also spelled boogum.
** This pattern is good for desktops or screen savers.

Sunday, July 24, 2011


yob (yb)

1. A person who engages in antisocial behavior/behaviour and/or drunkenness.
He's an ex-con? He might have multiple addiction problems? You haven't heard from him for days and suspect it's because he's up to something nasty? He's not even an attentive mate? Girlfriend, you might be dating a yob.

Synonyms: bezonian, blackguard, brute, bum, cad, caitiff, coward, creep, dog, drunkard, good-for-nothing, heel, hound, ingrate, knave, liar, libertine, loser, lowlife, maggot, miscreant, ne'er-do-well, pariah, pauper, pilgarlic, poltroon, rake, rapscallion, rascal, rat, reprobate, riffraff, rogue, ronion, ruffian, scalawag, scamp, scapegrace, scoundrel, scum, skunk, smell-feast, snake, stinker, toad, tramp, vagabond, varlet, villain, wastrel, worm, wretch , yellow dog.***

* British slang.
** Alteration of boy spelled backwards.
*** But, as Henry Rollins once said: "I've been called worse by people who liked me!"


en-ne-ag-ram (ˈɛnɪəgram)

1. A nine-pointed stellate polygon (that is often endowed with mystical traits).
Dude on the left: With that winged orb below it, the sun looks like a ennagram.
Dude on the right: Dude! You're right! Enneagrams must be endowed with mystical traits!
Dude on the left: Dude, I was just saying what it looks like, but your reaction tells me so much about your personality.
Dude on the right: Are those angels?
2. Such a figure used to indicate nine personality traits of a subject.
For the purpose of writing this blog and proving to myself that I am not an asshole, just because my sister writes nasty letters describing how difficult I can be to get along with, I took an enneagram test. Apparently, I am have a generous and submissive personality type. HA! (My answers appear below.)

Synonyms: probably something to do with crystal therapy.

Saturday, July 23, 2011


vib-ist (vbst)

1. A person who plays the vibraphone.
The marimba vibists are one of the things I will definitely miss about Victoria. I can't think of them without remembering how happy it made me to watch Terry dancing to them on the sidewalk downtown. However, I seem to remember some pretty amazing South African drummers who played on the street where I'm going. I hope to find them again and bring some of the joys of Island marimba music with me.

Synonyms: crazy hippie, percussionist, vibraphone player.

Friday, July 22, 2011


i-ras-cib-le (-rs-bl, -rs-)

1. Prone to or easily provoked to outbursts of anger.
My ex-lover died, my roommate moved out, I have no money, my daughter is moving out, my sister disowned me and I've been on hold for half an hour; forgive me if I seem a little irascible.
2. Characterized by or resulting from anger.
“Imperious, choleric, irascible, extreme in everything, with a dissolute imagination the like of which has never been seen, atheistic to the point of fanaticism, there you have me in a nutshell, and kill me again or take me as I am, for I shall not change.” - Marquis de Sade*

Synonyms: acerbic, angry, antagonized, bearish, belligerent, bitchy, bitter, bristly, cantankerous, caustic, censorious, crabbed, crabby, cranky, cranky, churlish, cross, choleric, cross, feisty, ferocious, fierce, fiery, fractious, fuming, furious, galled, grouchy, hasty, hot-tempered, huffy, ireful, irritable, ogre, passionate, peevish, petulant, querulous, quick-tempered, short-tempered, snappish, surly, testy, thin-skinned, touchy, uptight, vexed, wrathful.

* The Marquis' name provides the origin of the modern term sadism.
** The image is a depiction of the Marquis de Sade by H. Biberstein in L'Œuvre du marquis de Sade, Guillaume Apollinaire (Edit.), Bibliothèque des Curieux, Paris, 1912.

Thursday, July 21, 2011


cim-mer-i-an (s-mîr-n)

1. Perpetually dark and/or gloomy.
The Bride of Frankenstein recommended Dracula run the photo he wanted to use for his profile through photoshop first so that he might look a little less cimmerian.

Synonyms: abyssal, aphotic, atramentous, black, blackish, caliginous, clouded, cloudy, crepuscular, darkened, dim, dingy, drab, dull, dun, dusk, dusky, faint, foggy, gloomy, grimy, igneous, ill-lighted, indistinct, inky, lightless, lurid, misty, murky, nebulous, obfuscous, obscure, opaque, overcast, pitch-black, pitch-dark, pitchy, rayless, shaded, shadowy, shady, somber, sooty, stygian, sunless, tenebrous, unlighted, unlit, vague.

* Undead life can be hard for a vampire.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011


theur-gy (thûr-j)

1. Divine or supernatural intervention in human affairs.
We usually only believe in unsolicited theurgy if things are going exceptionally well. Thanking God in these situations sometimes seems healthy, like the person really appreciates their good luck. However, blaming theurgy for unwanted turns of events always looks like crazy talk. People haunted by demons are locked up in institutions or thrown out on the street.
2. Performing magic or miracles with supernatural help.
If God and Jesus aren't the same dude, Jesus's miracles were performed with theurgy, parting sea and walking on water, because God wanted it to be so.
3. The act of conjuring or invoking supernatural beings or spirits.
Seances are cruel theurgy. The dead are gone. Let them rest. If they had anything important to tell you, they'd haunt you.
4. The technique of persuading a God.
As a Christian, turning prayer into theurgy seems to me the sin of pride. God has a plan. What makes you think you have a better plan?

Synonyms: abracadabra, alchemy, allurement, astrology, augury, bewitchment, black art, conjuration, conjuring, conjury, devilry, diabolism, divination, divine intervention, enchantment, exorcism, fascination, foreboding, fortune-telling, hocuspocus, horoscopy, illusion, incantation, imploring prayer, legerdemain, magic, magnetism, mysticism, necromancy, occultism, power, prediction, presage, prestidigitation, prophecy, rune, sleight of hand, soothsaying, sorcery, sortilege, spell, superstition, taboo, thaumaturgy, trickery, voodoo, voodooism, witchcraft, witchery, witching, wizardry.

* Dance Theurgy Dance.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011


o-car-ni-a (k-rn)

1. An egg-shaped terra cotta wind instrument with a mouthpiece and finger holes.
For the Queen of Fernwood's birthday, I bribed this guy from MySpace to play Happy Birthday on his ocarnia.

Synonyms: hippie flute.

* The ocarina is not just for hippies anymore! This undervalued musical instrument has received a major boost in cultural appreciation through the game Legend of Zelda.

Monday, July 18, 2011


ram-i-fy (rm-f)

1. To split into branches.
Though families ramify, like the trees we trace them through, a family is still one unit that should never be broken down into individual members.
2. To have or develop complicated consequences.
To hate your family is to hate yourself and to deliberately ramify it is to self-destruct. This destruction grows more horrible when we remember how much our families have endured.

Synonyms: add to, bifurcate, branch out, develop, diverge, diversify, divide, enlarge, expand, extend, fork, grow, increase, multiply, part, proliferate, separate, spread, subdivide.