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Strange words

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Moderadores: billpatt, Kilometro29

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Re: Strange words

Notapor billpatt » Mié Sep 28, 2011 3:14 am

fatuous

PRONUNCIATION:
(FACH-oo-uhs)

MEANING:
adjective: Foolish or inane, especially in a complacent and smug manner.


ETYMOLOGY:
From Latin fatuus (foolish). Earliest recorded use: 1633.


USAGE:
"You know it's patronising because every five minutes there is an utterly fatuous remark dressed up as profundity."
Amol Rajan; When Women Aren't on Top; The Independent (London, UK); Oct 13, 2010.
No es más rico quien más tiene, sino quien menos necesita!
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Re: Strange words

Notapor billpatt » Mié Oct 23, 2013 11:19 am

diktat


PRONUNCIATION:
(dik-TAT)
MEANING:
noun:
1. An order or decree imposed without popular consent.
2. A harsh settlement imposed upon a defeated party.
ETYMOLOGY:
From German Diktat (command, order), from Latin dictatum (something dictated), from dictare (to dictate), frequentative of dicere (to say). Ultimately from the Indo-European root deik- (to show, to pronounce solemnly), which is also the source of words such as judge, verdict, vendetta, revenge, indicate, dictate, paradigm, interdict and fatidic. Earliest documented use: 1922, in reference to the Treaty of Versailles of 1919, by Germany.
USAGE:
"Public participation in politics [in China] may not yet be approaching the raucousness in India, but it is equally incorrect to view the Chinese as obedient zombies silently following the State's every diktat."
Cultural Evolution; Hindustan Times (New Delhi, India); Dec 19, 2010.
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Re: Strange words

Notapor billpatt » Mié Oct 23, 2013 11:27 am

lebensraum


PRONUNCIATION:
(LAY-behns-roum)
MEANING:
noun: Space required for living, growth, and development.
ETYMOLOGY:
From German Lebensraum (living space), from Leben (life) + Raum (space). Earliest documented use: 1905.
NOTES:
The word became well-known after its association with Hitler and his policy of expansion into Eastern Europe. He claimed that additional living space was needed for Germany's continued existence and economic development.
USAGE:
"As for Turkey, after 1974, she created a Lebensraum in the north for the Turkish Cypriots and her settlers."
Murat Metin Hakki; Property Wars in Cyprus; Cyprus Mail (Nicosia); Mar 7, 2010.
sitzflei
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Re: Strange words

Notapor billpatt » Sab Oct 26, 2013 3:38 pm

sitzfleisch


PRONUNCIATION:
(SITZ-flaish, ZITS-)

MEANING:
noun:
1. The ability to sit through or tolerate something boring.
2. The ability to endure or persist in a task.

ETYMOLOGY:
[From German Sitzfleisch, from sitzen (to sit) + Fleisch (flesh). Earliest documented use: Before 1930.

NOTES:
Sitzfleisch is a fancy term for what's commonly known as chair glue: the ability to sit still and get through the task at hand. It's often the difference between, for example, an aspiring writer and a writer. Sometimes the word is used in the sense of the ability to sit out a problem -- ignore it long enough in the hope it will go away.

USAGE:
"Some prominent seats go to those with prominence. Others go to those with Sitzfleisch, like Representative Eliot L. Engel. Every year since 1989, the Bronx Democrat has won a prime spot at the State of the Union Address simply by showing up early and sitting in it."
Elizabeth Kolbert; An Aisle Seat In the House or the Titanic; The New York Times; Jan 30, 1998.
:wtf:
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Re: Strange words

Notapor billpatt » Sab Oct 26, 2013 3:41 pm

miasma


PRONUNCIATION:
(my-AZ-muh, mee-)
plural miasmas, miasmata (my-AZ-muh-tuh, mee-)

MEANING:
noun:
1. Noxious emissions: smoke, vapors, etc., especially those from decaying organic matter.
2. An oppressive or unpleasant atmosphere.

NOTES:
Earlier it was believed that many diseases were caused by bad air from decomposing organic matter, as in a swamp. Malaria, for example, is named from Italian mala aria (bad air). The germ theory of disease has put the bad air theory to rest.

ETYMOLOGY:
From Greek miasma (pollution, defilement), from miainein (to pollute). Earliest documented use: 1665.

USAGE:
"A miasma of smoke from wildfires cloaked the sweltering Russian capital."
Jim Heintz; Fires Lay Ghostly Shroud of Smoke on Moscow; Associated Press (New York); Aug 6, 2010.

"The region is still wobbling in the miasma of corruption."
Bobi Odiko; Region Still Wobbling in Corruption; East African Business Week (Tanzania); Aug 4, 2010.
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Re: Strange words

Notapor billpatt » Mié Oct 30, 2013 9:57 am

nubile


PRONUNCIATION:
(NOO-bil, -byl, NYOO-)

MEANING:
adjective
1. Sexually attractive (referring to a young woman).
2. Ready or suitable for marriage (referring to a young woman).

ETYMOLOGY:
From Latin nubere (to marry). Earliest documented use: 1642.

USAGE:
"Hillie is not some nubile young woman, but a 65-year-old mother-of-two."
Jill Foster; Can You Believe This Woman is 65?; Daily Mail (London, UK); May 9, 2011.
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Re: Strange words

Notapor billpatt » Mié Oct 30, 2013 9:59 am

penurious


PRONUNCIATION:
(puh-NOOR-ee-uhs, -NYOOR-)

MEANING:
adjective:
1. Extremely poor.
2. Extremely frugal or stingy.

ETYMOLOGY:
From Latin penuriosus (needy), from penuria (want, need). Earliest documented use: 1590.

USAGE:
"Precisely because authors are penurious, however, most of us supplement our income by reviewing."
Francis Wheen; The Hunting of the Snark; The Financial Times (London, UK); Aug 5, 2011.
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