cherydactyl: (usage)
epeolatry (ep-i-OL-uh-tree), noun: The worship of words.

From Greek epos (word) + -latry (worship). The first citation of the word is from Oliver Wendell Holmes, in his 1860 book Professor at the Breakfast Table.

"I read my dictionary for a few more minutes, until tiredness eventually bought my epeolatry to an end for the day."
Roger Day; Anurada Negotiates Our Wobbly Planet; Lulu; 2006.

from's daily word email
cherydactyl: (Default)
dactylogram dak-TIL-uh-gram, n: A fingerprint.

The study of fingerprints for identification purposes is known as dactylography or dactyloscopy. Dactylonomy is the art of counting on fingers. Dactylology is finger-speech -- communicating by signs made with fingers.

From Greek daktylos (finger or toe) + gramma (something written).

"The dactylogram expert confirmed that Christina's prints were found on the gun and elsewhere throughout Lombardi's apartment."
--William Bernhardt; Blind Justice; Ballantine Books; 1992.
cherydactyl: (unnatural)
ambisinister am-bi-SIN-uh-stuhr, adj: Clumsy with both hands. (Literally, with two left hands.) From Latin ambi- (both) + sinister (on the left side).
cherydactyl: (Default)
prepone (pree-PON) verb tr.: To reschedule an event to an earlier time.

[Modeled after the word postpone, from Latin pre- (before) + ponere (to put).]
cherydactyl: (Default)
lucent (LOO-suhnt) adj: 1. Luminous; shining. 2. Translucent; clear.

[From Latin lucent, from lucere (to shine). Other words derived from the same root are elucidate, lucid, and translucent.]

"Now I am nestling on the sofa, antique crystal glass in one hand, elegant bottle of lucent amber in the other."
--Victoria Moore; Sweet Surrender; New Statesman (London); Dec 18, 1998.

This one I already knew was a real word; I've even used the word in conversation.
cherydactyl: (english)
Wordsmith says:
Do you ever wonder about the meaning of all those company names on
billboards, taxis, supermarket floors, movies, clothing, even in your
children's school books? While some of these are coined names (Sony,
Novartis, Intel), many of them are bona fide words from the dictionary.
This week we feature five such words. And no, none of them is an AWAD

cingular (SING-gyuh-luhr) adj: 1. Of or pertaining to a cingulum, an anatomical band or girdle on an animal or plant. 2. Encircling, girdling, surrounding.

[From Latin cingulum (girdle), from cingere (to gird). Other words derived from the same root are cincture, precinct, shingles, and succinct.]

"Differs ... in the greater degree of cingular development on cheek teeth, especially molars."
Daniel L Gebo, et al; A Hominoid Genus; Science (Washington, DC); Apr 18, 1997.
cherydactyl: (english)
jobbernowl (JOB-uh-nowl) noun: A blockhead.

[From French jobard (stupid, gullible), from Old French jobe (stupid) + noll (top or crown of the head).]
cherydactyl: (english)
supererogatory (soo-puhr-uh-ROG-uh-tor-ee) adjective

1. Going beyond the call of duty.
2. Superfluous.
cherydactyl: (Default)
Try this:

I got to level 47 (out of 50), and gave over 4000 grains of rice this morning. I wonder how many grains to a cup.
cherydactyl: (Default)
vilipend (VIL-uh-pend) verb tr.: 1. To treat someone with contempt; 2. To disparage.

[From Old French vilipender, from Latin vilipendere, from vilis (cheap, worthless) + pendere (to consider). The words vilify, vile, revile, and venal are all cousins of this word.]

This weekend, at my younger daughter's joint birthday party with her cousin, my mom said to me, "[M]'s hair looks really cute, did [husband] take her to get her hair cut?" This kind of thing is unfortunately far too usual for my tastes. Admittedly, she is recovering from surgery and very tired at present. I'm not sure how conscious or reflexive this kind of thing is with her, but it is moderately common for her to dis me in the guise of saying something ostensibly complimentary. I do not appreciate it.
cherydactyl: (english)
azimuth (AZ-uh-muhth) noun: The horizontal angle to an object, measured clockwise from a fixed reference point, usually north or south.

[From French azimut, from Latin azimut, from Arabic al-sumut, from al (the) + samt (way).]
cherydactyl: (Default)
ragamuffin (RAG-uh-muf-in) noun: Someone, especially a child, in ragged, dirty clothes.

[After Ragamoffyn, a demon in William Langland's 14th century poem 'Piers Plowman.']


Oct. 30th, 2007 08:35 am
cherydactyl: (Default)
jentacular (jen-TAK-yuh-luhr) adj: Relating to breakfast. [From Latin jentare (to breakfast).]
cherydactyl: (vocabulary)
nosism (NO-siz-em) noun: The use of 'we' in referring to oneself.

[From Latin nos (we).]'s word-a-day email list
cherydactyl: (Default)
moliminous (mo-LIM-in-uhs) adj: Massive; laborious.

[From Latin molimen (effort, weight, importance).]
cherydactyl: (vocabulary)
It's International Talk Like A Pirate Day again!

grog (grog) noun
1. An alcoholic drink, especially rum diluted with water.
2. Any strong alcoholic drink.

[After Old Grog, nickname of Admiral Edward Vernon (1684-1757), who ordered diluted rum to be served to his sailors. The admiral earned the nickname from his habit of wearing a grogram cloak. Grogram is a coarse fabric of silk, wool, mohair, or a blend of them. The word grogram is from French gros grain (large grain or texture).]
cherydactyl: (Default)
hypergolic (hy-puhr-GOL-ik) adj: Igniting on contact.

[From German Hypergol (hypergolic fuel), from Greek hyper- (over, above) +
erg- (work). Ultimately from the Indo-European root werg- (to do) which
gave us ergonomic, work, energy, metallurgy, surgery, wright, and orgy.]
cherydactyl: (why?!)
bedswerver (bed-SWUR-vuhr) noun, An unfaithful spouse.

[From Old English bedd (bed) + sweorfan (to rub, to file away).]
Thanks to the word-a-day email of


Aug. 24th, 2007 03:32 pm
cherydactyl: (Default)
bissextile (by-SEKS-til) adj: Of or pertaining to the leap year or the extra day in the leap year; noun: Leap year.

[From Latin bisextilis annus (leap year), from Latin bissextus (February 29: leap day), from bi- (two) + sextus (sixth), from the fact that the sixth day before the Calends of March (February 24) appeared twice every leap year.]

from an old word-a-day email I found while cleaning out my overfull inbox. Subscribe here if interested:
cherydactyl: (Default)
supramundane (soo-pruh-MUN-dayn) adjective. Above or beyond this world.

[From Latin supra- (above) + mundus (world).]


cherydactyl: (Default)

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