Okay, I am getting separation anxiety now. I will miss you two voices in my head next week. (Dear S calls all of you my imaginary friends). U, give your regards to Granny Smith. R, do you to care to give us any hint of your vacation plans?
This is a great list, and enlightening. I am going to add umpty-umpth to my words, because I particulary like it as an ordinal.
I like infinity minus one a lot too, U. It reminds me of the old joke about the natural history museum docent. Asked how old a particular fossil was, he said "Two million and twenty one years." As explanation for such a precise number, he explained that when he started working there 21 years ago, it was two million years old.
That is interesting. As I recall, one of Freud's translators more or less coined this word as a translation of a German word that means someting like "to occupy" If a person cathects something, he or she invests emotional energy in it and makes it his own. Bruno Bettelheim wrote a book about what he regarded as the mis-translation of Freud's writing.
"We sailed for America, and there made certain preparations. This took but little time. Two members of my family elected to go with me. Also a carbuncle. The dictionary says a carbuncle is a kind of jewel. Humor is out of place in a dictionary."
Mark Twain, Following the Equator, Chapter 1, page 1
Why, to make mercurial ointment, of course: "In the old formula for making mercurialointment, the quicksilver is merely directed to be rubbed with the axunge and suet until it be killed, which is nearly impossible. . ."
from The Edinborugh Medical and Surgical Journal, 1805
Jen and Reesettee, thank you--you are right. Marji was a good friend whopassed away last March from melanoma. I was felt moved to list some Marji words last week; the word compote triggered the list! Funny, the power of words. :)
I agree, gerwitz--it is so much easier to use the on-line sources. My OED is the two volume set with magnifying glass; it is a major productionfor me to use it. I would love to be able to use the on-line OED but there is no way I could justify the expense for my current purposes.
Then they would need to take a second look, wouldn't they? I remember a perhaps-apocryphal story aout a crusade against the word niggardly. There is enough genuinely racist speech to object to; we don't need to imagine it where it does not exist.
Last stanza of "Terrence, this is Stupid Stuff" by A. E. Housman
There was a king reigned in the East:
There, when kings will sit to feast,
They get their fill before they think
With poisoned meat and poisoned drink.
He gathered all that sprang to birth
From the many-venomed earth;
First a little, thence to more,
He sampled all her killing store;
And easy, smiling, seasoned sound,
Sate the king when healths went round.
They put arsenic in his meat
And stared aghast to watch him eat;
They poured strychnine in his cup
And shook to see him drink it up:
They shook, they stared as white’s their shirt:
Them it was their poison hurt.
—I tell the tale that I heard told.
Mithridates, he died old.
Fried chicken was served at a large family gathering. Little Georgie was offered a piece of chicken: breast or drumstick? He would only reply, "Must have been a mamma chicken." Repeatedly. Insistently. Louder each time. Never lived that down!
Something that produces crumbs or something that is covered with crumbs; something that is of poor quality; a bus used to transfer workers to a job site. Wish I knew how the last meaning evolved (I could speculate, but would like to find some actual evidence. ;-)
Have to think about that--my idea of the south is mostly as told in southern literature, which is of course full of riches. I have had very little reason to spend time in the south, so the region is still a little *unreal* to me.
The female of some animals--Jenny Wren insisted on coming in our house one winter, no matter how many times she was put out. Honest. (Also my grandmother's name--my grandfather-to-be dipped her red braids in the inkwell, I am told)
I never learned to do french braids. Nor did my mother. In second grade, my idea of a perfect life was french braids, sandwiches cut diagonally rather than straight across, and snowball cakes in my lunch. Alas, these things were cruelly withheld from me. Sob.
So right you are. . .in this case wealthy is an old apple variety (which is in the dictionary.) That is, it is an apple variety until someone points out one of the other meanings of the word! It amazes me, too, that we have not even come close to naming all the lexemes used in the English language