qms has looked up 4878 words, created 5 lists, listed 151 words, written 858 comments, added 0 tags, and loved 66 words.

Comments by qms

  • A master of confident free talk
    He struts on the stage like a peacock.
    At home though, I've heard,
    He's a different bird.
    A hen rules that stammering meacock.

    May 29, 2015

  • A maiden aunt to afflict a kiddy
    Will squeal and be stickily giddy.
    The fastidious brat
    Bears a kiss and a pat
    But draws the line at “chickabiddy.”

    May 28, 2015

  • Some background: Idaho Has Surprising Progressive Traffic Laws for Bicycles

    May 27, 2015

  • Though cool at work and perspicacious
    Our Erin provoked turns hellacious.
    Spammers learn quickly
    The lady is prickly.
    Be warned by the page on erinaceous.

    May 27, 2015

  • Expect some delays, c'est dommage.
    The taxis may stay au garage.
    There's an excellent chance
    When visiting France
    You'll deal with a bit of chomage.

    May 27, 2015

  • The French "dommage," lit. "damage," is heard most often in that language, and with some frequency in English, in the expressions c'est dommage and quel dommage. From the Urban Dictionary:

    c'est dommage

    Said in a kind way it means:

    It's too bad, It's a pity.
    Ex. Megan makes terrible hot chocolate, c'est dommage.

    Said in an indifferent way it means: 
    it's tough, it doesn't matter, I could care less
    Ex. If you don't like my hot chocolate, c'est dommage.

    Quel dommage

    An intentionally ironic statement meaning "What a Pity" or "What a Shame".
    Ex. You hate being around smokers and your best friend goes in to a store to buy another pack but they are out of his brand; you can say: "Quel Dommage!"

    May 27, 2015

  • The change to a dog in a day!
    My mortified Bulldog won't play.
    That canine friseur -
    Alors, quelle horreur -
    Converted my Butch to a Bichon Frisé!

    May 26, 2015

  • Umbelliferous plants can be shy.
    Their modesty, I’m told, is why
    The dish that’s essential
    To the most deferential
    Is a steaming slice of umbel pie.

    May 25, 2015

  • I searched through Dictionarydom,
    From Collins to Webster and Merriam:
    If you want to save face
    Then Wordnik's the place
    To look for a word like sudarium.

    May 25, 2015

  • The race at The Brickyard's a doozie
    But begs for a victor more newsy.
    Them Hoosiers with class
    Will root for the lass
    And cheer for a winning chauffeuse!

    May 24, 2015

  • It's true (or has been so averred
    In whispers and hints overheard):
    The insolent spammer
    Will feel Erin's hammer.
    Revenge is the new overword.

    May 23, 2015

  • I could understand, were I bright,
    Or might comprehend, save for fright,
    But logocentrism hosts
    Strange goblins and ghosts,
    And things that go bump in the night.

    May 22, 2015

  • Bed bug dog detection?! Does this mean that they detect bed bugs' dogs? Does it mean that they have dogs that can detect bed bugs? Maybe they boast that they are dogged in their detection of bed bugs. Maybe there are bed bugs in all that dog shit they're collecting in Fort Wayne. (See comments at shit.)

    May 22, 2015

  • I looked up jack jumper. My goodness. In Australia if the crocs don't get you the ants will.

    May 21, 2015

  • Getting ketchup to move is a struggle.
    Some swear by the inverted juggle,
    But the xanthan emulsion
    Will give it propulsion
    So shaking will make that jug guggle.

    May 21, 2015

  • jacktar, union jack

    May 20, 2015

  • How about the jackalope, that beast beloved of the humor impaired?

    May 20, 2015

  • To fact he will always hew truest
    But flourishes never strew fewest.
    Expect, willy-nilly,
    That he'll gild the lily.
    The man's a committed euphuist.

    May 20, 2015

  • It is clear that this latest barrage of spam is all authored by the same smarmy hand. It makes me long for the Good Old Days of ads in Polish for day care services in Krakow.
    I have an idea for how to discourage this practice. The mechanism could be the recent offer of opportunities to “sponsor” a word in Wordnik. A banner ad strategically placed could do wonders. For example:

    Dear spammer we're giving you fame
    By granting a sponsorship claim.
    Hereafter we'll teach
    To those who seek "leech"
    The creature's defined by your name.

    May 20, 2015

  • See also burke, which was the Word of the Day, Jan. 6, 2015.

    May 20, 2015

  • See resurrectionist.

    May 19, 2015

  • A village expands due to “townage.”
    A blossom declines into “brownage.”
    Thus locals make merry,
    With each Ernest query
    Inspiring a fresh round of clownage.

    Find out more about Ernest Bafflewit

    May 19, 2015

  • What marketing ploy is beneath
    The wiles of Dr. Bradford Heath?
    When spam is the game
    There’s much in a name
    If a dentist can rhyme it with teeth.

    May 19, 2015

  • 1. A so-called concert in which all of the singers sing at the same time different songs

    2.A concert in which the various singers sing their songs simultaneously, or each one sings a verse of any song he likes between bursts of some familiar chorus.

    The link to the site that is the source of these definitions seems to make the Wordnik compiler ill ("Flagged as Spam" message). Does anyone know what this means?

    May 18, 2015

  • To call a thing “Dutch” is usually not praise. “Dutch courage” is the courage you get from a bottle of gin; a “Dutch treat” is no treat at all but an even splitting of the bill; in carpentry a “dutchman” is an awkwardly improvised repair. See more at the Wikipedia entry for “Dutch uncle.”

    May 18, 2015

  • At May long, when weather gets sticky,
    Canadians give hist'ry a hickey.
    For reasons doctrinal
    The fête is reginal
    But who gives a fart for old Vickie?

    May 18, 2015

  • But tither, one who pays or collects tithes, has a proper entry in Wordnik. Perhaps you are conflating tizzy and dither, each of which denotes a state of agitated confusion.

    May 17, 2015

  • See chippy.

    May 17, 2015

  • Like chickpea, garbanzo, falafel,
    The bird and its many names baffle.
    Is it more fun to say
    He’s a smug popinjay
    Than a hewhole, a high-hoe or yaffle?

    May 17, 2015

  • The rhyming urge begins to twitch
    And quickly builds into an itch
    Returned to smite us
    With fresh pruritis.
    The limerick bug is a bitch.

    May 16, 2015

  • It's offhanded chat, supposedly,
    But prose hides a lot that’s poesy.
    Concealing the art
    Is a critical part
    Of successfully practicing causerie.

    May 15, 2015

  • A matador must show bravado,
    To please the true aficionado.
    Display poise and grace
    And unhurried pace,
    But kill with a single stoccado.

    May 14, 2015

  • Or maybe a display of priestly anger from the pulpit?

    May 13, 2015

  • Is being told that you don’t have to eat any cake emancicaketion?

    May 13, 2015

  • He feigned to be feeble and pallid
    So illness might seem to be valid.
    He languished with skill,
    As clever boys will.
    Though lazy the young man was callid.

    May 13, 2015

  • Thank you, alexz. Now that I know the expression originates in the comments of Pat Buchanan the incoherence is explained.

    May 13, 2015

  • I find the humorous “Albertastan” coinage puzzling. I associate the “-stan” suffix with Central and South Asian nations that are typically Islamic and conservative, but as far as I can tell “Albertastan” is being used like the tired old epithet “the People’s Republic of…” to suggest that the new NDP government is some version of communism. Perhaps to some people “stan” has come to suggest “other,” and replaces the enfeebled Marxist enemy.

    May 12, 2015

  • In Finland there's somewhere a hoard
    Of words they've saved up and stored.
    They have the inessive
    So they can use less of
    Prepositions they decline to afford.

    N.B.,the case(s) for economy: In addition to inessive (replacing "in"), this limerick will also work with abessive ("without"), adessive ("by," "while"), and essive ("as"). They are a frugal bunch, those Finns.

    May 12, 2015

  • See Mennonite.

    May 11, 2015

  • The truthers are loud and loquacious.
    Their grip on belief is tenacious,
    But fervor distracts
    From an absence of facts
    And reasoning less than sequacious.

    May 11, 2015

  • See truther.

    May 11, 2015

  • When a boy attains a man's estate
    He blends the learned and the innate,
    He may hew to the plan
    Of the agnate clan
    Imbued with spirit of the tribe enate.

    May 10, 2015

  • There is precedent:

    The sideshow flow thins to a trickle.
    At carnivals once for a plug nickel
    You could view the bizarre
    Preserved in a jar
    And see the two-headed babe in a pickle.

    May 10, 2015

  • See enate.

    May 10, 2015

  • The image is odd but please humor me:
    Though flowers are nature's perfumery
    Your nostrils would melt
    If you ever smelt
    The blossoms produced in a bloomery.

    May 9, 2015

  • The loneliness of the self-infatuated is tragic.

    The love of herself quite possessed her
    But sad solitude still depressed her,
    So she sought out a date,
    With a defect-free mate,
    And hooked up online with sweet Esther.

    May 9, 2015

  • Since snow came early and late
    No surfeit of sunshine will sate.
    Now all that I ask
    Is to blissfully bask,
    To languidly lie and apricate.

    May 8, 2015

  • Thank you kindly, slumry.

    May 7, 2015

  • The sentence is death for all creation
    But some regard life as probation.
    Good conduct, they feel,
    Will support an appeal
    To a heavenly court of cassation.

    May 7, 2015

  • This cannot fail to include spotted dick.

    May 6, 2015

  • He’ll want your opinion, you know,
    And his tastes are quite rococo,
    So politely demur on
    The uses of fleuron
    And try to ignore the furbelow.

    May 6, 2015

  • That those damned Eskimos have been lying about their words for snow!

    May 5, 2015

  • A single life limned is biography.
    A people detailed is demography.
    If a history lacks
    Both gossip and facts
    It's probably prosopography.

    May 5, 2015

  • Is that what has been going on? I thought we were suffering one of the Plagues of Egypt.

    May 5, 2015

  • Dim Jimmy will endlessly try
    To enliven the velvet night sky.
    He labors but just can’t
    Achieve the coruscant.
    The poor bug’s a failed firefly.

    May 4, 2015

  • A marketer knows how to hype:
    Extolling a tire of indifferent type
    He'll sing of its soundness,
    Its ebony roundness,
    Its tread and ingenious new sipe.

    May 3, 2015

  • To Ernest it seems not a bribe
    To pay as the locals imbibe.
    A few drinks at most
    Is a modest impost
    To loosen the tongues of the tribe.

    Find out more about Ernest Bafflewit

    May 2, 2015

  • Hard labor is banned on this day
    Devoted by custom to play.
    Forsaking the operose,
    Embracing the otiose,
    Be frivolous the first day of May.

    May 1, 2015

  • orgiastic? auricular? origami? original? ornery?

    May 1, 2015

  • In Syracuse, you lose at trial,
    Your sentence is your home's denial.
    Your crime or civil schism
    Buys time in petalism -
    That’s five long years of sad exile.

    April 30, 2015

  • An Ancient when cheating on tax
    Took care in his choice of pinax.
    With a spell in the sun
    The crime was undone
    If the lies were inscribed in thin wax.

    April 29, 2015

  • If there is anything significant at stake you should talk to a lawyer, or at least find an online site that claims legal expertise. My layman’s understanding of this is that “accident” is defined as an event that results in an injury, and that the injury must be entirely as a result of the accident itself and that no illness, infirmity, etc., of the person injured can have contributed to the injury. There is lots of wriggle room in there and wriggling is what insurance companies are good at.

    April 28, 2015

  • The serpent in Eden was first
    But that one was hardly the worst.
    The sinister dipsas
    Who whispers, "Here, sip this,"
    Condemns to perpetual thirst.

    April 28, 2015

  • I thought kelvin was already plural. Isn’t one degree a kelve?

    April 28, 2015

  • To marry had long been his grail
    But, wed, he is whirled in a gale.
    Can you imagine this?
    He's deuteragonist
    In what had been his personal tale!

    April 27, 2015

  • Old mobsters retire 'cause they gotta.
    If a paisan don't know then he oughta:
    The new way to play
    Is the Jamaican way;
    Go now or you'll deal with a shotta.

    April 26, 2015

  • As Luke surely wrote to Theophilus
    It’s all right if you are a pygophilist.
    While you ought to confess
    When e’er you transgress,
    As sins go it isn’t the awfullest.

    April 26, 2015

  • pygophilist. n. One who enjoys pygophilia; that is, an aesthetic or sexual appreciation of buttocks.
    From Greek pūgē 'buttocks' + philía liking, fondness.

    See also callipygian.

    April 26, 2015

  • pygophilia. n. A buttocks fetish or buttocks partialism. Wikipedia.
    From Greek pūgē 'buttocks' + philía liking, fondness.

    See also callipygian.

    April 26, 2015

  • There is always the ultimately intense beriberi.

    April 26, 2015

  • See tousled.

    April 26, 2015

  • The lasses, especially the teens,
    Were agog over Jack's magic beans
    And made his amazing stalk
    The village gazingstock,
    Provoking some unseemly scenes.

    April 25, 2015

  • The minstrels provided the tune
    With jokes from the royal buffoon,
    But the work of the fest
    Beyond music and jest
    Was done by the weary gossoon.

    April 24, 2015

  • Some seasons are wonder-prolific
    And April's last day is specific.
    On the eve of Walpurgis
    A good thaumaturgus
    Can cook up some mischief mirific.

    April 23, 2015

  • I was, I must cede, a true skeptic,
    For haggis seemed really too septic.
    But the oat and the pluck,
    By a great stroke of luck,
    Though ugly are oddly eupeptic.

    April 22, 2015

  • One of zuzu's charms is how readily she takes delight.

    April 21, 2015

  • Take note of the socks the navvy chose;
    He knows the importance of clothes.
    In these fetid pits
    He’s not wearing knits -
    In sewers he wears only cespitose.

    April 21, 2015

  • If Eliza Doolittle could pull it off
    Then Ernest could pass for a toff.
    The thought quite amuses:
    With rouge for his bruises
    This biffin could sell as a gawf.

    Find out more about Ernest Bafflewit

    April 20, 2015

  • When raising a glass to your host
    The jokes should be tepid at most.
    Some wry, dry adustion
    Bests roaring combustion.
    The gesture's a toast, not a roast.

    April 19, 2015

  • His chicks in their stolen nests thrive;
    He'll betray and then feast on a hive.
    A stranger to pride
    The sly honeyguide
    Prefers not to work but connive.

    April 18, 2015

  • See storm trooper.

    April 18, 2015

  • In Winter the health risks increase;
    Your vigilance must never cease.
    Among the contagia
    Is dread polyphagia
    That leaves you in April obese.

    April 17, 2015

  • Down deep in the cold benthic moil
    Young starfish ambitiously toil,
    Each with its schemes
    For fulfilling dreams
    Of becoming a famous estoile.

    April 16, 2015

  • Could the selection of hey-pass as the Word of the Day be a sly allusion to the tax-filing deadline?

    No unseemly glee, if you please;
    But show you think taxes a breeze.
    A “hey-pass,” say,
    Would be déclassé.
    A gent does such juggling with ease.

    April 15, 2015

  • His busy day had tired the satyr
    Who declined for now to violate her.
    "I prefer pillows
    To fresh peccadilloes.
    I’ll sleep and won't scintillator."

    April 14, 2015

  • Olympians let you pick your deity,
    As Mars for war, Bacchus for gaiety.
    Division of duties
    Was one of the beauties
    Of gods supplied in such multeity.

    April 13, 2015

  • When observing Australian fauna
    You could see more than you wanna.
    Some folk can still be
    Disturbed by a bilby
    Seen walking his wretched iguana.

    April 13, 2015

  • Your liberality is admirable alexz but horderves wears on my nerves. I say call it an appetizer if you aren’t going to respect the French.

    I once encountered a restaurant menu that announced the availability of “dujours” as a side dish. I have just checked to make sure that it is not defined in Wordnik as a “French food word.” So far so good.

    April 12, 2015

  • A misspelling of hors d'oeuvre.

    April 12, 2015

  • The crowd is unquiet on pious baloney.
    What starch will stiffen the slack lazzaroni?
    In Rome they were fed
    With circus and bread;
    In Naples they'll sing and eat macaroni.

    April 12, 2015

  • The problem might call for protection
    Or supplying a buoyant connection,
    So vessels will spawn some
    Odd type of sponson,
    A useful but awkward projection.

    April 11, 2015

  • The shoppers arrive at the apoplex
    Already severely stressed
    From the emotional load
    Of the peripheral road,
    The notorious circumflex.

    April 11, 2015

  • A boring pet might be a "John."
    A shrimpy one could be called "Prawn."
    But what is the feature
    You saw in the  creature
    To name your pet iguana "Don?"

    April 11, 2015

  • The mystical medics of Asia
    Give ear to the body's dysphasia,
    From whispers and rumors
    Of unbalanced humors
    Discerning the cause of dyscrasia.

    April 10, 2015

  • patois, persistent-addiction-to-odd-initialism-structures. Anything that keeps you out of trouble.

    April 10, 2015

  • sharp practice by cutlers goes on
    And has since the trade had its dawn.
    They'll call it a claymore
    So scotsmen will pay more
    For a second-hand dull espadon.

    April 9, 2015

  • And when that Pandare heard her name neven,
    Lord! he was glad, and saide: “Friend so dear,
    Now fare aright, for Jove’s name in heaven,

    Chaucer, Troilus and Criseyde: Book I

    April 8, 2015

  • As of this date every single usage example for this word is an instance of a misspelling of either “never” or “even.” No examples of the use of “neven” are provided.

    April 8, 2015

  • The wise practice careful considering,
    The timid delay in mere dithering;
    But who will not decide
    We rightly deride
    As weak and a pathetic niddering.

    April 8, 2015

  • sailpunk already has a definition entry on Wordnik but is not yet on this list:
    n. A subgenre of speculative fiction, focusing on life at sea during the eras of exploration and piracy.

    Is there any meaningful distinction between “speculative” fiction and “historical” fiction? Come to think of it, isn’t all fiction speculative?

    April 8, 2015

  • A little googling establishes that “tombstone” is conventional slang among art museum curators for a label giving only identifying information. It is actually quite evocative as it makes a distinction that parallels that between a person’s tombstone ID and his or her biography. This excerpt from ARTnews is representative: “Rather than identifying each object with the classic “tombstone” label (artist-date-medium),…”

    April 7, 2015

  • Observe what some people will say
    If asked for the time of the day.
    The poorest result's
    From the jurisconsult
    Who will not opine without pay.

    April 7, 2015

  • How about “object” and “reprove” = “obprove?”

    April 7, 2015

  • This entry  results from a spelling error at the source. The poison in lima beans is not limarin but linamarin

    April 7, 2015

  • Lima beans (Phaseolus lunatus) can also be quite dangerous when consumed raw, but in this case the culprit is a different toxin altogether: linamarin, a cyanogenic glucoside. This is the same toxic substance found in cassava root.

    http://davesgarden.com/guides/articles/view/2385/#b#ixzz3WcpYFsrC

    April 7, 2015

  • Beggars who feign illness or disability to generate pity are commonplace. Washman in this context is widely documented in books of obsolete slang.

    This is an odd entry in that the definition is of a manipulative beggar but every usage example illustrates the word's application to a servant who does the washing.

    April 6, 2015

  • Beyond the Scots’ linguistic moat
    Catarrh promotes a guttural note.
    The curious “yelloch”
    Is a typical relic -
    A yell from a phlegm-congested throat.

    April 6, 2015

  • See cuttystool, creepie and stool of repentance. The Scots keep trying to get it right.

    April 6, 2015

  • Once driven to tantrums and fits,
    To hysterical peaks and then pits,
    Her emotional empery
    Is now quite exemplary
    As drugs have quelled rebellious wits.

    April 5, 2015

  • By terms of the tv room lease
    Domestic trespasses cease,
    And many a marriage
    Is saved by such terrage
    Ensuring connubial peace

    This word is obsolete in English as a legal term. It probably came in with the Normans and I would expect that the Anglo-Saxons did the same violence to it that they would later do to “garage.” I have assumed that pronunciation in my limerick. The word is current in modern French but it is used to describe agricultural practices – tending to the land, amending the soil, etc. In French it is pronounced to rhyme with “wear large.”

    April 4, 2015

  • See also ecotone.

    April 3, 2015

  • Poor Ernest, muttering, tossed in his bed,
    Tormented by words that whirled in his head:
    "But is it septenary
    That comes after senary?
    I'm at sixes and sevens," he said

    Find out more about Ernest Bafflewit

    April 3, 2015

  • Not every theme suits a droll ditty;
    Some call for a posture of probity,
    For what can one say
    Of the poor castaway
    Marooned on the island of orbity?

    April 2, 2015

  • Does anyone know of a rule
    To determine a prank is too cruel?
    Can anything dampen
    The pleasure in gammon
    Of April’s inveterate fool?

    April 1, 2015

  • Retreat was more kindly than cowardly;
    From "bower" he guessed wee and flowery.
    His hopeful surmise
    Was dashed by her size.
    She's no dainty bud if she's bowerly.

    March 31, 2015

  • Bowerly is very lightly documented. It seems to be a variant of burly in some dialect in England. Curiously, all the usage examples supplied apply the adjective to women. It may be one of those words like catty, that we assume to be a description of female behavior, or bastard, which is an epithet restricted to males, although in neither case does the word's root meaning imply such a limit. Bowerly does denote impressive size but does not seem especially pejorative.

    March 31, 2015

  • This is indeed an excellent list! Did you begin by googling “dirty birds?” However, it lacks an entry for fork-tailed drongo. For more on this coy deceiver see comments at slyboots and twitcher.

    March 31, 2015

  • He's had a few over his quota.
    The shy one’s become a loud boaster,
    Now letting his drinking
    Do most of his thinking.
    His "friends of great influence," quotha!

    March 30, 2015

  • A housemaid will always be neat;
    A footman you'll know by his feet.
    And might a chap infer
    That fellow's a dapifer
    Who carries a trencher of meat?

    March 29, 2015

  • The infighting often is grueling,
    With lying betraying and dueling
    As people take dibs
    On haunches and ribs.
    It's cutthroat, the world of cowpooling.

    March 28, 2015

  • Most princes aspire to be ethnarch,
    But Phillip's ambition was less stark.
    For Herod's young scion
    A quarter of Zion
    Contented him nicely as tetrarch.

    March 27, 2015

  • The brewing herbs and spew of ocean
    The witches list with fierce devotion.
    There's eel tongue and dittany
    In that potent litany.
    The chant is stronger than the potion.

    March 26, 2015

  • It's humble and not at all posh,
    An earthy inelegant nosh.
    A lumpy, pale, thin thing,
    The cringing wee cymling
    Just begs to be treated as squash.

    March 25, 2015

  • "Flocculant fecal plumes" is a major discovery. Thank you. I look forward to your next revelations.

    March 24, 2015

  • The ecdysiast gaggle consumes
    Big feathers to serve as costumes.
    The strangest creation
    Is the dancing cetacean,
    Adorned in flocculant fecal plumes.

    March 24, 2015

  • The ocean has bubbles and spumes
    And none dread its mists or its brumes,
    Except near the tails
    Of frolicking whales
    That fling out flocculant fecal plumes.

    March 24, 2015

  • So duration and space suffer shear
    Inside the whirling ergosphere.
    If the when and the where
    Are confounded there,
    Then how do you know the now and here?

    March 24, 2015

  • We hunted whales to watery tombs
    For ambergris in our perfumes.
    How sweeter the scent
    Of their excrement,
    Adrift in flocculent fecal plumes.

    March 23, 2015

  • The dogmatists may think it odd
    But others find much to applaud:
    There's nary a schism
    In henotheism.
    A doubter can pick a new god.

    March 23, 2015

  • From tee to the green it is easier
    To practice selective amnesia.
    Too sharp is the tooth
    Of the scorekeeper's truth
    Enforcing relentless parrhesia.

    March 22, 2015

  • An innumerate chef is reviled.
    Her recipes can't be compiled.
    Consider if Julia
    Had had dyscalculia:
    She'd not have been our favored Child.

    March 21, 2015

  • A suffering lass named Eugenia
    Endured a cyclical neurasthenia.
    She'd fall in a swoon
    Each full of the moon
    And recover at next neomenia.

    March 20, 2015

  • Since auric simply means “of or relating to gold” I see no reason why a fluid cannot be as auricomous as one’s tresses. The “auricomous fluids” referenced in the examples at auricomous are clearly blonde hair coloring. This is one of those playful coinages that can be deployed according to your fancy. The Wordnik entry is limited to “yellow-haired” because it is borrowed from the obsolescent Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia, which is better enjoyed for it’s charm than for its completeness.

    March 19, 2015

  • Take comfort in views chiliastic:
    Stay calm and do nothing drastic.
    Though things may be bad
    In this chiliad
    The next one will sure be fantastic.

    March 19, 2015

  • A menhir need not stand alone -
    A trilithon's two, plus one prone.
    If dolmens are context
    Consider the cromlechs,
    Those sarsen-built tables of stone.

    March 18, 2015

  • Would a homeless strumpet be a stramp?

    March 18, 2015

  • Some theories of wealth quite confound:
    They claim it will drain to the ground.
    Such greedy myopia
    Begets cacotopia
    For we, the poor worms who will drown.

    March 17, 2015

  • The sound of the word's oddly fertile:
    A pellet of plastic to choke a turtle,
    A toothpaste squiggle
    Or cricketer's wriggle - 
    Both little and tricky hide in nurdle.

    March 16, 2015

  • See also lachrymose.

    March 15, 2015

  • See also lacrymose.

    March 15, 2015

  • He dreamt that the harpy was sped away:
    Flung up by some merciful trebuchet,
    Her fortissimo cries
    Consigned to the skies,
    Diminishing swiftly to flebile.

    March 15, 2015

  • Feeble, faint
    Wiktionary

    The word is Italian. It is not an assimilated immigrant but a resident alien of stubborn temperament. It insists on its native pronunciation and will not be rhymed with febrile or treble.

    The Italian “flebile” (PHLEB-ill-lay) and the English “feeble” have a common ancestor in the Latin flebilis.

    March 15, 2015

  • The slowest of lizards will learn quick
    That heat of the sun is transdermic
    And strong application
    To long aprication
    Is the fate of the poikilothermic.

    March 14, 2015

  • Is it always true that things modern and comprehensive cannot also be Australian?

    March 14, 2015

  • The crop's in the barn and he's raunchy -
    The squire wants buxom and paunchy;
    The bony and slight
    Remind him of blight
    Like a season that's dry and unsonsy.

    March 13, 2015

  • I see confusion among the words “doorjamb,” “doorstop,” and “doorstopper.”

    “Doorjamb” refers to the upright pieces forming the frame of a door; that is, the sides of the doorway. The “jamb” component does not connote “jamming” in the sense of stuffing or wedging but is from the Latinate word for leg – “jambe.”

    A “doorstop” is a heavy object placed on the floor before a door to prevent it from swinging on its hinges. This word is commonly invoked to imply uselessness, to signify that an object has no useful quality except for mass. For example, “Since broadcast TV went to a digital format my television has become a doorstop.”

    “Doorstopper” in the publishing business is used to describe a book that is physically large. It does not necessarily imply anything about the quality of the book. Books of average or less than average weight would not serve to stop a swinging door, but a massive book will.

    I would expect that the hoary publishing usage will over time be eroded by the more popular and flippant “doorstop” and will acquire negative connotations.

    March 13, 2015

  • The harvesters' task is to shave
    The field of its ripe golden wave,
    And once it is shorn
    To bind up the corn
    By sheaf into stook and then thrave.

    March 12, 2015

  • The French lend us more than their pastry.
    Their language for blunders and japery
    Is varied as cheese:
    Faux pas and bêtise
    And the typical bumpkin's niaiserie.

    March 11, 2015

  • See sesamoid, tahinite, olivoidal and botryoidal

    March 10, 2015

  • Tahinite and kernels sesamoidal
    Abound within bowers olivoidal.
    They blend in profusion
    Thick and hummusian,
    But garbanzoids cluster botryoidal.

    March 10, 2015

  • No longer can one sport a monocle
    Except with a purpose ironical.
    In jest it is silly
    (Cf. Eustace Tilley),
    In earnest it's downright thrasonical.

    March 9, 2015


  • Eustace Tilley

    March 9, 2015

  • I suppose an “unthrifty” ram has spent his days woolgathering.

    March 8, 2015

  • See also settle.

    March 8, 2015

  • See also tup.

    March 8, 2015

  • I found the term "ewe flock," you see,
    And wonder if there's hypocrisy
    If I were to say
    On world women's day
    That here we have gynecocracy?

    See comments at settle.

    March 8, 2015

  • settle: v., t. To impregnate, as used in animal husbandry.

    "A mature, fit, healthy ram can settle 75 or more ewes during a breeding season. An unthrifty, thin, sick ram is often sterile and will not settle any ewes."

    "Reproductive Management of the Ewe Flock and the Ram," Purdue University agricultural extension.

    From the preceding example it is not entirely clear whether the conjugal act must bear fruit for the verb "to settle" to be correctly employed. Such a limitation is conceivable but is not an impregnable assumption.

    Is the term also employed in the breeding of livestock other than sheep?

    March 8, 2015

  • The cat lurks in impatient tapinage
    To pounce on a perch for her napinage.
    A bend in my waist
    Is most to her taste -
    Her preference is for lapinage.

    March 7, 2015

  • alankinna seems to be in urgent need of reassurance. Lament not, alankinna.

    March 6, 2015

  • 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

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