garderobe

Pronounced: GAR-drobe, noun

Note: Not a robe to be worn in a garden

Yesterday’s word

The word fabulist means

  • a writer of teller of fables
  • a liar
Background

The word comes from French fabuliste, which came from Latin fabula (talk, tale, legend)

First usage

The word showed up in the late 1500s.

fabulist

Pronounced: FA-byoo-list, noun

Note: For some reason, I keep associating this word with ‘magician’ (but that’s not correct).

Yesterday’s word

The word fleer means “a word of look of derision or mockery”

Background

The word is Scandinavian in origin; it is kin to the Norwegian word flire (to giggle). It showed up in Middle English as the verb fleryen (to laugh, grin, or grimace in a coarse manner).

First usage

The noun first appeared in Shakespeare’s Othello (early 1600s)

fleer

Pronounced: flihr, noun

Notes: I thought this was flee-uhr, one who flees, but… nope

Yesterday’s word

The word morbidezza means “an extreme softness, smoothness, or delicacy, especially in words of art, sculpture, music, etc.

Background

The word comes (as you may think) from Italian morbidezza (softness, smoothness), which comes from morbido (soft, smooth). It came into Italian from Latin, and how the meaning shifted is weird: in Latin, morbidus means ‘diseased’.

First used

The word showed up in the early 1600s.

morbidezza

Pronounced: more-bih-DET-suh, noun

Note: I tried to parse this word to guess the meaning, and was wrong

Yesterday’s word

The word skirl is related to bagpipes; it means

  • to emit the high shrill tone of the chanter; also, to give forth music
  • to play [music, if you’ll forgive the word] on the bagpipe
Background

Not every musical instrument has its very own verb — but then again, there is nothing quite like a bagpipe. Some people classify the sound made by a bagpipe as ‘music’; others say it is more of a shriek than music… and that is the origin of the word: skirl was first used to shrieking maids or winds, etc. Since it was first used (presumably disparagingly) of bagpipes, the meaning has shifted and it is no longer an offensive description of bagpipe playing.

First used

Scottish poet Robert Sempill first applied the word to bagpipes in the mid-1600s.

skirl

Pronounced: skuhrl (alternatively, skuhr-uhl), verb

Note: Some people (I’m thinking Caroline Buck or Cindy Haw) might know this word, but it was new to me

Yesterday’s word

The word aggrate means “to please or gratify”

Background

The word comes from Italian aggradare (to please), which itself came from Latin aggratare, having a root of gratus (pleasing or grateful).

First usage

The word showed up in the late 1500s

aggrate

Pronounced: uh-GRATE, verb

Note: I keep seeing “aggregate” when I see this word, and so I guessed the wrong meaning

Yesterday’s word

The word hypaethral means

  • having a roofless central space
  • open to the sky
Background

The ancient Roman architect and engineer Vitruvius used the Latin word hypaethrus to describe temples in which the cella (the part of the template hosing an image of the deity) was wholly or partially uncovered. The word was crafted from Greek hypo- (under or beneath) and aith─ôr (air or heaven).

First usage

This word came into English in the late 1700s

hypaethral

Pronounced: hi-PEA-thruhl, adj

Yesterday’s word

The word antigodlin means

  • out of line; lopsided; out of whack
  • diagonal
Background

The origin is uncertain; it supposedly is used in the American south; as far as I know, I’ve never heard anyone use this word. It is thought to come from anti- (against) plus goggling/goggle (to look obliquely). It may also derive from “against God”.

First usage

This word showed up in the early 1900s.

antigodlin

Pronounced: an-tih-GOD-lin, adj

Note: I’ve never heard this word, but it originates it the American south, so maybe some of you will know it.

Yesterday’s word

The word orgulous means “proud; haughty”

Background

The word comes from Anglo-French orguillus.

First used

This word originally came over in the 1200s, and was used by Shakespeare (in “Troilus and Cressida”), but then the word doesn’t seem to have been used until it was used by Sir Walter Scott and Robert Southey in the early 1800s and is still used by writers today.

orgulous

Pronounced: OR-gyuh-luhs, adj

Note: Another handy to know; you can call someone this and they won’t know if it’s an insult or not

Yesterday’s word

The word tourbillion means “a whirlwind or whirlpool”

Background

This word is fairly well traveled; it came from French tourbillion (whirlwind), but this came from Latin (and you may have picked up on it) turbo (spinning top, whirl), which itself came from Greek turbe (turmoil, confusion).

First usage

This word came into English in the late 1400s.

tourbillion

Pronounced: toor-BILL-yuhn, noun

Note: It’s not going on a lot of tours…

Yesterday’s word

The word temporize means:

  • to act to suit the time or occasion : yield to current or dominant opinion
  • to draw out discussions or negotiations so as to gain time
Background

I was familiar with the second definition (what we term ‘stalling’). You probably recognize the part of the word comes from Latin tempus (time). The word actually comes from the Medieval Latin word temporizare (to pass the time). Yesterday’s word has a somewhat negative connotation.

First usage

This word showed up in the late 1500s.