rolig has adopted no words, looked up 0 words, created 95 lists, listed 3913 words, written 3140 comments, added 0 tags, and loved 17 words.

Comments by rolig

  • In our family, God's country meant only one thing: Virginia. At least as far as my mother was concerned.

    July 29, 2023

  • Today as I was working on a translation of a poem, I got a call from someone offering my company security services (which I don't need). I wanted to tell him that he must be from Porlock, but of course he would not have understood. The reference is to a note Coleridge appended to his poem "Kubla Khan". Writing of himself in the third person, he says:

    "On awakening he appeared to himself to have a distinct recollection of the whole, and taking his pen, ink, and paper, instantly and eagerly wrote down the lines that are here preserved. At this moment he was unfortunately called out by a person on business from Porlock, and detained by him above an hour, and on his return to his room, found, to his no small surprise and mortification, that though he still retained some vague and dim recollection of the general purport of the vision, yet, with the exception of some eight or ten scattered lines and images, all the rest had passed away like the images on the surface of a stream into which a stone has been cast, but, alas! without the after restoration of the latter!"

    June 1, 2022

  • I just learned that the origins of this word, which represents a costly nightmare, a rite of passage, a crutch, a refuge, and a pleasure – and enormous profits – for so many, comes from the name bestowed on the tobacco plant in a self-aggrandizing act by the 16th-century French diplomat Jean Nicot de Villemain, who brought the plant and its seeds from Portugal to the French King Charles IX in 1560. He introduced snuff tobacco to the French court, thus making a name for himself, so to speak. The rest is tragic history. So nicotine goes on my Suprisingly Eponymous list – the first word to be added in many years.

    May 18, 2022

  • The conversation we had in 2008(!) about the word porajmos are the kind of Wordie conversations I miss. By the way is chained_bear still around? And reesetee?

    March 25, 2022

  • tankhughes Perhaps a panacea with a lisp?

    March 25, 2022

  • My favorite is still dawdle, which of course includes all the other -dles, but evntually the old -dles dull and I look for some new -dle thing to whet my noodle.

    March 25, 2022

  • This is just sad. In so many ways.

    March 25, 2022

  • A cousin to the Fear Of Missing Out, then?

    March 22, 2022

  • vendingmachine, so sorry to hear about the stalker (the price of fame?), but it's great that you're having such success with your comic creations! It's nice to be back.

    March 18, 2022

  • Hi everyone! I've been missing you all. Are a lot of the old gang still here? Hi, ruzuzu! Hi, vendingmachine! (what was your old name?)

    March 17, 2022

  • Has nobody figured this out yet! Jeez. What have you all been doing all this time?

    March 16, 2022

  • Seconded.

    January 10, 2019

  • Bottom Line Up Front – a useful acronym. See the post on Fritinancy:

    November 18, 2018

  • Lovely words, lovely poem, lovely list!

    October 17, 2018

  • My pleasure, ru.

    August 24, 2018

  • Hi, ruzuzu! For more examples see my list bywords.

    August 22, 2018

  • The creepy housekeeper from the Hitchcock/DuMaurier film Rebecca</i>, whose name I recently saw used as a byword for, well, creepy housekeeper types.

    August 22, 2018

  • Brilliant, qms!

    January 15, 2018

  • Compare the French amour propre, which English has adopted as its own.

    January 15, 2018

  • Thanks, ruzuzu!

    January 8, 2018

  • Sadly, my beloved cat Aglaja, born in September 2004, passed away on December 27, 2017. Fondly known as "the Clowness" for her lively and amusing facial expressions and body positions, she brought love and warmth and energy to all those who had the good fortune to know her. She leaves behind a heart-broken family: myself, my partner and her sister, Erazma. Rest in peace, dear friend.

    January 7, 2018

  • Really? Did nobody read this as muff gel? Did nobody read? Does anybody read?

    August 18, 2016

  • Bilby, sorry to spoil your otherwise excellent pun, but if you had been in Southern Africa in the 16th or 17th century, you might well have seen such events, and I'm sure it you would not have wanted to:

    "The Khoi (known as "Hottentots") first encountered European explorers and merchants around AD 1500. The ongoing encounters were often violent. Local population dropped when the Khoi were exposed to smallpox by Europeans. Warfare against Europeans flared when the Dutch East India Company enclosed traditional grazing land for farms. Over the following century, the Khoi were steadily driven off their land, which effectively ended their traditional life." – Wikipedia, "Khoikhoi"

    July 10, 2016

  • When I added this to my homophone/homograph list in 2009, it was done in pure jest. Sadly, it's now a daily headline (when not pushed out by other atrocities closer to home).

    July 10, 2016

  • Much-belated (8 years belated) thanks for your help with my Pocketful of -ry list!

    April 16, 2016

  • I need to start using this word.

    April 16, 2016

  • Isn't this what housemates do? Sharent? I think the word the author of the Telegraph article is looking for is "co-parenting" or perhaps "shared parenting". Must everything be crammed into a portmanteau? In fact, I thought this faux word, or "fauord", meant the very opposite, that is, exclusively female parenting (derived from "she-parenting"). Not for the first time, I am calling for a moratorium on portmanteaux, or rather, a portmantorium.

    January 8, 2016

  • With all due respect to Rebecca Solnit, wouldn't a clearer, more elegant, and more pronounceable way to express this idea be "privileged obliviousness" or "the obliviousness of privilege"? (And does she not know how to spell "privilege"?)

    *wonders why people feel the need to coin words when perfectly good ones already exist*

    December 23, 2015

  • Vendingmachine, don't be upset with the Century Dictionary definition; it was written more than a century ago when there were both music-masters and music-mistresses, just as there were both authors and authoresses and murderers and murderesses.

    December 23, 2015

  • More commonly, and more traditionally, a word used in response by somebody who is either (a) offended by the suggestion that they should buy something in medium or (b) proud of their build and dismissive of those who might, in kindness or flattery, suggest a medium:
    a) "Medium, schmedium, I need a small!"
    b) "Medium, schmedium, I'm an extra-large!"

    December 23, 2015

  • Interestingly, this word came into West European languages via Russian; hence I place it on my list of slavonicisms.

    December 23, 2015

  • Curiously, this word is not listed in the standard unabridged dictionaries.

    November 3, 2015

  • Reading Blake's famous poem "The Tyger", with its reference to the animal's "fearful symmetry", I realized (among other things) that "fearful" is a contranym. In Blake's poem, it means "able to stir dread, fear" -- "awesome" in its more traditional meaning -- but of course today it more usually means "feeling fear, being afraid".

    October 28, 2015

  • Fearful belongs to this list, I think.

    October 28, 2015

  • It seems to me to be even more modern and appropriate, and more civil, to refer to people's ethnicity (if that's even necessary) by standard, non-derogatory descriptors: Osama bin Laden was an Arab (more specifically, a Saudi Arabian); Palestinians are, well, Palestinians; and Nina Davuluri is an Indian-American (more specifically, a Tulugu-American, if the Wikipedia entry about her can be trusted). Why group Arabs (or Moroccans, Algerians, Libyans, Egyptians, Palestinians, Saudi Arabians, Emiratis, Qataris, Bahrainis, Omanis, Yemenis, Iraqis), Berbers, Kurds, Turks, Armenians, Azeris, Georgians, Israelis, Iranians, Pakistanis, and Indians under such a peculiar label? What good does it serve?

    October 17, 2015

  • "I, as a speaker and writer of English, am descriptivist. I look at what it is doing at the moment, puzzling it out, making my own choices. Prescriptivism comes in when as a gimlet-eyed editor or teacher I advise which available product is best suited to the customer. I do not lay down the law, for there is no law."

    – John E. McIntyre, "Free-market English", "You Don't Say" blog, Baltimore Sun, 16 Oct. 2015

    October 17, 2015

  • Is this what used to be called "the editor"?

    October 16, 2015

  • Used in the sense of "decrepit", "decaying":
    "This time, I started out again, with the misconception common to Anglo-Saxons, that the real Rome is the Rome of the ugly ruins, the Rome of all those grey cariated temples wedged in between the hills and the slums of the city."
    – Thomas Merton, The Seven-Storey Mountain (1948)

    October 11, 2015

  • "Once a dream did weave a shade

    O'er my Angel-guarded bed,

    That an emmet lost its way

    Where on grass methought I lay."

    – Wm. Blake, "A Dream", Songs of Innocence (1789)

    October 9, 2015

  • Writing in the late 1940s, Thomas Merton in his first memoir, The Seven-Storey Mountain, described his Aunt Maud as follows:

    "Nice, in the strict sense, and in the broad colloquial sense, was a word made for her: she was a very nice person. In a way, her pointed nose and her thin smiling lips eve suggested the expression of one who had just finished pronouncing that word. 'How nice!'"

    I'm not sure what he means by "the strict sense" - perhaps "respectable", perhaps "fastidious"; by "the broad colloquial sense", he almost certainly means "pleasant and agreeable", the way most of us use the word today.

    October 4, 2015

  • Reading another comment on Wordnik that referred to "natural language", it struck me that the term is a retronym. I'm not sure when it originated, but I imagine the term was first used to distinguish human communication from machine communication.

    October 4, 2015

  • An article today in The Guardian on the mass-killer in Oregon reminded me of this word (perhaps my focus on words is a way of distracting myself from the hideous reality):

    "The 26-year-old, obsessed by the macabre hoopla surrounding other mass shootings, left a note – a multi-page, angry screed, it was reported – and murdered with apparent yearning for posthumous notoriety."

    "Screed" seems exactly the right word here, and this convinced me that it should be on my Fibrous Words list. By the way, notice the apt use also of the word notoriety.

    October 4, 2015

  • The question was: "Do authors auth?" My response is that they don't. Somebody who auths would be properly called an "auther", though I am not sure what that means, since I don't know what "auth" means. It has not yet obtained a meaning that is widely understood. (Though with a little effort on someone's part and the Internet, perhaps it will in a few days.) Speaking of how words are formed, the relation between the stem word and its derivative, whether by back- or forward-formation, is not always self-evident. Escalators, for example, do not escalate, at least not in the way that crises do. Similarly, authors are not people who authorize things. If you ask, "What, then, do authors do?" The answer is simple: "Authors author." The noun is easily and regularly verbed.

    October 4, 2015

  • No, if you auth, then you're an auther, not an author, which is something else entirely.

    September 29, 2015

  • A derogatory name for the Soviet Union especially in the early years. It comes from the acronym "Sovdep" for Sovet deputatov, or "Council of Deputies". As a state of mind, Sovdepia is connected to the worst excesses of the Dictatorship of the Proletariat as embodied by the Communist Party of the USSR.

    September 29, 2015

  • "Determined to prove their mettle, several Republican presidential candidates showed new aggressiveness in lacing into Donald J. Trump on Wednesday night, seeking to elevate themselves as leaders of substance and shake up a race that Mr. Trump has dominated all summer."

    – Jonathan Martin and Patrick Healy, "Candidates use second G.O.P. debate to taunt Donald Trump", New York Times, 16 Sept. 2015

    September 17, 2015

  • lithe and blithe are adjectives; withe is primarily a noun and also ends in a voiceless <i>th</i> (θ).

    September 12, 2015

  • It's rather curious how close these two phrases are.

    July 27, 2015

  • Just a brief morphological note in the hope of dispelling confusion about the nonce word "disspelling". The "dis-" particle in the word derives from the verb "to dis", which is slang for "to disrespect", which itself is slang for "to show disrepect" or "to treat disrespectfully". It is not a misspelling of "dispelling", which derives from the Latin "dispellere" and means "to drive away", in the sense of making something (usually bad) disappear.

    July 2, 2015

  • In the sense of the aggressive tag phrase, am I right to assume that "ya bish" derives from the gangsterish Italian word "capisci?" (pronounced "kapeesh"), meaning "Have I made that clear enough?"

    July 1, 2015

  • There is a nice discussion of the origins of this word on Languagehat's website: The related word "lodestone" also came up.

    July 1, 2015

  • I don't like this term. All the best libraries contain books waiting to be read. The term "antilibrary" suggests something that stands in opposition to the library, like a Board of Censorship or book-burning fascists. Taleb makes an excellent point in the quoted passage, but he's hit on the wrong term. But why do the books look at you menacingly? My unread books (and they are many) look at me invitingly.

    June 30, 2015

  • Used by Keats in "Isabella" (stanza 57) to refer to Isabella's mercenary brothers.

    June 30, 2015

  • In John Keats' narrative poem "Isabella", the heroine's materialistic brothers are referred to as "those Baälites of pelf" – invective worth remembering.

    June 30, 2015

  • Tmesis, by the way, is part of Russian grammar when it comes to prepositional phrases with negative pronouns such as никто (nikto, "nobody"), ничто (nichto, "nothing"), and никакой (nikakoy, "no kind of"). So if you want to say, "We were not talking about anybody", that would be "Мы не говорили ни о ком" (My ne govorili ni o kom), literally (more or less), "We were not talking no-about-body" (Russian uses the double negative).

    June 27, 2015

  • According to the Oxford American, "ride herd on" is "N.Amer. , keep watch over" -- an idiom I did not know before. An example, from a NYT article on the Alice show at the Morgan Library in NY: "Carroll often rode herd on Tenniel, one of the most successful illustrators of his day; 'Don’t give Alice so much crinoline' was typical of the detailed degree of his authorial involvement." ("Looking at the birth of Lewis Carroll's 'Alice,' 150 years old", New York Times, June 25, 2015)

    My first thought was a mistake for, or the origin of, the phrase I know: "to ride hard on somebody", which I understand as meaning "to keep the pressure on someone, often mercilessly, to get the work done". But maybe I have adopted this as an eggcorn.

    June 27, 2015

  • Interesting that this word in its origin meant "manliness".

    June 26, 2015

  • Sounds like an eggcorn rather than slang.

    June 26, 2015

  • That's a-whole-nother story.

    June 26, 2015

  • This word is used by John Keats in a striking, and perhaps surprising, condemnation of capitalist exploitation of workers, colonial exploitation, and cruelty to animals:

    With her two brothers this fair lady dwelt,

    Enriched from ancestral merchandize;

    And for them many a weary hand did swelt

    In torched mines and noisy factories,

    And many once proud-quiver'd loins did melt

    In blood from stinging whip; – with hollow eyes

    Many all day in dazzling river stood,

    To take the rich-ored driftings of the flood.

    For them the Ceylon diver held his breath,

    And went all naked to the hungry shark;

    For them his ears gush'd blood; for them in death

    The seal on the cold ice with piteous bark

    Lay full of darts; for them alone did seethe

    A thousand men in troubles wide and dark:

    Half-ignorant, they turn'd an easy wheel,

    That set sharp racks at work, to pinch and peel.

    "Isabella" (1819), stanzas 14 and 15

    June 20, 2015

  • The iconic beatnik, played by Bob Denver, in the classic TV sitcom "The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis".

    June 14, 2015

  • Wonderful! The image of a poet's work as garners (granaries) holding the grain of thought is found also in Baratynsky's poem "Autumn" (1837), though with different implications:

    But you, as you enter the autumn of your days,
         O plowman of the fields of life,
    and your earthly lot appears before your eyes
         in all its generosity,
    and as the furrows of this life get ready
         to offer up their bounty to you
    and so reward the labor of existence,
         and as the precious harvest ripens,
    and you, in grains of thought, gather it in,
    now at the prime of human destiny—

    are you rich, too, like the tiller of the soil?

    June 13, 2015

  • In the early 1990s a song that never failed to move me, that seemed to weld me to my life in its fullest, truest experience, was "Being Boring" by the Pet Shop Boys. I was intrigued by the central quotation from "the wife of a famous writer" and wondered exactly where it came from. I guessed that it must be from Zelda Fitzgerald, but never bothered finding the exact quote (finding such things was harder in those days). Now, today, I found a website devoted to the song:, and the quote itself, acknowledged as being from ZF, but without the specific reference, which I then easily found on Google Books:

    "… the Flapper … bobbed her hair, put on her choicest pair of earrings and a great deal of audacity and rouge and went into battle. She flirted because it was fun to flirt and wore a one-piece bathing suit because she had a good figure; she covered her face with powder and paint because she didn’t need it and she refused to be bored chiefly because she wasn’t boring. She was conscious that the things she did were the things she had always wanted to do."

    – Zelda Fitzgerald, "Eulogy on the Flapper" (1922), The Collected Writings (New York: Simon & Schuster, 2013).

    June 12, 2015

  • What a lovely word! Here it is in Shakespeare's Julius Caesar, where Brutus tells his wife, Portia, that he will soon reveal to her why is worried and pensive:

    And by and by thy bosom shall partake

    The secrets of my heart.

    All my engagements will I construe to thee,

    All the charactery of my sad brows.

    (Act II, scene i)

    June 11, 2015

  • Of course, someone could come along and start talking about Obama's or Boehner's fleering at some question, and then when asked about the word, say: it's when you flinch and sneer at the same time. And then if people start using it a lot to mean simultaneous flinching and sneering, well there you have your portmanteau. But it won't be the same old Scandinavian-born fleer that Shakespeare knew.

    June 9, 2015

  •                                       … for Romans now

    Have thews and limbs like to their ancestors…

    – Shakespeare, Julius Caesar, Act I, scene iii

    June 8, 2015

  • Brutus:

    I am not gamesome: I do lack some part

    Of that quick spirit that is in Antony.

    – Shakespeare, Julius Caesar, Act I, scene ii.

    June 8, 2015

  • This is a word that needs reviving.

    June 8, 2015

  • Rules of style that may have once held a certain (dubious) validity but are now long dead; nevertheless they continue to live on various websites devoted to the general issue of how English is going to the dogs. Examples: never split an infinitive, don't end sentences with a preposition, don't start sentences with a coordinate conjunction, avoid the passive voice, etc. etc.

    June 6, 2015

  •                             "I am indeed, sir, a surgeon
    to old shoes; when they are in great danger, I
    recover them. As proper men as ever trod upon
    neat's leather have gone upon my handiwork."
    – Second Commoner (a cobbler), in Shakespeare, Julius Ceasar, Act I, scene i.

    June 6, 2015

  • Named after the Persian mathematician Muhammed ibn Musa al-Khwarizmi (c. 780-c. 850), referred to in Latin texts as Algoritmi or Algaurizin (acc. to Wikipedia). The "al-Khwarizmi" part of his name, which gave us the word "algorism", which then became "algorithm", means "from Khwarezm", a medieval country in Central Asia that was also known as Chorasmia. Hence, our word is both eponymous and toponymous.

    May 23, 2015

  • An interesting word for a certain kind of mistake occasionally encountered in occasionally encountered in medieval manuscripts manuscripts and on the Web.

    May 19, 2015

  • Ah, the sugary vagaries of marketing!

    May 19, 2015

  • What's wrong with saying "sugar content"?

    May 15, 2015

  • Shouldn't this be spelled "convoloquacious"? Why is there a "u" after the "v"?

    May 15, 2015

  • So Stephen Amell defines "sinceriously" as 1) a noun ("the ability…") and 2) a verb ("to initiate…")? But its form suggests that it is in fact an adverb. And what is the difference between "sinceriously" and "sincerely"? Sincerity usually implies a serious attitude, doesn't it? This strikes me as just another worthless portmanteau that is neither sincere nor serious in intent.

    May 15, 2015

  • It's still alive and healthy in my idiolect.

    May 8, 2015

  • Chekhov's full name in Chinese: 安东·巴甫洛维奇·契诃夫 (Āndōng Bāfǔluòwéiqí Qìhēfū).

    March 26, 2015

  • The Romanized spelling of Chekhov's name in Chinese: Āndōng Bāfǔluòwéiqí Qìhēfū (安东·巴甫洛维奇·契诃夫), which, probably because of a typo, was transformed to "Anton kowolski vicki Chekhov"! See the discussion at Languagehat,

    March 26, 2015

  • A very popular and delicious wine produced in the Primorska region of Slovenia (malvazija); in English traditionally called malmsey.

    February 21, 2015

  • Not really homophonic, but approaching it. Weirdly, this phrase crossed my mind as I was admiring the nutrias who congregate on the banks of the river near where I live. I have never tasted a nutria, though I used to own a hat, a shapka, actually, a wonderful and much loved shapka, made of nutria fur.

    February 11, 2015

  • See John McIntyre's delightful discussion of this word (originally meaning "tax-collector") at

    December 27, 2014

  • (Sorry about that last one.)

    August 16, 2014

  • A man kin git a mahty tharst in the Karst.

    August 16, 2014

  • Have you ever played a fugue on a Moog?

    August 16, 2014

  • limp'st (what thou dost when thou hast twisted thy ankle) rhymeth with glimpsed, methinks.

    August 16, 2014

  • Perhaps we should start using UKoGBaNI more in colloquial speech. We could pronounce it "ooko gbanee" with an African inflection, or "yookog banny" (more Southeast Asian, perhaps?). It also makes a convenient demonym: Ukogbanian.

    August 16, 2014

  • A word very much in the news these days in Slovenia. The closest English word for it is "sleet". It's the icy covering that forms on branches, electrical cables, and other things, and it has been doing a great deal of damage this week, bringing down trees and cables and resulting in power outages and road closings across a large swath of the country.

    February 5, 2014

  • Just missed this on a crossword, where the clue was "A digital plate"!

    December 28, 2013

  • This occurred to me yesterday while listening to the news about the Iran nuclear deal, and it begged me to put it here. It's more than three words, but i can't remember where we put STF-like collocations of this sort.

    November 26, 2013

  • According to the theory of the Orientalist Sir Richard Burton, this is the region in which different-generation male homosexuality was prevalent and even celebrated by the indigenous peoples. (See the Wikipedia article for details.)

    November 26, 2013

  • Here the "v" and the "r" both serve as (semi-)vowels, to give you a pronunciation that is something like oozBURST -- which is nice, considering that the word means "a budding".

    October 8, 2013

  • Slovene: budding, efflorescence; (in medicine) eruption of a rash. The deverbal noun of vzbrsteti

    September 30, 2013

  • What are izbas doing in Mexico? Are there a lot of Russian peasants living in Xochimilco?

    September 18, 2013

  • So I suppose "matricide" is killing yourself after watching the whole Matrix series a dozen times and still not being able to figure out what's real not.

    August 23, 2013

  • Or now that I think of it, from Tolstoy. After all, he wrote kilonovels Inot to be confused with killer novels).

    August 7, 2013

  • And here I thought this was a character from a Gogol story, some Pelageya Arkadiyevna Kilonova.

    August 7, 2013

  • Came across this yesterday reading Henry James and I thought, what a nice word. I was looking for such a word recently in one of my translations and it didn't occur to me (I used "mirth" instead, another great word). And yet it's not an unusual word, not archaic, just a little dusty. When was the last time I used "levity" in a sentence when I wasn't saying, facetiously, "This is no time for levity"?

    July 29, 2013

  • Just tell those pandorable creatures to beware of Greeks bearing gifts and not open any boxes.

    July 11, 2013

  • Fascinating. In Russian, the piece is still called "elephant" ("slon"), and in Slovene, it's a "hunter" ("lovec"), which I assume is connected with the old "archer" name. I did not know the word "alfin" and am surprised to learn that it was ever used in English, but it must have been, if the Century has a definition for it.

    July 7, 2013

  • I wasn't familiar with this term until I came across it in this PartiallyClips comic:

    and looked it up on Wikipedia:

    It actually describes something that amuses and annoys me on so many US TV shows, as when the CSI guys explain to each other exactly the process they are use ("and now I'm going to run the fingerprints through the database"). I keep waiting for one of them to say, "Yes, of course you are. You always do. That's your job. Why are you telling me this? Do you think I don't know what goes on in a CSI lab? I've been working here 15 years, forgodsake!"

    July 7, 2013

  • I am so glad you made this list. I find this particular form fascinating. How about waddle (from wade) and dazzle (from daze)?

    June 9, 2013

  • In Canto XV of Don Juan, Byron describes a sumptous dinner, listing all the dishes. But in the midst of his list, he breaks off with this aside:

    But I must crowd all into one grand mess

         Or mass; for should I stretch into detail,

    My Muse would run much more into excess,

         Than when some squeamish people deem her frail.

    But though a 'bonne vivante,' I must confess

         Her stomach 's not her peccant part; this tale

    However doth require some slight refection,

    Just to relieve her spirits from dejection.

    Of course, what he describes, is hardly "some slight refection".

    June 8, 2013

  • In Canto XV of Don Juan, Byron lists all the foods served at a sumptuous dinner. At one point, he breaks off to say of his Muse:

    But though a 'bonne vivante,' I must confess

         Her stomach 's not her peccant part; this tale

    However doth require some slight refection,

    Just to relieve her spirits from dejection.

    Presumably, in Byron's case, the "peccant part" of his Muse was located a few inches lower than the stomach.

    June 8, 2013

  • Feel free to pilfer from my list exploring-the-i-id-i. (No idea why I have to add -i to the name of the list to make the link work!)

    June 8, 2013

  • 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.

    May 16, 2013

  • Someone needs to create a tude list. I'd do it myself if it weren't for this damn hebetude going around.

    April 30, 2013

  • 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.

    April 25, 2013

  • Come again?

    April 25, 2013

  • 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.

    April 24, 2013

  • Not to be compared, however, with the macedoine of Macedonia, the doyenne of macedoines.

    April 21, 2013

  • 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)

    April 21, 2013

  • Thanks, Pro! It's interesting how some words are only used in certain contexts.

    March 28, 2013

  • 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."

    March 27, 2013

  • "To wear the arctic fox

    you have to kill it. Wear

    qiviut — the underwool of the arctic ox –

    pulled off it like a sweater;

    your coat is warm; your conscience, better."

    — Marianne Moore, "The Arctic Ox (Or Goat)"

    March 27, 2013

  • Colloquial Slovene for "wings", as in chicken wings. A cute word derived from the onomatopoetic word "frfotati" – "to flutter", hence: "flutterers".

    March 8, 2013

  • 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.

    January 7, 2013

  • 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"

    December 31, 2012

  • Thanks for the "evanid" suggestion, ry!

    December 31, 2012

  • Those crazy mathematicians. Wiener, indeed.

    August 23, 2012

  • Slovene: "crowd, multitude"

    August 23, 2012

  • Pro, good luck on your future endeavors! Have you got something lined up? Returning to Italy? Drop me a line if you're interested in visiting neighboring Slovenia!

    August 2, 2012

  • 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.

    July 25, 2012

  • Sonnet

    - by Elizabeth Bishop

    Caught—the bubble

    in the spirit-level,

    a creature divided;

    and the compass needle

    wobbling and wavering,


    Freed—the broken

    thermometer's mercury

    running away;

    and the rainbow-bird

    from the narrow bevel

    of the empty mirror,

    flying wherever

    it feels like, gay!


    July 23, 2012

  • specious, meretricious

    July 12, 2012

  • I thought mortal enemy of polish is russish, or maybe germanish.

    July 12, 2012

  • That is hardly surprising, dailyword. This is a word that a lot of aspiring poets use when they are human.

    June 5, 2012

  • 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.

    June 5, 2012

  • Were the Maccabees especially macabre?

    June 2, 2012

  • As far as I can tell, "rampid" is (still) non-standard English. People often use it (mistakenly, I would say) for "rampant". The standard phrase is "run rampant".

    June 2, 2012

  • "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!

    June 1, 2012

  • 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.

    June 1, 2012

  • The adjective exists, only it is spelled differently: erinaceous. Feel free to use this word, spelled correctly with the adjectival -ous suffix, to describe any hedgehoggy acquaintances you may have.

    May 21, 2012

  • Outstanding! Thank you, Ruzuzu, for this.

    *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.*

    May 19, 2012

  • Interesting, mtc. Baratynsky's "wondrous city" has a very different connotation than "Cloud Cuckoo Land", but the latter certainly belongs on my states-of-mind-from-absurdistan-to-zion list.

    Ruzuzu, Baratynsky and I go way back. I was introduced to him by Pushkin and Nabokov, with an added endorsement from Brodsky.

    May 15, 2012

  • Originally mentioned by a character in Aristophanes' play The Birds.

    May 15, 2012

  • I love the Century Dictionary.

    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

    meaningless activity.


    Translated by Rawley Grau

    May 15, 2012

  • 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.

    February 24, 2012

  • 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.

    And by the way, SPAM ALERT!!!!

    February 16, 2012

  • I think the Piper is called "pied" because he wears clothes made of different colored patches, like a harlequin.

    February 5, 2012

  • 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.

    February 5, 2012

  • "I loved you. I was a pentapod monster, but I loved you. I was despicable and brutal, and turpid, and everything, mais je t'amais, je t'amais!"

    Vladimir Nabokov, Lolita, ch. 32.

    February 5, 2012

  • "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."

    — Vladimir Nabokov, "On a Book Entitled Lolita"

    February 5, 2012

  • 2010, kakovostno, suho, Vipavska dolina, Mansus - družinsko posestvo Makovec, Brje na Vipavskem 79, SI-5263 Dobravlje

    January 29, 2012

  • 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.

    January 29, 2012

  • 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.

    January 21, 2012

  • Which is the correctly cased form, yarb? I would guess the lowercase barometz, since this is the name of a type of (mythical) entity (like unicorn), not a personal name (like Pegasus).

    January 21, 2012

  • 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".

    January 21, 2012

  • Jenn, I love the list but don't understand the title: "You haven't lived unitl you've had…" Is that it? Am I missing something idiomatic?

    January 16, 2012

  • Ah, Ru! This -trix is for dames.

    January 12, 2012

  • Erazma / Erasma (2004– ), a.k.a. Razmica, Razmička, Razma-Taz, Tazma-Raz, Tazma, Razi, or just Raz.

    January 12, 2012

  • Aglaja / Aglaia (2004– ), a.k.a. Glajca, Glajko, Glajkica, Glajka, Glajči, Glajči-Glu, or just Glaj.

    January 12, 2012

  • My beautiful, beloved, sweet-spirited, wise and deeply mourned feline companion Nastasya / Настасья (1986–2003), a.k.a. Nastenka, Nastechka, Nastka, Nastusya, Nusya, Nuska, Nus / Настенька, Настечка, Настка, Настусья, Нусья, Нуська, Нусь, or more formally, Anastasia / Анастасия.

    January 12, 2012

  • A curious choice as a collective for an order of gamless mammals!

    January 11, 2012

  • 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.

    January 5, 2012

  • In a statement, this is "a commitment to an extra message that (metaphorically speaking) comes through on a second channel, without adding anything to the factual content of what is said." –Geoffrey K. Pullum, "A wee conventional implicature", Language Log,

    Pullum gives the examples of "damn" in such statements as "Somebody stole my damn guitar" and "wee" in Scottish usage: "I'll just be going off for a wee cup o' tea":

    "It seems to me that wee has a similar syntactic privilege of occurrence — you can just pick a salient noun at random and stick wee on that — but the semantic contribution is just an optimistic and comforting attitudinal overtone: rather than the vague impression that the speaker is pissed at the situation, which is what damn conveys, wee supplies a vague impression that the speaker is being helpful and optimistic and that things are going to be just fine."

    December 25, 2011

  • This is a word I've been encountering recently -- it feels academically faddish -- in the sense of "ideological" or perhaps simply "purported": In an article in the New York Times Book Review on the (obviously) important role of the Bible in Western literature, the author, referring to Faulkner and Dostoevsky, writes: "The failure of the notionally Christian worlds of Russia and Mississippi to be in any way sufficient to the occasion of Christ among them would be a true report always and everywhere." (Marilynne Robinson, "The Book of Books: What Literature Owes the Bible," NYT Sunday Book Review, 22 Dec. 2011)

    December 25, 2011

  • Thanks, ru! But Nancy's citation there simply confirms my point. Ammon Shea (the guy who read the OED), writes about the word: "The OED does not give any citation for its use except for Henry Cockeram's 1623 English Dictionarie." This is a white elephant of a word, a verbal knick-knack: it sits on the shelf and people say, "Oh, how pretty!" but nobody really knows what to do with it except display it as a pretty word. And when you do try to use it (right now, a certain @impropaganda has Tweeted®, "Hope the weather holds for some beautiful southern apricity!") you end up sounding precious, arch, or pompous.

    December 22, 2011

  • The fact that all of the examples, and even the Tweets®, merely cite this word and do not use it make me wonder if it is in fact a word that people say (or more likely, write). This seems more like a museum piece than an "actual word".

    December 21, 2011

  • Ah, yes, the world's first story was also its first same-sex love story.

    December 21, 2011

  • This is astonishing. I was born and grew up in Baltimore, where I lived for some 30-odd years, and I never noticed that anyone said "groshery".

    December 21, 2011

  • A rhyme in the hymn "O God, Our Help in Ages Past".

    December 21, 2011

  • A rhyme in "O God, Our Help in Ages Past".

    December 21, 2011

  • A rhyme in "Come, Thou Fount of Every Blessing".

    December 21, 2011

  • A rhyme in "Come, Thou Fount of Every Blessing", "O God, Our Help in Ages Past" and many other hymns.

    December 21, 2011

  • A rhyme in "Come, Thou Fount of Every Blessing".

    December 21, 2011

  • From "Come, Thou Fount of Every Blessing".

    December 21, 2011

  • From "Come, Thou Fount of Every Blessing".

    December 21, 2011

  • From "Come, Thou Fount of Every Blessing" (and many other hymns).

    December 21, 2011

  • It occurred to me today that this is a retronym, which only appeared once it became standard practice to send young children out of the home to receive a primary education. Until the 19th century, or thereabouts, young children, if they received any education at all, were educated at home.

    December 18, 2011

  • Spooky.

    *Disappointed there are no visuals.*

    December 16, 2011

  • Thanks, leaden! What beautiful work this is! So I suppose one message in the image is that happiness points the way to enlightenment but is not enlightenment.

    December 16, 2011

  • I suppose this is a much larger version of the µ-stachio (mu-stachio)?

    December 15, 2011

  • In her view, acupuncture was little better than quackery; "needless needles" she called it.

    December 14, 2011

  • This is a wonderful image! Very Zen. Do you know anything about where it comes from?

    December 14, 2011

  • the opposite of ion.

    December 9, 2011

  • I could imagine "wear" being used as a count noun in a situation where someone was comparing the durability of different items (their various "wears" after a year of use, for instance), but it's hardly elegant English. It is simply a matter of count-nouning the already existent deverbal noun "wear".

    December 7, 2011

  • Apparently, one of these, recently found on Little Barrier Island in New Zealand by Mark Moffatt, is the biggest insect in the world. Click on the following link (if you dare), for more:

    December 3, 2011

  • me too.

    December 1, 2011

  • An early word for a steamship.

    December 1, 2011

  • Wonderful!

    A simple but evocative (meta-)palindrome is mirror rim.

    December 1, 2011

  • Apparently, this was named after the Croatian Dr. Franjo Kogoj, of the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Zagreb.

    I suppose in certain circles it's a wonderful thing to have a pustule named after you.

    December 1, 2011

  • See comments on Kaiserschmarrn and kaisersmarrn.

    November 30, 2011

  • Delicious Austro-Slovene dessert.

    November 30, 2011

  • The Slovene vernacular term for cesarski praženec, or Kaiserschmarrn. See comments on kaisersmarrn.

    November 30, 2011

  • See comments on kaisersmarrn.

    November 30, 2011

  • This is very popular in Slovenia, where it is called šmoren (from the German word Schmarrn), or more formerly cesarski praženec, a calque on Kaiserschmarrn, meaning something like "the Emperor's pancake" (for a recipe, see According to the Slovene culinary website, this treat got its name when an innkeeper in Ježica served it to the Austrian and Russian emperors, who were stopping there on their way to the 1821 Congress in nearby Ljubljana (Laibach). Today Ježica is part of Ljubljana, and that same inn, or gostilna, is still there; it is called "Pri ruskom carju" ("The Russian Czar"), and it has lent its name to the surrounding neighborhood: the Russian Czar neighborhood.

    November 30, 2011

  • For the time being, we could use the "Feedback" tab. I suggest going to the Feedback (a different website), clicking "Problems" and titling the comment, for example, "SPAM: timberlandsalgs profile".

    November 30, 2011

  • AIDS Committee To Unleash Power: ACT UP! FIGHT BACK! FIGHT AIDS!

    November 29, 2011

  • What a lovely word!

    November 29, 2011

  • Pro, for your question about comments on tags, try writing Erin directly by email (erin (at) -- if you haven't already.

    November 29, 2011

  • But the comment box is hard to find.

    November 29, 2011

  • Yes.

    November 29, 2011

  • In contemporary visual-art practice, this refers to works that cross different media (for instance, that combine painting and video; installation and social action; intervention and performance, etc.).

    November 25, 2011

  • Is anybody else using the "feedback" tab on the left side of the new Wordnik Preview? It seems like I am the only one asking questions and pointing out problems, which is crazy, since I know many other people should have comments about the new interface.

    November 24, 2011

  • This word brings back memories of ACT UP.

    November 24, 2011

  • Headline meaning: The booze-making system remains idle.

    November 22, 2011

  • In fact, the distinction is still very much alive in certain contexts. I don't think anyone would disagree that "a jealous husband" means something very different from "an envious husband". But whereas "envious" still cannot mean what "jealous" has traditionally meant (fearful about losing something one thinks one possesses); "jealous" has been encroaching on the territory of "envious".

    November 19, 2011

  • This is a printmaking technique, generally known in English as a "soft-ground etching".

    November 19, 2011

  • A term from French philosophy, notably the work of Michel Foucault, usually translated as "apparatus", "deployment", or just left as "dispositif".

    November 19, 2011

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Comments for rolig

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  • Oy, count-nouning, Noice.

    December 8, 2011

  • Thanks for mirror rim - nice!

    December 1, 2011

  • Just stopping by to say you're awesome.

    You're awesome.

    November 26, 2011

  • You give meaning to my otherwise oppressive life! Irregardless of where you live we can live together and love another so! I've ascertained that we are meant for each other! Say YES, my love!

    July 29, 2011

  • Thank you!

    July 25, 2011

  • Got the message in my email. You can remove the comment now if you want. Thanks.

    July 21, 2011

  • Hi rolig, how can I contact you privately?

    July 21, 2011

  • You're fun. :-)

    July 21, 2011

  • Hi Rolig --- want to try again? John and Tony edited your list title.

    June 22, 2011

  • Hi rolig -- any luck getting word pages to load yet?

    June 21, 2011

  • We miss you!

    May 5, 2011

  • 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.

    Hope you stick around. :-)

    May 1, 2011

  • Yes, rolig -- we miss your wit and rigor. Not to mention the Slovenian updates!

    May 1, 2011

  • Nice to see you stopping by, rolig. :-)

    May 1, 2011

  • 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.

    April 14, 2011

  • "Rolig has added 72 lists containing 3,480 words, 56 comments, 56 tags, 50 favorites, and 2 pronunciations."

    September 5, 2010

  • Rolig sneaked in a post a few days ago. :-)

    June 15, 2010

  • I miss rolig.

    June 15, 2010

  • Rolig! You're back! (Or are you?)

    June 15, 2010

  • I was just reading zelena zelena and thinking about how much I appreciate your comments - especially the ones about etymology. Thank you!

    June 2, 2010

  • rolig! I miss you!

    April 14, 2010

  • Me too! Funny, Pro, I was just coming here to do the same.

    February 5, 2010

  • I just wanted to say hi.

    February 3, 2010

  • 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.

    November 21, 2009

  • 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?

    November 19, 2009

  • I hope you'll pronounce some words and phrases in Slovene.

    November 18, 2009

  • Thanks for getting back to me on the Czech no/ano question. I was curious because I think Latvian (a Balto-Slavic language) has a word spelled "no," which means something more like "of" or "from."

    November 14, 2009

  • 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.

    November 11, 2009

  • Hello helpful rolig,

    I had been asking Milosrdenstvi about the etymology of the Czech no/ano, but Milosrdenstvi said that would be probably more up your alley. Any suggestions?

    November 7, 2009

  • Thanks for offering to pack her alpaca. That's a big help.

    October 29, 2009

  • I played with your name. 

    October 4, 2009

  • It would make me extremely happy to come to Slovenia someday. In that case, I will bring some home-made fufluns.

    May 27, 2009

  • wow thaz cool

    May 26, 2009

  • WOW, crasy comments dude!

    May 23, 2009

  • Thank you; a labour of love.

    I find your lists and comments unique and noteworthy.

    It's hard to know what's a goodly time to reach comment or word quantities here...there's a bizarre absence of date-stamping on Wordie. Does anyone know why?

    May 23, 2009

  • Thanks, Pro! I wasn't really paying attention. I have no idea when I hit my fourth chiliad.

    May 12, 2009

  • 3008 words, rolig! Congratulations! I can't see your recent activity, what's your 3000th entry?

    May 12, 2009

  • What does "23" mean? As in "23 squidoo!"

    May 6, 2009

  • done.

    April 27, 2009

  • Thank you. I don't know why fate hadn't led me to Wordie (and kimchi) earlier.

    April 18, 2009

  • I'm a Bosno, actually, though it's always tricky; half the time I tell people Yugoslavian just because that's my sense of things.

    I take it you're Slovenian?

    April 18, 2009

  • Thank you :) Im still trying to get the whole concept of Wordie :P

    March 17, 2009

  • Norsk? :P

    March 17, 2009

  • 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.

    March 9, 2009

  • I thought of "interstice" in terms of something "standing", but it has a sense of "liminality" also. Thanks for the suggestion.

    March 9, 2009

  • 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'.

    February 27, 2009

  • Thanks for your help, rolig

    February 6, 2009

  • Oh, good point! I probably should have spelled it with an apostrophe. I created a new entry for b'icicle. Much funnier! Thanks!

    February 1, 2009

  • Oh, good point! I probably should have spelled it with an apostrophe. I created a new entry for b'icicle. Much funnier! Thanks!

    January 31, 2009

  • *32-tooth smile*

    Phantom Limb is waiting for you.

    January 29, 2009