Words, page 6

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