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Strange words

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Re: Strange words

Notapor billpatt » Lun Abr 18, 2011 3:07 am

sward

PRONUNCIATION:
(sward)

MEANING:
noun: The grassy surface of land: turf.


ETYMOLOGY:
From Old English sweard (skin, rind).


USAGE:
"While one man's six might bring cheers from the crowd, it brings fear for Mike Robins and his neighbours. They live next to the green sward of Alphington Cricket Club."
Neighbours 'Under Siege' From Cricket Club's Hard And High Balls; Express & Echo (Exeter, UK); Aug 5, 2010.
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Re: Strange words

Notapor billpatt » Lun Abr 18, 2011 3:09 am

spinster

PRONUNCIATION:
(SPIN-stuhr)

MEANING:
noun:
1. A woman who has remained single beyond the usual age of marrying.
2. In law, a woman who has never married.
3. A woman whose occupation is spinning.


ETYMOLOGY:
From Middle English spinnestere (a woman who spins), from the fact that in earlier times spinning yarn was one of the jobs done by an unmarried woman.


USAGE:
"Goldy Notay is a spinster whose mother is desperate to find her a husband."
Sarah Lang; Plenty of Pasta Preparation for Curry-Killer Film; The New Zealand Herald (Auckland); Aug 22, 2010.

"Liu Wei has already been compared to Susan Boyle, an unemployed Scottish spinster who became a global phenomenon last year when she stunned judges with her performance."
Armless Man Plays Piano with Toes to Win Hearts in China; Agence France-Presse (Paris); Aug 18, 2010.
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Re: Strange words

Notapor billpatt » Lun Abr 18, 2011 3:10 am

dizen

PRONUNCIATION:
(DY-zuhn, DIZ-uhn)

MEANING:
verb tr.:
1. To attire with finery.
2. To dress or decorate in a gaudy manner.


ETYMOLOGY:
From Old English dis- (a bunch of flax on a distaff for spinning).


USAGE:
"Looking at Lily Savage's costumes, I was reminded of Carlyle's description of Madame Dubarry as a 'wonderfully dizened Scarlet-woman'."
Michael Billington; Aladdin: Sir Ian Proves There's Nothing Quite Like a (Panto) Dame; The Guardian (London, UK); Dec 20, 2004.
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Re: Strange words

Notapor billpatt » Lun Abr 18, 2011 3:12 am

subtile

PRONUNCIATION:
(SUT-l, SUB-tuhl)

MEANING:
adjective: Subtle: delicate; fine; not obvious; skillful.


ETYMOLOGY:
From Latin subtilis (finely woven), from sub- (under) + from tela (cloth on a loom). Ultimately from the Indo-European root teks- (to weave) that is also the source of text, tissue, tectonic, architect, technology.


USAGE:
"The fragrance is quite subtile."
Body scrubs; Coventry Evening Telegraph (UK); Nov 13, 2008.

"Sounds are too volatile and subtile for legal restraints; to enchain syllables, and to lash the wind, are equally the undertakings of pride."
Samuel Johnson; Preface to the English Dictionary; 1755.
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Re: Strange words

Notapor billpatt » Lun Abr 18, 2011 3:13 am

homespun

PRONUNCIATION:
(HOHM-spun)

MEANING:
adjective: Unsophisticated; unpolished; rustic.


ETYMOLOGY:
The word acquired its figurative meaning alluding to something made of yarn spun at home, one that's plain and coarse.


USAGE:
"I hope Britain never junks the homespun simplicity of basic biscuits for garish, fancy packets."
Oliver Thring; Consider the Biscuit; The Guardian (London, UK); Aug 10, 2010.
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Re: Strange words

Notapor billpatt » Lun Abr 18, 2011 3:17 am

emanate or M-N-8

PRONUNCIATION:
(EM-uh-nayt)

MEANING:
verb tr., intr.: To emit or to come out.


ETYMOLOGY:
From Latin emanare (to flow out), from ex- (out of) + manare (to flow).


USAGE:
"The head of the Vatican Museum has warned that dust and pollution from tourists visiting the Sistine Chapel could endanger its priceless artworks. 'Such a crowd... emanates sweat, breath, carbon dioxide, all sorts of dust,' he said."
Vatican Tourists 'Ruining Sistine Chapel'; The Independent (London, UK); Sep 10, 2010.
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Re: Strange words

Notapor billpatt » Lun Abr 18, 2011 3:19 am

deify or D-F-I

PRONUNCIATION:
(DEE-uh-fy)

MEANING:
verb tr.:
1. To make a god of.
2. To revere or idealize as a deity.


ETYMOLOGY:
From Latin deificare, from deus (god) + -ficare (to make), from facere (to make). Ultimately from the Indo-European root dyeu- (to shine) that is also the source of diva, divine, Jupiter, Jove, July, Zeus, and Sanskrit deva (god).


USAGE:
"India has given birth to so many reformers of organized religion that one wonders if it is a natural cycle: each of them shows common people the simple but neglected path to a personal faith, but they deify him into a divine status he never wanted, establishing an institution, and the circle begins all over again."
Ananda Lal; Spiritual Cycles; The Telegraph (Calcutta, India); Sep 11, 2010.
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Re: Strange words

Notapor billpatt » Mar May 31, 2011 9:20 am

extenuate or X-10-U-8

PRONUNCIATION:
(ik-STEN-yoo-ayt)

MEANING:
verb tr.
1. To reduce or attempt to reduce the severity of (an error, an offense, etc.) by making partial excuses for it.
2. To lessen or to make light of.


ETYMOLOGY:
From Latin extenuare (to lessen), from ex- (out) + tenuare (to make thin), from tenuis (thin). Ultimately from the Indo-European root ten- (to stretch), which is also the source of tense, tenet, tendon, tent, tenor, tender, pretend, extend, tenure, tetanus, hypotenuse, pertinacious, and detente.


USAGE:
"The apology made clear that Shaftari believed that nothing could extenuate the wrongs he had done."
Robert F. Worth; 10 Years After a Mea Culpa, No Hint of a 'Me, Too'; The New York Times; Apr 17, 2010.

"Big bust, small lower half -- wear fitted jeans and tuck in your blouse to extenuate your waist."
Lindsay Clydesdale; A to Zoe of Fashion; Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland); May 11, 2010.
No es más rico quien más tiene, sino quien menos necesita!
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Re: Strange words

Notapor billpatt » Mar May 31, 2011 9:22 am

elegy or L-E-G

PRONUNCIATION:
(EL-i-jee)

MEANING:
noun: A poem composed as a lament for the dead.


ETYMOLOGY:
Via French and Latin from Greek elegos (a mournful poem or song).


USAGE:
"Frederick Septimus Kelly wrote his best-known work, an elegy for string orchestra, in memory of his friend, poet Rupert Brooke."
Matthew Westwood; Lament for Fame's First Victim; The Australian (Sydney); Aug 18, 2006.
No es más rico quien más tiene, sino quien menos necesita!
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Re: Strange words

Notapor billpatt » Mar May 31, 2011 9:24 am

tedium or T-D-M

PRONUNCIATION:
(TEE-dee-uhm)

MEANING:
noun: The state or quality of being boring, monotonous, or repetitive.


ETYMOLOGY:
From Latin taedium, from taedere (to be weary).


USAGE:
"What at first seems sort of clever quickly turns into an exercise in exasperating tedium."
Brandon Fibbs; Coming of Age Movie is No 'Stand By Me'; The Gazette (Colorado Springs, Colorado); Sep 10, 2010.
No es más rico quien más tiene, sino quien menos necesita!
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