This is the Slovene word for a fan (the old kind of folding fan people, women especially, or rather, ladies) would use to cool themselves on hot days. I like the way it sounds. It sounds cool (in both sense of the word): the puff of pah- with the release of -ljača.
And for the effeminate villeggiatura—
Rife with more horns than hounds—she hath the chase,
So animated that it might allure a
Saint from his beads to join the jocund race;
Even Nimrod's self might leave the plains of Dura,
And wear the Melton jacket for a space:—
If she hath no wild boars, she hath a tame
Preserve of Bores, who ought to be made game.
— Byron, Don Juan Canto 13
"She" is England. Byron is describing the fall hunting season in the English countryside.
The tourist agency drives them every day to a different natural wonder in the mountainous country: cliffs and ravines, rivers and streams sparkling in sunshine. There is always something else to be oohed at, photographed, and always some arduous narrow trail to be followed to get to the breathtaking vista. It is beautiful but exhausting. The group is bloated from the beauty, as every day it gorges gorgeous gorges.
Of all tales 't is the saddest – and more sad,
Because it makes us smile: his hero 's right,
And stil pursues the right; – to curb the bad
His only object, and 'gainst odds to fight
His guerdon: 't is his virtue makes him mad!
But his adventures form a sorry sight;
A sorrier still is the great moral taught
By that real epic unto all who have thought.
– Byron, Don Juan, Canto 13 (about Don Quixote, aka Don Kwix-oat)
Pro! First - Hi! It's been a long time.
Second: Is that any different from saying "drenched in sweat"?
Third: I always associate "bedraggled" with being wet, though being in a generally miserable-looking state is essential too. It would sound strange to me to say: "Gene Kelly was cheerfully bedraggled as he celebrated the joys of crooning in precipitation."
Great list, hernesheir! I added a few: the obvious signature and tag, as well as crest and tell (in the sense of a sign that someone is lying), though I'm not sure that this last one fits with the idea of the list. With open lists, especially, I think it's wise to say what sort of words you're looking for.
I love the older sense of truant, as "stray, displaced, wandering", used by George Eliot in this passage from The Mill on the Floss, describing the Red Deeps, an area of hollows and hills where Maggie Tulliver enjoyed taking her walks. The place, she says, had a charm for Maggie:
especially in summer, when she could sit in the grassy hollow under the shadow of a branching ash, stooping aslant from the steep above her, and listen to the hum of insects, like tiniest bells on the garment of Silence, or see the sunlight piercing the distant boughs, as if to chase and drive home the truant heavenly blue of the wild hyacinths.
— George Eliot, The Mill on the Floss (1860), Book V, chap. 1, "In the Red Deeps"
By 1979, "gay" in the sense of "homosexual" was already widespread among gays and lesbians themselves, so I expect that there is a play on words going on here. Bishop was a lesbian, who like most lesbians of her generation had to be very discreet; it may indeed be the case that this poem about freedom and escape (from the mirror!) indicates a new acceptance of her own homosexuality.
in the spirit-level,
a creature divided;
and the compass needle
wobbling and wavering,
and the rainbow-bird
from the narrow bevel
of the empty mirror,
it feels like, gay!
The sense you mention, alasdair17, pertains to the noun phrase Pyrrhic victory, not to the word pyrrhic per se, which is why I do not give it here. I do, however, provide it under "Pyrrhic victory" (note the capital "P", which I prefer since in this sense the word derives from the proper noun Pyrrhus). By the way, there really was no need to use four question marks in a row. I hope you have calmed down a little.
"According to anonymous senior administration sources quoted in the New York Times, Obama decided to speed up a programme first launched by his predecessor, George W Bush, codenamed Olympic Games, whose aim was to use computer viruses to attack Iran's nuclear enrichment programme."
– Peter Beaumont, "Obama 'sped up cyber-attacks on Iran's nuclear programme'", The Guardian, 1 June 2012.
The lack of a hyphen in "codenamed" (read "code-named") here is annoying. I initially read this as "co-denamed" and imagined Bush and Obama together "denaming" this programme as Olympic Games. Why do people hate hyphens? Hyphens are our friends!
This is a misspelling. Note that the correct spelling is griping. As a general rule, verbs that end in a silent -e, drop the -e when the ending -ing is added. There are exceptions (the only ones that come to mind are dyeing, to distinguish it from dying, and ageing, though here many prefer aging) – but "gripeing" is not one of them.
*feeling a little sad, and a little curmudgeonly about the fact that modern dictionaries don't make references like "the leap of Curtius into the chasm, or the death of the martyr Stephen". Today it's all about quantifiable information with little thought to knowledge and none to wisdom.*
Btw, in my real life I am translating the poems of the Russian poet Yevgeny Baratynsky. Here is one that seems appropriate:
Now and then a wondrous city
from floating clouds will coalesce,
but the wind need only touch it,
and it’s gone without a trace.
Thus the momentary inventions
of poetic fantasy
vanish at the merest breath of
Coined by none other than Alfred Hitchcock. I placed this on my bywords list (for now at least) because this sounds like a person's name; presumably the MacGuffin in movie could be an (unnamed) character.
As someone who doesn't play violent role-playing video games I am not interested in having my images taken anywhere near WOW, thank you. And if I want any jism-layered group montages (especially of the fraternity variety), I know a few select websites where to find them.
Sadly, in his notes to Lolita (The Annotated Lolita), the otherwise seemingly erudite Alfred Appel Jr. believes that "auroch" is the singular of "aurochs", a word Nabokov uses in the all-important penultimate sentence of the novel.
"In modern times the term 'pornography' connotes mediocrity, commercialism, and certain strict rules of narration. Obscenity must be mated with banality because every kind of aesthetic enjoyment has to be entirely replaced by simple sexual stimulation which demands the traditional word for direct action on the patient. … Thus, in pornographic novels, action has to be limited to the copulation of clichés. Style, structure, imagery should never distract the reader from his tepid lust."
A dry white wine indigenous to the Vipava valley in Slovenia (according to the Slovene Wikipedia, for what it's worth, this variety was first mentioned in 1324). The excellent bottle I tried (2006 vintage) came from the Sončni škol cellar in Renče.
The difference between the spellings hryvnia and hryvnya for the Ukrainian гривня is one of English transliteration, specifically how to transliterate the Ukrainian Cyrillic letter я. In both transliterations the letter before the "a" does not represent a separate syllable, but only the softening (palatalization) of the "n". Other possible renderings would be "hryvnja", "hryvňa", "hryvn'a", and "hryvña", since the letter "j", the caron, the apostrophe, and the tilde are all conventional ways (in separate systems) of indicating such palatalization. Curiously, the Oxford American Dictionary gives "hryvna" as its main headword (despite indicating the iotization of the a in its pronunciation guide), with "hryvnia" as an "also". (I can understand why it might make sense to reserve the y-transliteration for the Ukrainian vowel "y"/"и", though the same argument can be made for preserving "i" for the Ukrainian vowel "i".)
LesHerasymchuk is right, though, about the history of the Ukrainian language: both Ukrainian and Russian (as well as Belorusian) come from Old East Slavic (the language of the medieval state known as Kievan Rus); Ukrainian does not come from Russian. In terms of continuity, it is more accurate to say that Russian comes from Old Ukrainian (though linguists don't usually use that anachronistic term, preferring instead "Old East Slavic"). And it is also true that Russian was profoundly influenced by Church Slavonic, a by-product of Old Bulgaro-Macedonian (a South Slavic language). I don't know whether modern Ukrainian has been as deeply influenced by Church Slavonic.
Well, since it's Nabokov, there could well be a Slavic solution. In Slovene the verb gugati means "to rock"; a gugalnik is a rocking chair, while a gugalnica is a swing. The Russian word for "to rock or swing" is different (качаться / kachat'sya), but I wondered anyway if there was a cognate. It turns out that Dahl's mid-19th-c. dictionary includes the word гугала / gugala (from a northern Russian dialect) which means "swing" (noun) and, indeed, the verb гугаться / gugat'sya, "to swing". So I would suggest that Nabokov playfully Englished this as "google", meaning something like "sway back and forth".
In Russian and Slovene and, I expect, many other languages this name has become a common noun referring to a patron of the arts, especially someone who supports a particular artist, writer, or art institution.
Jan 5, 2012
Comments for rolig
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It was a little easier to do certain things on Wordie--but there are lots of functions here that I'd have wished for there too. If you want to suggest something, we generally post questions/suggestions/bitching/complaining/all-purpose-comments at feedback.
You cannot escape the charge that you have previously engaged in the amazing pastime that is IDENTIFY THE WORDIE. You are therefore prime target material for inviting to IDENTIFY THE WORDIENIK. The whole of the bit of Wordnik that joins in on this would be truly honoured should you participate this time round. Easily find the right page right now because it is currently the most commented on list shown on the Community page.
Rolig, just wanted to let you know that there are indeed situations in which moving from certain parts of the site to other parts of the site logs you out. Engineers are working on it. The rest of us are putting wood on the fire.
I'm unable to hear your pronunciations! I can play the audio files, but they all come across as a few seconds of silence (or white noise). Are you previewing them before saving, just to make sure your microphone's working?
Hi rolig, wanted to apologize for the character encoding issues that have appeared on some of your lists. It's my doing--the Wordie database was kind of a mess after a few years not always careful noodling. We did the best we could moving things over, but some characters got a bit mangled.
The distinction between 'dis-' and plural '-s' is that the former is derivational, the latter inflectional. The non-existence of a free noun *'scissor' doesn't mean that the bound base 'scissor' can't be used in various ways: by conversion it can be used as a verb; it can take plural endings to become a free noun; and it can be used as a noun in attributive function ('scissor parts').
It's a bit difficult to see because in English bases almost always have free existence: unlike in Latin or Greek where there's no such thing as simply the 'word for' X, but rather a bound base with obligatory complex inflexion.
On *scissor, *underpant, *hijink—sorry, I only saw this yesterday—I've had a look through a couple of books and the closest I can find is the CGEL term bound base. They distinguish bases from affixes, so 'lighthouses' contains bases 'light' and 'house', and 'disperse' and 'discombobulate' contain bound bases, ones that can't exist as words once the affix 'dis' is removed. Some pluralia tantum bound bases have some marginal independent (or loosely-bound) existence in attributive constructions, as in 'trouser leg', 'scissor blade'.