Give me books, fruit, french wine and fine weather and a little music out of doors. --John Keats

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Words of the Day

In today's list, the first word is the only one that comes with its original sentence. Without much to go on, I'm pretty clueless about the other four, so you are welcome to sit at home and singger about me. Especially you Australians, when you get to number five.


1. Imbricated. Another one from We Were the Mulvaneys. "Nothing progresses in a straight line, it's more--well, imbricated. The way a roofer lays tiles, shingles, overlapping one another, for strength." That's my guess right there. Webster says: Overlapping of edges. A good visual: fish scales! Which brings me to another interesting word: Squamatology. That is the study of scales. I felt bad taking a point for "imbricated" since the definition was right there in the sentence, but because I also learned "squamatology," I don't feel bad anymore. One point!

2. Trenchant. I want to say this means stubborn, but maybe I am getting it mixed up with intractable. Don't ask me how. Webster says: I was definitely getting it mixed up because "trenchant" has absolutely nothing to do with "stubborn." It means keen, sharp, vigorously effective and articulate, caustic, sharply perceptive, penetrating, clear-cut, distinct. Gosh, I feel like I was so far off that I ought to get negative points for that one. But I won't. 

3. Peripatetic. I don't recall where I saw this word, but it was used to describe the life of a halftime show emcee. I have no clue what sort of life that might be. I know "peri" means "around" or "near," and I know what pathetic means, but not -patetic. Maybe halftime show emcees like to hang around craft services and eat the pâté. Somehow I don't think that's a very close guess. Webster says: pedestrian, itinerant; movement or journeys hither and thither. A peripatetic is given to traveling from place to place by walking. So, perhaps kind of like a nomad with a schedule? Not surprisingly, it has nothing to do with pâté. Zero points. 

But this one comes with a bonus definition too. If it's capitalized, Peripateticism refers to Aristotelianism, which applies to those who followed the teachings of Aristotle. The word comes from the peripatoi (colonnades) of the Lyceum where the followers met, though later legend suggests it was related to Aristotle's "alleged habit of walking while lecturing." 

4. Eidetic. When I wrote this down, I thought maybe it meant amazing or detailed. Or amazingly detailed? Looking at it now, it could be anything, though it is probably not related to eiderdown. Webster says: Marked by or involving extraordinarily accurate and vivid recall, especially of visual images. In other words, my memory would not be described as eidetic. But I think my guess was pretty close, which brings me up to two points. 

5. Bollocky. My original, context-related guess was that this meant "naked." But isn't bollocky more like "gutsy" or "ballsy"? Of course, in certain situations you'd have to be pretty gutsy to be naked. Webster says: Nothing. What a prude. Off to the internet in search of a definition. Slang-dictionary.com says it's a variation of bollock-naked, so it would appear that my original guess was correct. Sure would like to know which book I found that one in. But I'd say this gives me a third point, anyway. To sort of paraphrase the immortal words of Meatloaf, three out of five ain't bad. 

A final word-thought for the day: wouldn't it be cool if the word "palindrome" could actually be one?

3 comments:

Brenna said...

Good point about the word "palindrome". I feel like it would be cool if it were one, but it's still a really awesome word in and of itself. Thanks again for sharing these words!

Coffee and a Book Chick said...

Ha, I enjoy the word "bollocky!" :)

Kathy said...

Brenna--I am glad that I am not the only one who enjoys Words of the Day!

Natalie--do you actually use the word "bollocky"? I thought it was pretty uncommon in our country, but maybe I'm wrong. I would start using it, but I guess I don't need a synonym for "naked" all that often, plus I figured no one here would know what I was talking about. They know "nekkid."