denegation

Pronounced: deh-nih-GAY-shun, noun

Notes: A simpler definition that I thought


Yesterday’s word

The word paries is “a wall of a body part or cavity”

First usage

Our word came into English in the late 1600s

Background / Comments

I cannot recall ever running across this word; however, it is related to the word “parietal”, which I have heard in some mystery stories (I think “parietal lobe”). Anyway, our word comes from the Latin word paries (wall).

paries

Pronounced: PAR-ee-eez, noun

Notes: This word has an odd plural (parietes)


Yesterday’s word

The word palisade means

  • a fence of stakes especially for defense
  • a long strong stake pointed at the top
  • a line of bold cliffs
First usage

Our word came into English in the late 1500s

Background / Comments

I happen to know the first definition because of a strategy game called “Age of Empires II” – one of the types of early defense that can be built is a palisade wall. There is a line of cliffs along the western bank of the Hudson River in southeastern New York and northern New Jersey, presumably because the cliffs resemble rows of stakes or trees. Although who first created the name is unknown, the meaning has generally spread to the third definition above, whether or not they look like a stakes or not. Our word came into English from the French word palissade, which came from the Latin word palus (stake).

palisade

Pronounced: pah-luh-SADE, noun

Notes: I knew one of the definitions


Yesterday’s word

The word quale means “a quality or property as perceived by a person; a subjective experience”

First usage

Our word came into English in the mid-1600s

Background / Comments

Our word came from the Latin word qualis (or what kind).

quale

Pronounced: KWA-lee (alt: KWA-lay), noun

Notes: Interesting plural form (qualia); not a word I knew


Yesterday’s word

The word mithridate is “an antidote against poison; especially a confection held to be effective against poison”

First usage

Our word came into English in the 1500s

Background / Comments

It wasn’t until I read the etymology that our word sounded familiar. Around three months ago, we have a similar word, with the same background – mithridatism and, almost a year ago, we had mithridatize. And yet the meaning of our word is slightly different. Since I’ve given the story twice, I won’t repeat it again; you can read about Mithridates the Great in those links.

mithridate

Pronounced: MITH-ruh-date, noun

Notes: This word made me think of “mithril”, the fictional metal invented by J. R. R. Tolkien


Yesterday’s word

The word bema is

  • a platform for speaking
  • an area around the altar in a place of worship
First usage

Our word came into English in the late 1600s

Background / Comments

Our word comes from the Greek word bema (step; platform), which comes from bainein (to go). I had a vague idea of the meaning from listening to Bible teaching: it says, concerning believers, that they “must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ”. The word “judgment seat” is our our word bema; in context, it refers to the Greek athletic contests (the Isthmian games) in which judges carefully watched the contestants to ensure that they obeyed all the rules of the contest. The lawful winner was led by a judge to a platform called bema, where he received a laurel wreath. In completeness, bema is also used in the gospels and Acts to refer to the platform where a Roman ruler sat to make decisions or pass judgment.

bema

Pronounced: BEE-muh, noun

Notes: I had a vague notion of the meaning


Yesterday’s word

The word algid means “cold”

First usage

Our word came into English in the early 1600s

Background / Comments

Our word is the only English word that comes from the Latin word alg─ôre (to feel cold). Our word is also used to describe a severe form of malaria, marked by prostration, cold and clammy skin, and low blood pressure.

algid

Pronounced: AL-juhd, adj

Notes: Another in a long list of words I don’t know


Yesterday’s word

The word pangram is “a sentence that uses all of the letters of the alphabet”

First usage

Our word came into English in the mid-1800s

Background / Comments

Probably the most famous pangram (at least for those that took typing class) is “The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog.” Another one I rather like (but I had to look it up) is “My girl wove six dozen plaid jackets before she quit.” Our word comes from two Greek words: pan- (all) combined with -gram (something written).

pangram

Pronounced: PAN-gram (alt: PAN-gruhm; PANG-gram), noun

Notes: I didn’t know this word when I first came across it, but I know it now


Yesterday’s word

The word taradiddle means

  • a small lie; a fib
  • pretentious nonsense
First usage

Our word came into English in the late 1700s

Background / Comments

Our word is used informally. I knew the first definition; it was used in the Lord Peter Wimsey story Clouds of Witness by Dorothy Sayers. I was not aware of the second definition. The origin of our word is uncertain.

taradiddle

Pronounced: tar-uh-DID-uhl, noun

Notes: I’ve run across this word in reading, and I knew one of the definitions


Yesterday’s word

The word disseise means “to deprive especially wrongfully of seisin; dispossess”

First usage

Our word came into English in the early 1200s.

Background / Comments

Our word is one of those irritating dictionary entries that define a word using another form of the word: I had to look up “seisin” (this refers to land or chattel — chattel is movable personal property). Our word was used in the Magna Carta (1215) thus: “No free man shall be… disseised… except by the lawful judgment of his peers or by the law of the land”. Our word comes from the Anglo-French word seisir (to put in possession of).

disseise

Pronounced: dih-SEEZ (alt: diss-SEEZ), verb

Notes: It sounds like “disease”, but isn’t related


Yesterday’s word

The word bletting means “the ripening of fruit, especially of fruit stored until the desired degree of softness is attained”.

First usage

Our word is one of the rare ones that I cannot find out when it came into English

Background / Comments

Our word is near the end of the not-very-good calendar of words; this time, they listed the word as a verb, even though their own definition was that of a noun. It looks to be the gerund of “blet”, but “blet” is not a verb either (as least, not that I could find). Our word comes from the French word blet (overripe), which is considered to be a variant of the Old French word bleche, which is an adjective that comes from the verb blecier (to bruise).