qms has looked up 3882 words, created 5 lists, listed 125 words, written 704 comments, added 0 tags, and loved 63 words.

Comments by qms

  • When gas in the outhouse builds high
    Its contents become like mitraille.
    If it will amuse,
    Put match to a fuse:
    Take cover and watch the shit fly.

    March 6, 2015

  • I find two pronunciations proposed for mitraille. It can be "mit try," which honors the French origin and is consistent with the more familiar mitrailleuse. Another source supports "my trail," a brutal anglicization which might be no more than a desperate guess.

    March 6, 2015

  • A "mythical" people also named Cimmerians are described in Book 11, 14 of Homer's Odyssey as living beyond the Oceanus, in a land of fog and darkness, at the edge of the world and the entrance of Hades. Most likely they were unrelated to the Cimmerians of the Black Sea.
    Wikipedia

    March 6, 2015

  • I beg of some expert a favor:
    How signal in music a quaver?
    Can I use a quilisma
    To suggest melisma,
    That haunting melodious waver?

    March 5, 2015

  • Stout Ernest is quite the upstander
    And will not dissemble or pander.
    Though shock it elicit
    No word is illicit -
    He'll list it with unflinching candor.

    Find out more about Ernest Bafflewit

    March 4, 2015

  • "Your ceaseless search finishes here,"
    Declared the lovestruck engineer.
    "I will be your all,
    Your passion’s pawl;
    My thrusts will brake your spinning gear."

    March 3, 2015

  • Long battered by life's upland gale
    Some shelter in shrubs of the swale.
    They soothe all alarm
    And dwindle to dwalm
    With a dose of the peace-giving dwale.

    March 2, 2015

  • Both sesamoid and tahinite are commonly found in olivoidal environments, often mixed with garbanzoid deposits.

    March 2, 2015

  • "Mad bomber" he thought a bit hard.
    His name had been shamefully tarred,
    But French will go far
    To melt away tar:
    He's pleased to claim "dynamitard."

    March 1, 2015

  • An elegy is lament in rhyme
    And obsequy's forgiving time:
    A villanelegy's
    A mournful melody
    To eulogize some man of crime.

    March 1, 2015

  • When Eros has had his vernal fling
    The blossom wilts but still will cling.
    That bloom senescent
    Will droop marcescent,
    Abiding the Winter in dreams of Spring.

    February 28, 2015

  • You tell 'em they hafta keep probin' ya
    Afore they start layin' sod ovah ya!
    If ye yelps and ye squirms
    Y'ain't ready for worms -
    I knows me way 'round taphephobia.

    February 27, 2015

  • Some offspring will bear humiliation
    In pageants of sham conciliation.
    Such steps they will take
    When money's at stake
    To make the most of a bad filiation.

    February 26, 2015

  • When Norsemen roll in with the tide
    A plowman must quickly decide
    To fall in his field
    Or refuse to yield
    And fight in the ranks of the fyrd.

    February 25, 2015

  • 'Gerbils replace rats' as main cause of Black Death

    The deadly (this truth is ironic)
    Are often subdued and laconic.
    I give you the gerbil -
    So shy and non-verbal -
    And newly revealed as bubonic.

    February 25, 2015

  • Other sources provide three ways to pronounce fyrd:
    1. As a homophone for "feared."
    2. To rhyme with "third."
    3. To rhyme with "ride."
    The most frequently suggested is the last of these.

    February 25, 2015

  • Fat Tuck never ventured to knock it
    Nor Marian made bold to mock it.
    'Twas well understood
    In Robin's green 'hood:
    No jokes on the headman's bycocket.

    February 24, 2015

  • When sense with the silly converges
    A fresh understanding emerges.
    There's transforming tonic
    In the work of the comic -
    The secular thaumaturgus.

    February 23, 2015

  • Take care with your self-righteous canting;
    A label can be a cruel mantling.
    The fatherless sprat's
    Not urchin or brat,
    Just call the poor bastard a bantling.

    February 22, 2015

  • A young, small, or insignificant person.

    Merriam-Webster Dictionary

    February 22, 2015

  • Does "giant" mean bigger or less immense?
    By context you have to guess the sense -
    A marketing label
    Is wholly unstable
    And shuns the assistance of desinence.

    February 21, 2015

  • See gazump.

    February 21, 2015

  • Demented, according to Freud,
    Demanding his joy unalloyed,
    Oblivious in bliss
    Found nothing amiss:
    Demantoids as mints he enjoyed.

    See also demantoid.

    February 20, 2015

  • An orbiting rock claims it's planetoid;
    Devices assert that they’re android.
    If a stone cannot muster
    A diamond's bright lustre
    It struts its poor stuff as demantoid.

    See also Altoids.

    February 20, 2015

  • Altoids are a brand of breath mints that have existed since the 18th century.

    February 20, 2015

  • The process of building is simple:
    It starts as a lava-clogged dimple
    Then swells to a mound
    In successive rounds.
    A stratovolcano's a pimple.

    February 19, 2015

  • Spelt in Nebarska? I thought it was all corn.

    February 18, 2015

  • Agapanthus, I learn, is a flower, but, this being Ash Wednesday, if I had had to guess at its meaning I would have thought it named some appliance worn by a desert eremite to promote mortification of the flesh – specifically the flesh of the lower body.

    As the solemn season of Lent advances
    Rejoice in the burdens God grants us.
    Your mortification
    Needs amplification:
    Your hair shirt extend to agapanthus.

    This would be particularly stimulating to the gentials, and thereby hangs a tale.

    For context see live baiting.

    February 18, 2015

  • I see that the antechinus carries enthusiasm to an extreme:

    The black-tailed antechinus, found at high altitudes in the wet areas of southeast Queensland and northeast New South Wales, partakes in marathon mating sessions that can last up to 14 hours, with each marsupial cavorting with several partners during that time.
    Unfortunately for the male black-tailed antechinus, these feverish marsupial orgies often prove fatal. All that exertion raises their stress hormone levels dramatically, eventually causing the males’ systems to shut down….

    He seems less a likely participant in a happy bunny rumble than a sex fiend, but then it is Australia:

    In the great reproductive scramble
    Antechinus is ready to ramble,
    But this little shrew's
    Long night of screws
    Is distinctly a dangerous gambol.

    For context see live baiting.

    February 18, 2015

  • I was intrigued to see gentials on the “Recently Loved Words” list today. I thought it must be a misspelling of genitals, and so it was, but why should a misspelled word qualify for favorite status? Perhaps it is because the usage examples are such a hoot. The image loses its power to cause alarm when spelled thusly. What might have been shocking is instead amusing. I am reminded of immigrant families who, to support assimilation, will change their surname to something blandly unthreatening to the natives:

    The name change preserves the essentials
    But cuts down on scary potentials.
    They're far less exotic
    (And hardly erotic)
    When known to the neighbors as Gentials.

    February 18, 2015

  • I had to do a little research to come up with the pronunciation of this word, which is not surprising since it has probably never been heard out of earshot of a Walter Scott novel read aloud. Curiously, while the first definition is for a verb, all the examples I can find use it as a noun. Should one say, “The merry band then propined”? Or, “I propine the generosity of our noble host?” Don’t know and can’t find out.

    Another curiosity is the value of the cluster “ine” at the end of a word. This is impressively flexible: alpine, gasoline, determine, aborigine. I wonder if there is any other three-letter cluster that can be so variously pronounced. Also, is “aborigine” a unique instance of that pronunciation? I cannot think of any other naturally-occurring word with its final syllable so spelled and so said.

    I warn you be wary of Scottish propine
    For sharing the cup cannot be clean.
    As noun its clear drift
    Is good-natured gift;
    As verb it prescribes some risky hygiene.

    February 18, 2015

  • See rabbit stampede.

    February 18, 2015

  • How about bunny rumble?

    February 18, 2015

  • Thank you kindly. erinmckean, but these are Japanese rabbits and there are no daisies. After I left my last message it occurred to me that suggesting to an Australian that there is joy in rabbits might have been in poor taste. Maybe quokkas in the eucalyptus?

    February 17, 2015

  • Humpty Dumpty would approve of interpellate. It seems able to mean whatever you want it to mean. Even better, pronunciation is apparently a matter of personal preference - perhaps because nobody has ever heard the word spoken. Absent the risk of comprehension or contradiction, utter it with authority.

    A flexible word, interpellate;
    The meanings quite proliferate.
    Pronounce as you please
    With confident ease
    And wield it to intimidate.

    February 17, 2015

  • Thank you, bilby, but I think I will heed your reluctance. I don't hanker for more documentary evidence of depravity. If you have any links to videos of happy bunnies frolicking in fields of daisies I could use them.

    February 17, 2015

  • And might bilbies sometimes be the fodder for this barbaric practice?

    February 17, 2015

  • In Scotland the miscreant snools
    When faced by shame and cuttystools,
    And threat of the jougs
    Will settle the droogs
    And chasten the keelies and fools.

    February 16, 2015

  • Confirmation of my belief that there are numberless ways of being abrasive.

    February 15, 2015

  • When restive Scots want to be calm
    They imbibe an indigenous balm
    Which, after brief riot,
    Induces deep quiet -
    The famed Caledonian dwalm.

    February 15, 2015

  • There is also the live eyewitness report: “Kabla…..!”

    February 14, 2015

  • Valentine's Weekend Snowstorm; New England Could See Blizzard Conditions
    www.weather.com, Feb. 12, 2015.


    In this, the season of love and snow,
    How pay the double dues I owe?
    What better, my loveling,
    Than heartfelt shoveling
    To soothe the sting of Cupid's bow?

    February 14, 2015

  • The GQ ideal is athletic
    But master of matters noetic.
    He's quite the model fella,
    A masculine terella -
    Exemplar of forces magnetic.

    February 13, 2015

  • You mean it's not something to be found on a man's left foot?

    February 12, 2015

  • A vice president's duties are met
    By speeches that all will forget.
    He owns the hashtag
    #Auxiliary_gasbag
    His mail is addressed to "ballonet".

    February 12, 2015

  • Between the idea and the start
    The want and the will stand apart.
    We need a strong clevis
    To tackle that crevice
    And harness the horse to the cart.

    February 11, 2015

  • Our dreams are dug by elves and djinns
    With many a twist to shaft and winze -
    The infernal mines
    Of nocturnal minds
    That grub for gold mid this day’s sins.

    February 10, 2015

  • Seems bilby likes some Gallic spice
    To make a plate of rhyme taste nice.
    When you mix your sugo
    Include Victor Hugo
    To pay his rare approval's price.

    February 10, 2015

  • n., from Italian: sauce; juice; gravy.

    February 10, 2015

  • See the informative essay at World Wide Words.

    February 10, 2015

  • Cower abed in the storm-haunted night,
    By day be dazzled in a world of white -
    Snow-blind and wind-mauled,
    Frostbite and sunscald!
    Oh, tell me again of Winter's delight!

    February 9, 2015

  • You'll tarnish no matter where you go
    Like brass exposed to air, you know.
    Since age we all must
    Your shine will soon rust
    To interesting colors of aerugo.

    February 8, 2015

  • Some days a steady upward creep,
    Or else it climbs by sudden leap.
    Now more! Great Scott!
    Such an awful lot!
    The snow lies more than a shelby deep.

    February 8, 2015

  • A brolly has too light a stamp;
    A parasol will fail the damp.
    For a serious roof
    When you're on the hoof
    A bumbershoot should be your gamp.

    February 7, 2015

  • What news to include and what omit?
    We can't say the boss was unfit.
    We won't say he's fired
    But that he grew tired
    And reluctantly chose to demit.

    February 6, 2015

  • See also shelby.

    February 5, 2015

  • You can't shave a sheep on a windy height
    Or do other things that a shepherd might.
    But a dale, still and bieldy,
    Makes sheep less unwieldy.
    There Jock can proceed in shear delight.

    February 5, 2015

  • n. A unit of measure for the depth of snow. About five feet. Named in honor of Shelby Scott, former reporter for WBZ-tv in Boston whose invariable assignment over many years was to be the one who reported remotely during bad weather. Shelby stood exposed to many a blizzard and gust. She was so identified with heavy snowfall that the Boston Globe took to reporting snow depth in “shelbies” and depicting it with stacked images of the diminutive lady.

    For a pale imitation of this innovation see Sutherland of snow.

    February 5, 2015

  • Poor Ernest grows weary of censure
    And longs for release from indenture:
    Eleutheromania
    In some Ruritania
    Where words are not work but adventure!

    Find out more about Ernest Bafflewit

    February 4, 2015

  • Some louts imagine Zuzu nude
    But bilby's not so crudely lewd.
    His dreams combine
    Two lusts condign.
    He views Zuzu bedewed with food.

    February 4, 2015

  • It's on every pubescent agenda
    To study with care the pudenda.
    It's the way of the whelp,
    A thing he can't help;
    He's drawn by a mystic orenda.

    February 3, 2015

  • Super Bowl XLIX: New England 28, Seattle 24

    The landscape of hope was cold and nival
    And bleak were the chances of survival,
    But a foolhardy foe
    Can melt fields of snow
    And invite blessed rescue’s arrival.

    February 2, 2015

  • In Wordnik's unruly dominions
    You're free to assert your opinions.
    Invent a new word
    That no one has heard
    And you get to write the definiens.

    February 1, 2015

  • Superlatives grow tame and wane.
    A boast grown stale is a claim innane.
    It's hard to extol
    The old Super Bowl
    So next year it's The Game Immane.

    January 31, 2015

  • A very simple sense of "ultimo" is "last" - last month, last finale. Seems pretty direct to me.

    January 31, 2015

  • Is bilby’s blague the merest jest
    Or is he quite Zuzu obsessed?
    Will he pursue
    The true Zuzu
    Or will he rue his Zuzu zest?

    January 30, 2015

  • If you would let your learning show
    Do not cite simply "a month ago,"
    Nor deal out the scanty,
    Like "pre-" and wee "ante-,"
    When you can impress with "ultimo."

    January 30, 2015

  • There's Zuzu North and Zuzu West
    Is one Zuzuer than the rest?
    And not the least
    Is Zuzu East,
    But which, I wonder, is Zuzuest?

    January 30, 2015

  • Some things just need to be said.

    January 30, 2015

  • Now here is a word I would have guessed had a different meaning:

    Indulging a tender affinity
    With a partner in consanguinity?
    If from the same nest
    It's mortal incest;
    With cousins it's venial concinnity.

    January 29, 2015

  • Since voters can't be lobotomized
    A winning campaign's a job of lies.
    Not blushing veracity
    But robust mendacity
    Will keep the rubes metagrabolized.

    January 29, 2015

  • As best I can determine the "grab" spelling best honors Rabelais' playful French invention but the "grob" spelling better represents the way the word is pronounced in English and is the more common spelling, although to deploy the word "common" in this context is rather absurd.

    January 29, 2015

  • He bleated betimes in the Palin fold
    And authored an odious Palin ode.
    In sheepish remorse
    He reverses his course
    By penning a penitent palinode.

    January 28, 2015

  • Oh, dear, oh, dear. That latest TED talk does explain a lot. I think that sharing one’s favorite cute coinages on a discussion board is good clean fun. Adding them to a list of the twee is also harmless, but giving them an entry among the organically grown or spontaneously generated seems a step too far for me.

    Truly ingenious neologisms, on the other hand, have much charm. Some years ago there was a fashion, I think it might have been sponsored by a magazine or a web site, for coining words for things that we recognize as discrete entities but which go unnamed. I vaguely recall, for instance, that someone came up with a word for the clandestine competition we all engage in for the elbow rest shared by the person sitting next to us in the theater or on an airplane. The word was something like “elbowage” but it was cleverer than that. There must be a compendium of such witty terms somewhere but I cannot find it. Does anybody know where it could be? alexz?

    January 27, 2015

  • In custom to be much commended
    The captive, when exile is ended,
    Thanks to postliminy
    Sits nigh his old chimney,
    His wounds and his memories mended.

    January 27, 2015

  • I wish that we had an onamatope
    To capture the gait of the antelope.
    It’s a crying shame
    We used up the name.
    It’s wasted completely on cantaloupe.

    January 26, 2015

  • A solid that flows, cold and plastic,
    A smothering river fantastic -
    It's swift and bizarre,
    The deadly lahar,
    Cruel gruel of debris pyroclastic.

    January 25, 2015

  • Some bugs in the water, I'm told,
    Combine in the night and grow bold.
    I crave a zareba
    To stave off amoeba
    Before they become a slime mold!

    January 24, 2015

  • Thank you, bilby.

    January 24, 2015

  • When Nature is miffed she corrodes.
    If she really is pissed she erodes.
    Her wrath is displayed
    When you see her corrade
    But at peak of her pique she explodes.

    January 23, 2015

  • If you would like a word to be defined in Wordnik you do not need permission. Look in comments for robinsonja15 and cauteous (which is not actually a word but has found a home in Wordnik) to learn how this is done.

    I’m not a big fan of personal coinages myself, but Wordnik is the lexicographical equivalent of the Wild West. If you want to promote a new word this is the place to do it.

    January 23, 2015

  • In debate there will be occasion
    Of failure to move by persuasion.
    Who will not be swayed
    You must slowly abrade
    And subdue by relentless corrasion.

    January 23, 2015

  • The shepherd's in distress, alas!
    By day he's still lacking a lass
    But he'll not eschew
    A flirtatious ewe
    To warm his lonely paillasse.

    January 22, 2015

  • The refs asked the Colts about air
    (For testing should be fair and square).
    In response to fans’ calls
    They checked the Colts’ balls
    But alas! They found nothing there.

    January 21, 2015

  • Deflategate is a “scandal” arising from the allegation that in the American Football Conference championship game played in Foxboro, MA on January 18, 2015, in which the New England Patriots defeated the Indianapolis Colts 45-7, the Patriots had cheated by slightly deflating the footballs they used in order to provide a better grip in cold, wet weather.

    January 21, 2015

  • Grave illness affrights, to be sure
    But the stoic shows no discomfiture,
    He calmly awaits
    The word of the fates
    On the outcome of his decumbiture.

    January 21, 2015

  • The sound on the dark wind was soft,
    As though the Grim Reaper had coughed
    To remind us politely
    He passes by nightly
    And pauses to wait by each toft.

    January 20, 2015

  • The skid row crook soon comes to grief;
    His course to shame and jail is brief.
    But the mortifications
    Of mere asportations
    Are spared the grander Wall Street thief.

    January 19, 2015

  • The fad was at first the creeping type
    Then came waves of meeping hype.
    To the young it's a gift:
    Its meaning can shift,
    And keep Mrs. Grundy weeping-ripe.

    January 18, 2015

  • The Meep: Embraced By Youth, Misunderstood by Adults?

    Thompson said the word is a bit like the F-word, in that it can be used as virutally any part of speech -- verb, noun, adjective.

    ABC News, Nov. 11, 2009.

    January 18, 2015

  • This candidate's pitch is  a bore,
    His speech a monotonous snore.
    I like some bluster,
    An old-fashioned guster,
    A blowhard, a windbag, a blore.

    January 17, 2015

  • Unmoved by suasion or force
    A snorer must follow his course.
    An incessant stertor
    Won't justify murder
    But often results in divorce.

    January 16, 2015

  • Why not, "I give it to you."?

    January 15, 2015

  • The shepherd cried out, "Alas and alack!
    I'm lonely and taken aback.
    I'm tending these sheep
    Without a Bo Peep.
    The pay is okay but a lass is a lack."

    January 15, 2015

  • Our genes in a way are our fate
    Prescribing each talent and trait.
    I wish I could choose
    More maternal dues
    And work with a few less agnate.

    January 15, 2015

  • This had me confused for a long time. If you “search” for a word for which there is no Wordnik entry Wordnik will generate an entry page with that word as its title. That page will be empty of content. You can then add a definition as a comment. Anyone else searching for that word will come to that page with your comment as the only substance. They can add a comment of their own, of course. I do not know of a mechanism by which an entry defined only by a comment is promoted into an entry with information in the “Definitions” section. This way of doing things unfortunately means that every misspelled search generates an entry page. Wordniks learn to stay alert.

    January 15, 2015

  • Carmencita threaded chilis on string
    When Juan came in and love took wing.
    They shared 'midst the ristra
    The kisses that blister,
    So los amantes began their hot fling.

    January 14, 2015

  • fledged?

    January 13, 2015

  • I think the more common spelling for the gaiter is puttee. The golf ball application must refer to balls with a gutta-percha core.

    January 13, 2015

  • There's much to be loved in realms noetic
    Where chanting muses wax poetic,
    Alas, much to dread
    If the mind is instead
    Seduced by songs of sirens goetic.

    January 13, 2015

  • If long warbling obliges a bird to rest
    A cradle that rocks will suit him best.
    His hot and intense style
    Is cooled by the pensile
    And soothed in a filipendulous nest.

    January 12, 2015

  • Bilby is, as usual, a lode of useful information. I once went skiing in Chamonix, where les Guides des Alpes are universally admired, but I failed to understand the sense of their characteristic cries.

    They're famed for feats of derring-do
    But guides of the Alps are scholars too.
    It's knowledge they seek
    When they call from a peak
    And plaintively ask, "Beaudelaire, he who?"

    January 11, 2015

  • My pate cannot muster a braid
    Nor profit from comb or pomade.
    Now hats are my glory -
    A rich inventory
    With feathers and wound in torsade.

    January 11, 2015

  • The wintering earth cannot respire
    But Spring brings a sun grown higher,
    And warm penetration
    A great exhalation
    With mist to nurture the acrospire.

    January 10, 2015

  • By charm he stole a few kisses -
    No harm if kept hid from the Mrs. -
    But if he's espied
    Then woe him betide!
    He'll burn in her anagnorisis.

    January 9, 2015

  • The Backwoods Humorist

    His patter full of "pshaw!" and "aw-shucks,"
    His rustical tales are sure to draw yucks.
    But he always outwits
    The city-bred twits
    To confirm the illusions of paying hawbucks.

    January 8, 2015

  • All Winter no hope of a cock crow;
    Nothing to do but to talk snow.
    Can one not intuit
    Why a snowbound Inuit
    Might rave in the grip of piblokto?

    January 7, 2015

  • On “quibble” as a synomym for “pun,” Samuel Johnson on Shakespeare’s love of them:

    A quibble is to Shakespeare, what luminous vapours are to the traveller; he follows it at all adventures, it is sure to lead him out of his way, and sure to engulf him in the mire. It has some malignant power over his mind, and its fascinations are irresistible. Whatever be the dignity or profundity of his disquisition, whether he be enlarging knowledge or exalting affection, whether he be amusing attention with incidents, or enchaining it in suspense, let but a quibble spring up before him, and he leaves his work unfinished. A quibble is the golden apple for which he will always turn aside from his career, or stoop from his elevation. A quibble, poor and barren as it is, gave him such delight, that he was content to purchase it, by the sacrifice of reason, propriety and truth. A quibble was to him the fatal Cleopatra for which he lost the world, and was content to lose it.

    Samuel Johnson, Preface to Shakespeare

    January 6, 2015

  • In a strange attributive quirk
    To kill for a corpse is to burke.
    Second billing's unfair
    To poor William Hare
    Who matched Billy Burke in the work.

    See more about William Burke and William Hare here and here.

    January 6, 2015

  • Among many paths to your victory
    The tried and most true is trickery.
    Earn first his trust
    Then subtly thrust
    By slickly inserting your snickersnee.

    January 5, 2015

  • The dogmatist will not negotiate,
    Nor compromise nor tolerate.
    His will must prevail
    And foes must not fail
    To bow and to humbly homologate.

    January 5, 2015

  • Has the old salt taken a dollop?
    He talks, drunk or dry, codswallop.
    That odd bob and dip?
    Is it born of a sip
    Or just an old mariner's lollop?

    January 4, 2015

  • For a more common spelling see titivate.

    January 3, 2015

  • A story may hide no secret subtext.
    Events need not be always complex -
    Can be what they seem -
    Like an enthymeme,
    With causes made plain by effects.

    January 3, 2015

  • We celebrate each year's rotation
    With merriment and strong potation.
    With liquor abetting
    Both hope and forgettting
    The world glows bright in brief halation.

    January 2, 2015

  • The simple say "contemporaneous"
    But what they prefer is extraneous.
    While we, more expert,
    Can safely assert
    Sophisticates say "coetaneous."

    January 2, 2015

  • The annum revolves from last to next
    But yields no daily tempting text.
    Is there some curse
    On good-natured verse
    Or will 2015 be lexically hexed?

    January 1, 2015

  • Though Austerians refuse to accept it
    The voters of Greece may elect it.
    At long last they’re gagging
    On smug finger wagging
    And heading en masse for the Grexit.

    December 31, 2014

  • A supporter of the Austrian School of economics, particularly the libertarian, anti-Keynesian school advocated by Ludwig von Mises. Wiktionary

    December 31, 2014

  • Could it not also be a synonym for distraction; that is, a blend of focus and frustration?

    December 31, 2014

  • A cat's not a creature you own.
    Her love’s a conditional loan.
    In year twelve (that's regnal)
    I still am integral:
    I’m needed to tend to the throne.

    December 31, 2014

  • Moderation, ruzuzu, always moderation.

    December 30, 2014

  • The Greek euro exit is the speculated withdrawal of Greece from the Eurozone. This is known as Grexit, a slang term introduced in 2012 in world business trading. It is a portmanteau combining the wods Greek Euro Area exit. The term was introduced by Citigroup's Chief Analysts Willem H. Buiter and Ebrahim Rahbari on 6 February 2012. Wikipedia

    See also grexit.

    December 30, 2014

  • The theories abound and are far-flung -
    Druidical, say some, or else sarsen.
    Those strange monoliths
    Have spawned many myths.
    The favorite of late is they're Martian.

    December 30, 2014

  • Thanks and congratulations to erinmckean! It is good to start the new year with the Community page restored.

    December 30, 2014

  • Quoth Ernest while risen in spirit,
    "See, knave, my anger and fear it!
    So dread that I smite thee
    A blow which is mighty.
    Beware, lest I give thee a whirret!"

    Find out more about Ernest Bafflewit

    December 29, 2014

  • When Ernest prods Angus or Davey
    They'll play him a sly highland shavie.
    He'll hear fervent talk
    Of a beast in the loch
    Pursued by a shellycoat navy

    Find out more about Ernest Bafflewit

    December 28, 2014

  • In Scottish and Northern English folklore, a shellycoat is a type of bogeyman that haunts rivers and streams. Wikipedia

    December 28, 2014

  • 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

Comments for qms

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  • The annum revolves from last to next
    But yields no daily tempting text.
    Is there some curse
    On good-natured verse
    Or will 2015 be lexically hexed?

    January 1, 2015

  • 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