crinose

Pronounced: CRY-nohs (alt: KRIN-ohs), adj

Notes: A great word to know


Yesterday’s word

The word marmorean means “resembling marble or a marble statue, for example, in smoothness, whiteness, hardness, coldness, or aloofness”

First usage

Our word came into English in the mid-1600s

Background / Comments

Our word comes from the Latin word marmor (marble)

marmorean

Pronounced: mahr-MORE-ee-uhn, adj

Notes: Also spelled marmoreal; I think I’ve seen this word somewhere, but I didn’t know the definition


Yesterday’s word

The word favonian means

  • of, or pertaining to, the west wind
  • mild or favorable; propitious
First usage

Our word came into English in the mid-1600s

Background / Comments

Our word came from the Latin word Favōniānus (Favonius, the Roman personification of the west wind).

favonian

Pronounced: fuh-VOH-nee-uhn, adj

Notes: I think I’ve run across this word, but I didn’t know the meaning


Yesterday’s word

The word afflatus is “a creative impulse or inspiration”

First usage

Our word came into English in the mid-1600s

Background / Comments

Our word comes from the Latin word afflatus (a breathing on), from ad- (to) and flare (to blow).

afflatus

Pronounced: uh-FLAY-tuhs, noun

Notes: I don’t think I’ve ever run across this word


Yesterday’s word

The word panegyric means “a lofty oration or writing in praise of a person or thing; eulogy; formal or elaborate praise”

First usage

Our word came into English in the late 1500s

Background / Comments

I am pretty sure that I’ve run across this word in reading, but no definite book or character comes to mind. Rex Stout had quite a vocabulary and sprinkles his works (the Nero Wolfe novels) with interesting words, so it may have been him. However, it may have been Dorothy Sayers in the Lord Peter Wimsey books; it seems like the kind of word she might use. Our word comes from the Latin word panēgyricus (of or belonging to a public assembly), which came from the Greek word panēgyrikós, from pan- (all) and ēgyris (gathering)

panegyric

Pronounced: pan-ih-JIR-ick (alt: pan-ih-JAYE-rick), noun

Notes: I’ve run across this word, but couldn’t define it well


Yesterday’s word

The word chunter means “to mutter, grumble, or chatter”

First usage

Our word came into English in the late 1500s

Background / Comments

Our word is considered an imitative word – saying “chunter” several times run together in a low voice can sound like muttering.

chunter

Pronounced: CHUHN-tuhr, verb

Notes: I think I’ve run across this word, but I didn’t know the meaning


Yesterday’s word

The word gapeseed is mostly used in Britain and means

  • a person who gapes or stares in wonder; especially a rustic or unworldly person who is easily awed
  • a daydream or reverie
First usage

Our word came into English in the late 1500s

Background / Comments

I don’t think I’ve ever seen this word, but mostly being a British word, I haven’t heard it. Our word is a combination of gape (stare) and seed… I’m not sure what part seed plays in the meaning.

gapeseed

Pronounced: GAPE-seed (alt: GAP-seed), noun

Notes: It looks like “grapeseed”, but it is not related to it


Yesterday’s word

The word susurrate means “to make a whispering or rustling sound”

First usage

Our word came into English in the early 1600s

Background / Comments

I think this is a neat word. I ran across this in some Star Trek novel (I don’t remember which one; perhaps Strangers From the Sky) in which it describes the “susurration of the Vulcan heart”. Our word comes from the Latin word susurrare (to whisper or hum).

susurrate

Pronounced: SOO-suh-rate, verb

Notes: I don’t think this word is well known, but I have run across it


Yesterday’s word

The word nonesuch means “a person or thing without equal; paragon”

First usage

Our word came into usage in the late 1500s

Background / Comments

Our word is a combination of none and such. As I noted yesterday, I thought our word was an adjective meaning “unique” (as in “nonesuch ruler”). I’m not sure where I picked up this misapprehension.

nonesuch

Pronounced: NUN-such, noun

Notes: I thought this word was an adjective, not a noun


Yesterday’s word

The word gnar means “to snarl or growl”

First usage

Our word came into English in the late 1400s.

Background / Comments

It is thought to be of imitative origin (that gnar sounds like a snarl or growl).

gnar

Pronounced: nar

Notes: Also spelled gnarr. Another word I’ve no run across


Yesterday’s word

The word subrogate means

  • to put into the place of another; substitute for another
  • (in law) to substitute one person for another, with reference to a claim or right
First usage

The second definition above was the first meaning in the first half of the 1400s; the first meaning comes from the mid-1500s.

Background / Comments

I think I confused our word with subjugate (to bring under complete control). Our word came from late Middle English, which came from the Late Latin word subrogātus, a past participle of subrogāre (to nominate [someone] as a substitute), which is composed of sub- (below; under; beneath) and rogāre (to request).