qms has looked up 3122 words, created 4 lists, listed 96 words, written 581 comments, added 0 tags, and loved 58 words.

Comments by qms

  • Dilute the truth for presentation
    And be accused of adulteration.
    So sweeten your views
    With bits of good news
    And succeed through edulcoration.

    December 27, 2014

  • The pot that's enclosed in a saggar
    Develops panache and some swagger.
    But a pot on its own
    Has truly been thrown
    And limps from the kiln in a stagger.

    December 26, 2014

  • Dear Wordniks my aim is to woo you
    To visit "community" if you choose to.
    Let not this hiatus
    Depress or abate us,
    Let's flock to the beckoning ruzuzu.

    December 26, 2014

  • Dear Wordniks my aim is to woo you
    To visit "community" if you choose to.
    Let not this hiatus
    Depress or abate us,
    Let's flock to the beckoning ruzuzu.

    December 26, 2014

  • Dear Wordniks my aim is to woo you
    To visit "community" if you choose to.
    Let not this hiatus
    Depress or abate us,
    Let's flock to the beckoning ruzuzu.

    December 25, 2014

  • Dear Wordniks my aim is to woo you
    To visit "community" if you choose to.
    Let not this hiatus
    Depress or abate us,
    Let's flock to the beckoning ruzuzu.

    December 25, 2014

  • The Little learn just how the Big give
    To those they sift in favor's sieve,
    And that Santa's gift
    Is a version of grift - 
    It's baksheesh more than a donative.

    December 25, 2014

  • Eschew all nuance, always assert;
    Conditional language will cause alert.
    Be never proleptic,
    So sway the skeptic
    That one so certain is surely expert.

    December 24, 2014

  • What a clever idea ruzuzu has had! May your holidays of choice be merry ones.

    December 24, 2014

  • The river dives deep and it flows quick;
    The mists and the shadows will grow thick.
    That cavern caliginous
    Gives passage vertiginous
    To a world without sound and aphotic.

    December 23, 2014

  • Thank you for your kind comment of December 15, ruzuzu. It pains me to have overlooked your comment for so long but, in the absence of the Community page, I seem to have been looking in the wrong places for evidence of activity. I had begun to fear that I was the only one still visiting regularly.

    When I last communicated with Erin she wrote that she had a fix for the Community page but was having difficulty getting it installed on the server. I think it is possible we will not have the Community page back until after the holidays. I hope people will not have lost the habit of visiting.

    I hope your holidays are happy ones.

    December 22, 2014

  • For Quebecois their Christmas fare
    Is partly pork and partly prayer.
    Their festive bias
    Is doubly pious:
    A mass to begin and then tourtiere.

    December 22, 2014

  • Each language will feature a zone
    Where high words and humble are sown,
    And Ernest is hungry
    To harvest the fungi
    That grow in that rich ecotone.

    See also diglossia.

    Find out more about Ernest Bafflewit

    December 21, 2014

  • He prefers to take his correction
    From a lass with a Nazi connection
    Who spreads her lapels
    Under leather bretelles
    And spanks him to show her affection.

    December 20, 2014

  • It is neither too full nor too slim
    And comes from the genes, not the gym.
    The callipygian rump
    Is not coarsely plump;
    When shaped to perfection it’s plim.

    See also buttocker, bottomry and nates.

    December 19, 2014

  • Some careers, it is widely observed,
    Are alike in the goals that are served.
    Thus political jobs can
    Tempt the swell-mobsman,
    As honor and style are preserved.

    December 18, 2014

  • The Mata Hari Finishing School Anthem

    A temptress must slink and not scriggle.
    Protuberances sway, they don't jiggle.
    Her throaty laugh low,
    Both knowing and slow,
    The femme who's fatale will not giggle.

    December 17, 2014

  • A mogul's what skiers call a hump -
    A term for a glorified bump.
    The kids like them jumbo
    But I'll take an umbo -
    Content with a notional jump.

    December 16, 2014

  • The rabbi says that what Yahweh does
    Is create again what once there was.
    We'll be born afresh
    Enrobed in flesh
    That's grown from the seed of the luz.

    December 15, 2014

  • Gossip in whispers, not boldly.
    (I hear that it's true, but don't hold me...)
    Cite no one particular -
    Your source is avicula.
    Just say that "a little bird told me."

    December 14, 2014

  • Since lumberjacks don't often mingle
    They tend to be lonely and single.
    When not plying the peavey
    They watch porn on TV
    And polish the trusty swing-dingle.

    December 13, 2014

  • The term "swing dingle" has also been applied to a variant of the peavey or cant-hook. From the Wikipedia entry for cant hook:

    A logging tool description from the Lumberman's Museum at Patten, Maine, reads in part: "A cant dog or cant hook was used for lifting, turning, and prying logs when loading sleds and on the drive. At first, a swivel hook on a pole with nothing to hold it in position was used. This was called a swing dingle." However, the term swing dingle is more often published as being a type of logging sled. These early types are also called a ring dog or ring dog cant hook. In 1858, Joseph Peavey, a blacksmith in Stillwater, Maine, made a rigid clasp to encircle the cant dog handle with the hook on one side. It moved up and down, but not sideways. All loggers have used it ever since."

    December 13, 2014

  • Include among our Ernest's joys
    Quaint measures only he employs,
    Like the speed of light
    In furlongs a fortnight
    Or stature tallied in cubits and toise.

    Find out more about Ernest Bafflewit

    December 12, 2014

  • If it’s a coupe with cargo extension,
    The distinction is not worth a mention.
    It’s a conventional mix-up
    That we call a pickup.
    A ute’s just a truck with pretensions.

    December 11, 2014

  • Some notions cause my brain unease;
    The scale of infinity is one of these.
    With weird aleph-null
    It batters my skull.
    Can't we say it's "everything," please?

    December 11, 2014

  • Admittedly I’m not au courant.
    It’s an opinion - I’m no jurant.
    But I’d be suspicious
    Of offers of riches.
    You may believe, but I sure can’t.

    December 11, 2014

  • Poor Wordnik, now in condition infernal.
    I pray will resume its mission fraternal;
    While words may be wished
    In puns and in lists,
    Still mostly I miss the emission diurnal.

    December 10, 2014

  • We wonder why Wordnik waxes pathetic.
    The ailment they’ll find by method zetetic.
    The wise IT folk
    Will sniff, probe and poke,
    And prescribe, I suspect, a cyber emetic.

    December 9, 2014

  • The crofter measures bushel and peck
    So landlord gets no extra speck.
    If the grain is too mickle
    He smites with his strickle
    Like claymore through a sassenach neck.

    December 9, 2014

  • Some carve an edge as a kerf will
    And some like a border more girthful.
    Give me a shape bound
    By a luscious surround:
    The disciplined riot of purfle.

    December 7, 2014

  • The culture of animal husbandry and displays of defiance described by ruzuzu must be what they mean by "the farrot and the shtick."

    December 7, 2014

  • Your faux pas I'll try to explain:
    When somebody says up in Maine,
    "We're inviting a gang
    To the house for a whang,"
    Don't go with a whip and a chain.

    December 6, 2014

  • With filial love the bro is imbued;
    To help his old Ma’s his habitude.
    And though it require
    He greatly perspire
    That noble damp is man sweat, dude.

    December 6, 2014

  • Their patois's exotic and rich.
    To know it makes poor Ernest itch.
    He needs a delator -
    A linguistic traitor -
    To serve as a lexical snitch.

    Find out more about Ernest Bafflewit

    December 5, 2014

  • That bicycle thing sounds kinky.
    I am reminded of a famous interview Anthony Burgess gave on French television in which he reported that going to bed with a fashion model was like sleeping with a bicycle. He did not specify any supplementary propulsion.

    December 5, 2014

  • I have lately noticed television cooking instructors calling “mashed potatoes” “smashed potatoes.” I think by this they mean to say that the potatoes are only coarsely crushed and not blended to a smooth consistency. I find the usage irritatingly cute.

    December 4, 2014

  • The voyeur looks because he must.
    To call it a sin is not just.
    It's love in a sense -
    Or it's appetence,
    A eunuchoid version of lust.

    December 4, 2014

  • Beware the intemperate mage
    Whose alembic's abubble with rage,
    For hot wrath can pour
    From the athanor
    Of an angry alchemical sage.

    December 3, 2014

  • Thank you kindly ruzuzu, and, bilby, good luck with the imprecation but in such events it is always better to be either bigger or faster than the offender.

    December 2, 2014

  • Mere gemstones are tacky and crass.
    We Rhinestones are true upper class.
    Diamonds are coal
    Dug from a hole
    But we are descendants of Strass.

    December 2, 2014

  • The Etymologies section provides information from The American Heritage Dictionary crediting the invention of facsimile gems to Joseph Strasser in Vienna in 1748. This theory is also embraced by the Encyclopdia Brittanica. The same Etymologies section also reports the Wiktionary claim that the invention was made by Georg Friedrich Strass (alt., Georges Frédéric Strass) in Alsace before 1730. This is supported by Wikipedia. Other sources simply report the controversy.

    The Alsatian (French) attribution has the leverage of precedence, seems thoroughly documented and does not require distortion of the proper name to produce the common noun. It gets my vote.

    December 2, 2014

  • The platoon took flight at the information,
    Naively mistaking the implication.
    They deserted en masse
    When told they must pass
    A required course of castrametation.

    December 1, 2014

  • Jock's French in his manner and views,
    Affecting a style Parisians might use.
    It's potage for soup,
    His kilt is his jupe,
    The bagpipes he calls his cornemuse.

    December 1, 2014

  • The Wiktionary information supplied above is misleading both in meaning and in sourcing. The term was in use long before it came to wider public attention in Apocalypse Now. "To terminate with extreme prejudice" was an expression used in some US intelligence services to mean "to assasinate".

    See this Wiktionary entry.

    The dialogue from Apocalypse Now in which the expression is used, and apparently misunderstood by some, is reproduced in this Wikipedia entry.

    November 30, 2014

  • The true scout finds hardship a lark.
    His canoe he constructs out of bark;
    He laughs at the weather
    In his tepee of leather
    And his campfire he starts with a chark.

    November 30, 2014

  • On stage they are sets to the side
    In woodwork they let pieces slide - 
    Both harmless coulisses,
    But that evil groove eases
    The sword to withdraw from your hide.

    November 29, 2014

  • Has somebody been spying on me?

    November 29, 2014

  • dominatrix?

    My feelings, not normally tender,
    Rebel at confusion of gender.
    If I bully rhymes
    (And roughly at times)
    Why think I'm a female offender?

    In fairness, bilby does not mislead. He uses the masculine pronoun in line 3 so he does no more than confuse the literal-minded. Still, I had rhymes to use up.

    November 28, 2014

  • Though chilled by his years some cues still
    Recall to him youth's ardent thrill,
    So gyrating flesh
    He admires afresh
    When warmed by the sound of the zill.

    November 28, 2014

  • A hallowed Thanksgiving tradition
    Is post-turkey football attrition.
    In tryptophan daze
    The menfolk will gaze
    Till they nod into deep obdormition.

    November 27, 2014

  • The seal and the walrus are loud.
    Thus vocally richly endowed,
    Chat megalophonous
    Renders cacophonous
    The prissiest pinniped crowd.

    November 26, 2014

  • Do I detect a note of condescension? I thought it was quite ingenious, myself.

    Rhyming abactinal is tricky but the bigger challenge is finding a way to work it into a conversation.

    November 25, 2014

  • A starfish's top, called abactinal,
    Is pretty but also transactional.
    Face down it takes supper
    So what twinkles upper
    Is stuff not of stars but cloaca-full.

    November 25, 2014

  • Though Ernest took care to mingle wary
    And nursed all night a single sherry,
    He still bought the lie
    That the best local pie
    Is stuffed with hand-picked dingleberry.

    Find out more about Ernest Bafflewit

    November 24, 2014

  • A mud room can be termed a dingle.
    A blazing fire some call an ingle.
    Such friendly welter
    For comfort and shelter!
    To warm us words in Winter comingle.

    November 24, 2014

  • I thought it was transhitment.

    November 23, 2014

  • The Scotsman of legend is brawny;
    His liquor he takes neat and tawny;
    His principal gift
    Is a talent for thrift -
    His sporran shuts tight on a bawbee.

    November 23, 2014

  • A writer should write not as might Joyce
    Bu in an authentic and "right" voice.
    When a sinner's been bit 
    By bitter inwit
    To cite  agenbite is the trite choice.

    November 22, 2014

  • There are sufficient imponderables here to keep a band of academic philosophers dining out for a week. The offending user page has fallen to the mighty sword of erinmckean but she has permitted it’s bastards to live on since they should not be blamed for the circumstances of their generation. I was able to access the original posting on my user page and make the correction to “its” there. In the meantime bilby has reposted the limerick on the entry page for shit so the error lives on there. That is now bilby’s comment and editable only by him or by herself. I could ask bilby to correct the shit comment but then his subsequent disavowal of responsibility would become mysterious or, what’s worse, give the appearance that bilby has made a mistake. To ask him to both correct one comment and to delete another seems a bit much.

    But bilby has in fact made an error! He assumed that the liquidation of jrp82746 meant that my comment thereon (and his) would be lost. He has underestimated the magnanimity of erinmckean, so now the two versions of the limerick live on, abutting but forever disconnected.

    In the unimaginably distant future some curious race of people on the far side of the galaxy may intercept Wordnik as it drifts by and its Wise Ones will gaze at each other in wild surmise. Why does this oddly shaped block of text exist in two not-quite-identical forms, they will ask. Where is Fort Wayne and what is this shit?

    It is a shame that Fort Wayne must be forever thus remembered. I visited it once years ago and it seemed like a perfectly nice place. Except for all the dog shit.

    November 21, 2014

  • The city has gained great fame for it.
    As steel is made in PA's Pitt,
    Detroit's famed for cars,
    LA for its stars,
    So Fort Wayne's renowned for its shit.

    November 21, 2014

  • The brat has devised a new trick
    To goad and alarm the pudic.
    He caresses the cone
    And emits a low moan
    While giving the ice cream a lewd lick.

    November 21, 2014

  • And their epic is sung by kismetaphoresthomerunseeing.

    November 20, 2014

  • Fear not! You can still dig your furrow
    With service that will be so thorough
    That books writ in Strine
    Will bend down the spine
    Of the Ausandean Bilbioburro!

    November 20, 2014

  • For promoting a form of idolatry
    Some theorists owe an apology.
    The trickle down creed
    In time of great need
    Is simply applied ponerology.

    November 20, 2014

  • So many questions! If the service is by post-poop appointment do they provide GPS beacons? If it's a scoop-while-it-steams service is walking included or does each dog get a walker-scooper entourage? Do they expect first class air fare for out-of-state travel?

    November 20, 2014

  • Fish Story

    The lads came back shockingly late
    Unsteady in speech and in gait,
    With a tale piscatory
    Of ichthyic glory
    The ladies will labor to expiscate.

    November 19, 2014

  • And then there’s the word as spoke in Taz-ese,
    Where they improvise with loose jazz ease.
    In Van Diemen’s land
    (I have it first hand)
    They pronounce the word “glacis.”

    November 18, 2014

  • Long ago you'd not have missed her.
    She stood out with diamond glister,
    But toil and tears
    Through long cruel years
    Have dulled her to a common bister.

    November 18, 2014

  • It looks like the pigment is spelled with the French "-re" ending and, I am reliably informed, pronounced au francais by artists of the traditional bent; that is, to roughly rhyme with "Easter." At least this is true in the U.S. The Brits have a history of brutal naturalization of their imports so the word may have lost its panache crossing the channel. It is curious that with the anglicized "-er" ending all the usage examples describe an unhealthy condition of the skin about the eyes. Apparently bister is not a shade that flatters.

    November 18, 2014

  • Wise bilby need not write it twice,
    Let’s lend an ear to his advice.
    We can use précis
    And rhyme it with glacis
    But there are some who say “glacis.”

    November 17, 2014

  • For some there’s joy in steepest places;
    They burn to climb high alpine faces.
    But a diligent student
    Of what’s safe and prudent
    Will opt for a stroll on the glacis.

    November 17, 2014

  • I found at least five different suggested pronunciations for glacis; also, some dictionaries treat it as a word of chiefly military application and only secondarily a term of geology while others reverse this balance. It is an oddly promiscuous word.

    November 17, 2014

  • Thank you, deinonychus. This is a great word. I know people to whom it can apply.

    November 16, 2014

  • She scurries and huddles under the bed
    And hides aquiver with fraidy cat dread.
    She flees the "What if?"
    She glimpsed in a gliff
    Or heard from the whispers in her head.

    November 16, 2014

  • In Austria the tedious fact is
    That fashion wanes and then waxes.
    But you can be sure
    The -ology , du jour
    Is somehow related to praxis.

    November 15, 2014

  • Welcome aboard, abckubo, and good luck with your study of English. You should be warned, however, that if you learn your English here you may become a very eccentric speaker of the language. This site is haunted by lovers of rare and exotic words.

    November 15, 2014

  • The old hero is quite an enigma.
    Some say that he's stained by a stigma -
    A dux bellorum
    But sworn to the forum -
    King Arthur once wore the caliga.

    November 14, 2014

  • Bilby is on to something .

    What benefits nature can’t hurt you.
    Dear Wordniks, I’m here to alert you:
    In the shower let go
    Your matinal flow.
    It’s an evolving standard of virtue.

    November 13, 2014

  • Drink escapade to get away from it all.

    November 13, 2014

  • The Strolling Scot wears Highland gear
    And lets the tourists buy him beer.
    It's a sweet gig to get
    And done without sweat,
    Ideal if your thirsty and sweer.

    November 13, 2014

  • You are kind, bilby. May you sweep some sweet senorita off her feet.

    November 13, 2014

  • Do you suppose a drink of palisade will make you strut like a prince?

    November 12, 2014

  • They rim round the floor in every hall,
    Those flowers that nod along the wall.
    But give them a chance
    To break into dance!
    They’ll shed their petals once for all.

    November 12, 2014

  • Good name for an energy drink that makes you break into a run.

    November 12, 2014

  • Sounds like a lot more fun than the gantelope.

    November 12, 2014

  • Joe Epstein's pompous effusion
    Invites the unwary to confusion.
    It's bad to be baseless,
    Worse yet to be graceless
    And offend by unseemly intrusion.

    November 12, 2014

  • You'll note when the poor fellow talks
    That feature the cruel public mocks.
    Dubbed "The Big Gabion"
    From the day he’d begun -
    He's smart as a basket of rocks.

    November 12, 2014

  • When Wordniks can muster a quorum
    They bring out the festive old jorum,
    They add words and wuzzle
    Then gleefully guzzle
    Till, word-drunk, they lose all decorum.

    November 11, 2014

  • Actually, Martin was in an early version of the limerick but he failed to drink responsibly and had to be carried out.

    November 10, 2014

  • GoneOverWolf, you are creating duplicate entries. You are adding words to the Wordnik lexicon that are already in place. A besetting sin of Wordnik is its case sensitivity. You are entering words with an initial capital letter that are already defined with a lower-case initial letter.

    November 10, 2014

  • Straight absinthe's a peril. You guzzle it
    At risk of becoming a puzzlewit.
    You must never fail
    To compose a cocktail:
    First pour in some juice and then wuzzle it.

    November 10, 2014

  • Beginning in the 18th Century the term 'packet boat' was applied in the anglophone world to ships (ideally fast vessels) sailing on a regular schedule and charged with carrying the mail, that is, 'packets' of importance. These evolved to carry paying passengers and the French gallicized the term as the single word, 'paquebot,' and used it to mean ‘passenger ship’ then 'ocean liner.' English speakers borrowed 'paquebot' back from the French and used it to mean 'mail boat,' where the word seems to be nothing more than 'packet boat' cordon bleu.

    The term's like a tool often loaned,
    Its provenance lost and bemoaned.
    This helical history
    Gives rise to a mystery:
    By whom is the weary word owned?

    See also:
    Packet boat
    Packet trade
    Paquebot

    November 9, 2014

  • The sleek ships over and back go
    Defying the storm and its black blow!
    Our tweets and email
    Quite dismally fail
    To catch the romance of the paquebot.

    November 9, 2014

  • The name will tell if it cost a lot -
    A rich man's boat becomes a yacht;
    A drone's a device
    At a discount price
    But the tycoon flies an aerobot.

    November 8, 2014

  • It's rhyme that will keep a man young,
    For prose is a morose companion.
    But what's even worse?
    That strumpet free verse!
    That chattering, frivolous franion.

    November 7, 2014

  • Might not be found a francker franion,/ of her leawd parts to make companion:
    Edmund Spenser, The Faerie Queene, C.2, 37, 1-2

    November 7, 2014

  • I am pleased to suggest beguiling images to deinonychus but I must report that there is also an R-rated version of the mating ball scenario:

    A snake awakes from long Winter thrall
    And hears without ears hot passion's call.
    And not being choosey
    He seeks out the floozy
    Holding court at the Spring mating ball.

    November 6, 2014

  • This wisdom received from a brainy chum:
    To put down one who is plainly dumb,
    "You're a horse's ass,"
    Is needlessly crass,
    But fulsomely praise his bucranium.

    November 6, 2014

  • The tip of his lance bore the token
    Of love both unbid and unspoken,
    And Merlin could tell
    By that bright pennoncel
    Both lance and his heart would be broken.

    For more on Gwen and Lance see ween.

    November 5, 2014

  • manifest? effloresce?

    November 5, 2014

  • While some are ill-hidden apologists,
    And some are mystics or phrenologists,
    Their common vernacular
    Is Pompous Oracular.
    All claim to be expert psephologists.

    November 4, 2014

  • In Austen’s world of tea and cake
    The gentle folk were on the make.
    What difference at all
    In the mating ball
    As danced by gentry or garter snake?

    November 3, 2014

  • She votes for the charming young promiser,
    Persuaded he goes along with her
    But unable to tell
    She's under the spell
    Of an expert purveyor of comether.

    November 3, 2014

  • If Ernest should even see a pun
    Unwillingly the deed is done.
    His skull is cluttered
    With puns unuttered.
    He needs a cleansing orvietan.

    Find out more about Ernest Bafflewit

    November 2, 2014

  • The victory launched wild mafficking,
    A long and inebriate daft fling,
    Till liquor so soaked us
    Our vision lost focus
    And eloquence dwindled to maffling.

    November 1, 2014

  • The English keep a catalogue
    Of monsters who lurk in the fog,
    And fiercest and largest,
    The black northern barghest,
    is an ominous uncanny dog.

    October 31, 2014

  • Do not the humble beast offend.
    His modest hopes instead, commend.
    For cannot a sandworm
    In amity stand firm
    And wriggle sweetly with a friend?

    October 30, 2014

  • Stern Ernest has put on his game face,
    Determined to hasten this tame pace.
    His well comes up dry,
    He gets scant reply.
    His queries produce only ambsace.

    Find out more about Ernest Bafflewit

    October 30, 2014

  • Thank you, bilby. I raise a cup of nectar.

    October 30, 2014

  • omnisensate? fully facultudinous?

    October 29, 2014

  • Olympian systems were naff,
    So Zeus had a word with his staff:
    "The line to Parnassus
    Is slow as molasses;
    Let's upgrade that heliograph!"

    October 29, 2014

  • I try not to censure or judge,
    To resent or to harbor a grudge.
    He claims to be working
    And not really shirking
    But to rhyme, I suspect, is to bludge.

    October 28, 2014

  • There's much that's expressed in a gait.
    We speak by the way we ambulate.
    While quick festination
    Betrays perturbation,
    A saunter asserts the world can wait.

    October 27, 2014

  • Gwen makes her swevening schemes As sweetly on Sir Lance she beams. Good night, I ween. Good knight I've seen, Anon I'll seize you in my dreams.

    October 26, 2014

  • The boy was a bit of a peeper,
    A stealthy arboreal creeper.
    He'd hide in the ramage
    To glimpse some young mammage
    Or spy on an unknowing sleeper.

    October 25, 2014

  • The scientific and more dignified word to denote what is coarsely described as boobage.

    October 25, 2014

  • Some call the coinage meretricious
    But sound and image are sure delicious:
    When the sun hanging low
    Melts slowly the snow
    The afternoon is apriciticious.

    October 24, 2014

  • There many migrants ended their treks.
    The music and food show the effects,
    And hybrid conjunto
    Makes nicely the punto
    That mixed are the parents of Tex-Mex.

    October 24, 2014

  • On campaign pledges I beg a thought:
    They promise much but renege a lot;
    In the electoral game
    Is a promise the same
    As a trick like the notional negawatt?

    October 23, 2014

  • Abstain, maintain, and be steadfast.
    You'll find old pleasures quite surpassed.
    Prolong the abrosia
    Till a taste is ambrosia
    And bliss when it's sipped at long last.

    October 22, 2014

  • When days grow short and weather drear,
    Then folk will convoke this time of year
    With a harvest feast
    And a roasted beast
    To brighten the season with bellycheer.

    October 21, 2014

  • I had never noticed this. Could it be a Canadian thing? And why are Saturday and Sunday “S and S?” Why not “S and N?” Here hide many mysteries.

    October 20, 2014

  • I have a most baffling spouse.
    She tolerates mice in the house
    But will throw a conniption
    And require eviction
    Of even the nicest reremouse.

    In addition to bat see also flittermouse and flindermouse.

    October 20, 2014

  • It's bread, when all's said and done,
    But have your frenchified fun.
    If you want to enhance it
    Then call it a manchet,
    But a loaf in the hand is a bun.

    October 19, 2014

  • The rhymer has the oyster’s need
    For stuff on which a pearl can breed.
    A quirk to build a story on,
    Some promising brimborion,
    A trifle to serve as limerick seed.

    October 18, 2014

  • Searches in Wordnik are case sensitive. You probably used an initial cap because avuncular is thoroughly treated.

    October 17, 2014

  • Why must we assemble and be annoyed
    And labor in ways we could avoid?
    The basic idea
    Informing IKEA
    Is for Swedes to make use of their sloyd.

    October 17, 2014

  • The vitrine is full of counterfeit cheese;
    The gouda there is fake as you please.
    That rustic ambry
    Is stuffed with a sham brie,
    For faux food is art to the Japanese.

    October 16, 2014

  • Sampuru is the Japanese art of creating convincingly real food items, such as sushi or fruit, out of wax or plastic. Intended for the display windows of eating establishments, the replicas are remarkable enough to have been displayed in museums. The word is derived from the English word "sample."

    For more see this Wikipedia article.

    October 16, 2014

  • Persuasion is surer when delicate.
    So subtle is best in your predicate.
    Show but a glint;
    Entice with a hint.
    You won't need to strike if you vellicate.

    October 15, 2014

  • Let laughter be frequent and clarion.
    Fear not to be thought a vulgarian.
    In those happy peals
    Is the one balm that heals.
    The wise man is truly abderian.

    October 14, 2014

  • He was once acclaimed and orgulous
    And now is defamed and notorious.
    Now drowned are the cheers
    In the fast flowing tears
    Of wretched Oscar Pistorious.

    October 13, 2014

  • For some the word fund has a top;
    They coin a few terms and then stop.
    There's one compellative
    For "aged male relative:"
    Every old guy is called "Pop."

    October 12, 2014

  • He must have drunk a miser's quaff,
    Now hoards each page and paragraph.
    A dog in the manger,
    To sharing a stranger,
    He's turned a sullen bibliotaph.

    October 11, 2014

  • tocsin; bellwether

    October 11, 2014

  • The osteo- method is bone;
    The lecano- version throws stone.
    We've got the 'mancy
    To scry what you can't see!
    So call! We'll divine on the phone!

    October 10, 2014

  • Duck sweet and sour from old Cathay
    Falls victim in fusion to fowl play.
    Give the bird a toss
    In Italian sauce
    And serve as anatra agrodolce.

    October 9, 2014

  • I gave up my post in the buttery,
    Learned buttocker's not the job for me,
    But how find a fashion
    To service my passion?
    Perhaps I will prosper in bottomry!

    October 8, 2014

  • Some people are able to cause me a
    Distressing convulsion of nausea.
    It's a visceral wrench
    From political stench,
    Cured only by moral anosmia.

    October 7, 2014

  • The polling reports a brutal sum:
    Small hope a better mood'll come.
    The people are sunk
    In electoral funk,
    In carefully nurtured noodledom.

    October 6, 2014

  • He wanders in search of the odd,
    As willing to mock as applaud - 
    A voice in the crowd,
    A mote in a cloud,
    The anchorless gawking badaud.

    October 5, 2014

  • As best I can determine some people (Americans?) would pronounce this word to rhyme with "gym bar." others (Brits?) would rhyme it with "dimmer." God only knows what an Australian would do with it. I write  "would pronounce" because I have my doubts that the word has ever been audibly uttered in earnest, so it is all guesswork.

    Nevertheless the Wikipedia article on simar is worth a read for the sake of an encounter with the gloriously named author of a book on priestly vestiture - John Abel Felix Prosper Nainfa. Now there's a name to conjure with.

    It's an elusive sort of a frock.
    The caftan, the toga and smock
    Are not quite a simar -
    A muumuu but slimmer,
    A garment that sways when you walk.

    October 4, 2014

  • It's British, it's old and it's origin is obscure. See Wikipedia and World Wide Words.

    October 3, 2014

  • Abundance of names shows we care
    And Georgians clearly loved their hair.
    Their world fairly swirled,
    Fluffed, tufted and curled,
    With words such as ringlet and passagère.

    October 3, 2014

  • send to Coventry

    October 3, 2014

  • I had thought qroqqa's scholarly excursion a jolly parody until I read snakeappletree's expanded comments, which make qroqqa's proposals sound modest. It may be that Feance is the Mother Word from  which all other words are descended. It is natural, I suppose, that snakeappletree should have insight into the generative power of the Eve Principle. Perhaps when we have all achieved perfection of understanding snakeappletree, coiled atop the universal pinnacle, will raise his scaly head, hiss "Feance," and all knowledge will be transmitted.

    October 2, 2014

  • There are many invisible wee men
    Who pester though we don't see them.
    There are fairies and sprites
    But the prince of dark knights
    Is the horrid and fierce cacodemon.

    October 2, 2014

  • I was a little surprised that snakeappletree did not try to tie faience into the scheme. Perhaps stolen goods were passed through holes in fences inside jars that came to be called faience? (A faience conveyance?)

    It is possible that our collective leg is being pulled. The name "snakeappletree" suggests an affinity with a certain infamous old testament personage.

    October 2, 2014

  • The heavenly version I like the most
    Supports a cheerful, sybaritic host.
    To be richly caparisoned
    And lavishly garrisoned
    Would give best comfort to my ghost.

    October 1, 2014

  • If “feance” is a word in the English language snakeappletree can claim to be its discoverer. No dictionary I can find acknowledges its existence. The provenance given is a stew of folk etymology.

    October 1, 2014

  • A blond plus a hero and humgruffin
    And all of the terror he could stuff in,
    But the true Hitchcockian
    Suspenseful concoction
    Didn't bubble without the MacGuffin.

    September 30, 2014

  • Alternative spelling of MacGuffin.

    September 30, 2014

  • My pleasure, ruzuzu. I had prepared what I thought was an elegant explanation of the idiom for the "a manger" page then thought to check out the "the manger" page and had to settle for a pointer. I was looking, and am looking still, for a list of dog-related terms: dogged, dog-tired, dog-eared, to hound, etc. My first couple of stabs were not fruitful. Any leads, or am I going to have to do the work myself?

    September 29, 2014

  • It drifts from the cup like a pheromone,
    The tempting scent of bliss new-blown.
    The key to her heart
    Is brewer's dark art.
    She's deeply addicted to caffeone.

    September 29, 2014

  • See dog in the manger.

    September 29, 2014

  • In Nippon a volcano's pall
    Has smothered the colors of Fall:
    The once vivid milieu
    Now a pale camaieu,
    A landscape in monochrome thrall.

    September 28, 2014

  • Some there are who boldly state
    And scholars plainly explicate,
    But others prefer
    To hint and refer
    And by indirection adumbrate.

    September 27, 2014

  • He keeps a list of names and dates,
    His pantheon of loveliest nates.
    A scrupulous buttocker,
    If he likes the cut of her
    She joins the callipygian greats.

    September 26, 2014

  • An imam in le vieux territoire
    Has issued the following fatwa:
    "Attend to mes verbes!
    Your chiens to the curb,
    And soil not the course of the trottoir."

    September 25, 2014

  • In golf there is a particularly painful class of failed putt that the French call a " virgule." This is when the ball rolls around half the circumference of the cup and then continues a short distance on the far side of the hole. The shape that is described by this progress is that of a comma or, in French, virgule. Play golf with French speakers and you will hear this word uttered with the passion of blasphemy.

    Golf can be mockingly cruel
    And putting a torturer's tool.
    The impudent ball
    Won't drop in at all
    But shapes what the French call virgule.

    September 24, 2014

  • Typography has many tools
    But it's hard to remember the rules:
    What meaning attaches
    To dots and to dashes
    And where do you put the virgules?

    September 24, 2014

  • Where ordinary minds find only dross
    The artist's eye sees finest floss.
    So much is betrayed
    By the honor that's paid
    To the intimate lint of the omphalos.

    September 23, 2014

  • jument means mare in French and, judging from the usage examples in Wordnik and general search engine evidence, is more often employed to that purpose in French than to any purpose at all in English. La Jument is also the name of a famous lighthouse off Ushant, Brittany.

    September 22, 2014

  • Rich glory's the dream of each student
    But the world will insist we be prudent.
    When timidity beggars us
    We don’t soar like Pegasus
    But trudge with head down like a jument.

    September 22, 2014

  • This could be a folk etymology for patootie with a spelling adapted to support the tale.

    September 22, 2014

  • I think bilby makes a good point. Both Scots and Greeks are fond of wearing skirts and the Greeks play the bagpipes too. Switch one silly hat for another and ouzo for whiskey and there is no telling them apart. They are also both quarrelsome tribes. Is the glendy a Greek borrowing from Scotland or the other way around?

    September 21, 2014

  • Is this the drone of a mind unfree,
    Or does he lack the eyes to see?
    Is he automaton
    Or an omadhaun?
    Oh, why can he not agree with me?

    September 21, 2014

  • The word looks suspiciously Scottish to me.

    September 20, 2014

  • At Noma the chefs must intuit
    What goes best with lichen and suet,
    And find the best sauce
    To moisten your moss
    And fluidly ooze from your cruet.

    September 20, 2014

  • As usual hernesheir is endlessly resourceful. The examples from 1831 of "jubble" to mean a turbulent surface (if I understand correctly) seem consonant with the usage in the Guardian article, but I am puzzled by the absence of any instances in print between 1831 and 2014. It is strange that more current usage seems uninfluenced by the precedent and I doubt that our chef ( who reports that he has been spending 15 hours per day in the kitchen since the age of 19) would be comfortable with such venerable language. I have a hunch something else is going on here. 

    September 20, 2014

  • See jubble.

    September 19, 2014

  • Reading an article on the Guardian site by a chef offering his recipes for breakfast smoothies, I came across this passage.


    I was as happy as bone marrow on toast. But as I’ve moved into my 30s, jubbly bits have started forming where once there was no jubble, and the mornings after those foggy nights have become crippling.

    Jubble? Jubbly? These are new to me so I had recourse to Wordnik, where I found no succor. The most to be found there is a doubtful suggestion that a jubbly is a female breast. Googling turned up quite a bit on the more frivolous and trivia-oriented sites. One person averred that a jubble was a some sort of goblin-like creature. There is a game for children (I presume) called Jubble Bubble. There is a website empty of content called jubble.com and a facebook page for someone using that handle too.

    The term “lovely jubbly” was coined in a the British sitcom, “Only Fools and Horses,” to mean a stroke of good luck, and there seems to be a UK soft drink called Jubbly. But what has any of this to do with a thirtyish chef encountering the frailties of advancing age? In context the quote seems to employ “jubble” to mean discomfort or rough patches, a usage not obviously rooted in the other examples I can find. Is this some sort of professional kitchen slang that is just now leaking out of its croute, so to speak?

    I observe that all or most of the examples of jubble and jubbly that I find are British. The English seem to have a fascination with the syllable “jub.” Why should this be? Perhaps some native of that cloud-shrouded isle can shine a light into the haze?

    September 19, 2014

  • The admiral, raised a grass-comber,
    Has rendered the term a misnomer.
    The furrows he plows
    Part white at the bows
    And close up astern the old roamer.

    September 19, 2014

  • Out West poor Ernest found no fan.
    As growled the cowpoke, Dirty Dan,
    "I'd rather crawl a far piece
    Over sharp malpais
    Than talk to that word huntin' man."

    Find out more about Ernest Bafflewit

    September 18, 2014

  • In the corporate maze reticular
    Avoid the swagger in particular.
    Be not bold nor antic
    But sweetly sycophantic
    And practice the wriggle vermicular.

    September 17, 2014

  • Jack Benny's comedic tessitura
    Was marked by mastery of caesura.
    His persona was slick,
    His repartee quick
    But his silences truly bravura.

    September 16, 2014

  • The poor, given voice in debate,
    Often parrot the lies of the great;
    So error is mirrored,
    They out-herod Herod
    And blame but themselves for their fate.

    September 15, 2014

  • "Mackerel sky, mackerel sky.
    Never long wet and never long dry."
    Old folk saying.
    The sages at sea and on the farm
    Read clouds for signs of looming harm.
    But if "mackerel sky"
    Means both wet and dry
    Should one take comfort or alarm?

    September 14, 2014

  • This is a top-notch list. Each word suggests a scenario. A good joke is always completed in the observer's imagination.

    September 13, 2014

  • Thank you, hernesheir. I am pleased to evoke memories of that excellent film.

    September 13, 2014

  • A sailor's first lesson at sea
    He learns on his elbow and knee
    While crawling to clamber
    The deck's gentle camber
    On orders to puke to the lee.

    September 13, 2014

  • The sun bakes the rock of the Nullarbor
    And has since the day of the dinosaur.
    The heat is relentless,
    The air dry and scentless
    Unless blessed by the bleed of the petrichor.

    September 12, 2014

  • The Nullarbor Plain (/ˈnʌləbɔr/ nul-ə-bor; Latin: nullus, "no", and arbor, "tree") is part of the area of flat, almost treeless, arid or semi-arid country of southern Australia, located on the Great Australian Bight coast with the Great Victoria Desert to its north. It is the world's largest single exposure of limestone bedrock, and occupies an area of about 200,000 square kilometres (77,000 sq mi).1 At its widest point, it stretches about 1,100 kilometres (684 mi) from east to west across the border between South Australia and Western Australia.

    Wikipedia

    September 12, 2014

  • Thank you, bilby. You are a true connoisseur.

    September 12, 2014

  • Good insult's not woven of blustering
    And is more than a fustian cuss string.
    It's a tissue of terms
    First excreted by worms
    Then spun into fine silken lustring.

    September 11, 2014

  • Case proven, hernesheir. Very insightful.

    September 10, 2014

  • He has long been a tantric devotee.
    Though white now speckles his goatee
    He’s not grown so dotty
    He cannot be naughty
    For not all his wood has gone doty.

    September 10, 2014

  • I think hernesheir has it. Most of the punishments described in the various lexicons are some form of "running the gauntlet" (sometimes more inventively called the gantelope). Serial skelping describes the blows administered. It's an easy drift from "skelping" to "shelling." Since the practice was limited and long ago abandoned the uprooted word spread no seed.

    September 10, 2014

  • See the extended discussion of "shelling" as a military punishment in the comments under rigadoon.

    September 10, 2014

  • See the extended discussion of "shelling" as a military punishment in the comments under rigadoon.

    September 10, 2014

  • I don't think execution by firing squad will do since shelling is described as the punishment "severest next to death." It is specifically not execution.

    The problem with La Cale is that dunking someone from the yardarm is obviously a naval procedure whereas shelling is said to be a former custom of the French army. It is a puzzlement.

    September 10, 2014

  • I guess “severest next to death” makes a little progress. Could the drumming have been that bad? There must be more to it.

    I found a couple more military lexicons in the neighborhood alexz pointed me to and found two candidate punishments.


    La Cale – dunking from the yardarm. Akin to keelhauling. For wounding a comrade maliciously.

    Donner sur le morion – shut up in a guard house to receive a number of strokes. Replaced by running the gauntlet. For crimes that were not capital.

    I can see no obvious reason why either of these should have been translated “shelling.” My best guess is that since La Cale is close to écale, which is the shell of a nut, and since écaler is to shell a nut, “shelling” could have been someone’s clumsy translation of La Cale.

    La Cale does have some shipyard applications. It can name a hold or slipway or, with modifiers, types of docks. I don’t see how these suggest shells or shelling.

    September 9, 2014

  • The third definition supplied with rigadoon puzzles me: “n. Formerly, in the French army, a beat of drum while men condemned to be shelled were, previous to their punishment, paraded up and down the ranks.”. It is from the Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia, which was last published about 100 years ago and whose definitions I have often found to be mysterious. I cannot figure out what sort of military punishment is meant by “shelled.” I can think of two possibilities:


    1.) The condemned men are to be shelled by artillery. They could be compelled to take positions where enemy shells will fall or to be sentenced to serve as target practice for their own artillery. Each of these possibilities is barbaric and the second is expensive. Both are so bizarre that I think I would have heard of them.

    2.) “Shelled” could suggest the shedding of a shell and might mean that the condemned are to be reduced in rank or discharged from service. On the other hand, to be shelled could just as easily mean to be enclosed in a shell.


    I have searched and have not been able to find any support for either of these interpretations. Does any Wordnik know what ceremony of humiliation is described by this sentence?

    September 9, 2014

  • Saint Vitus could really dig a tune.
    He'd waltz out of bed and jig til noon.
    He'd dance all the day,
    Polka, tap and ballet
    And hop all the night a gay rigadoon.

    September 9, 2014

  • Impoverished, young and a bland boor
    The squireen is well-housed but land-poor.
    To attract a rich wife
    And be set up for life
    His campaign begins with a grand tour.

    September 8, 2014

  • Judging from comments submitted in years past this word is very evocative - of Anglo-Saxon kings, obscure dramas, boring cricketers, faded rock stars, etc… It brings to my mind a name that a clever marketeer might coin for one of those retirement homes for the wealthy that proliferate these days: “Eldritch House.” It suggests a dignified final haven for the elderly rich while at the same time discouraging trespassers.

    September 7, 2014

  • It's the tolling of faint elfin bells which
    Makes night in each dingle and dell rich
    With sounds that awaken
    Deep mem'ries forsaken,
    And stirs echoes most eerily eldritch.

    September 7, 2014

  • Take care what you smoke in your hookah
    Or find yourself joined by a pooka.
    He'll be hid from your eye
    But you'll know he's nearby
    By the rising of hairs on your nucha.

    September 6, 2014

  • See comments at lalochezia.

    September 5, 2014

  • What a great word is lalochezia! It is one of those words you didn’t know was necessary until you heard it. I am reminded of reading up on the 17th Century composer, Dietrich Buxtehude, a most interesting man. The tale of his dangling marriage to his daughter before potential successors to his position as the price of preferment is especially poignant. I think his surname is well-adapted to lalocheziacal purposes. It is pronounced “BOOKS-tuh-WHO-duh.” For many years I have been encouraging people to shout, “Buxtehude!” when they strike a thumb with a hammer. Try it. I am sure you will find relief.

    September 5, 2014

Comments for qms

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  • Dear Wordniks my aim is to woo you
    To visit "community" if you choose to.
    Let not this hiatus
    Depress or abate us,
    Let's flock to the beckoning ruzuzu.

    December 25, 2014

  • Thanks, qms! I was thinking that in the meantime maybe we should just congregate on one of the word pages--community makes as much sense as any. See you there?

    December 24, 2014

  • I especially admire your last few limericks. Keep up the good work!

    December 15, 2014

  • By rights this should be posted on the account of the user lozonbeatty, but that account will soon be squished to wriggling flatness by the almighty thumb of erinmckean, if it has not already been so reduced. I post my comment here so that it will not be collateral damage.

    I was struck by the last few sentences of lozonbeatty’s message, that is, three or four sentences, depending on one’s inclination to generosity:

    I experience scorching soon after using the tablet. and that i sweat quite a bit .they explain to me it is because the tablet si performing for me. I m seriously pleased with this particular outcome.

    There is something of poetry and of perversion in these words. I had hoped that bilby might address this, but he is probably out snowshoeing, or whatever it is they do in the Australian Winter. I have not his gift for mock Spammish so I must resort to my native idiom to give lozonbeatty some advice:

    Anent your fiery fat pill story
    More testimony is obligatory.
    You should be testing
    Other ways of ingesting.
    Suppose you try suppository?

    July 3, 2014

  • On any page, scroll down to the bottom, then click on the Community link under News. That will take you to what we used to call 'the front page' of the site where you can see all the latest user comments (and some other stuff). Sometimes you'll see that a 'conversation' between frequent users is developing on a particular word.
    Doorbelling is also fine, we do that too.
    p.s. There should also be a Community link on the black bar at the top.

    January 1, 2014

  • You can comment on any word except the Word of the Day in the WotD section.
    Your double bracket theory is correct, you can make a clickable link to any word's page by doing that. Then just scroll down till you find the comment box.

    December 19, 2013

  • I seem to have managed to make everything a comment FOR qms ABOUT qms. What I would like to do is offer comment FROM qms about a word. I wonder if double brackets on a word such as hebetude would land me in a useful place.

    December 19, 2013

  • From 11/27/2013, hebetude

           Thanksgiving, 2013
    We dine this day on heaps of food,
    Then slump in sleepy lassitude.
    Sad bales of clothes
    Near comatose –
    Though conscious, sunk in hebetude.

    December 19, 2013

  • From 12/06/2013, subnivean

                Snow Fleas
    To Winter they are not giving in
    To sleep the season in oblivion.
    They cheerfully go
    Underneath the snow
    And, happy there, hop subnivean.

    December 19, 2013

  • I have encountered enough success at posting a comment to look back a bit for other Word of the Day offerings that I have limericized. My skills as an archivist are weak, but I have found a couple.

    From 12/11/2013, cete

    "Coitus" supplies a word for "mate;"
    A batch of badgers it names "cete."
    It could be fun to view
    What those badgers do
    If, like words from roots, they proliferate.

    December 19, 2013

  • From 12/05/2013, morosoph

    The lit'ry world may haughtily scoff
    And judge the writer in some way "off,"
    But a limericist's tools
    Are the insights of fools.
    The form is the art of the morosoph.

    December 19, 2013

  • You can comment on the word cacchinate, though not on the Word Of The Day entry which is in a different part of the site.

    December 18, 2013

  • the meter is funky - a bit to the left of the limerick
    I like it!

    December 18, 2013

  • I am a bit flummoxed. I thought I could offer a comment on a specific Word of the Day, but it looks like I am able only to talk to myself. At least I will have an appreciative audience.

    When the Word of the Day service supplies a word I think I might want to use I try to implant it in my working vocabulary by building a limerick around it. I have done that with the word of 12/17/2013, cachinnate. Thus,

    Against cruel fortune's machination
    Partake of sorrow's vaccination.
    Your surest protection
    From sadness' infection
    Is regular doses of cachinnation.

    December 18, 2013