demirep

Pronounced: DEM-ee-rep, noun

Notes: I ran across this word in a book


Yesterday’s word

The word bandersnatch is

  • a fast and ferocious wild creature
  • an uncouth or bizarre person
First usage

Our word came into English in the mid-1800s

Background / Comments

Our word was created by Lewis Carroll to refer to a fictional creature in Through the Looking-Glass, which was published in 1871.


Rejected word

I was considering the word inveigh (to protest or complain bitterly or vehemently; to rail), but I knew the definition and decided to skip it. The origin was also pretty standard. The most interesting thing is that the word ‘invective’ comes from the same root as our word.

bandersnatch

Pronounced: BAN-dur-snach, noun

Notes: A familiar word, but I didn’t know the meaning


Yesterday’s word

The word pansophy means “universal wisdom or knowledge”

First usage

Our word came into English in the mid-1600s

Background / Comments

Our word is a combination of pan-, from the Greek pâs (all, every) [the neuter form is pân (everything)] and -sophy, from the Greek word -sophia, a combining form of sophía (skill, wisdom). As I noted, I should have been able to figure out the meaning, since I was familiar with both Greek words pân and sophía.

pansophy

Pronounced: PAN-suh-fee, noun

Notes: I didn’t know the word, but I should have been able to work it out


Yesterday’s word

The word effable means “capable of being expressed”

First usage

Our word came into English in the mid-1600s

Background / Comments

The more common is ineffable; I was aware of that word, but not its meaning, so I couldn’t guess at our word’s meaning. Our word comes from the Latin word fari (to speak).

effable

Pronounced: EF-uh-bull, adj

Notes: This is a word you may know, but I didn’t


Yesterday’s word

The word prehensible means “able to be seized or grasped”

First usage

Our word came into English in the mid-1800s

Background / Comments

I confused our word with ‘prehensile’, and they have similar meanings: ‘prehensile’ means “adapted for seizing or grasping or taking hold of something” – see the meaning of our word above. Our word came from the Latin word prehēnsus, the past participle of prehendere (to seize), made of pre- (before) and hendere (to grasp) . By contrast, ‘prehensile’ came to us from French, and into French from the same Latin word as our word.

prehensible

Pronounced: prih-HEN-suh-bull, adj

Notes: I got this word unnecessarily confused with another word


Yesterday’s word

The word scrutable means “capable of being understood”

First usage

Our word came into English in the early 1600s

Background / Comments

We are all more familiar with ‘inscrutable’; I was not aware that scrutable was a word. It comes from the Latin word scrutari (to examine), which – oddly – comes from scruta (trash).

scrutable

Pronounced: SCREW-tuh-bull, adj

Notes: Another word that you can probably figure of the meaning of


Yesterday’s word

The word zoanthropy refers to “a mental disorder in which one believes oneself to be an animal”

First usage

Our word came into English in the mid-1800s

Background / Comments

As noted, many jokes begin with “Doctor, doctor! My wife/husband/brother thinks he’s a (animal)”. Such a condition is described by our word. Our word starts with zo-, but it is really zoo- (living being; animal), but when combining with a word starting with a vowel, the second ‘o’ is dropped. It comes from the Greek word zôion (animal). It is combined with -anthropy, which comes from the New Latin word anthrōpia, which comes from the Greek word ánthrōpos (man, in the class sense, referring to a human being).

zoanthropy

Pronounced: zoh-AN-thruh-pee, noun

Notes: The subject of many jokes


Yesterday’s word

The word clement mean “mild; gentle; lenient”

First usage

Our word came into English in the late 1400s

Background / Comments

Our word comes from the Latin word clemens (gentle; mild). The opposite word ‘inclement’ (normally used with weather) is much better known.


Rejected Word

I considered the word inkhorn (adj); while I enjoy this word, I was aware of it. This word started out as a noun; in the 1300s, an inkhorn was used to hold ink for quills or pens. Writing has been associated with scholarship back in the times when not everybody could read or write. Anyway, the adjective came about because it was associated with scholarly words (long words). It began to acquire a someone negative meaning; usually describing words used to show off knowledge or that are pedantic.

clement

Pronounced: KLEM-uhnt, adj

Notes: You may know this word


Yesterday’s word

The word commensal, as an adjective, means “eating together at the same table”. As a noun, it means “a table companion”

Note: This word also has a meaning in ecology: as an adjective, it means “organisms that live with, on, or in one another, without injury to either”. As a noun, it means an organism living this way.

First usage

Our word came into English in the mid- to late 1300s

Background / Comments

Our word came from Middle English, and in to Middle English from the Latin word commēnsālis, composed of com- (together) and mēnsālis (of, or pertaining to a table).

commensal

Pronounced: kuh-MEN-sull, adj/noun

Notes: I should have been able to get close to this definition (but I didn’t)


Yesterday’s word

The word peccable means “imperfect; flawed; capable of sinning”

First usage

Our word came into English in the early 1600s

Background / Comments

The more familiar word is ‘impeccable’ (without sin; perfect). I didn’t know that the opposite was a word, which is why I used it, even though you could guess the meaning if you thought of ‘impeccable’. Our word comes from the Latin word peccare (to err or sin). We get the word peccadillo from the the same source.

peccable

Pronounced: PECK-uh-bull, adj

Notes: If you don’t know this word, you can probably figure it out (I didn’t know this word existed)


Yesterday’s word

The word tenebrific means “producing darkness”

First usage

Our word came into English in the mid-1600s

Background / Comments

Our word is a potentially useful word; I’ve never run across it. It comes from the Latin word tenebrae (darkness).