Tag: Noun

Weird Word: Austerity

by on Oct.07, 2013, under Articles, Weird Words, Writing

Austerity

Noun

  • Severity of manners or life; extreme rigor or strictness; harsh discipline.
  • Freedom from adornment; plainness; severe simplicity.
  • A policy of deficit-cutting, lower spending, and a reduction in the amount of benefits and public services provided.
  • Sourness and harshness to the taste.

Other Forms:

  • austerities

Example Usage:

“I’ve held myself to the strictest austerity I know,” he said as he settled into the bubble bath, careful not to spill his Chinon.

SourceWiktionary

Commentary:

While I imagine most people are familiar with the word austere, I found that austerity has a few more meanings than its root word, which I found interesting. While the root word is very generic, being an adjective, the more specific meanings of the noun is interesting to me. Austerity refers particularly to taste, livelihood, or a particular economic policy, as well as the noun form of the root word. While perhaps not as useful as the word austere, austerity has an austerity I rather like.

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Weird Word: Docent

by on Sep.30, 2013, under Articles, Free Write, Writing

Docent

Adjective

  • Instructive; that teaches.

Noun

  • A teacher or lecturer at some American colleges or universities.
  • A tour guide at a museum, art gallery, historical site, etc.

Other Forms:

  • docents

Example Usage:

It was a docent chip that one inserted directly into the port installed directly behind the ear which allowed the brain direct access to nearly all the information stored on it.

SourceWiktionary

Commentary:

Also a Dutch, Polish, and Swedish word, chiefly in the noun form but with the same meaning, except for the tour guide, which is apparently U.S. exclusive. I’m not sure I’ve ever heard this word with my own ears but I feel like it has significant potential, like the example usage, for adjective based descriptions of futuristic technologies. At least I hope so, as I’d prefer a future with more education than one with less.

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Weird Word: Sesquipedalian

by on Sep.09, 2013, under Articles, Weird Words, Writing

Sesquipedalian

Noun

  • A long word.
  • A person who uses long words.

Adjective

  • (of a word or words) long; polysyllabic.
  • Pertaining to or given to the use of overly long words.

Example Usage:

I used to like sesquipedalian words, until I had to start using the word sesqu- I give up.

SourceWiktionary

Commentary:

Wow. If there is another word that best embodies its meaning, I’m not sure I will ever come across it. This is even better than pernicious from a few weeks. In this day an age we use  polysyllabic or long-winded but this tongue twisting, finger twisting word needs some serious revival if only for the novelty of how self-referential it is!

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Weird Word: Pedant

by on Aug.26, 2013, under Articles, Weird Words, Writing

Pedant

Noun

  • (obsolete) A teacher or schoolmaster.
  • A person who is overly concerned with formal rules and trivial points of learning.
  • A person who emphasizes his/her knowledge through the use of vocabulary.

Other Forms:

  • pedantic
  • pedantry

Example Usage:

I wouldn’t say I was a pedant, it was simply that diction one spoke was an expression not unlike what one choose to wear or who they choose to stab to death. It defines their character.

SourceWiktionary

Commentary:

You are likely more familiar with the other forms of this word, pedantic and pedantry. I’ve often heard people say the word pedantic usually to mean overly boring. That is one of the more popular and modern meanings but strangely I did not see this meaning in the word’s noun form, which I feel helps Pedant make the cut as a weird word. Its obsolete meaning of schoolmaster is also pretty amusing.

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Weird Word: Ersatz

by on Aug.19, 2013, under Articles, Weird Words, Writing

Ersatz

Adjective

  • Made in imitation; artificial, especially of an inferior quality.

Noun

  • Something made in imitation; an effigy or substitute.

Example Usage:

The jewel was an ersatz in every detail, except for a small crack beneath the setting that held it. No one would ever suspect.

SourceWiktionary

Commentary:

Ah the lovely letter z. We don’t really see enough of the letter z in my opinion. It’s a nice uncomplicated letter, save that it is far too close to the letter s in some respects, but it is easier for some to write than the s. Here we have both letters in one extremely odd-looking word. This is actually a German or French word, except that it is also in English, obviously I can’t say I’ve ever heard it spoken I do not believe. Still I think it would make a great weird word to use both in its actual form and perhaps as a name for a character.

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Weird Word: Tierce

by on Jul.29, 2013, under Articles, Weird Words, Writing

Tierce

Noun

  • A cask whose content is one third of a pipe; that is, forty-two wine gallons; also, a liquid measure of forty-two wine, or thirty-five imperial, gallons.
  • A cask larger than a barrel, and smaller than a hogshead or a puncheon, in which salt provisions, rice, etc., are packed for shipment.
  • In music, the third tone of the scale. See mediant.
  • In cardgames, a sequence of three playing cards of the same suit. Tierce of ace, king and queen is called tierce-major.
  • In fencing, the third defensive position, with the sword hand held at waist height, and the tip of the sword at head height.
  • In heraldry, an ordinary that covers the left or right third of the field of a shield or flag.
  • For Roman Catholics, it is the third hour of the day, or nine a. m,; one of the canonical hours; also, the service appointed for that hour.
  • A long time ago, it used to mean one sixtieth of a second, i.e., the third in a series of fractional parts in a sexagesimal number system. (Also known as a third.)

Example Usage:

“You get those tierces well and stowed. Any leaks and it’ll come out of just more than your pay!” the cargo master warned.

SourceWiktionary

Commentary:

Tierce is a word that gets around. Everybody wants to use tierce in their own private slang. Wineries, music, fencing, etc. Its is almost surprising that I hadn’t heard the word use before in actual conversation. Perhaps all of these professions are just jealous, wanting to keep the use of tierce very terse. Sorry I couldn’t stop myself. Plus I kept typing terse instead of tierce.

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Weird Word: Recidivism

by on Jul.22, 2013, under Articles, Weird Words, Writing

Recidivism

Noun

  • Committing new offenses after being punished for a crime.
  • Chronic repetition of criminal or other antisocial behavior.

Other forms:

  • recidivate (v)
  • recidivist (n)
  • recidivistic (adj)
  • recidivous (adj)

SourceWiktionary

Example Usage:

While the perpetrator had no history of recidivism, his particular age group was well stereotyped as repeat offenders. One could never trust a child near the cookie jar.

Commentary:

What I love about this word is how many times the letter i appears in it. Three times. Sure one of those ‘i’s is due to a postfix, but I still count it. Three eyes with two letters between them, just sticking straight up. Rather than repeating this word over and over I decided to add the other forms section. Based upon the above definition I imagine most of you can guess what the others mean, and if not just visit the source link!

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Weird Word: Unguent

by on Jul.15, 2013, under Articles, Weird Words, Writing

Unguent

Noun

  • Any cream containing medicinal ingredients applied to the skin for therapeutic purposes

Example Usage:

The room suddenly stank with an unidentifiable odor almost immediately after she cracked the jar. Covering his nose and mouth he mumbled, “What is that?” She spooned several of it into the bowl with the other considerably more benign ingredients.

“The key to the entire thing. You want your skin as white as snow or not?” she snapped, “Now go strip and lay down on that chair!”

SourceWiktionary

Commentary:

My very first massage experience, the masseuse used some type of oil or cream that left me feeling grimy for the rest of the day, which was luckily only an hour because I immediately took a shower when I went home. She didn’t use the word unguent but it looks like a word that would fit the experience. Supposedly good for me but vaguely repellent.

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Weird Word: Appellation

by on Jul.08, 2013, under Articles, Weird Words, Writing

Appellation

Noun

  • A name, title or designation.
  • An indication for wine that describes its geographic origin.

Example Usage:

“We have given him the appellation of  ‘left steerage'” the steward said before being interrupted.

“You gave him what?” the general asked in a startled manner.

“An appellation, sir. A title to denote his station,” the steward explained.

“Oh I see. For a second I thought you were implying you had grown him in the steerage! Ha!” the general laughed boisterously, giving the steward a slap on the back before motioning him to continue.

SourceWiktionary

Commentary:

I do wonder if this word has some relation to the word lapel. I keep thinking of lapels when I see this word. A fancier word than ‘title’ but less technical than ‘designation’, appellation seems like one of those happy words you’d use when rewarding someone with a promotion that isn’t that very important. I can’t claim that is true but it seems that way to me.

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Weird Word: Mendacious

by on Jul.01, 2013, under Articles, Weird Words, Writing

Mendacious

Noun

  • lying, untruthful or dishonest
  • false or untrue

Used in a sentence:

  • Determining if the man was mendacious or just a lousy speaker.

SourceWiktionary

Commentary:

This is no bodacious but it’s not the exactly opposite either. But remembering bodacious might help you remember mendacious. I actually wonder if this word is a little sexist, as if it is trying to claim that all men are liars or dishonest. That might also help you remember if you lean that way! That side it is a fun word to say, if only for the -dacious part.

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