Vocabulary Study: Hyphenated Wonders

over-the-hill

Q. That was back in the eighties, you over-the-hill f�ckfaces. We're in a competitive global economy now, where Dave and Jay can't afford to lose even a week's worth of edge.

A. That's true at the general level, not at the specific. Our surveys indicate Web content in the year 2001 is the least competitive industry since Special Education. What else are you going to read? GettingIt? RequestLine? The Finger?

Satire site suck.com Source www.suck.com

turn-key

Because there is no widely accepted standard for implementing a VPN, many companies have developed turn-key solutions on their own. In the next few sections, we'll discuss some of the solutions offered by Cisco, one of the most prevalent networking technology companies.
turn-key = A term which describes a system (hardware and software) which can be used for a specific application without requiring further programming or software installation. The user can just “turn the key” (switch it on) and use it. From The Free On-line Dictionary of Computing

yellow-bellied

There are a number of conceptual, logical, and methodological flaws in his doctrines. As part of his efforts to gain a mainstream following, he publishes the Journal of Yellow-bellied Absenteeism.
≈2004, nonsense generated by computer. Probably the SCIgen.
yellow-bellied means easily frightened. See also: Sokal affair, Politics and the English Language (George Orwell).

larger-than-life

Henry Charles Bukowski (1920 – 1994) was an American poet, novelist and short story writer. His writing was influenced by the social, cultural and economic ambience of his home city of Los Angeles. It is marked by an emphasis on the ordinary lives of poor Americans, the act of writing, alcohol, relationships with women and the drudgery of work. Bukowski wrote thousands of poems, hundreds of short stories and six novels, eventually publishing over sixty books. In 1986 Time called Bukowski a “laureate of American lowlife”. Regarding Bukowski's enduring popular appeal, Adam Kirsch of The New Yorker wrote, “the secret of Bukowski's appeal… [is that] he combines the confessional poet's promise of intimacy with the larger-than-life aplomb of a pulp-fiction hero.”
Charles Bukowski,
larger-than-life = very imposing or impressive; surpassing the ordinary (AHD)
pulp-fiction = inexpensive magazine printed on poor quality paper, from 1986 to 1950s. Often featuring stories that's lurid or sensational. Pulp-fiction

over-the-top

I've long wondered at the connection between Second Life's endless supply of over-the-top drama and the strange psychology of certain players — particularly those seriously invested in “defending” Linden Lab and “policing” the Second Life grid.
Understanding the “Little Hitlers” of Second Life By Pixeleen Mistral. @ alphavilleherald.com…

apple-pie

It's personal. It's private. And it's no one's business but yours. You may be planning a political campaign, discussing your taxes, or having a secret romance. Or you may be communicating with a political dissident in a repressive country. Whatever it is, you don't want your private electronic mail (email) or confidential documents read by anyone else. There's nothing wrong with asserting your privacy. Privacy is as apple-pie as the Constitution.
Why I Wrote PGP by Phil Zimmermann. @ Source
apple-pie = relating to, or marked by values regarded as distinctively American. Apple pie

tea-leaf-reading

The mixing of functions makes it difficult for outsiders to locate where exactly policy is set, particularly as the party, while far removed from its Marxist roots, retains many of the secretive habits of its origins as an underground organization. The recent appointment of a high-ranking official as party secretary for the Foreign Ministry, for example, spurred debate among tea-leaf-reading China watchers over whether he, or the minister, is really in charge.
Hu's visit spotlights China's two faces Source www.washingtonpost.com
tea-leaf-reading = fortune telling by reading tea-leafs. See: Tasseography 2011-01-19

strong-armed

Stempel told the U.S. House Subcommittee on Legislative Oversight what he told Stone. Particularly jarring was Stempel's revelation that, on the day he was to lose to Van Doren, he was strong-armed into answering incorrectly a question about the Academy Award for Best Picture for 1955: Marty, one of his favorite films. The incorrect answer he was forced to give was On the Waterfront—which won the same Oscar for the year before.
Herb Stempel. (One of the contestant in the American quiz show scandals of 1950s.)
strong-armed = To use physical force or coercion against. (AHD)

ho-hum

Industry says ho-hum to Netscape suit
Industry says ho-hum to Netscape suit By Rachel Konrad. CNET News. @ Source On AOL suing Microsoft over web browser.
ho-hum = so lacking in interest as to cause mental weariness.

drop-dead

It's relatively simple to understand although a tad clumsy at times… None of them are drop-dead simple.
Programer Jon Frisby, on unix version control software (CVS, PRCS, RCS, SCCS, …)

gross-out

Crowds went wild for the gross-out humor and wacky romance in this riotous comedy.
review of movie Something about mary (1998)
riotous = Involving, or engaging in, riot; wanton; unrestrained; luxurious.
gross-out = Something that elicits disgust.

double-cross

Left for dead after a heist double-cross, bad, bad man Mel Gibson returns for revenge in this gritty-yet-glossy remake of John Boorman's psycho-noir classic Point Blank.
movie review Payback (1999)
double-cross = the betrayal or swindling of a collaborator or colleague.

put-up

There was a young lady named Bright,
Who traveled much faster than light.
She started one day,
In the relative way,
And returned on the previous night. When they questioned her,
answered Miss Bright,
“I was there when I got home that night; So I slept with myself,
Like two shoes on a shelf,
Put-up relatives shouldn't be tight!”. limerick by J.A.Lindon. There was a young couple named Bright,
Who could make love much faster than light. They started one day,
In the relative way,
And came on the previous night.

strung-out

Sam has to contend with managing the bosses' skim going out the back door, cheats at the tables, the law breathing down his neck, and strung-out hustler Ginger (Sharon Stone), whom Sam falls for, and, despite his better judgment, eventually marries.
Casino film review By Christopher Null. Filmcritic.com. @ Source
strung-out = addicted to a drug.

in-kind

… About 60 % of all poor households receive in-kind transfers …
?
in-kind = Given in goods, commodities, or services rather than money: cash and in-kind benefits.

cast-off

gave him a cast-off coat which was too large for him
?
cast-off = Cast or laid aside; thrown away; discarded; as, cast-off clothes.

stage-struck

In her girlhood and before her marriage with Tom Willard, Elizabeth had borne a somewhat shaky reputation in Winesburg. For years she had been what is called “stage-struck” and had paraded through the streets with traveling men guests at her father's hotel, wearing loud clothes and urging them to tell her of life in the cities out of which they had come. Once she startled the town by putting on men’s clothes and riding a bicycle down Main Street.
Short story “Mother” by Sherwood Anderson. @ Source
stage-struct = Fascinated by the stage; seized by a passionate desire to become an actor.

fuddy-duddies

[synthetic language as an lingua franca] have the disadvantage that they are associated with fuddy-duddies
possibly a book on Esperanto.
fuddy-duddies = old-fashioned, fussy person.

run-ins

Mitnick's run-ins with the law began as a teenager …
? On computer hacker Kevin Mitnick.
run-in = a angry dispute.

have-nots

City grocery stores are exacting a steep toll on the have-nots.
?

hanger-on

Attempting to portray Shipp as a mendacious hanger-on and frustrated actor with a drinking problem, attorney Carl Douglas accused the witness of
?
hanger-on = One who hangs on, or sticks to, a person, place, or service; a dependent; one who adheres to others' society longer than he is wanted.

ad-lib

When he was showing how a NeXT workstation could be used to query a database that ran on another company's server, the NeXT machine crashed. Jobs ad-libbed gamely, “That's how you know it was live.”
Possibly: “Steve Jobs & the Next Big Thing” (1993) by Randall E Stross. A book on Steve Jobs's NeXT Computer Inc.
gamely = In a plucky manner; spiritedly.
add-lib = said or done without having been planned or written in advance.

mock-up

so the champion of Framemaker sat down and said that he would work on a mock-up.
?
mock-up = full-scale working model of something built for study or testing or display.

forward-looking

But now the 16th century collection of forward-looking musings has landed in the possession of a soul Leonardo might have found more kindred.
?. On Leonardo Da Vinci's Codex Leicester brought by Bill Gates.
forward-looking = ahead of the times; concerned primarily with the future.

washed-up

As the manacled prisoner came face-to-face with justice for the first time, he strove to uphold the swaggering image he had so carefully cultivated through decades of actual and exaggerated derring-do. “This man is a star,” Carlos said by way of greeting the investigating magistrate, Jean-Louis Bruguiere, in his bunker-like quarters at the Palais de Justice. “We are both professionals. We'll get along together.” Gesturing toward the assault rifles carried by his four police escorts, Carlos bantered, “Ah! The FA-MAS. We had those in Lebanon. They're good.” Though it was a display of insouciance for a man about to be charged with complicity in a 1982 car bombing that killed a pregnant woman and wounded 63 others, there was no masking the tired image Carlos cut as he stood in white pants, his mauve pullover stretched taut by mid-life paunch, his short hair a muddy gray. At 44, he looked like a washed-up playboy.
Carlos Caged By Jill Smolowe, Helen Gibson/London, Lara Marlowe/Beirut, William Rademaekers/Paris and Bruce van Voorst/Bonn. @ time.com…
swagger = to walk with a lofty proud gait, often in an attempt to impress others.
insouciance = the cheerful feeling you have when nothing is troubling you.
pullover = a sweater that is put on by pulling it over the head.
paunch = A noticeably protruding belly; a potbelly.
washed-up = doomed to extinction.

last-ditch

A last-ditch effort gets food to orbiting cosmonauts, saving their mission from a disastrous early end.
Title summary for news article: Close Call, Comrades By Michael D Lemonick; Jerry Hannifin/Washington And Terence Nelan/Moscow. @ Source
last-ditch = of something done as a final recourse (especially to prevent a crisis or disaster)

blue-chip

Like their American counterparts, Japanese executives cheerfully overpaid for their late-'80s acquisitions. But the Japanese made another fundamental miscalculation, says Gary Saxonhouse, an economics professor at the University of Michigan: “They had a faith in American landmarks, a faith in American blue-chip names.”
So Many Dreams So Many Losses By Barbara Rudolph et al. @ time.com…
blue-chip = A stock that sells at a high price because of public confidence in its long record of steady earnings. (AHD)

booby-trap

Allegations of Gunrunning in Australia and money laundering in Canada and Europe. A suicide note addressed to the French Interior Minister. Two more booby-trapped houses, primed to erupt in flames at a telephone call.

Those were some of the mysteries that tantalized investigators on three continents last week as they continued to probe the deaths of 53 members of the Order of the Solar Temple, and apocalyptic religious cult, in Switzerland and Canada two weeks ago. One question was answered: Luc Jouret, 46, the spiritual leader of the cult, was among those whose bodies were found in three burned ski chalets in Granges-ser-Salvan, east of Geneva. Jouret's charred remains, along with those of co-leader Joseph di Mambro, 70, were identified from dental records. The finding ended an international manhunt for the two men and left police to pull together from other sources basic facts about the Solar Temple, an organization that apparently milked followers of their money before taking their lives.
Remains of the day By Michael S Serrill. Time Mag. @ www.rickross.com…
gunrunning = the smuggling of guns and ammunition into a country secretly and illegally.
chalet = a Swiss house with a sloping roof and wide eaves or a house built in this style.
booby-trap = explosive device designed to be triggered when a unsuspecting victim touches or disturbs a seemingly harmless object.
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