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.

temporize

Pronounced: TEM-puh-rize, verb

Note: This is a “borderline” word; I have run across it and had a sense of the meaning, but wasn’t quite right.

Yesterday’s word

The word lustrate means

  • “to purify by means of rituals or ceremonies”
  • “To remove undesirable people from an organization, especially in an abrupt or violent manner”
Background

My instincts about this word were correct; it does have the root of “light”; it comes from Latin lustrare “to make bright”. It contains the root word meaning “light”. I suppose (though the material I have doesn’t say) that when something was purified, it was brighter, and that is how that sense came to be.

First Usage

This word showed up in the early 1600s.

lustrate

Pronounced: LUHS-trate, verb

Note: When I saw this word, I saw the ‘lus-‘ and thought it had something to do with light… not quite right.

Yesterday’s word

The word espi├Ęgle means “frolicsome; roguish”

Background

The word comes from the French language, as you might think. It is a corruption of Ulespiegle – the French name for a peasant German prankster, Till Eulenspiegel. The tales of this prankster were translated into French and then English in the mid-1500s, but our word didn’t show up until later (see below).

First usage

Sir Walter Scott introduced the word in the 1800s, and other writers began using it.

repeat, iterate, reiterate

As a kind of Christmas present, I’m posting this not-quite-a-vocabulary word entry. I know the meaning of all of these words, but there are shades of meaning that I found interesting.

The word repeat means to do something again, or to have something happen again. Note that only one recurrence is enough to be a considered a repeat.

The word iterate, however, implies a larger set. It implies repetition in a bit of an impersonal way. In programming, one can iterate over a set of data, performing the same steps on each item.

The word reiterate implies a sense of repetition with weariness.

The word repeat came into English first, in the mid-1300s; oddly enough, reiterate was next, in the 1400s, followed by iterate in the mid-1500s.

I found the information about interesting, and thus a good candidate for this site.

resistentialism (example entry)

This is an example of the kind of entries I do. I chose this entry because the background information was particularly interesting to me.

I’d appreciate feedback on the layout; I have a lot more options for formatting here than I have on Facebook.

Pronounced: rih-zis-TEN-shul-iz-um

Type of speech: noun

Comment: This word is hard to take seriously, but many workers firmly believe in it (that’s all I’ll say until I give the definition tomorrow).

Yesterday’s word

The word bissextile year means “a leap year”.

Background

This word has an interesting history: When Julius Caesar reformed the calendar, he added a day to February every four years (as we still do); however, he added it after the 24th day of February. In the Roman system, the days toward the end of the month were reckoned by counting backward from the first of the following month. In addition, the Romans counted both beginning and ending days. Thus, the 24th of February was six days before 01 March, and was thus known as ‘sextus’ (sixth day). In leap year, there was a second ‘sextus’, or ‘bissextus’… and thus our word, even though we today have the extra day at the end of February, making the origin odd.

Usage

This word came into English in the late 1500s.