Writer's Words, More

proprioception

… “But,” I've been told, “they do communicate through the environment. Each is aware of the other's actions via vision, proprioception, etc. That's communication.” Is it? True, all communications occur when one agent acts on the environment and the other senses the results of that action…
article on robotic intelligence, “Coordination without communication”, by Stan Franklin, Univ of Memphis, ~2003. At http://www.msci.memphis.edu/~franklin/coord.html

harrow

Collects the fantastic body of work generated by the premiere fetish artist of the Sinful Sixties! Using a seductive superhero-type rendering style that captured the nuances of anatomy and restraint detail, Bishop dominated his rivals by illustrating contemporary women in imaginative poses, kinky outfits, and original bondage devices like no other in the era! A solid half-inch thick, each oversized 8-1/2 x 11'' edition showcases almost 200 pages of harrowing female domination, bare-assed punishment, and exquisite SM tortures.

groundswell

Many of the texts have been retranslated and re-published in recent years as paperbacks, making them accessible to the ordinary reader; without the groundswell of interest that this has provoked, I do not think this page would ever been attempted.
text from a acknowledgement page on Greek mythology. http://www.calliope.free-online.co.uk/methods.htm wayback machine
groundswell = A sudden gathering of force, as of public opinion.

lithotomy

The lithotomy position is a medical term for lying on one's back, with legs up and spread, knees bent. Typically used in modern childbirth.

inculcate

Hopkins demonstrated his sincerity and investigative incompetence on the public television program Nova (“Alien Abductions,” first shown on February 27, 1996). The camera followed Hopkins through session after session with a very agitated, highly emotional “patient”. Then Nova followed Hopkins to Florida where he cheerfully helped a visibly unstable mother inculcate in her children the belief that they had been abducted by aliens.

rag-tag

Banks has joined thousands of others in a rag-tag Linux army dedicated to the destruction of SCO (nasdaq: SCOX - news - people ), the Lindon, Utah, company that last March sued IBM (nyse: IBM - news - people ), claiming IBM put code from Unix, for which SCO holds some copyrights, into Linux, which is distributed for free.
Software: Revenge Of The Nerds, Daniel Lyons, 12.16.03http://www.forbes.com/2003/12/16/cx_dl_1216linux.html

amalgamate

The schism was healed in the years following 1813, when the competing Grand Lodges were amalgamated, by virtue of a delicately worded compromise which left English Masonry clearly not Christian, returned the modes of recognition to their pre-1753 form, kept Freemasonry per se as consisting of three degrees only, but which was ambiguously worded so as to allow the Moderns to think of the Antient Royal Arch degree as an optional higher degree, while still allowing the Antients to view it as the completion of the third degree…

tailspin

In the late nineteenth century, anarchism constituted the primary leftist competitor to Marxist state socialism. But a series of bombings and assassinations by anarchists - culminating in the murder of William McKinley by the anarchist Leon Czolgosz - sufficed to discredit the movement and send it into a tailspin from which it is only now, a century later, emerging.

immanent

In law, natural law is the doctrine that just laws are immanent in nature (that can be claimed as discovered but not created by such things as a bill of rights) and/or that they can emerge by natural process of resolving conflicts (as embodied by common law).

retinue

Fortuna had a retinue that included Copia among her blessings.

bellwether

Among some tech sector bellwethers seeing early interest, Cisco Systems (CSCO: news, chart, profile) inched 3 cents lower to $24.14, Intel (INTC: news, chart, profile) was unchanged at $30.90 and Oracle (ORCL: news, chart, profile) stepped 7 cents lower to $13.26.
While noncommittal on whether Napster should be held liable for infringing on the copyrights of the major record labels, several Internet industry coalitions and trade groups, representing companies such as America Online, Yahoo and Intel, are taking issue with a federal judge's ruling last month in the bellwether case.
online news
Texas is significant because, along with New York and California, Texas is a bellwether state

propitiate

Fortuna was propitiated by mothers. Traditionally her cult was introduced to Rome by Servius Tullius.

pukka

You can even prove that you can build a pukka universal computer out of these smaller configurations, and a self-reproducer, though I don't think anyone's had the patience to do it.
Note: Universal cellular-automata has been discovered. See Rule 110 cellular automaton.

pan-handlers

Q. How can you tell if the Buddhist priests begging on the street corner are real or not?

A1. Very few Buddhist sects practice begging nowadays and the great majority of priests you see begging on the street are actually just pan-handlers. If you really want to know if they are legitimate priests or not, you can ask to see their begging licence, which they always carry. In addition, if the priest is wearing running shoes, doesn't have any temple insignia on his robes, or if his robes look cheap, he is probably not the real thing.

A2. Pinch them. (Or more politely, ask them to pinch you.) — Answer kindly submitted by Jonathon Byro.
online article on Japan. At Source

pigeon-toed

Q. Why do so many Japanese women walk pigeon-toed? Does this have anything to do with Japan's low birth-rate?

A. Walking pigeon-toed is considered feminine in Japan, and is an affectation rather than a physical characteristic. Some people have suggested that it is because their legs are deformed from sitting in seiza (on your shins with your legs folded under you) but this is simply untrue. The real answer is that it is a holdover from the days when people still wore kimono. If you walk normally while wearing one, the kimono tends to comes open so for modesty people began walking pigeon-toed. Even though people no longer wear kimono, a shuffling walk with one's feet turned inward is still considered modest, feminine, and even cute.—Thanks to Emily Wood for helping with this answer.
online article on Japan. At Source

preppy

Let's say a race begins with four parties vying for power—Jocks, Preppies, Hipsters, and Geeks. Early polls show them getting, respectively, 35, 30, 20, and 15 percent of the vote.
Two Political Parties? Why Not 50?by Tamim Ansary (MSN Encarta Column)

shakedown

Boies Joins SCO Shakedown.
forbes.com news, “Boies Joins SCO Shakedown” by Lisa DiCarlo.

couture

While Mr. Taubman was serving his nine-and-a-half-month prison stay, Mrs. Taubman flew to London to a ball in honor of a favorite Parisian jewelry designer, dressed in couture and several of the jeweler's pieces. When friends asked about the propriety of all this, they said, she explained, “I'm not going to dance.”
2003 The New York Times? online article on wifes of accused rich
See also: Haute couture

off-the-wall

9. Flash Mob: Find a bunch of people who don't know each other, have them all gather at some specified time and place, do something off-the-wall, and then go away. That's pretty much the summary of a Flash Mob, the Big Thing of the First Half of 2003. The Internet is key because that's how you organize the Flash Mob, and post the photos afterwards.
2003-11, online article on internet fad “Flash Mob”

fete

Formerly known as the woman whom her husband feted at a $2.1 million 40th-birthday party on Sardinia (prosecutors say he billed half to Tyco), Mrs. Kozlowski has appeared daily in court, dressed in a black turtleneck and muted suits, a simple wedding band and diamond studs.
The Wifely Art of Standing By By Kate Zernike At http://www.nytimes.com/2003/10/19/style/the-wifely-art-of-standing-by.html
2007-10

atrium

Luxor incorporates so many amenities that it's almost an entire vacation in itself. The spacious rooms are done in all manner of Eastern finery, and surround the world's largest atrium.
2003-10, vegas.com on the hotle Luxor.

toehold

… “According to ZDNet, Microsoft will more actively participate in chip design for the next version of its Xbox gaming console, tentatively called Xbox Next. By switching from using relatively standard parts to more customized silicon, the company can better optimize its game console, due in 2005. At the same time, the move potentially gives the company a toehold in a completely new market.”
2003, online article

rancorous

rancorous election

skycap

While most skycaps are cordial, a good many treat customers with blank indifference, knowing harried travelers don't want to brave counter check-ins, especially in the post 9/11 age. Their work is more mindless than that of a McDonald's counter clerk, who at least has to bag the order correctly.
Ten most overpaid jobs in the U.S. By Chris Pummer, CBS.MarketWatch.com. source

spearhead

NASA's Astrobiology Magazine today has an interview with Bill Nye, the Science Guy, who spearheaded the first interplanetary sundial, which will land on Mars in early January.
online news slashdot.org, 2003-10-09

rappelled

A cop eventually rappelled down the outside of the building, shot the tiger with a tranquilizer dart and ended the crisis.
time.com, “Never Trust A Tiger” by Michael D Lemonick.

gaffe

In an update to an earlier Slashdot article, Telco giant AT&T rushed to withdraw two notices sent to business partners and customers asking for the IP addresses of all outbound SMTP servers because of a ‘human error’ gaffe.
slashdot.org , 2003-10-23

riled

Yahoo! is reporting that the “U.S. Senate passed the first national anti-spam bill on Wednesday, giving momentum to an issue that has riled consumers almost as much as dinnertime phone calls.”
slashdot.org 2003-10-23

Deadbeat

Deadbeat Parents Can Get Clean Slate in South Bay
2003-08 online news

ode

Ricardo Reis was a poet of Sad Epicureanism, master of highly wrought, metaphysical and neoclassical odes.
2003, online article

malarkey

Some economists thought that was a bunch of malarkey

rally

Job creation begets rally
CNN news. 2003-10

caryatid

Of course there were indications that these noble people grieved for the uprooted treasures, as expressed through the myth that the Caryatids could be heard wailing at night for their missing sister.
from a article that cries for the repatriation of the sculpture “Victory at Samothrace” from France back to Greece. See Report on Caesars Palace, Las Vegas,

maul

LAS VEGAS, Nevada (CNN) — Roy Horn of the Las Vegas duo Siegfried and Roy, who was mauled by a white tiger last week during his act, “is totally aware that he is fighting for his life,” show manager Bernie Yuman said Tuesday.
2003-10-07, cnn.com

uppity

Apparently as a result of the Ivy-League uppity belief that all the world should be like them (and also as a result of trying to avoid studying for exams), one of the posters suggested that they “invade” a real, populated newsgroup and “rile up the stupid people”…
2003, online essay on newsgroup culture

stuck-up

This article was posted directly to alt.tv.beavis-n-butthead. The regulars at that group, wondering what the world was coming to, scoffed at the notion of a couple of stuck-up geeks from Harvard calling them “ruffians”, and a few unpleasantries were exchanged.
2003, online essay on newsgroup culture

slash-and-burn

Americans love movies that is slash-and-burn. (e.g. Terminator, Speed…)

moxie

she's moxie.
See also: Moxie.

vindicate

(AP) - President Bush on Wednesday took personal responsibility for the first time for using discredited intelligence in his State of the Union address, but predicted he would be vindicated for going to war against Iraq.
2003-07, online news

pococurante

this word i heard on the radio, being the tie-breaker for first price in a Spelling Beecontest. Note that, spelling bee is the most worthless time-wasting and ruinous English activity masquerading itself as a good citizen in advancing literature or eliminating illiteracy.
2007-10

stick-in-the-mud

Hi! My name is Lisa. I was born under a cabbage leaf over 40 years ago. I'm married to a wonderful, stick-in-the-mud, loving, caring husband. We have a 17 year old son who is in puberty. Puberty is hell.
online homepage http://hometown.aol.com/crrickkett/

hellacious

When the Panther OS is released in September, it will be optimized for 64-bit, so by this fall the Apple G5 will be one hellacious computing machine
2003-06, online tech news
Note: hellacious is not the same as “hellish”, though similar. AHD gives this definition:adj. 1. Distasteful and repellant: hellacious smog. 2. Slang Extraordinary, remarkable: a hellacious catch of fish.

pyrrhic victory

In 2003, the Euro dollar is strong against US dollar. However, such is not good for Europeans merchants who import to US. My friend commented that value of Euro to US dollars is a pyrrhic victory. His usage is not exactly correct. See Pyrrhic victory

hermeneutics

a friend philosopher studies hermeneutics. In that context, the word exegesis comes up often.

grovel

Tell me Will, did you enjoy it? Your first murder? Of course you did. And why shouldn't it feel good? It does to God. Why only last week in Texas, he dropped a whole church roof on the heads of 34 of his worshippers, just as they were groveling for him. He wouldn't begrudge you one journalist.
from movie Red Dragon (film) (2002)

honcho

if you want a job, you'll have to make a deal with Yubaba. She's the head honcho here.
movie Spirited Away dialogue (2003)

henchman

He's Yubaba's henchman. Don't trust anything he says.
movie Spirited Away dialogue (2003)

apprised

“anyway, i'm thinking maybe thursday or Friday i'll go, I'll give you a ring early next week.”. “Sounds good. Keep me apprised.”
friend Paul K in online chat

waterborne

airborne is something in the air. For example, when an airplane is in the air (as opposed to on the ground), we say it is airborne. Waterborne is similar, with respect to water.

placer

Placerville (stands for placer gold deposits — waterborne) is midway between San Francisco and Lake Tahoe, about 2,300 feet elevation. Founded as a 49-er mining town. (2300 feet ~= 701 km.)
friend Paul K in online chat
See also: Placer mining

Mementos

Mementos as Document Retrieval Keys

aver

Literature avers that Unix succeeded because of its technical superiority. This is not true. Unix was evolutionarily superior to its competitors, but not technically superior. Unix became a commercial success because it was a virus. Its sole evolutionary advantage was its small size, simple design, and resulting portability. Later it became popular and commercially successful because it piggy-backed on three very successful hosts: the PDP-11, the VAX, and Sun workstations. (The Sun was in fact designed to be a virus vector.)

superabundance

American Heritage Dictionary defines “plethora” as superabundance.

sweat

what if we sweat Lector?

AHD: To extract (information) from someone under duress.

privy

“you are privy to a great becoming… but you recognize nothing.”
dialogue from movie Red Dragon (film) (2002), said by the protagonist.

runaway

This inspirational fable by Brazilian author and translator Coelho has been a runaway bestseller throughout Latin America and seems poised to achieve the same prominence here.
online book review, 2003, on Paulo Coelho's “The Alchemist: A Fable About Following Your Dream”.

epiphany

During one of these train trips, Rowling had an epiphany about an orphaned boy wizard named Harry Potter and began inventing characters and settings.
Microsoft Encarta Reference Library 2003, on Harry Potter's author Kathleen Rowling

piddling

Ms. Stewart traded on inside information — for which she was not charged — and then tried to cover up her misdeed. Her savings were a piddling amount, $51,000.
The Tribune-Review Publishing Co., 2004-03-06, news on Martha Stewart

poach

Sun Microsystems Inc. (Nasdaq:SUNW - news), looking to poach customers from a rival in a weak market for server computers, said on Thursday it had begun contacting companies that may be worried about a legal challenge to IBM's rights to the Unix (news - web sites) operating system.
online tech news.«Sun Looking to Swoop In on Worried IBM Customers», Reuters, 2003-06-20?.

deadpan

“It's all very exciting,” deadpanned marine biologist Sylvia Earle, who holds the world's record for untethered undersea exploration — the oceans' equivalent of spacewalking. “It confirms what many of us had suspected for a long time.”
[Mars Critics Say Billions Are Ill-Spent By Joseph B Verrengia, Associated Press. At http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A36789-2004Mar6.html , accessed on 2014-09-17 ]
“Totally predictable,” deadpanned Erica Jong, author of the 1973 sex fantasy Fear of Flying.
Now for the Truth About Americans and Sex By Philip Elmer-Dewitt. At http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,981624-3,00.html
2007-10

boustrophedon

Early Greek used a system called boustrophedon (literally, “ox-turning”). In boustrophedon writing, characters are arranged into horizontal lines, but the individual lines alternate between running right to left and running left to right, the way an ox goes back and forth when plowing a field. The letter images are mirrored in accordance with the direction of each individual line.
article on writing systems, from omniglot.com.

détente

Beijing and Taipei have been rivals since their split in 1949 at the end of a civil war, but trade, investment and tourism have blossomed since detente began in the late 1980s. Taiwan investors have poured up to $100 billion into China, lured by low land and labor costs and a common language and culture.
router news «Taiwan Proposes Joint Sea Rescue Drill with China», 2004-01-19

doodad

In the interest of full disclosure, I must relate that I own a bunch of HP and Agilent doodads. Mostly, I like all of them, too.
from a commentary on ink catridge of HP branded printers, 2003-04
doodad = An unnamed or nameless gadget or trinket.

Figurehead

Figurehead is the carved sculpture on the prow of ships, often female or bestiary.

ricochet

stone skipping: throwing a stone that ricochets aross the pond. Guinness World Record is 34 skips.

Commonwealth

Robin is English (residing in Turkey), and Nick is Greek-Australian (residing in the U.S.A.) So don't be surprised if you see some unfamiliar language usage in this text. We are particularly unrepentant about using Commonwealth spelling. (here the word Commonwealth refers to the USA.)
Lojban For Beginners — velcli befi la lojban. bei loi co'a cilre By Robin Turner and Nick Nicholas. http://ptolemy.tlg.uci.edu/~opoudjis/lojbanbrochure/lessons/intro.html
Commonwealth = An association comprising the United Kingdom, its dependencies, and many former British colonies that are now sovereign states with a common allegiance to the British Crown, including Canada, Australia, India, and many countries in the West Indies and Africa. It was formally established by the Statute of Westminster in 1931. (AHD)

stonewall

It appeared they [ODE support team] knew of the problems with Cdilla and were told to stonewall the issue.
2003, online store user review on the CD version of Oxford English Dictionary.

fold

Different kinds of income have different values to different people, and most income streams have some uncertainty attached to them—a rental house might be vacant, a business might fold.
2003, article on economy

Note: Fold as used here is a informal usage. AHD defines it as: (informal) To close, especially for lack of financial success; fail.

windstorm

The “Zelda” series is a chronicle of heroic adventures in fantasy lands; the latest game, “The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker,” features a character named Link who sails the seas searching for his sister and using a magic staff that can summon windstorms.
2003-05-04, video game news.

See also: Windstorm.

insuperable

The typical home user never notices NAT; it just works. But that user is no longer a peer of all other Internet users as the original architecture of the network intended. In particular, the home user behind a NAT box has been relegated to the role of a consumer of Internet services. Such a user cannot create a Web site on their broadband connection, since the NAT box will not permit inbound connections from external sites. Nor can the user set up true peer to peer connections with other users behind NAT boxes, as there's an insuperable chicken and egg problem creating a bidirectional connection between them.
2003, from an article discussing Info Tech, by the AutoCAD founder John Walker. http://www.fourmilab.ch/documents/digital-imprimatur/

timekeeper

“Yes Solstice” — Beautifully designed time keeper, with many features.
2004. tagline for a watch ad. Great Time Machines

Zeitgeist

One other consideration to an artistic endeavor is whether an artifact expresses some sentiment or statement that is incipient to a coming Zeitgeist
2003, Paul K, of a philosophy thesis having to do with exegesis and hermeneutics applied to visual arts.

betide

Woe betide those who fails to see ataris, no wonder such people keep losing Go games, and then complain that Go is not the game for them.
2003-04, tutorial on the strategic board game “go”.

clinch

[Steve] Jobs [Apple Computer CEO], known for his powers of persuasion and marketing savvy, clinched licensing deals with the five biggest record labels, and industry executives have given the Apple online music service high marks.
online business news, 2003-05-04

crevasse

Missing South Bay Hiker Found Alive: Marvin Matsumoto was missing for five days. Rescuers found him wedged into a crevasse at the park two weeks ago
online local news, 2003-05-04

Note, it's different from crevice.

screed

The most frequently-asked question of all by visitors to this site has to be “Where do you get all those crazy ideas?”. Well, I read a lot of books. Starting in January 2001, I decided to keep a list of what I’ve read to share with folks with similar interests. I read all kinds of stuff—technical books, science fiction, trash novels, history, fringe science, political screeds—you name it. My taste in literature is as indiscriminate as it is voracious.
John Walker's (AutoCAD inventor) personal page http://www.fourmilab.ch/documents/reading_list/

saucy

LONDON (Reuters) - Sex shop chain Ann Summers, which brought sex toys and saucy lingerie to the masses, won a legal battle on Wednesday when a judge ruled that government job centers must post its help-wanted ads.
2003-06-19, news article.

See also: Ann Summers

spurn

there's a beauty named Narcissus, who spurned love of both boys and girls. Among them is a nymph named Echo, who pined away her life till she became nothing but a lone echo. Those rejected souls, prayed to the goddess Nemesis to fall the meaning of rejection upon this beautiful boy. One day, Narcissus found love inside a pond, not knowing it is his own reflection, and with unrequited love ogled to his death.
2004, Xah Lee, of Narcissus in Greek Mythology.

synesthesia

Synesthesia is a pretty interesting phenomenon to experience and even just contemplate. Those kooky scientists are at it again, with new insights into 'hearing smells', 'seeing sounds', and 'tasting colors'. A recent study seems to shed insight into the brain mechanisms involved in synesthesia
2003, science news.

inveigle

Yet have they many baits and guileful spells. To inveigle and invite the unwary sense.
John Milton.
2007-10

riffraff

I'm from Jersey and currently studying in Manchester (final year) - hate hate hate computer science (and liars). I'd like to think of myself as a creative 21st-century charming gentleman of bohemian tastes and moderate height who is open-minded yet not easily inveigled, so message me if you dig. no fat chicks. P.S. I apologise profusely to those of you who don't understand words like “inveigle” or “profusely” - I just needed some way of deterring the riffraff.
from a personal profile on a social networking site “orkut.com”.
inveigle = influence or urge by gentle urging, caressing, or flattering.
bohemian = The term bohemian, of French origin, was first used in the English language in the nineteenth century[1] to describe the untraditional lifestyles of marginalized and impoverished artists, writers, musicians, and actors in major European cities. Bohemians were associated with unorthodox or antiestablishment political or social viewpoints, which were often expressed through non-marital sexual relations, frugality, and/or voluntary poverty. Bohemianism.
riffraff = Sweepings; refuse; the lowest order of society.

disquietude

American Heritage Dictionary defines chagrin as: “disquietude or distress of mind caused by humiliation, disappointment, or failure”.

holdout

Former Tyco International Ltd. Chairman Dennis Kozlowski arrives with his wife Karen at New York Supreme court March 30, 2004. Jurors in the corruption trial of two former Tyco International Ltd. executives resumed deliberations on Tuesday, while defense attorneys renewed their efforts to have the case declared a mistrial. Lawyers for Kozlowski and ex-finance chief Mark Swartz argued that anonymous comments in Internet chatrooms about an apparent holdout juror could prevent the jury from reaching a fair verdict in one of the biggest cases of U.S. corporate corruption. (Chip East/Reuters)
2004-03, US business news. See also: Dennis Kozlowski.

haute couture

one of my interest is haute couture.
See also: Haute couture

spelunking

I'd have a lot of fun with it if I had time to just go spelunking in the communities and personae to see what and who is there. I'd like to post more, to stimulate some of them.
email about online forums.

ponchos

The demonstrators, many bused in from other cities, put on yellow rain ponchos to protect them from a cold drizzle and filled up the wide boulevard in front of the Presidential Office. They chanted and listened to fiery speeches bashing President Chen Shui-bian.

tiara

Lasso, tiara, or bullet-dodging bracelets?
2004, from forum on Wonder Woman.See also: Tiara.

footsy

If yummier urges happen naturally, like playing footsy in a theater, or curling up on the couch, that's very pleasant!
2004, self-description in a dating forum

mausoleum

While many Chinese vilify Mao for his brutality, he is also admired for his power and his role as one of the most influential historical figures in the 20th century. His remains are enshrined in a mausoleum in Tiananmen Square.
article on Mao Zedong.

scads

Inquiror: “how much risk do you have in your portfolio?”. The rich: “scads, scads! I have so much money that sometimes i trip over. Look at my chin, over a pile of gold bricks.”
2004 April, from a (hilarious) radio ad for financial investment risk management.

unitard

unitard, leotard, catsuit are all similar. They are all one-piece skin-tight elastic wardrobes. Leotard is with bikini bottom — pantless, usually worn by girl gymnasts. Unitard is with pants, worn typically by male gymnasts. Catsuit is lingerie for women. While, jumpsuit is for plane jumpers such as parachuters.
See also Catsuit.

pugilism

… But I do applaud your sense of pugilism.
a taunt from online chat rooms

lockjaw

tetanus is also known as lockjaw
See also: Tetanus

imprimatur

THE DIGITAL IMPRIMATUR: How big brother and big media can put the Internet genie back in the bottle.
caption for an essay on Internet. 2003. “The Digital Imprimatur” 2003-09-13 by John Walker (programmer) Source

dry-run

Saturday's flashmob event was a dry-run designed to measure how much computing power hundreds of connected computers could generate, rather than to tackle a specific task.

peripatetic

I'd be happy to explain any weird science that's vexing you, but I'm also interested in all sorts of other stuff (history, politics, art, culture, etc). I like having neat peripatetic conversations with strangers, so if you're bored drop me a line sometime.
2004. From online personal self description.

agoraphobia

when i go into a adorned typical shopping mall in a big city of the rich American, my face mold into a permanent agoraphobic grin. Everyone else, those rich, beautiful, happy, normal, carefree, a-dime-a-dozen, ignoramus pigs are enjoying themselves and ready to discriminate me. Therefore i grimace into a grin, shewing my ease and magnanimity. —Xah Lee
There is a wonderful French movie Thomas in love 2000 about a agoraphobic guy.

interdiction

The small, fast ships were ideally suited to low-volume, high-profit goods, such as spices, and most commonly, tea. Given their speed and maneuverability, clippers frequntly mounted cannon or caronade and were often employed as pirate vessels, privateers, smuggling vessels, and in interdiction service.

dervish

activities: Late-comer college student, committed lover, father, poet, waiter, painter, go-player, and freelance dervish.
2004-03. from a online personal profile self-description

metathesis

Pronunciation tends to change in time. I think no one really knows why. Metathesis is one of the patterns people who study this stuff have noticed. Another pattern is a straightforward shift in the pronunciation of individual sounds. Look up Grimm's Law. For instance, plosives commonly change to aspirates, and switch their voicing in the process. Thus the older Latin word pater became father in English. Many words underwent similar changes in pronunciation. Again I think no one really knows why. But it does seem to follow a general pattern.
2004. linguistic forum message
Metathesis: Old English: brid. Modern English: Bird; curd: crud; pretty pronounced pertty (by American white trash of Bible Belt fame) See also: Metathesis (linguistics).
2007-10

hawkish

Cheney is widely viewed as one of the most hawkish members of the Bush administration, strongly pushing for the invasion of Iraq, along with Donald Rumsfeld.

pan out

Entering an exam hall totally unprepared or walking the streets naked may soon become nightmares of the past. A Japanese toymaker, which has already brought us cats and dogs that “talk” said yesterday it had developed a gadget enabling people to turn fanciful daydreams into realistic night-time experiences. Before hitting the futon, all the owners of Yumemi Kobo, or Dream Workshop, have to do is stare at a photograph of what they would like to dream about and then record, in their own words, how the dream is supposed to pan out.
Perchance to dream - anything you like with the fantasy machine By Justin McCurry in Tokyo. At http://www.guardian.co.uk/japan/story/0,7369,1123396,00.html

coven

…and when Amelia arrives to awaken Marcus in just two day's time… we shell once again be united as a single coven!
dialogue from vampire movie Underworld 2003
This rare word is related to convent, which is related to convene. Coven is a group of (13) witches. Convent is a community or house for religous services or congregation, usually nuns. (AHD)

putzing

How I long to be like those lucky third world peoples, unburdened by the digital world, putzing around in their little villages, banging on drums and dancing after 12 hours of backbreaking work! What could be more satisfying than that?

squeaker

Once again, it looks like this race will be a squeaker — even now, polls place it in the margin of error. Strategists on both sides agree that ultimately the outcome will turn on person-to-person contact: the side that talks to its voters more and better wins.

punctilious

“As far as the service goes he is quite punctilious, your excellency; but his character…” said Timokhin.
Leo Tolstoy in War And Peace.

importune

It is a melancholy object to those who walk through this great town or travel in the country, when they see the streets, the roads, and cabin doors, crowded with beggars of the female sex, followed by three, four, or six children, all in rags and importuning every passenger for an alms.
A Modest Proposal by Jonathan Swift (1729)
I'm not going to minimize my [material] attachments by giving it all away, though, so you evangelists for a zillion worthy causes can just calm down out there and forget about hitting me up for megabucks. I am *not* going to be a soft touch, and will rudely refuse all importunities.
Computer programer Eric S Raymond on suddenly being a millionaire. 1999-12

reiment

As to my own part, having turned my thoughts for many years upon this important subject, and maturely weighed the several schemes of other projectors, I have always found them grossly mistaken in the computation. It is true, a child just dropped from its dam may be supported by her milk for a solar year, with little other nourishment; at most not above the value of 2s., which the mother may certainly get, or the value in scraps, by her lawful occupation of begging; and it is exactly at one year old that I propose to provide for them in such a manner as instead of being a charge upon their parents or the parish, or wanting food and raiment for the rest of their lives, they shall on the contrary contribute to the feeding, and partly to the clothing, of many thousands.
Jonathan Swift's A Modest Proposal (1729)
There are many words for clothing, among which are: cloth, clothing, attire, outfit, custome, uniform, apparel, dress, garment, wardrobe, habiliment (used in Edgar Allan Poe's The Masque of the Red Death), regalia…

pulchritudinous

Later legends interpret Medusa's inexplicable and archaic nature with narrative detail. She was given a genealogy: she was said to be a daughter of Phorcys and Ceto, a mortal woman whom Athena changed into a Gorgon as punishment for desecrating her temple by sleeping with Poseidon there. Some say that Poseidon raped her, while others say that she willingly had intercourse with him in Athena's sanctuary. Nonetheless, when Athena became aware of these activities going on in her temple, she became enraged. It may have been jealousy that provoked Athena to turn Medusa from a beautiful woman into the gorgon, for Medusa was reputed to be pulchritudinous, and her hair was particularly splendid. When Athena came upon Medusa and Poseidon (also an arch-rival of Athena's since he vied for dominance over Athens, Athena offering the olive tree, Poseidon, the horse), she turned Medusa's beautiful hair into snakey tendrils and banished her to the far ends of the earth beyond the Hyperborean lands where she remained with her sisters.

conflagration

We have followed one of the Grecian heroes, Ulysses, in his wanderings on his return home from Troy, and now we propose to share the fortunes of the remnant of the conquered people, under their chief Aeneas, in their search for a new home, after the ruin of their native city. On that fatal night when the wooden horse disgorged its contents of armed men, and the capture and conflagration of the city were the result, Aeneas made his escape from the scene of destruction, with his father, and his wife, and young son. The father, Anchises, was too old to walk with the speed required, and Aeneas took him upon his shoulders. Thus burdened, leading his son and followed by his wife, he made the best of his way out of the burning city; but, in the confusion, his wife was swept away and lost.
Bulfinch's Mythology: Adventures of Aeneas, By Thomas Bulfinch.
After spending the last few days on the PlayStation 2, I have a new nickname: Toast. That's what I became after repeatedly taking on the numerous conflagrations in “Firefighter F.D. 18.”
2004. online game review

satiety

American Heritage dictionary lists satiety and engorgement as synonyms.

virago

… be weary of this silver-tongued virago.
online forum

shellback

In comparatively modern days a sailing ship that generally ran regularly to Sydney was ordered to Brisbane for one voyage, and when passing Sydney met with a succession of baffling head winds. Old shellbacks in the crew carefully blindfolded the figurehead with tarpaulin until they were safely past their usual port.
2004-03: http://seagifts.com/seagifts/baudladshipf.html.«The Ancient Mariner is a California based specialty retailer of nautical, historical and nature gifts and collectibles.»

See also: Shellback, Figurehead.

bowdlerize

Perhaps the best-known translation to English speakers is that by Sir Richard Francis Burton, published as The Arabian Nights. Unlike previous editions, his 17-volume translation was not bowdlerized. Though published in the Victorian era, it contained all the sexual and moribund detail of the source material.
See also: some selected tales with annotations: The Arabian Nights

demur

Like a coy paramour being pursued by the most ardent suitors, Google may have sent both the NYSE and the Nasdaq into a frenzy on Thursday when it filed its shelf offering but demurred on the question of where it would list.
2004-05-03. financial news: google.com filing for IPO.
Note: demur is not demure.

solecism

“Thou” has a set of verb forms that should accompany it if you wish to use it without solecism. These verb forms are generally characterised by the endings -st or -est. They are used in both the present tense and the preterite forms. These are used on both strong and weak verbs.
article on English usage of “thou” Thou
See also: solecism.

wet-nurse

In Ithaca, Penelope was fending off countless suitors while Odysseus' mother, Anticlea, had died of grief. Odysseus disguised himself as an old man or a beggar. The first one to recognize him was his old wet-nurse, Euryclea.

hebephrenia

A type of schizophrenia, usually starting at puberty, characterized by foolish mannerisms, senseless laughter, delusions, hallucinations, and regressive behavior.
American Heritage Dict.

eviscerate

A few years back I was working with a guy who told me he believed that there was a hidden feminist agenda to completely eviscerate masculinity from the face of the planet.
2004. from the web.

minutiae

… Floyd's problem is simply stated, so that a student will not get bogged down in the sea of minutiae that often is present in real-life situations; the paradigms of computer science are learned more easily when a problem is not cluttered up by extraneous details.
Donald Knuth in Selected Papers in Computer Science. 1996
2007-10

ambit

Transhumanists seek to expand technological opportunities for people to live longer and healthier lives and to enhance their intellectual, physical, and emotional capacities. Both present technologies, such as genetic engineering, information technology, and pharmaceuticals, as well as anticipated future capabilities, such as nanotechnology, machine intelligence, uploading, “paradise-engineering”, and space colonization, are all part of the transhumanist ambit.
ambit = an area in which something acts or operates or has power or control.

scalp

MyDoom Net Worm Scores Hit, Knocks Out SCO Site: LONDON (Reuters) - The MyDoom Internet worm claimed its first scalp Sunday, paralyzing the Web site of American software firm SCO Group with a massive data blitz.
online tech news, 2003-02-01
See also: MyDoom

clamant

Each of the requisite technologies can be justified on its own as solving clamant problems of the present day Internet, and may be expected to be promoted or mandated as so doing.
The Digital Imprimatur By John Walker. At http://www.fourmilab.ch/documents/digital-imprimatur/

exculpation

One thing we could say by way of exculpation is that the American magazine industry, like American politics, is diseased by formula and a global failure of courage and creativity. And popular magazines practice a sort of least-common-denominator moronism that is common to all American mass-media, from major-label pop music to network television to, um, men's magazines. In fact, magazines such as Maxim are essentially Cosmo for men, and display no deeper set of truths. But the theme of what's wrong with men, though rich, must be left for another occasion.

kahuna

One of the benefits of being the Big Kahuna is that I get to trump everyone else in these decisions.
2001. Actual email dialogue from a Manager to her underling (me), said jokingly.
Kahuna burger
fictional burger joint from movie Pulp Fiction (1994)
Merriam-Webster defines Kahuna as Hawaiian witch doctor. Another interesting word from the above is “trump”.

ballyhoo

A year ago, Trent Edwards was winning games for Los Gatos High School, collecting awards as one of the nation's top quarterbacks and eventually making a ballyhooed commitment to Stanford.
San Jose Mercury News, 2002 nov 06
ballyhooed = to advertize or publicize noisily or blatantly.

salvo

What's up with you? Still finding orkut.com fascinating? Meeting any interesting people? Dates? Engaging in exothermic verbal salvos?
2004. from a friend.
Exothermic = Characterized by, or formed with, evolution of heat
salvo = rapid simultaneous discharge of firearms.

philistine

The first press screening at Cannes was at 8:30 a.m. That's the screening where all the real movie people attend — the critics, festival heads, distributors, exhibitors, film teachers, other directors, etc. (the evening black-tie audience is far more philistine). After the screening, the auditorium filled with booing and cheering — so equal in measure that people started booing or cheering at each other.
Roger Ebert's Movie review on Dancer in the Dark (2000) starring Björk. At Source
philistine = A person deficient in liberal culture and refinement.

hopscotch

“It looked as if a tornado touched down and hopscotched across Granby,” he told reporters.
Bulldozer rampage gunman dead Reuters. At Source
hopscotch = A child's game, in which a player, hopping on one foot, drives a stone from one compartment to another of a figure traced or scotched on the ground.

junket

politicians throw junkets
junkets = provide a feast or banquet for.

frugivorous

frugivorous animals are called frugivore; while there are herbivore, insectivore, carnivore and of course omnivore. Human animals are, of course, rather promiscuous when it comes to food. Herbs and insects are much eaten in Asia, while in modern West there's systematic birth'n'slaughter houses for meaty-animals (aka livestock). Asian tends to probe exotic food-choices. For example, they savor dog meat, rhino-hone, tiger penis, snake blood, shark fin, bear palm, monkey brain. Eating humans by humans is called cannibalism. Such practice can vary in context from survival to gourmet, both are rather hard to find and much looked down by modern educated ignoramuses.
Xah Lee.

pastiche

Ever since French semiotician Roland Barthes called professional wrestling a “spectacle of excess” in the 1950s, a small cottage industry of theorizing intellectuals has grown up around the sport. They've mined it for deeper meanings that casual fans might be missing, finding in the grandiloquent theatricality ancient dramas of Good versus Evil, morality plays exploring masculine virtues, and a postmodern pastiche of archetypes and characters drawing from cultures around the globe and across time.
britannica.com article on pro-wrestring. 2002. http://www.britannica.com/original?article_id=14429 (deceased)
pastiche = a work of art that imitates the style of some previous work.
2007-10

harrowing

by the time news of the harrowing collision became public… in both, there are hardliners, who seems to miss the days of cold war chest thumping, arrayed against accommodationists, who value, among other peace dividends, the $116 billion in annual trade…. The White House had decided not to attack the Chinese pilot for hotdogging near the U.S. plane, and instead called the collision an “accident.”… A tantalizing question through the first tense days was how much the 43rd President was huddling with the 41st. Bush gave no hint, even to some of his closest aides, that he was talking to his father, but everyone in the West Wing assumed he was. … He should have known that the Chinese don't respond well to bluster.
Saving Face By Nancy Gibbs And Michael Duffy Et Al. At http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,999668,00.html On the Chinese fighter collision with US spy plane incident. Hainan Island incident
bluster = To speak in a loudly arrogant or bullying manner. (AHD)
harrowing = Extremely distressing; agonizing: a harrowing experience. (AHD)

appurtenance

But a market which is obsessed with the tools and the appurtenances rather than the actual effects is clearly focusing on the wrong thing.
~2000. commentary on software by Nathan Myhrvold.
appurtenance = a supplementary component that improves capability. accessory; supplement; add-on.

huffy

Loopholes, though, are just the colorful, exotic side of the story. One of the great bipartisan axioms of our times is that if you irritate the rich and the corporations — for example, by insisting that they cough up some tax revenue — they'll get all huffy and will refuse to create any jobs for the rest of us.
Helping the Rich Stay That Way By Barbara Ehrenreich. At http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,980556,00.html
if memory serves, back when Ken only had a theory of neuroscience, not a theory of the universe, he kept talking about visiting college campuses and giving seminars where all the faculty would leave in huffs, but the students would sit rapt for hours and hours.
CompuServe Math forum post on a charlatan, early 1990
huffy = roused to anger.

addlepated

For those of us tired of the mindless preening, addlepated twittering, and senseless drivel that predominates other Orkut sex forums. Bring me your hungry, your perverse, your whoremonger smut snobs possessed of wit and savvy. Let us be lascivious and speak of taboo, tantalizing things as geeks and adults and brethren all sopping wet and throbbing hard yet possessed of communication skills. Barring that, let's just get nasty and make fun of stupid people.
2004, online forum charter at “orkut.com”.
preen = To dress with, or as with, a preen; to trim or dress with the beak, as the feathers.
addlepated = stupid and confused; used especially of persons.

gamine

So I have never met this bodacious Australian gamine, but her infinite sea of humor and playfulness… ah without it, Orkut would hardly be complete, no, not for me. I hope we meet up in our next lives as feline vikings, and eat many children.
2004, online friend-making site orkut.com “testimonial”.
bodacious = unrestrained by convention or propriety.
gamine = urchin, waif or playful, naughty child. gamine

tumblebug

tumblebug is a bug (beetle) that rolls dung.

doldrums

Although the PC market overall has lurched into the doldrums again, notebooks have fared better than desktops in a variety of markets for some time.
New Pentium 4-M breaks 2GHz barrier John G Spooner. CNet Source
doldrums = A period of stagnation or slump. [From obsolete doldrum, dullard, alteration (influenced by TANTRUM) of Middle English dold, past participle of dullen, to dull, from dul, dull. See dull.] (AHD) doldrums

festoon

I'm a man festooned with diseases and warts. You do not want to know me. The pain inside me is beyond your comprehension.
Xah Lee
festoon = A garland or wreath hanging in a depending curve, used in decoration for festivals, etc. festoon

dollop

The occupation began a few weeks ago, the day the big parcel arrived from Microsoft. “The Xbox,” said a co-worker we'll call Stein. He eyed the package hungrily, as if it were a hot pizza walking by itself down the hall. “Anyone want to play football?” asked his sidekick, JT. The two of them followed the thing into my office, where I uncrated it. It was a VCR-size video-game console, black with a dollop of mint jelly. I attached it to my TV. My friends elbowed me aside and booted up NFL Fever.
The Box Meets The Cube By Josh Quittner. At http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,1001240,00.html

whither

not to be confused with wither. Penises can wither. Whither is like a mix of whether, where, which. Not used in normal moden writings.

groggy

If you aren't used to sleeping twelve hours a night doing so will just make you groggy.
groggy = stunned or confused and slow to react.

svelte

Bourdon said the fact KHTML's small size — 140,000 lines of code — let Apple build a browser that is a svelte 3 MB in size. He compared that with Netscape's more than 17 MB, though that includes an e-mail reader and other peripheral applications.
Apple snub stings Mozilla By Paul Festa, CNET News.com.
svelte = gracefully slender; moving and bending with ease.

kipper

Supertramp - Breakfast in America Lyrics:

Take a look at my girlfriend
She's the only one I got
Not much of a girlfriend
Never seem to get a lot

Take a jumbo across the water
Like to see America
See the girls in California
I'm hoping it's going to come true
But there's not a lot I can do

Could we have kipper for breakfast
Mummy dear, Mummy dear
They got to have 'em in Texas
Cos everyone's a millionaire

I'm a winner, I'm a sinner
Do you want my autograph
I'm a loser, what a joker
I'm playing my jokes upon you
While there's nothing better to do

Don't you look at my girlfriend
She's the only one I got
Not much of a girlfriend
Never seem to get a lot

Take a jumbo cross the water
Like to see America
See the girls in California
I'm hoping it's going to come true
But there's not a lot I can do
kipper = salted and smoked herring. kipper

disquiet

New Year disquiets me

steamroll

“Oleg” is not the first person to encounter a text that presents the reader with two simultaneous impossibilities: (1) a different view to a reality he does not recognize but feels he should, and (2) such a powerful model (or set of models) that the reader has two choices: (a) to bow to and accept it, or (b) be steamrollered by it. The failure to deal with such impossibilities causes people to take to the street to protest against high prices of necessities, to fight globalization with riots, etc. The /right/ way to deal with it is of course to challenge the underlying model, but this requires both skill and intelligence; hence his profound sense of powerlessness.
online computing forum message, by kook persona Erik Naggum, 2003-01-10, “comp.lang.lisp” Source

munition

Ammunition and munition basically means the same thing. Ammunition means projectiles (bullets and missile etc) etc, while munition means all war material.

ingénue

Song: Life in Mono:
The stranger sang a theme
From someone else's dream
The leaves began to fall
And no one spoke at all
But I can't seem to recall
When you came along
Ingénue

Ingénue
I just don't know what to do

The tree-lined avenue
Begins to fade from view
Drowning past regrets
In tea and cigarettes
But I can't seem to forget
When you came along
Ingénue

Ingénue
I just don't know what to do
Lyrics of song Mono ♪ “Ingénue”.

glade

So we swim naked across the crystal clear blue lake to a verdant isle, where we passionately make love in a dark, secluded glade
2004. From online forum. (Lorand)
glade = a tract of land with few or no trees in the middle of a wooded area.

dolorous

The indolent moon shall wax with dolorous lust.
2004. From online forum. (Lorand)
indolent = disinclined to work or exertion.
dolorous = Full of grief; sad; sorrowful.
2007-10

ditsy

A: It just seems odd that the ditsy secretary gets the closing shot of the movie.
B: Hey - that “ditsy” secretary reads Dostoyevsky!:P ..
online forum about the movie High Art (1998)
ditsy = Eccentric or scatterbrained (Perhaps blend of DOTTY + DIZZY.) (AHD)

turpitude

… has gone to jail for committing unmentionable acts of moral turpitude.
2004. from online forum at “orkut.com”. (Lorand)
turpitude = a corrupt or depraved or degenerate act or practice.

personage

any personage who could order a whore to his room and then let her in to do god-knows-what should not be worrying about the quality of female at this point.
online chat. —Adele
personage = the external appearance, stature, figure, air, and the like, of a person.

caterwaul

cat in heat does caterwaul. It's quite something to hear.

coterie

At the rehearsals, Jobs huddled with his coterie of sycophants…
~2000. Articles on Steve Jobs.
synonyms: entourage, retinue

miff

I think it's mildly unfortunate that the KDE camp considered itself so cornered that it felt compelled to issue miffed and wounded-sounding position statements that it will continue to fight the good fight.
computing industry forum (slashdot.org).
Microsoft miffed AOL yesterday, because a feature in MSN Messenger software lets users communicate with those using AOL's Instant Messenger.
computing industry news. ~2001?

imprecation

imprecation is not to be confused with impregnation, or insemination, or implication.

doozy

In Breggin's [a psychatrist] case, his opponents found a doozy: the doctor once wrote approvingly of sexual relations between children.
source forgotten, probably Time magazine.
Not that there aren't gal assholes … but they tend to be fewer in number … but when you find one they can be real doozies.
~2000, mailing list message

cutthroat

me: do you want to play a round of game?
her: game OK, i don't want to have to win tho'
her: no cutthroat tactics

[2004. online chat with a cutthroat woman]

windfall

The real secret to such planning is patience. The investor must plan for the long term and consider short term profits a windfall.
2002. financial article
How Portal insiders reaped huge windfall
~1999. financial news on IPO manipulation
we were a nation of FARMERS before we became commuters and consumers. WINDFALL is the fruit which falls naturally from the tree and wasn't picked.
2004. email chat
SAN FRANCISCO (Billboard) - With a possible billion-dollar windfall at stake, U.S. music companies are eagerly awaiting the full-blown development of the stateside ringtone market.
2004-09 online business news.

waylaid

recently i was waylaid by a woman. I was going to say i was accosted by her, though that doesn't sound right. Man accosts woman, but from woman to man, we don't say accost by the nature of human animal's sexual sociology. Waylaid doesn't mean accost, but is a similar word that means ambush. Ambush is often used in military contexts, while waylaid is fitting between the sexes.

pie-in-the-sky

quite a number of people these days would like this nice, milky vision of culture in witch it's all rather improving, and leads us all to this nice little pie-in-the-sky moral heaven, where nobody's nasty to anybody else. But the only things is that literature, culture, art isn't put there to have that pleasant, normative effect.
--Robert Hughes, art critique, in the biography movie Crumb 1994.

tromping

At the beginning of this process, your cat could just step into the box; later he began jumping up into it, until at some point he probably started jumping up onto the toilet seat first and stepping into the box from there. You've been diligently keeping the lid up and the seat down, of course, so by now your cat is thoroughly familiar with tromping around on the open toilet.
2001. article on toilet training cat.

cathouse

patrons will be impressed by the snazzy multimedia presentations, such as an interactive computer map of early 20th century cathouses, with nice little Zagat-style reviews.
2002-10-21, Time Mag. Joel Stein.

sesquipedalian

I started studying words to prep for the SAT, but I've been addicted ever since. I have learned most of the words you list, but recently I've questioned the need for such sesquipedalian terms.
a student, ~2000

high-flown

pusillanimous is a high-flown word for cowardly, fearful, or timid. Don't spell it pussilanimous.
The Columbia Guide to Standard American English. 1993
high-flown = pretentious; Turgid; extravagant; bombastic.

lovesick

ok bye. let me know how it all turns out. send email. i want one LOVE-SICK email per day
2004. online chat. —Adele.
lovesick = Languishing with love or amorous desire.

pablum

Great website. Usually I can't stand insult humour, but yours is exceptional. You should be on tv in the USA to replace the present pablum.
2004. from email
pablum = a soft form of cereal for infants; worthless or oversimplified ideas.
2007-10

hetairai

Actually, you rarely see Greek goddesses nude. Only Aphrodite was regularly portrayed nude, the rest had their clothes on, and quite prim and proper mind you! A woman portrayed in art in a state of undress or in a sexually compromising position was generally a hetairai (a high class prostitute), not a proper wife - wives who were to bear citizen children were betrothed in arraigned marriages, kept cloistered and separate from the men, other than family or their husband. And clothed from neck to toe.
(I'm talking about the Athenians here, the Spartans were a bit different about dress and social morals between men and women)
Portrayal of male nudity was quite common, though.
2004. Online posting (by Robin “bijou”) on nudity in a Greek Mythology forum.

bedrock

HER: Andrew Carnegie… this is bedrock history 19th century robber-baron un-imaginable wealth

ME: why aren't you a Noble laureate?

HER: every damned American KNOWS this stuff — I am telling you this is bedrock info.
Online chat with Adale
bedrock = The solid rock that underlies loose material, such as soil, sand, clay, or gravel. (AHD) The basis, lowest point.

bluster

men are all bluster and have no stamina at all I have learned
2004. Online chat with Adale.

sashay

…He is a homosexual, and he doesn't understand that, either, but strange feelings fill him when the neighborhood drag queen sashays by.
1990, Roger Ebert review on movie Last Exit to Brooklyn (1989)

shibboleth

Heilbrun tells of her initial fascination with the idea of writing a biography of a woman ‘simultaneously the epitome of female beauty and the quintessence of female revolution’ who ‘confronted all the shibboleths of a patriarchal culture.’

Indeed, the reader finally realizes that it is Heilbrun who remains fixated on Steinem as ‘the pretty one.’ I counted more than a dozen voyeuristic comments on Steinem as a ‘looker,’ on how paradoxical this was for a feminist, and how nevertheless it gave Steinem confidence and cachet.

If we discount collections of articles, the one serious book Steinem has written is Revolution from Within, a best seller that was panned by feminist intellectuals as distracting from sexual politics but even more for its pop psychology and platitudinous self-help nostrums.

Steinem posted “Express, don't persuade” on her bulletin board, and Heilbrun seems not to worry that with this Steinem has arrogated to herself an illegitimate license to speak out without having to present arguments.
Feminist fatale ~ By Christina Hoff Sommers. At http://www.newcriterion.com/articlepdf.cfm/Feminist-fatale-4229
shibboleth = A word or pronunciation that distinguishes people of one group or class from those of another. (AHD) shibboleths

remiss

His last message on this subject was 8/10/04, and I have appended it below. I have been remiss in not answering him, but…
2004. email conversation

sleaze

Travis Bickle is a Vietnam veteran who cannot sleep at nights, so he decided to work long shifts at night driving a taxicab. As Travis drives around New York City, his feelings and emotion soon show: he is disgusted and angry at sleaze in the world, he hates pimps, and he is prejudiced against blacks.
review on movie Taxi Driver (1976)

rally

“It's all oil,” said Larry Wachtel, senior market analyst at Wachovia Securities. “As oil goes so does the market, and after the inventory figures came out and showed an unexpected rise,” the market was able to rally, he said.
2004-10. finance news

gumshoe

over the three-week investigation, the multi-agency task force fielded 138000 calls and enlisted everything from geographic profilers to Pentagon reconnaissance planes to help catch the quarry. But in the end it was old fashioned gumshoeing—and several helpful hints from the snipers themselves—that brought the arrest.
Time Mag, 2002-11-04, on a serial killing sniper case in Washionton (See: Beltway sniper attacks).
gumshoe = detective. From gum-shoe = sneaker.

unwieldy

unwieldy is a close synonym of ungainly. Unwieldy emphasizes the “difficult to handle with” part, while ungainly emphasizes the ugly part.

one could say that penises are unwieldy or ungainly. Likewise vaginas. On the other hand, both can and have been seen to be beautiful by different cultures throughout history. Oftentimes worshipped as a fetish. These copulation organs have been much the subject of art too, from Rodin's phallic Balzac to Georgia O'Keeffe's flowery vulva. The opposite of ungainly is engaging or comely. Whether human genitalia is seen as ugly or beautiful is much to one's upbringing.
2004. Xah Lee

camaraderie

Taste, smell, and visual enjoyment are also major contributions to the enjoyment of smoking, in addition to camaraderie with other smokers.

egoism

i'm an egoist, not egotist.

eponym

The term for words derived from people is called eponym.

The interesting ones are those imbued into the language in usage outside of specialized settings. For example, Freudian, Dickensian, Jeffersonian, Hegelian… are not interesting ones to etymologist, lexicographer, or word buffs like us. Better are: Christian, Buddism, machiavellian, draconian, sadistic, masochist, quixotic.
2004-11. Xah Lee.

stat

Nurse! I need 50ccs of Prozac, STAT!
2001. A comical exclamation from an online forum.

infirmity

As researchers on aging noted in a position statement this past May, no treatment on the market today has been proved to slow human aging—the buildup of molecular and cellular damage that increases vulnerability to infirmity as we grow older.
Scientific American, “The Serious Search for an Anti-Aging Pill”, August 2002, By Mark A Lane, Donald K Ingram and George S Roth. (article about Caloric restriction).

brunt

Battleship Row was the grouping of eight battleships in port at Pearl Harbor when the Japanese launched the Attack on Pearl Harbor. These ships bore the brunt of the Japanese assault.

at large

The suspect in a rash of thefts of surveillance cameras at local businesses was still at large Thursday, but investigators are pretty sure they know what he looks like. One picture taken by a camera before it was removed shows a man reaching up towards the device.
2004-11, online news

bankroll

Darrell Issa, who bankrolled the recall effort and said he would run for governor, abruptly dropped out of the race on August 7 among accusations that he had bankrolled the recall effort solely to get himself into office.

ballyhoo

(AP) - Initial shares of Google Inc. were priced late Wednesday at $85, the low end of a range revised downward just hours earlier, somewhat dampening expectations for the most ballyhooed Internet company public stock offering since the dot-com boom went bust. Still, the offering remains one of the biggest and most highly anticipated for an Internet company, surpassing most of the hot issues of the dot-com boom.
2004, business news

bootless

“Who wears a garment shapeless and unfinish'd?
Who plucks the bud before one leaf put forth?
If springing things be any jot diminish'd,
They wither in their prime, prove nothing worth:
The colt that's back'd and burden'd being young
Loseth his pride and never waxeth strong.

“You hurt my hand with wringing; let us part,
And leave this idle theme, this bootless chat:
Remove your siege from my unyielding heart;
To love's alarms it will not ope the gate:
Dismiss your vows, your feigned tears, your flattery;
For where a heart is hard they make no battery.”

“What! canst thou talk?” quoth she, “hast thou a tongue?
O, would thou hadst not, or I had no hearing!
Thy mermaid's voice hath done me double wrong;
I had my load before, now press'd with bearing:
Melodious discord, heavenly tune harshsounding,
Ear's deep-sweet music, and heart's deep-sore wounding.
I happened to watch a movie Intolerable Cruelty (2003) and in it contained a bantering, between a man and a woman, over a dinner table in a restaurant. Among which goes: “Dismiss your vows, your feigned tears, your flattery; For where a heart is hard they make no battery.” I was fascinated by the quick quips. Upon looking up, i found this poem.
2007-10

machination

these boys… it's not their own idea, … that drives them to go out and hurt Lavinia… it comes from the machination of Aaron the Moor.
commentary from Julie Taymor's Titus
machination = A crafty scheme or cunning design for the accomplishment of a sinister end. (AHD)

smitten

this character has never been in love before, and now he's smitten.
commentary from Julie Taymor's Titus
Lotte, i'm smitten with you.
dialogue from movie Being John Malkovich, 1999
smitten = To inflict a heavy blow on, with or as if with the hand, a tool, or a weapon; To affect sharply with great feeling.

quicksilver

violence is something that's so quicksilver… it can come and go… it's just a snap of emotion here and there, it's so easy to manipulate, to be pushed into one direction or another.
commentary from Julie Taymor's Titus
quicksilver = liable to sudden unpredictable change. Mercury was commonly called quicksilver. From which we also have the word mercurial, and Roman God Mercury..

ennui

What set the book apart from its predecessors in the vampire genre was its confessional tone offering the point-of-view of the vampire himself and touching on existential despair and the sheer ennui of lifeless immortality. Anne Rice's previous experience writing bodice-rippers and lush pornography came into play
bodice-ripper = a popular modern variety of romance that emphasizes the sexual excitement of seduction and “ravishment”, usually in colorful settings based on the conventions of the historical novel and peopled by pirates, highwaymen, wenches etc. (excerpt from Concise Oxford Dictionary of Literary Terms) See also some Wikipedia highlight of Romance Novels.
ennui = Listlessness and dissatisfaction resulting from lack of interest. (AHD)

racy

Lilli was a gold-digging character from a “racy” comic strip drawn by Reinhard Beuthin for die Bild Zeitung, and the Lilli doll began to be sold in Germany in 1955. It was marketed to adults, not children: M. G. Lord, in her Forever Barbie: The Unauthorized Biography of a Real Doll, characterized the original doll as a “gag gift for men, a pornographic character.”
2004-01 Barbie
gold-digger = A woman who seeks money and expensive gifts from men. See also: Barbie Anthropology.
racy = Risqué; ribald. Though, originally the word means something like “Having a strong flavor indicating origin; of distinct characteristic taste; tasting of the soil; hence, fresh; rich”; “Hence: Exciting to the mental taste by a strong or distinctive character of thought or language; peculiar and piquant; fresh and lively.”

chaplet

As she passed along, the people sang her praises, and strewed her way with chaplets and flowers.
chaplet = A wreath or garland for the head. (AHD)

raconteur

Yes, the “Story” as an information vehicle. That was how people held and disseminated ideas. Raconteurship was a skillful entertainment that served far more of a purpose then than now. Movies are one of the vestiges of raconteurship.
philosopher friend Paul Kiesow in chat referring to The Arabian Nights.
raconteur = a person skilled in telling anecdotes.

politburo

Mao Zedong (1893 – 1976) was the chairman of the Politburo of the Communist Party of China from 1943 and the chairman of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China from 1945 until his death.
politburo = the chief executive and political committee of the Communist Party.

antic

The Anna Nicole Show focused on her personal and private life in the manner of other “reality” shows such as the recent hit The Osbournes. Critics blasted it, saying it was so bad it deserved to be pitied. The show's debut was a bomb, and ratings dropped with each successive week. However, it achieved a kind of camp or cult status as many fans found humor in Smith's absurd and arguably stupid antics.
antic = a ludicrous or grotesque act done for fun and amusement.

no-holds-barred

The magazine fell into a niche between Playboy's upper-class pretensions and Larry Flynt's no-holds-barred approach (Hustler mag), and began to lose the impact it once had.
Bob Guccione (2004-07) (article on Penthouse mag founder.)
no-holds-barred = unrestrained.

outgun

Penthouse was eventually outgunned by Larry Flynt's Hustler, which went even farther with both pictorials and editorial content than Guccione was willing to go.
2004-07, Bob Guccione

segue

The movie opens with “The Customer is Always Right,” (though this segment uses the red dress from another short story in “The Babe Wore Red” collection) after which it segues into the opening credit sequence.
segue = proceed without interruption; in music or talk.

fencing

he is often fencing stolen property or arranging early furloughs for incarcerated former criminal associates — for a hefty fee, of course — on the side.
The Penguin (fictional char from Batman)
furlough = A leave of absence from prison granted to a prisoner. (AHD)
fencing = (slang) To sell (stolen goods) thru a fence.

lovesick

ok bye let me know how it all turns out. Send email i want one LOVE-SICK email per day
2004. Adale in online chat.
lovesick = Languishing with love or amorous desire.

débutante

When I met you in the restaurant
You could tell I was no débutante
You asked me what's my pleasure
A movie or a measure?
I'll have a cup of tea and tell you of my dreaming
Dreaming is free
Lyrics from Blondie's Dreaming.
debutante = a young woman making her debut into society.

lubber

Deep sea fish is a term for fish that live below the photic zone of the ocean. Examples include the lanternfish, flashlight fish, cookie-cutter shark and anglerfish.

Because these fish live in regions where there is no natural illumination, they cannot rely solely on their eyesight for locating prey, mates, avoiding predators and whatnot; deep sea fish have developed alternative methods to what us land lubbers call everyday survival. Many deep sea fish are bio-luminescent, with extremely large dark-adapted eyes. Some deep sea fish have long feelers to help them locate prey in the eternal dark of the deep ocean.
lubber = an awkward stupid person.

variorum

A later variorum edition provided many alternate wordings from which Johnson, in a more limited editorial intervention, had been forced to choose for the sake of readability.
variorum = a edition containing various versions of a text or notes by various scholars or editors.

floozy

A professional floozy of the first order, Bild Zeitung's Lilli traded sex for money, delivered sassy comebacks to police officers, and sought the company of “balding, jowly fatcats,” says Lord.
The Littlest Harlot by Tracy Quan. At http://www.salon.com/1997/11/26/26harlot/ (on origin of Barbie).
comeback = a quick reply to a question or remark (especially a witty or critical one).
jowly = having sagging folds of flesh beneath the chin or lower jaw.
floozy = a prostitute who attracts customers by walking the streets.

paean

The album also included “She Bop”, a paean to female masturbation, and the romantic ballad “Time After Time”, an instant “standard” which has since been covered by over 70 artists (most notably Miles Davis).
See also: She Bop (lyrics commentary)

peripatetic

There are three kinds of nomads, hunter-gatherers, pastoral nomads, and peripatetic nomads.

Nomadic hunter-gatherers have by far the longest-lived subsistence method in human history, following seasonally available wild plants and game. Pastoralists raise herds and move with them so as not to deplete pasture beyond recovery in any one area. Peripatetic nomads are more common in industrialized nations, traveling from one territory to another and offering a trade wherever they go.
peripatetic = traveling especially on foot.
2007-10

tenebrous

I like long and unusual words, and anybody who does not share my tastes is not compelled to read me. Policemen and politicians are under some obligation to make themselves comprehensible to the intellectually stunted, but not I. Let my prose be tenebrous and rebarbative; let my pennyworth of thought be muffled in gorgeous habilements; lovers of Basic English will look to me in vain.
Robertson Davies in “Marchbanks' Garland”.

infelicities

After a year or two, many typographical errors and infelicities had been spotted. I took on the role of gathering and acting on these corrections, with the following goals.
The Haskell 98 Report by Simon Peyton Jones. Source A computer language manual.

sartorially

Vampire. In Myth: Lithe, seductive, hypnotic creatures of the night who revel in bacchanalian pleasure seeking and live wild and erotic unlives. In Reality: Clumsy, fat, socially inept, sartorially blinded fck-ups that are so pathetic even the goths won't hang out with them anymore.
from a satirical website http://www.encyclopediadramatica.com/index.php/Main_Page
sartorially = Of or relating to a tailor, tailoring, or tailored clothing: sartorial elegance. (AHD)

profligacy

If my character is flawed by a few minor faults, but is otherwise decent and moral, if you can point out only a few scattered blemishes on an otherwise immaculate surface, if no one can accuse me of greed, or of pruriance, or of profligacy, if I live a virtuous life, free of defilement (pardon, for a moment, my self-praise), and if I am to my friends a good friend, my father deserves all the credit… As it is now, he deserves from me unstinting gratitude and praise. I could never be ashamed of such a father, nor do I feel any need, as many people do, to apologize for being a freedman's son.
From the Roman poet Quintus Horatius Flaccus (BCE 65-68), translated and quoted from Horace

copasetic

“All right, this is the way it's gonna work. We drop everybody off at their houses. Everybody's gonna sit tight until I go make sure everything's copathetic with Kile and Jasper.”

“The word is copasetic, Marty.”
dialogue from movie Mean Creek (2004).
copasetic = completely satisfactory.
2007-10

loamy

Wheat fields in northern Morocco have soils that are loamy and rich.
Google Earth National Geographics caption.

truancy

The Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund (MALDEF) took a cautious stand of discouraging truancy from school, and encouraging participants in the strike to “get pre-approval of a holiday or ‘leave without pay’ from […] work”.

jabber

He knew us by our countenances to be Englishmen, and jabbering to us in his own language, swore we should be tied back to back and thrown into the sea.

buss

Thereupon the Sultan came down forthright from his seat of estate and, forbidding him to buss the carpet, embraced and kissed and seated him to the right of and beside himself.
from Aladdin (Sir Richard Burton).

Hooliganism

Hooliganism refers to unruly and destructive behavior. Such behavior is commonly associated with sports fans, particularly supporters of professional football and university sports.

petrichor

Petrichor is the name of the yellow organic oil that causes the familiar scent of rain on dry earth.

The term was coined by Bear and Thomas (1964), two Australian researchers for an article in the journal Nature. In the article, the smell is shown to derive from an oil exuded by certain plants during dry periods, whereupon it is adsorbed by clay-based soils and rocks. During rain, the oil is released into the air along with another compound, geosmin, producing the distinctive scent. In a follow up paper, Bear and Thomas (1965) showed the oil retards seed germination and early plant growth.

loft

That's as far as you get with the dome kit: a plywood shell. It looks like an enormous accomplishment, but it is really only about one percent of the finished house. The dome will not support anything but itself, so if you want a loft or second floor, you have to build another house inside the one you just built.

inclement

The first man I saw was of a meagre aspect, with sooty hands and face, his hair and beard long, ragged, and singed in several places. His clothes, shirt, and skin, were all of the same colour. He has been eight years upon a project for extracting sunbeams out of cucumbers, which were to be put in phials hermetically sealed, and let out to warm the air in raw inclement summers.

corrigendum

Since the completion of the original version of the standard in May of 2003, the JVT has also completed two generations of corrigendum errata corrections to the text of the standard.

plenary

The host committee in Beijing also asked Tian to give a plenary address.
http://www.newyorker.com/fact/content/articles/060828fa_fact2 “Manifold Destiny: a legendary problem and the battle over who solved it”. By Sylvia Nasar and David Gruber. August 28, 2006

altercation

In 1881, Poincaré, who was then at the University of Caen, had an altercation with a German mathematician in Leipzig named Felix Klein.
http://www.newyorker.com/fact/content/articles/060828fa_fact2 “Manifold Destiny: a legendary problem and the battle over who solved it”. By Sylvia Nasar and David Gruber. August 28, 2006

parochial

There are parochial villagers who still use the imperial system. (for measurement, as opposed to the metric system)
from a friend in chat.
2007-10

tattle

Then let the ladies tattle what they please.

Cause célèbre

A cause célèbre is an issue or incident arousing widespread controversy, outside campaigning and/or heated public debate. It is particularly used for famous long-running legal cases.

cob and pen

Swans usually mate for life, though “divorce” does sometimes occur, particularly following nesting failure … An adult male is a “cob”, an adult female is a “pen”.

licentiousness

This illustrious person had very usefully employed his studies, in finding out effectual remedies for all diseases and corruptions to which the several kinds of public administration are subject, by the vices or infirmities of those who govern, as well as by the licentiousness of those who are to obey.

abscond

Meanwhile, Akasha absconded with Lestat to remote places around the world, spreading her dictum that she is the “Queen of Heaven” with Lestat as her mute consort, and commanding women to rise up and kill every man and boy, save a few.

sirrah

TAMORA: Come, sirrah, you must be hang'd.
Titus Andronicus (Shakespeare)

mattock

'Tis you must dig with mattock and with spade

scrivener

The contemporary scriveners and printers, who between them provided our only sources, may have botched lines.
online forum post, 2006, about Shakespeare's plays.

jasper

Accordingly, he rose up and the Slave carried him in the space of an eye-glance to the pavilion which, when Alaeddin looked upon it struck him with surprise at such building, all its stones being of jasper and alabaster
Aladdin (Sir Richard Burton)

synecdoche

The Acheron is a river located in the Epirus region of northwest Greece. Acheron translates as the “river of woe” and it was believed to be a branch of the underworld river Styx over which in ancient Greek mythology Charon ferried the newly dead souls across into Hades.

The word is also occasionally used as a synecdoche for Hades itself.

saunter

And gradually she lost her fear, and he
Offered his breast for her virgin caresses,
His horns for her to wind with chains of flowers
Until the princess dared to mount his back
Her pet bull's back, unwitting whom she rode.
Then — slowly, slowly down the broad, dry beach —
First in the shallow waves the great god set
His spurious hooves, then sauntered further out
'til in the open sea he bore his prize
Fear filled her heart as, gazing back, she saw
The fast receding sands. Her right hand grasped
A horn, the other lent upon his back
Her fluttering tunic floated in the breeze.
Europa (mythical), of Ovid's poem Metamorphoses describing the story of Art: Europa and the Bull.

lob

lobs his whiskey glass towards the fireplace
online chat forum

cortége

As soon as he came out he donned a dress more magnificent than the former and took horse with Emirs and the soldier-officers riding before him and forming a grand cortége
Aladdin (Sir Richard Burton).

impute

To keep senators in the interest of the crown, it was proposed that the members should raffle for employment; every man first taking an oath, and giving security, that he would vote for the court, whether he won or not; after which, the losers had, in their turn, the liberty of raffling upon the next vacancy. Thus, hope and expectation would be kept alive; none would complain of broken promises, but impute their disappointments wholly to fortune, whose shoulders are broader and stronger than those of a ministry.

jalousie

Then Alaeddin preceded the Sultan till he conducted him to the upper Kiosque where he saw its skylights, windows and latticed casements and jalousies wholly made of emeralds and rubies and other costly gems …
Aladdin (Sir Richard Burton).

popish

AARON. What if I do not? as indeed I do not;
Yet, for I know thou art religious
And hast a thing within thee called conscience,
With twenty popish tricks and ceremonies
Which I have seen thee careful to observe,
Therefore I urge thy oath. For that I know
An idiot holds his bauble for a god,
And keeps the oath which by that god he swears,
To that I'll urge him. Therefore thou shalt vow
By that same god- what god soe'er it be
That thou adorest and hast in reverence-
To save my boy, to nourish and bring him up;
Or else I will discover nought to thee.

vale

No vast obscurity or misty vale,
Where bloody murder or detested rape
Can couch for fear but I will find them out;
And in their ears tell them my dreadful name-
Revenge, which makes the foul offender quake.

execrable

Give sentence on the execrable wretch
That hath been breeder of these dire events.

conscription

He later commented that a part of reason he went to medical school was to avoid conscription and that he actually did not like seeing blood.

moiety

Next morning Alaeddin arose to look at the jeweller's work and remarked that they had not finished a moiety of what was wanting to the Kiosque-window
Aladdin (Sir Richard Burton).
2007-10

prate

… when he had rested from the weariness of wayfare, he donned his dress and went down to wander about the streets, where he never passed a group without hearing them prate about the pavilion and its grandeur and vaunt the beauty of Alaeddin…
Aladdin (by Sir Richard Burton).

prithee

The Moorman replied, “The sum of my wishes is to look upon this pavilion and, if thou wouldest do me a favour, prithee guide me thereunto, for I am a foreigner.”
Aladdin (by Sir Richard Burton).

prithee = pray thee; please.

natal

… 'tis my desire that thou cause me taste the wine of thy natal soil, the African land, because …
Aladdin (by Sir Richard Burton).

natal, as in prenatal.

thrall

O my father, I recovered not life save yesterday when I saw my husband, and he it was who freed me from the thraldom of that Maghrabi, that Magician, that Accursed, than whom I believe there be none viler on the face of earth
Aladdin (by Sir Richard Burton).

thrall = Slavery; bondage; servitude. Compare today's “enthrall”.

vascular

This is typically known as “carb-loading.” The end result is an ultra-lean bodybuilder with full hard muscles and a dry, vascular appearance

gourmand

The future King Louis XVI was a shy, affable, blundering gourmand who fell so far short of his royal forebears' womanizing prowess that he failed to complete sexual intercourse with his own wife for the first seven years of their marriage.

parasol

The location photography and crisp editing are splendid, but less impressive are the dull re-creations where an actress standing in for Marie Antoinette gratuitously wanders around with a parasol, her slack or striding contemporary body language and mannish, athletic hands at jarring odds with what the narrator is telling us about the queen's “Habsburg dignity and French grace.” The magical “Versailles glide” is nowhere in sight.

provincialism

Admirably, this Marie Antoinette uses subtitles instead of voice-overs for its fascinating interviews with French historians. Foreign languages are too rarely heard on mainstream American TV, including news programs, an omission that can only worsen national provincialism.

rancorous

Has representative democracy, paralyzed by rancorous partisanship and bureaucratic incompetence, become the waning ancien regime assailed by hordes at the gates?

salacious

… dismisses salacious rumors about the queen's nymphomania and lesbianism and induces respect for the queen's courage in adversity.

sobriquet

For two centuries, views of Marie Antoinette have been sharply polarized: She was either a saint and martyr or a monster and a Messalina (one of the many scathing sobriquets flung at her in her lifetime).

antic

… we all three entered the gate of the palace between two rows of guards, armed and dressed after a very antic manner, and with something in their countenances that made my flesh creep with a horror I cannot express.

epistolary

The narrative is extraordinarily dependent upon correspondence as a medium for ensuring the flow of events, and while not an epistolary novel in the way that Pierre Choderlos de Laclos' Les Liaisons Dangereuses is, nevertheless, it is immediately apparent that the flow of letters forms a driving center to much of the narrative development in this novel.

See also: Epistolary novel

slipshod

Anna Leonowens (November, 1831 - January 19, 1915) is chiefly famous for being the British governess portrayed in the musical The King and I. The play, based on adaptations of her factually slipshod memoirs, provides a fictionalised look at her life in the royal court of Siam (present-day Thailand).

fiat

Now by the fiat of Fate on the very next day Fatimah came down to the city…
Aladdin (Sir Richard Burton).
money by fiat

supine

Moslems are curious about sleeping postures and the popular saying is:—Lying upon the right side is proper to Kings; upon the left to Sages, to sleep supine is the position of Allah's Saints and prone upon the belly is peculiar to the Devils.
Aladdin (Sir Richard Burton).

obeisance

… the Sultan appeared and the Wazirs made their obeisance and likewise did the Nobles and the Notables.
from Aladdin (by Sir Richard Burton).

See also: Obeisance

promenade

So doing they left the city-gate, and the Maroccan took to promenading with Alaeddin amongst the gardens and to pointing out for his pleasure the mighty fine pleasances and the marvellous high-builded pavilions.
from Aladdin (by Sir Richard Burton).

remission

Godiva (or Godgifu) (fl. 1040 – 1080) was an Anglo-Saxon noblewoman who, according to legend, rode naked through the streets of Coventry in England in order to gain a remission of the oppressive toll imposed by her husband on his tenants.
2007-10

renege

When Tesla inquired about the $50,000, Edison reportedly replied to him, “Tesla, you don't understand our American humor,” and reneged on his promise
the terrorists reneged and killed the hostages

campy

During this time she fought villains such as Catwoman, Doctor Cyber, the hippy gang THEM!, and the campy witch Morgana.

wide-eyed

Wonder Woman was rebooted in 1987… Indeed, her character was wide-eyed and naive, innocent and without guile.

calamari

calamari: Squid prepared as food.

unmitigatable

… Another definition would be an existentialist state of ever-elusive freedom while existing under unmitigatable control.

thespian

Snow was born and raised in Santa Maria, CA, but also spent time in Albuquerque, New Mexico. She's been a thespian since the age of 12, performing in local community and regional theatre.

nosegay

A nosegay, posey (or posy), flower bouquet or tussie-mussie is a small bunch of flowers, typically given as a gift. They have existed in some form since at least mediaeval times, when they were worn around the head or on the lapel to mask the unpleasant smells of the time - literally, to keep the nose gay (happy). In their current form, they rose to popularity during the reign of Queen Victoria, from 1837 onwards, at which time the tussie-mussie became a popular fashion accessory.

starboard

starboard and larboard (or port)

ancillary

The above calculations do not account for the ancillary effect of (light bulb) heat on energy costs.

sissy bar

It is amazing, how some terminologies disclose a lot info about the psyche of the human animal community that created it. Today, i learned about Sissy Bar.Here's what it means, from wikipedia:«A sissy bar, also called a “bitch bar” or “passenger backrest”, is an addition to the rear of a motorcycle that allows the rider or passenger to recline against it while riding.».
Xah Lee

bloodletting

Bloodletting (or blood-letting, in modern medicine referred to as phlebotomy) was a popular medical practice from antiquity up to the late 19th century, involving the withdrawal of often considerable quantities of blood from a patient in the hopeful belief that this would cure or prevent a great many illnesses and diseases.

denouement

… I was not a little astonished to discover that the literary world has hitherto been strangely in error respecting the fate of the vizier's daughter, Scheherazade, as that fate is depicted in the «Arabian Nights»; and that the denouement there given, if not altogether inaccurate, as far as it goes, is at least to blame in not having gone very much farther.

confer

Having fulfilled this vow for many years to the letter, and with a religious punctuality and method that conferred great credit upon him as a man of devout feeling and excellent sense, he was interrupted one afternoon (no doubt at his prayers) by a visit from his grand vizier, to whose daughter, it appears, there had occurred an idea.

munificent

No sooner had we got rid of these birds, which occasioned usgreat annoyance, than we were terrified by the appearance of a fowl ofanother kind, and infinitely larger than even the rocs which I met inmy former voyages; for it was bigger than the biggest of the domes onyour seraglio, oh, most Munificent ofCaliphs.

behest

People observed the planets going around the sun according to the law of gravitation, and they thought that God had given a behest to these planets to move in that particular fashion, and that was why they did so.
Why I'm not a Christian by Bertrand Russell.

voluble

There the voluble mouth and bright penetrating eye are ever directed toward the Master of the household
Flatland by Edwin A Abbott.
voluble = Moving with ease and smoothness in uttering words; of rapid speech; nimble in speaking; glib; as, a flippant, voluble, tongue.

heckle

In another instance, Coulter was heckled while speaking at a crowd of 2,600 at the University of Connecticut to the point that she ended her speech early and began to take questions from the audience, remarking that “I love to engage in repartee with people who are stupider than I am.”
See also: Heckled.
heckle = To shout questions or jibes at (a public speaker), so as to disconcert him or render his talk ineffective.

rabble

Had the acute-angled rabble been all, without exception, absolutely destitute of hope and of ambition, they might have found leaders in some of their many seditious outbreaks, so able as to render their superior numbers and strength too much even for the wisdom of the Circles.
Flatland by Edwin A Abbott.

careering

… the dashing and flashing of the five-coloured and six-coloured Pentagons and Hexagons careering across the field in their offices of surgeons, geometricians and aides-de-camp — all these may well have been sufficient to render credible the famous story how an illustrious Circle, overcome by the artistic beauty of the forces under his command, threw aside his marshal's baton and his royal crown, exclaiming that he henceforth exchanged them for the artist's pencil.
Flatland by Edwin A Abbott.
Career as a verb means: To move or run at full speed.

pretension

that upon the confidence of some merit, the war being at an end, he went to Rome, and solicited at the court of Augustus to be preferred to a greater ship, whose commander had been killed; but, without any regard to his pretensions, it was given to a boy who had never seen the sea, the son of Libertina, who waited on one of the emperor's mistresses.
pretension = A claim to something, such as a privilege or right. “prefer” here means: To file, prosecute, or offer for consideration or resolution before a magistrate, court, or other legal authority.
2007-10

cognizance

With them, the eye is situated so far from their vertex that they can scarcely take cognizance of what goes on at that extremity of their frame.
Flatland by Edwin A Abbott.

scout

“The Irregular,” they say, “is from his birth scouted by his own parents, derided by his brothers and sisters, neglected by the domestics, scorned and suspected by society, and excluded from all posts of responsibility, trust, and useful activity.
Flatland by Edwin A Abbott.

Scout means: To spy on or explore carefully in order to obtain information; reconnoiter. e.g. boy scout. (AHD)

copious

it was easy to be eloquent on so copious and delightfula subject, especially to me, who had been often apt to amuse myselfwith visions of what I should do, if I were a king, a general, or agreat lord: and upon this very case, I had frequently run over the wholesystem how I should employ myself, and pass the time, if I were sureto live for ever.

sonorousness

The tact and skill which suffice to avert a Woman's sting are unequal to the task of stopping a Woman's mouth; and as the wife has absolutely nothing to say, and absolutely no constraint of wit, sense, or conscience to prevent her from saying it, not a few cynics have been found to aver that they prefer the danger of the death-dealing but inaudible sting to the safe sonorousness of a Woman's other end.
Flatland by Edwin A Abbott.

demur

«In the myth sung by the bard in the hall of Alcinous (Odyssey viii.300ff) the Sun-God, Helios, once spied Ares and Aphrodite enjoying each other secretly in the hall of Hephaestus and how he promptly reported the incident to Aphrodite's Olympian consort. Hephaestus contrived to catch the couple in the act, and so he fashioned a net with which to snare the illicit lovers. At the appropriate time, this net was sprung, and trapped Ares and Aphrodite locked in very private embrace. But Hephaestus was not yet satisfied with his revenge - he invited the Olympian gods and goddesses to view the unfortunate pair. For the sake of modesty, the goddesses demurred, but the male gods went to witness the sight. Some commented on the beauty of Aphrodite, others remarked that they would eagerly trade places with Ares, but all mocked the two. Once the couple were loosed, Ares, embarrassed, sped away to his homeland, Thrace.»

whole cloth

Roman mythology, the mythological beliefs of the people of Ancient Rome, can be considered as having two parts. One part, largely later and literary, consists of whole cloth borrowings from Greek mythology. The other, largely early and cultic, functioned in very different ways from its Greek counterpart.

avarice

Otherwise, as avarice is the necessary consequence of old age, those immortals would in time become proprietors of the whole nation, and engross the civil power, which, for want of abilities to manage, must end in the ruin of the public.

grist

These and other historical matters became grist for the mills of his imagination, and by his treatment they provide transforming revelations in paradoxes. It is paradoxical, to begin with, that this first serious literary treatment of Japan should be in the context of make-believe lands. It is paradoxical that in the beginning of the third voyage a Dutchman — a fellow Protestant — demands the death of Gulliver, but the Japanese captain — a “heathen” — shows mercy and saves his life. Paradoxically, the only real nation he visits is the one whose language, Japanese, he can make no claim to have learned.
Gulliver's Travels And Japan: A New Reading By Maurice Johnson, Kitagaki Muneharu, Philip Williams. At http://www.jaffebros.com/lee/gulliver/moonlight/intro.html

Acousticophilia

«Acousticophilia is a form of paraphilia where sexual arousal is derived from sounds like music, poems or foreign-language chitchat. People with this condition usually have a specific interest, such as female Japanese conversation.»

higgledy-piggledy

I have that book. It is passing strange, lots of nice bits but all higgledy-piggledy. Made me wonder if this was a sign of a lack of editorial direction for authors these days. What the writer needed was someone to oversee the work and help him with a structure.
2007-04-25. Richard Bollard on alt.usage.english newsgroup.

internecine

Sometime between the eighteenth century European visits to the Island and the mid nineteenth century all of the Moai that had been erected on Ahus were toppled, leaving few Moai standing apart from the partially buried ones on the outer slopes of Rano Raraku. Oral histories indicate that this was part of internecine conflict among the islanders rather than earthquake or other cause.

lassitude

On the darker side, the leadership has often experienced in its hybrid system the worst results of socialism (bureaucracy, lassitude, political corruption, disrespect of personal property) and of capitalism (windfall gains, a huge and widening gap between rich and poor, stepped-up inflation).

pastiches

Ranma 1/2 (a Japanese comics): Pastiches of the characters [Journey to the West novel] appear throughout the manga and movies.

fillip

The publication of nude paparazzi pictures of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis in August 1975 was a major fillip.

vitiated

Boolos was an authority on the 19th-century German mathematician and philosopher Gottlob Frege. Boolos proved a conjecture due to Crispin Wright (and also proved, independently, by others), that the system of Frege's Grundgesetze, long thought vitiated by Russell's paradox, could be freed of inconsistency by replacing one of its axioms, the notorious Basic Law V with Hume's Principle. The resulting system has since been the subject of intense work.

augury

The bog bodies seem consistently to have been members of the upper class: their fingernails are manicured and tests on hair protein routinely record good nutrition. Strabo records that the Celts practiced auguries on the entrails of human victims: on some bog bodies, such as one of the Weerdinge Men found in southern Netherlands, the entrails have been partly drawn out through incisions.

bog

A bog is a wetland type that accumulates acidic peat, a deposit of dead plant material.

sortie

He [Peter Vladimirov] also expressed frustration at not being allowed by the Chinese Communists to visit the frontline, although as a foreign diplomat Vladimirov may have been overly optimistic to expect to be allowed to join Chinese guerrilla sorties.

whitewash

The Japanese invasion of its neighbours is often glorified or whitewashed, and wartime atrocities, most notably the Nanjing Massacre, comfort women, and Unit 731, are frequently denied by such individuals [the Japanese nationalists and/or right-wingers].

rove

Only my affectionate Wife, alarmed by my continued absence, had quitted her room and was roving up and down in the Hall, anxiously awaiting my return.
2007-10

stewardship

By the time Netscape assumed stewardship, the Open Directory Project had about 100,000 URLs indexed with contributions from about 4500 editors.
stewardship = the position of steward. (steward = someone who manages property or other affairs for someone else)

carousing

Now my cousin and I were sworn friends, for he ever entreated me with exceeding kindness. He killed for me the fattest sheep and strained the best of his wines, and we enjoyed long conversing and carousing. One day when the wine had gotten the better of us, the son of my uncle said to me, “O my cousin, I have a great service to ask of thee, and I desire that thou stay me not in whatso I desire to do!” And I replied, “With joy and goodly will.”
The First Kalandar's Tale (Arabian Nights; Richard Burton)
carousing = To engage in boisterous, drunken merrymaking. (AHD)

diadem

Noble patricians, patrons of my right,
Defend the justice of my cause with arms;
And, countrymen, my loving followers,
Plead my successive title with your swords.
I am his first born son that was the last
That wore the imperial diadem of Rome;
Then let my father's honours live in me,
Nor wrong mine age with this indignity.
Titus, act 1 scene 1 (Shakespeare)
diadem = a ornamental jewelled headdress signifying sovereignty.

declivity

The declivity was so small, that I walked near a mile before I got to the shore …
declivity = a downward slope or bend.

fecundity

The Time Traveller (for so it will be convenient to speak of him) was expounding a recondite matter to us. His grey eyes shone and twinkled, and his usually pale face was flushed and animated. The fire burned brightly, and the soft radiance of the incandescent lights in the lilies of silver caught the bubbles that flashed and passed in our glasses. Our chairs, being his patents, embraced and caressed us rather than submitted to be sat upon, and there was that luxurious after-dinner atmosphere when thought runs gracefully free of the trammels of precision. And he put it to us in this way—marking the points with a lean forefinger—as we sat and lazily admired his earnestness over this new paradox (as we thought it) and his fecundity.
fecundity = the intellectual fruitfulness of a creative imagination.

viand

But man differs from other animals in one very important respect, and that is that he has some desires which are, so to speak, infinite, which can never be fully gratified, and which would keep him restless even in Paradise. The boa constrictor, when he has had an adequate meal, goes to sleep, and does not wake until he needs another meal. Human beings, for the most part, are not like this. When the Arabs, who had been used to living sparingly on a few dates, acquired the riches of the Eastern Roman Empire, and dwelt in palaces of almost unbelievable luxury, they did not, on that account, become inactive. Hunger could no longer be a motive, for Greek slaves supplied them with exquisite viands at the slightest nod. But other desires kept them active: four in particular, which we can label acquisitiveness, rivalry, vanity, and love of power.

pith

On the subject of the Wooster brain, opinions seem to diverge somewhat. Considering that I am almost constantly occupied in pondering fruity schemes of great pith and moment, as the fellow said, in various capacities as counsellor and intermédiaire to my many friends, it might come as a surprise to an innocent bystander that derogatory epithets have been applied to the said Wooster brain.
pith = Soft spongelike central cylinder of the stems of most flowering plants; the choicest or most essential or most vital part of some idea or experience.

menial

I love math. I respect Math. I'm nothing but a menial servant to Mathematics. Who the fck is this David guy, who proclaims that he's no mathematician, then proceed to tell us he doesn't fcking care about math? Then, he went on about HIS personal zeal for physics, in particular injecting the highly quacky “quantum mechanics” with impunity.

fledge

The previous two posts by Barry Margolin and Kent M Pitman are really good paradigm. Good as paragon of stupid writings. Full fledged in all aspects. Are you about to contribute to this genre?
Xah Lee in newsgroup comp.lang.lisp, 2000-07-23
fledge = decorate with feathers.

contumacious

Thereupon she calls her winged son Cupid, mischievous enough in his own nature, and rouses and provokes him yet more by her complaints. She points out Psyche to him and says, “My dear son, punish that contumacious beauty; give your mother a revenge as sweet as her injuries are great; infuse into the bosom of that haughty girl a passion for some low, mean, unworthy being, so that she may reap a mortification as great as her present exultation and triumph.”
the Story of Cupid and Psyche (Lucius Apuleius; Thomas Bulfinch)
contumacious = Obstinately disobedient or rebellious; insubordinate. (AHD)

swipe

Here, i swiped it for you. (swipe = filch)
Dialogue from Japanese animation Spirited Away, 2001.

purloin

The penis of Napoleon was reportedly severed at his autopsy, and purloined: it was some years later sold to a urologist for $40,000.
purloined = To steal, often in a violation of trust.

abject

By any measure the project [Fifth-generation computer] was an abject failure. At the end of the ten year period they had burned through over 50 billion yen and the program was terminated without having met its goals. The workstations had no appeal in a market where single-CPU systems could outrun them, the software systems never worked, and the entire concept was then made obsolete by the internet.
abject = Brought low in condition or status. (AHD)

heist

… in Fremont, California, burglars disarmed a security system and made off with more than $1.8 million of chips and computer equipment in a January warehouse heist.
Your Chips Or Your Life! By JOHN GREENWALD. May. 02, 1994. Time Mag.
The film is a comedy about a jewel heist, planned by George Thomason (played by Tom Georgeson), and its aftermath.
heist = the act of stealing.

abroad

But I was troubled and made restless by my wife's absence and could not sleep, for although my eyes were closed, my mind and thoughts were wide-awake. Presently I heard the slave girl at my head say to her at my feet: “O Mas'udah, how miserable is our master and how wasted in his youth, and oh! the pity of his being so betrayed by our mistress, the accursed whore!” The other replied: “Yes indeed. Allah curse all faithless women and adulterous! But the like of our master, with his fair gifts, deserveth something better than this harlot who lieth abroad everynight.”
abroad = in wide circulation; about; at large.

plume

You profess to see, whereas you see nothing but a Point! You plume yourself on inferring the existence of a Straight Line; but I can see Straight Lines, and infer the existence of Angles, Triangles, Squares, Pentagons, Hexagons, and even Circles. Why waste more words?
plume = be proud of.

wool-gathering

For a minute, perhaps, my mind was wool-gathering.
wool-gathering = dreamy in mood or nature.

deadlocked

The jury deadlocked on four of the 22 statements over which Pagones had sued, and eight statements were found non-defamatory.
deadlocked = at a complete standstill because of opposition of two unrelenting forces or factions.

altercation

In the 2000s, Crumb became increasingly ambivalent about continuing to contribute to new issues of Zap. By issue #14 he announced to the other artists he wasn't interested in continuing; this resulted in a brief physical altercation with Victor Moscoso, in which Moscoso slapped Crumb and called him “Mr. Fcking Moviestar!”
altercation = A vehement quarrel. (AHD)

defray

In a strictly business evaluation, Biosphere 2 has to be judged a failure of management. There was never any consideration that the project could be profitable, but it had the means of defraying some of its vast expense given that 10,000 visitors a month were paying up to US$80 for the tour at one time. Ed Bass quite evidently believed that the management could be improved upon.

quibble

The most popular career of a Greek of ability at the time was politics; hence the sophists largely concentrated on teaching rhetoric. The aims of the young politicians whom they trained were to persuade the multitude of whatever they wished them to believed. The search for truth was not top priority. Consequently the sophists undertook to provide a stock of arguments on any subject, or to prove any position. They boasted of their ability to make the worse appear the better reason, to prove that black is white. Some, like Gorgias, asserted that it was not necessary to have any knowledge of a subject to give satisfactory replies as regards it. Thus, Gorgias ostentatiously answered any question on any subject instantly and without consideration. To attain these ends mere quibbling, and the scoring of verbal points were employed. In this way, the sophists tried to entangle, entrap, and confuse their opponents, and even, if this were not possible, to beat them down by mere violence and noise. They sought also to dazzle by means of strange or flowery metaphors, by unusual figures of speech, by epigrams and paradoxes, and in general by being clever and smart, rather than earnest and truthful. Hence our word “sophistry”: the use of fallacious arguments knowing them to be such. Early on Sophists were seen to be of merit as people of superior skill or wisdom, as we find in Pindar and Herodotus. We learn from Plato, though, that even in the 5th century there was a prejudice against the name “sophist”. By Aristotle's time, the name bore a contemptuous meaning, as he defines “sophist” as one who reasons falsely for the sake of gain.
The Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy Editor James Fieser et al. Source www.utm.edu.

palatable

Müllerian mimicry describes a situation where two or more species have very similar warning or aposematic signals and both share genuine anti-predation attributes (e.g. being unpalatable)

abrogation

The Soviet Foreign Minister Molotov informed Tokyo of the Soviet Union's unilateral abrogation of the Soviet-Japanese Neutrality Pact on April 5.

cagey

Lynch usually keeps his personal life out of the media or limelight and rarely comments on his films. However, he does attend public events and film festivals when he or his films are nominated/awarded. He is known to be notoriously evasive and cagey in interviews, and refuses to discuss the plot details and “true meanings” of his films, preferring viewers to come away with their own interpretations.
David Lynch (film director)

congenital

Cocks possess congenital aggression toward all males of the same species.

bevy

And as he continued in this case lo! a postern of the palace, which was carefully kept private, swung open, and out of it is came twenty slave girls surrounding his brother's wife, who was wondrous fair, a model of beauty and comeliness and symmetry and perfect loveliness, and who paced with the grace of a gazelle which panteth for the cooling stream. Thereupon Shah Zaman drew back from the window, but he kept the bevy in sight, espying them from a place whence he could not be espied. They walked under the very lattice and advanced a little way into the garden till they came to a jetting fountain a-middlemost a great basin of water. Then they stripped off their clothes, and behold, ten of them were women, concubines of the King, and the other ten were white slaves. Then they all paired off, each with each. But the Queen, who was left alone, presently cried out in a loud voice, “Here to me, O my lord Saeed!”

booty

The Ancient Greeks had many words to describe slaves, though many need to be placed in proper context to avoid ambiguity. In Homer, Hesiod and Theognis of Megara, the slave was called δμώς / dmôs. The term has a general meaning but refers particularly to war prisoners taken as booty

saturnine

saturnine: Heavy; grave; gloomy; dull; — the opposite of mercurial;
1913 Webster dictionary definition.

chattel

An explicit aspect of Gor is that men are the rulers and women are for the most part chattel; their interactions often feature what some consider the machismic stereotypes of Gorean society.

de jure

Jiang Hu (江湖), literally means “rivers and lakes” and is translated as “The World of Martial Arts” or “the martial (arts) world”.

The Jiang Hu is a “shared world”, an alternate universe, made up of martial artists and pugilists gathered in wulin (武林), usually congregrating in sects, clans, disciplines and schools of martial arts learnings. It is inhabited by wandering knights and princes, thieves and beggars, priests and healers, merchants and craftspeople. The best wuxia writers draw a vivid picture of the intricate relationships of honor, loyalty, love and hatred between individuals and between communities in this milieu.

A common aspect to jiang hu is the tacit suggestion that the courts of law are dysfunctional. Differences can only be resolved by way of force, predicating the need for xia and their chivalrous ways. Law and order is maintained by the alliance of wulin or wulin mengzhu, the society of martial artists. They are elected and commanded by the most able xia, who is usually (but not always) the protagonist of that novel (in some versions, such as the TV miniseries Paradise, the position is hereditary). This alliance leader is an arbiter, who presides and adjudicates over inequities and disputes. He is a de jure chief justice of the affairs of the jiang hu.

scamper

Quit scampering all over the place.
Conversation

dale

Fondling,” she saith, “since I have hemm'd thee here
Within the circuit of this ivory pale,
I'll be a park, and thou shalt be my deer;
Feed where thou wilt, on mountain or in dale:
Graze on my lips; and if those hills be dry,
Stray lower, where the pleasant fountains lie.”

Note: “Foundling” is used as a noun here. Foundling = A person or thing fondled or caressed; one treated with foolish or doting affection.

etiology

Venus enters the poem “sick-thoughted” with love, and hoists Adonis from the saddle of his horse. She then plies him with kisses, and arguments, but nothing she does or says can rouse him to sexual desire. This he repudiates. By the mid-point of the poem, Adonis has announced his intention to go boar hunting the next morning. Venus tries to dissuade him, and get him to hunt more timid prey. This he ignores, and breaks away from her. She spends the rest of the night in lamentation, at dawn, she hears the sound of the hunt. Full of apprehension, she runs towards the noise, knowing that, as the sound comes from just one place, the hunters are confronting an animal that isn't running away. She comes upon the body of Adonis, fatally gored by the boar's tusks. In her horror and sorrow, the Goddess of Love pronounces a curse upon love: that it will always end badly, and those who love best (like her) will know most sorrow. This curse provides an etiology, a myth of causation, explaining why love is inseparable from pain (this is characteristic of the form).

gracile

The Bonobo is more gracile (slight in form) than the Common Chimpanzee. Its head is smaller than that of the Common Chimpanzee with less prominent eyebrow ridges. It has a black face with pink lips, small ears, wide nostrils, and long hair on its head. Females have slightly more prominent breasts in contrast to the flat breasts of other female apes, though not as prominent as those of humans.

bonobo

But killing was the reason we were in Africa. Dale Peterson and I were exploring the deep origins of human violence, back to the time before our species diverged from rainforest apes, 5 to 6 million years ago. Not only ancestral to humans, those early rainforest apes were also part of a genetic line now represented by the four modern great ape species: orangutans, gorillas, chimpanzees, and bonobos. Both of us had already observed orangutans in Borneo and gorillas and chimpanzees in Africa, but neither of us had yet seen the fourth and rarest ape, the bonobo, in the wild.

vizier

But at the end of the twentieth twelvemonth the elder King yearned for a sight of his younger brother and felt that he must look upon him once more. So he took counsel with his Wazirabout visiting him, but the Minister, finding the project unadvisable, recommended that a letter be written and a present be sent under his charge to the younger brother, with an invitation to visit the elder. Having accepted this advice, the King forthwith bade prepare handsome gifts, such as horses with saddles of gem-encrusted gold; Mamelukes, or white slaves; beautiful handmaids, high-breasted virgins, and splendid stuffs and costly.

Wazir = Vizier; a high official in a Muslim government.

ineptitude

The Economist remarked on the news of the errors that “for someone of Mr Levitt's iconoclasm and ingenuity, technical ineptitude is a much graver charge than moral turpitude ….”