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Weird Word of the Week Weird Word of the Week

Friday 22 January 2021
Ab Vrbe Condita 2774

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01/17/2021



Bistre (noun)

A brownish yellow pigment [bistre] made from boiled chimney soot. The ideal raw material was beechwood.
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01/10/2021: Resile (verb) To reverse from an agreement, to recant a previously held belief, to shrink or recoil, or to return to one’s original dimension after being stretched
01/03/2021: Fulgurous (adjective) Brilliant, dazzling, or flashing. Fulgurites, for example, are branch-shaped tubes that form when lightning strikes sand and fuses it into a glass.
12/27/2020: Rantoon (noun) Nineteenth century tricycle with a single steerable small wheel in front and two large side-by-side wheels behind
12/20/2020: Pycnostyle (adjective) The architectural quality of having columns very closely spaced — one and a half diameters between them or less (which I imagine would discourage all but the skinniest burglars)
12/13/2020: Autotomy (noun) The ability of some animals to sacrifice a body part in order to escape from a predator. Many lizards can do this; but at least one mammal, the dormouse, also has this talent.
12/06/2020: Cubane (noun) A molecule first synthesized in 1964, C8H8, consisting of a cube defined at each corner by a carbon atom and a projecting hydrogen atom. It’s a transparent solid that melts at 131°C (268°F) but boils only a few degrees warmer.
11/29/2020: Gyrovague (noun) A monk who travels from place to place seeking out spiritual novelty
11/22/2020: Florisugent (adjective) Sucking nectar from flowers. Hummingbirds, bees, and many moths and butterflies are florisugent.
11/15/2020: Tartuffery (noun) The expression of sentiments or beliefs greatly exceeding or contrary to those one actually holds. Synonyms: sanctimony, pharisaicalness, pecksniffery (from Charles Dickens)
11/08/2020: Nidor (noun) The smell of burning animal fat
11/01/2020: Mithridatize (verb) To build up an immunity to a particular poison by dosing oneself with it incrementally
10/25/2020: Stendhal syndrome (noun) A pathological attack of rapture, which may include dizziness and hallucinations, suffered by many who travel to foreign lands and take in too much beautiful religious artwork
10/18/2020: Antelucan (adjective) Pertaining to the pre-dawn hours
10/11/2020: Dactylion (noun) The tip of the middle finger
10/04/2020: Toponomastic (adjective) Relating to the origin of place-names
09/27/2020: Opisthenar (noun) The back of the hand. (“I know this town like my opisthenar.”)
09/20/2020: Billingsgate (noun) Abusive or vulgar language. Derived from Billingsgate, an old London fish market where people supposedly swore a lot.
09/13/2020: Belletristic (adjective) Of writing that aspires to be aesthetically perfect (optimal rhythm, not repeating the same word too often, etc.), with less emphasis on actual content. Author Gustave Flaubert, for example, was noted for this.
09/06/2020: Panjandrum (noun) A rolling rocket-propelled device resembling a cable spool developed experimentally as a weapon by the British military during World War II. Also, a person who affects an air of authority — deserved or otherwise.
08/30/2020: Blodder (verb) To flow from a small opening with a gurgling sound
Lester del Rey
Joseph Mankiewicz
Sara Teasdale
Sappho of Eresos
Mason “Parson” Weems
Rudyard Kipling
Sir J.M. Barrie
Gilbert Keith Chesterton
Larry Niven
Herman Melville
EE Cummings
<span class="generic-slide-caption" style="width:184px;"><i>When you read a review, at the very first unfavorable adjective, read no more and throw it away.<br><br><aside>Lester del Rey</aside></i></span> <span class="generic-slide-caption" style="width:178px;"><i>The difference between life and the movies is that a script has to make sense, and life doesn’t.<br><br><aside>Joseph Mankiewicz</aside></i></span> <span class="generic-slide-caption" style="width:176px;"><i>I make the most of all that comes and the least of all that goes.<br><br><aside>Sara Teasdale</aside></i></span> <span class="generic-slide-caption" style="width:173px;"><i>Beauty endures only for as long as it can be seen; goodness, beautiful today, will remain so tomorrow.<br><br><aside>Sappho of Eresos</aside></i></span> <span class="generic-slide-caption" style="width:177px;"><i>Historical fancy is more persistent than historical fact (said of him, not by him).<br><br><aside>Mason “Parson” Weems</aside></i></span> <span class="generic-slide-caption" style="width:166px;"><i>Never look backwards or you’ll fall down the stairs.<br><br><aside>Rudyard Kipling</aside></i></span> <span class="generic-slide-caption" style="width:177px;"><i>I know not, sir, whether Bacon wrote the works of Shakespeare; but if he did not, it seems to me that he missed the opportunity of his life.<br><br><aside>Sir J.M. Barrie</aside></i></span> <span class="generic-slide-caption" style="width:156px;"><i>“My country, right or wrong,” is a thing that no patriot would think of saying except in a desperate case. It is like saying, ‘My mother, drunk or sober.’<br><br><aside>Gilbert Keith Chesterton</aside></i></span> <span class="generic-slide-caption" style="width:178px;"><i>The only universal message in science fiction: There exist minds that think as well as you do, but differently. Corollary: The gene-tampered turkey you’re talking to isn’t necessarily one of them.<br><br><aside>Larry Niven</aside></i></span> <span class="generic-slide-caption" style="width:166px;"><i>It is not down in any map; true places never are.<br><br><aside>Herman Melville</aside></i></span> <span class="generic-slide-caption" style="width:174px;"><i>The world is mud-luscious and puddle-wonderful.<br><br><aside>EE Cummings</aside></i></span>

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