Vocabulary: Combination Words, page 2


In this holiday-shortened week, Wall Street's debate will likely continue on whether the recent tailwind that had been pushing stocks up will wither in the summer heat.
Market's recent tailwind could die down The America's Intelligence Wire. At Source
tailwind = A wind blowing in the same direction as that of the course of an aircraft, a ship, or another vehicle. (AHD)


She's wearing a polka dot dress. Her face is careworn.
dialogue from movie Wizard of Oz.
careworn = showing the wearing effects of overwork or care or suffering.


My personal opinion is that the prosecutor hornswoggled the court and the jury with this hogwash.
hornswoggle = To bamboozle; deceive. (AHD)


The last in the set is the Chasse-neige (“Snowplough”), which can be viewed as the greatest of Studies. It is unique in its mood of desolation - it has been poetically described as snow-flakes gradually covering and burying the whole world. A study of nature at her most merciless. But for those who look upon Liszt as a mountebank, as someone who writes “for effect”, I would recommend a glance at the end of the B minor Sonata and B minor Ballade.
Blog on Franz Liszt's Transcendental Studies, by Johann D'Souza. At Source
mountebank = a flamboyant deceiver; one who attracts customers with tricks or jokes.


Lindows is an operating system for Microsoft haters and cheapskates. Its flaws make Windows seem like a genuine bargain.
Doesn't do Windows by Stephen Manes. Forbes Mag. At Source
cheapskate = A stingy person; a miser.


It's not that a cybercriminal world of conspiratorial smugglers, scofflaws, crooked banks and tax evaders is impossible. Such countries already exist. It's just that they're not anyone's idea of high-tech paradise. They are places like Bulgaria.
Will Cyber Criminals Run The World? By Bruce Sterling. At http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,997255-2,00.html
Chances are, you're a software scofflaw.
A ‘disturbing’ download trend Lisa M Bowman. CNET News. At Source
scofflaw = One who habitually violates the law or fails to answer court summonses. (AHD)


Summer is over and a plague of UNIX programmers is upon us. College kids, wet behind the ears; greenhorns, rubes.
UNIX Is Dead! Wanna Fight? by John C Dvorak, The DEC Professional Mag. At Source
rube = A unsophisticated country person. (AHD)
greenhorn = A raw, inexperienced person; one easily imposed upon.


The cornball love story between the spoiled Anakin Skywalker (Christensen) and the plastic young senator of the Republic Padme Amidala (Portman), takes center stage.
Dennis Schwartz, 2002, review of movie Star Wars Episode II. At Source
cornball = Mawkish or unsophisticated; corny: a kid's cornball humor. (AHD)


Kheifetz provided Elizabeth Zarubin with a rundown on all the members of Robert Oppenheimer's family.
? Time Mag?
rundown = a concluding summary.


There's one special-effects scene in “Attack of the Clones” that qualifies as fun: A light-saber duel between Dooku and that little whippersnapper Yoda, who's about one-sixth his size.
In space, no one can hear you groan Stephanie Zacharek, “salon.com”. Review on movie Star Wars II. At Source
whippersnapper = A diminutive, insignificant, or presumptuous person.


A conservative estimate of the number of people who would die during a period of five years after only _half_ of the electronic infrastructure in the United States had collapsed is 30 million people. This is part of unclassified disaster planning that surfaced because of the Y2K scare, and it has been published widely by scaremongers that a decimation, in the technical meaning of 10% loss, of the population is considered a tolerable loss.
Computer language online forum posting “comp.lang.lisp” (1999) by Erik Naggum. At Source
scaremonger = a person who spreads frightening rumors and stirs up trouble.


So many sites, so little time… Why pussyfoot around with window dressing? Take BIG bytes out of the net with Lynx.
Slogan of a text based web browser Lynx (web browser).
pussyfoot = to go stealthily or furtively.


In George Orwell's 1984, Winston Smith worked for the Ministry of Truth, excising from the public record the names of anyone who ran afoul of Big Brother. In 1999, Smith seems to be working at Infoseek, expunging any mention of former executive Patrick Naughton from the company's Web sites.

Not long after the FBI arrested Naughton on September 16 for allegedly planning a sexual encounter with a minor, Infoseek stated that Naughton no longer worked at the company. Infoseek then went to work to make it seem as though Naughton had never worked at the company.

Greenhalgh acknowledged that Naughton's bio and the release announcing his appointment were removed, but declined to comment on the other revisions. Perhaps sensing that news of the whitewash might prove more embarrassing than the original problem, Infoseek went back within 24 hours and reinserted Naughton's name in releases that had mentioned him.
Patrick Doesn't Work Here Anymore Wired. At Source
excise = To remove by or as if by cutting.
whitewash = cover up a misdemeanor, fault, or error.


Although they are still supported, backslashes are never needed for contiunation lines. They are a throwback to older versions of Python that didn't support the open-pairs rule.
? A passage describing a backward compatible feature of the Python programming language.
throwback = a reappearance of an earlier characteristic.


The upshot was that I wrote a little Windows program to show some of the ideas involved.
upshot = a phenomenon that follows and is caused by some previous phenomenon.


In March of this year, they charged in a letter published in Microwave News that these attempts were met with stonewalling and foot-dragging.
Cell Study: Hazards Are Real by Chris Oakes. Wired. At Source
foot-dragging = Failure to take prompt or required action. (AHD)
stonewalling = stalling or delaying especially by refusing to answer questions or cooperate.

bleeding heart

“… My mom's such a bleeding heart… she's vocal about gay rights and all that.”
bleeding heart = someone who is excessively sympathetic toward those who claim to be exploited or underprivileged; garden plant having deep-pink drooping heart-shaped flowers. Dicentra


People often ask why “flammable” and “inflammable” mean the same thing. The English words come from separate Latin words: inflammare and the rarer flammare, which both meant “to set on fire”. Latin had two prefixes in-, one of which meant “not”; the other, meaning “in”, “into”, or “upon”, was the one used in inflammare. “Inflammable” dates in English from 1605. “Flammable” is first attested in an 1813 translation from Latin It was rare until the 1920s when the U.S. National Fire Protection Association adopted “flammable” because of concern that the “in-” in “inflammable” might be misconstrued as a negative prefix. Underwriters and others interested in fire safety followed suit.
alt.usage.english faq by Mark Israel Source
underwriter = One who underwrites his name to the conditions of an insurance policy; an insurer.


The story he tells is about Buttercup, a beautiful princess (Robin Wright) who scornfully orders around a farm boy (Cary Elwes) until the day when she realizes, thunderstruck, that she loves him. She wants to live happily ever after with him, but then evil forces intervene, and she is kidnapped and taken far away across the lost lands…
The Princess Bride By Roger Ebert. At Source Review on movie The Princess Bride.
thunderstruck = as if struck dumb with astonishment and surprise.


The Pinta, the Nina, and the Santa Maria were outfitted in the minor port of Palos. Columbus was aided in recruiting a crew by two brothers — Martin Alonzo Pinzon, who received command of the Pinta, and his younger brother Vicente Yanez Pinzon, who commanded the Nina. They left Palos on Aug. 3, 1492, rerigged the Nina in the Canaries, and sailed to the west. A landfall was made on the morning of Oct. 12, 1492, at an island in the Bahamas, which Columbus named San Salvador…
Grolier Multimedia Encyclopedia
landfall = the first sighting of land from the sea after a voyage.