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Strange words

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Strange words

Notapor billpatt » Mié Mar 24, 2010 1:43 am

bread and circuses

PRONUNCIATION:
(bred and SUR-kuh-sez)

MEANING:
noun: Things intended to keep people happy and to divert their attention from the problems.


ETYMOLOGY:
Translation of Latin term panis et circenses, from panis (bread) + et (and), circenses (circuses). The term originated in the satires of Roman poet Juvenal (c. 60-140). Circus refers to the circus games, such as chariot races, held in the Roman times. The term has been loan translated into many other languages. In Spanish, for example, it is pan y toros (bread and bullfights).


USAGE:
"Madrid has set up a series of summits that look a lot like bread and circuses for a domestic audience at time of economic misery."
John Vinocur; Still Waiting for a Brave New Europe; The New York Times; Jan 4, 2010.
Última edición por billpatt el Dom Abr 04, 2010 10:58 pm, editado 1 vez en total
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Re: Marzo - Strange words

Notapor billpatt » Mié Mar 24, 2010 1:44 am

moment of truth

PRONUNCIATION:
(MOH-muhnt of trooth)

MEANING:
noun: A crucial point; a turning point; a decisive moment.


ETYMOLOGY:
Loan translation of Spanish el momento de la verdad. In bullfighting, the moment when a matador is about to kill the bull is called el momento de la verdad.


USAGE:
"The moment of truth has arrived for the euro. The 16-nation monetary union faces its greatest test Wednesday in Athens, as the Greek government orders last-ditch radical cuts in hopes of preventing the eurozone's first debt default and a wider financial and monetary disaster."
Doug Saunders; Greece Set to Impose Austerity Measures; The Globe and Mail (Toronto, Canada); Mar 2, 2010.
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Re: Marzo - Strange words

Notapor billpatt » Jue Mar 25, 2010 8:39 am

God's acre

PRONUNCIATION:
(godz AY-kuhr)

MEANING:
noun: A cemetery, especially one next to a church.


ETYMOLOGY:
Loan translation of German Gottesacker, from Gott (God) + Acker (field). The allusion is that the bodies of the dead are sown in the field in hope of resurrection.


USAGE:
"Mourning strangers also came to weep anniversary tears at another cheerless God's acre."
Frank Keating; Ask Not For Whom the Bell Tolls, It Tolls For These; The Guardian (London, UK); Sep 26, 2006.
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Re: Marzo - Strange words

Notapor billpatt » Mar Mar 30, 2010 2:16 pm

realpolitik

PRONUNCIATION:
(ray-AHL-paw-li-teek, ree-)

MEANING:
noun: Politics guided by practical considerations, instead of principles or ethics.


ETYMOLOGY:
From German Realpolitik, from real (real, practical) + politik (politics).


USAGE:
"Also gone is Sarkozy's former mocking of realpolitik as a political cop-out of cynical diplomats without principles."
Bruce Crumley; Why France is Selling Warships to Russia; Time (New York); Mar 3, 2010.


"Under the strongman Soeharto and Cold War realpolitik pragmatism, Indonesia received large scale US military support that leapfrogged its defense capability among its Southeast Asian neighbors, despite widespread criticism from international civil rights groups."
Ristian Atriandi; Rethinking RI-US Military Ties; The Jakarta Post (Indonesia); Mar 17, 2010.
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Re: Marzo - Strange words

Notapor billpatt » Mar Mar 30, 2010 2:18 pm

gotterdammerung

PRONUNCIATION:
(got-uhr-DAM-uh-roong, -rung)

MEANING:
noun: Complete destruction of an institution, regime, order, etc.


ETYMOLOGY:
From German Götterdämmerung (twilight of the gods), from Götter, plural of Gott (god) + Dämmerung (twilight). Götterdämmerung was the name of the last of Richard Wagner's four operas titled Der Ring des Nibelungen (The Ring of the Nibelung). The German word Götterdämmerung is a translation of the Old Norse Ragnarök which in Scandinavian mythology refers to the destruction of the gods in a battle with evil, resulting in the end of the world. The term Ragnarök is from regin (gods) + rok (fate, course) confused by some with Ragnarökkr (literally, twilight of the gods).


USAGE:
"What began as the exuberant union of two college-age strivers is coming to a devastating end after 18 years, and the Gotterdammerung is being fought out not in court but inside the couple's perfect house."
Michelle Green; Dirty Divorcing; People (New York); Feb 19, 1990.
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Re: Marzo - Strange words

Notapor billpatt » Mar Mar 30, 2010 2:19 pm

paper tiger
PRONUNCIATION:
(PAY-puhr TY-guhr)

MEANING:
One who is outwardly strong and powerful but is in fact powerless and ineffectual.


ETYMOLOGY:
Translation of Chinese zhi lao hu, from zhi (paper) + lao hu (tiger).
The term is often used to describe countries. In 1956, Chairman Mao of China applied it to the US. Later it was used in the Western press to refer to China and its economy.


USAGE:
"But will it be another Arab paper tiger? 'I don't think much can be accomplished by merely meeting at an annual conference and issuing a list of recommendations,' Abu Zeid agrees."
Hadia Mostafa; A River Runs Through It; Egypt Today (Cairo); Jul 12, 2004.
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Re: Marzo - Strange words

Notapor billpatt » Vie Abr 02, 2010 10:19 pm

poltergeist

PRONUNCIATION:
(POHL-tuhr-gyst)

MEANING:
noun: A ghost that reveals its presence by making noises or throwing objects.


ETYMOLOGY:
From German Poltergeist, from poltern (to make noise, rattle) + Geist (ghost, spirit).


USAGE:
"The nearest Liverpool player was at least five yards away, meaning Emerson was trying to convince the referee he'd been tripped by a poltergeist."
Paul Doyle; Liverpool v Lille; The Guardian (London, UK); Mar 18, 2010.
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Re: Marzo - Strange words

Notapor billpatt » Vie Abr 02, 2010 10:20 pm

weltanschauung

PRONUNCIATION:
(VELT-ahn-shou-oong)

MEANING:
noun: World view; philosophy of life; a framework through which to interpret the world.


ETYMOLOGY:
From German Weltanschauung (world view), from Welt (world) + Anschauung (perception).


NOTES:
When we bring in a word from another language, sometimes we borrow it and at other times make a loan translation. The word weltanschauung appears so useful that English has borrowed the original form and also made a loan translation: world view.


USAGE:
"Gwyneth Paltrow summed up her weltanschauung thus: 'My life is good because I am not passive about it.'"
Richard Dorment; Gwyneth Paltrow Feels Good -- And So Can You; Esquire (New York); Sep 16, 2009.
No es más rico quien más tiene, sino quien menos necesita!
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Re: Marzo - Strange words

Notapor billpatt » Vie Abr 02, 2010 10:21 pm

bread and circuses

PRONUNCIATION:
(bred and SUR-kuh-sez)

MEANING:
noun: Things intended to keep people happy and to divert their attention from the problems.


ETYMOLOGY:
Translation of Latin term panis et circenses, from panis (bread) + et (and), circenses (circuses). The term originated in the satires of Roman poet Juvenal (c. 60-140). Circus refers to the circus games, such as chariot races, held in the Roman times. The term has been loan translated into many other languages. In Spanish, for example, it is pan y toros (bread and bullfights).


USAGE:
"Madrid has set up a series of summits that look a lot like bread and circuses for a domestic audience at time of economic misery."
John Vinocur; Still Waiting for a Brave New Europe; The New York Times; Jan 4, 2010.
No es más rico quien más tiene, sino quien menos necesita!
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billpatt
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Re: Marzo - Strange words

Notapor billpatt » Vie Abr 02, 2010 10:22 pm

cloud-cuckoo-land or cloud cuckoo land

PRONUNCIATION:
(KLOUD-koo-koo-land)

MEANING:
noun: An idealized, unrealistic state; a place out of touch with reality.


ETYMOLOGY:
Loan translation of Greek Nephelokokkugia, from nephele (cloud) + kokkux (cuckoo). The word was coined in The Birds, a comedy by Athenian playwright Aristophanes (c. 450-388 BCE). Nephelokokkugia was the name of a city in the sky, built by the birds in collaboration with some Athenians.


USAGE:
"'Retirement at 58 is cloud cuckoo land for most private sector workers, many of whom find their pension savings shot to pieces,' said Lord Oakeshott."
Holly Watt; The Million Pound Pension Pots of the Mandarins; The Daily Telegraph (London, UK); Jan 1, 2010.
No es más rico quien más tiene, sino quien menos necesita!
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