qms has looked up 5209 words, created 6 lists, listed 168 words, written 917 comments, added 0 tags, and loved 71 words.

Comments by qms

  • My guess is that ichor is an unlikely source for icky. The Wordnik entry for icky borrows a suggestion of an origin in jazz lingo. I think it sounds like generic baby-talk. Compare yucky and gooey.

    July 5, 2015

  • A great dinner like a great play
    Will nourish and charm all the way.
    Delight should be certain
    From prologue to curtain,
    From hors d'oeuvre to last entremet.

    July 5, 2015

  • An amuse-bouche (plural amuse-bouches) or amuse-gueule is a single, bite-sized hors d'oeuvre.

    Wikipedia

    July 4, 2015

  • When impinging passions anarchic
    Confuse and then render him heart sick,
    He seeks out the balm
    Of contemplative calm
    Where feelings are pure and autarkic.

    July 4, 2015

  • As rufescent as though immolated,
    Flamboyance, alas, simulated.
    The bird's not aflame;
    He plays at a game
    So twitchers are flim-flammulated.

    July 3, 2015

  • In 2010 a BBC radio 4 presenter committed a spoonerism that will live forever on the internet. At that time the UK's Culture Secretary was Jeremy Hunt. The presenter managed to spoonerize the surname and the area of responsibility. He then struggled lengthily to regain his composure. A listener emailed an amusing message of comfort:

    "It's well known in psycholinguistic research that two words that share a vowel are prone to a speech error in which the initial consonants are exchanged. For this reason making Jeremy Hunt the Culture Secretary was reckless in the extreme."

    It is true, although hard to credit, that the presenter's name is James Naughtie.

    James Naughtie Jeremy Hunt Today Programme BBC Radio 4 - long version.

    July 2, 2015

  • For many years influential members of one of the two major political parties in the United States have been refusing to call the other party by its proper name. Right-wing Republicans will not utter the word “Democratic” in any medium with respect to the rival party. They refuse to acknowledge the existence of the adjectival form of “Democrat” and insist on referring to the “Democrat Party” or to “Democrat voters” or to “Democrat proposals.” This is presumably to deny by implication that any “democratic” virtues attach to that party and to insult their opponents by the deliberate malformation of their name. The practice has become so widespread as to cease to draw comment or correction.

    See also newspeak.

    July 2, 2015

  • Oh, pity the male adolescent,
    Unwillingly often tumescent!
    Though closely concealed
    His plight is revealed
    By cheeks that will glow erubescent.

    July 2, 2015

  • A skilled chef will manage the pause
    While diners await the dacquoise.
    The tension will build
    Till hopes are fulfilled
    And the room can erupt in applause.

    July 1, 2015

  • The cause of diplomacy benefits
    From delicate shifts of emphasis,
    So politely belittle
    The bulge in his middle
    With praise of the genius of entasis.

    June 30, 2015

  • Misspelling of inflammable.

    June 30, 2015

  • A young blade's accoutrements ape
    Provocative parts in their shape.
    His scabbard is phallic,
    Long, smooth and metallic,
    And tipped with a glistening chape.

    June 29, 2015

  • The royalty's bred in his marrow - 
    The bloodline is straight as an arrow.
    You can tell the descent
    By the cut of his pschent.
    The young man was born to be pharaoh.

    June 28, 2015

  • While buttons may service the riffraff
    A zipper is bourgeois - a gaffe.
    An elegant closure
    Delights in exposure:
    Apply to your fly a bright agraffe.

    June 27, 2015

  • If a seal and a lass make a selkie
    With flesh that's both silver and milky,
    An elk and a bilby
    Amalgam then will be
    Both antlered and long-eared - a bilky.

    June 26, 2015

  • The culture of card and corsage
    Is sentiment rendered mirage.
    By custom extracted,
    In duress enacted,
    Such gestures are merchant’s chantage.

    June 26, 2015

  • If rich,then the villain will dog her;
    If plain, he'll cunningly snog her.
    He'll simper and smile,
    Conniving the while.
    The man is a cad and a cogger!

    June 25, 2015

  • See somdomite.

    June 24, 2015

  • As wealth to the privileged amasses
    Estrangement bedevils the classes.
    It’s no longer given
    A nation so riven
    Can nourish the dream of systasis.

    June 24, 2015

  • The bishops convene a consistory
    To prove their opinions error-free
    And silence the talk
    Of an aberrant flock
    Disturbing their placid plerophory.

    June 23, 2015

  • Carthago delenda est

    June 22, 2015

  • When a tar and a lady co-mingle
    The overture's most likely lingual.
    He's adept at unlacing
    For further embracing -
    A dab hand at clearing a cringle.

    June 22, 2015

  • When Ernest has had quite enough
    Of smiling at rustics' crude guff
    He'll flummox a bumpkin
    With Latin for "pumpkin"
    And stun with this stern counterbuff.

    Find out more about Ernest Bafflewit

    June 21, 2015

  • "Isabella, or the Pot of Basil": a very odd poem, but it was an early work and it does, one might say, grow on you.

    June 21, 2015

  • A tight ship will shine like a gem
    And gleam from its tiller to stem.
    On bright decks unblemished
    The cordage is flemished
    And sails billow white without wem.

    June 20, 2015

  • We're shaped by reproach and by counsel,
    Though praise will do more than a taunt will.
    A good mentor's mark
    Must never be stark
    And mar us no more than a pontil.

    June 19, 2015

  • See cucurbit.

    June 19, 2015

  • In deserts calm camels of Bactria,
    In mountains impervious yaks appear.
    Amid hills and sands
    Of the turbulent 'stans
    The livestock has learned ataraxia.

    June 18, 2015

  • His excuses, profuse and poetic,
    To her ear still sounded cosmetic.
    If honest remorse
    Is noble of course,
    But his left her heart aporetic.

    June 17, 2015

  • The imps of the silly will work
    And times meant for tears they will chirk.
    At loved ones' last parting
    You imagine them farting
    And struggle to stifle your smirk.

    June 16, 2015

  • Les éminences grises, qu'est-ce qu'il y a?
    In Paris, Madrid or Manila,
    Behind every throne
    (It's very well known),
    There gathers a dim camarilla.

    June 15, 2015

  • n. The practice of deliberately misspelling a word as a way to convey disapproval or contempt.

    disspelling is a combination of dis + spelling.

    See sprots.

    June 15, 2015

  • Googling "deliberate misspelling" I find that many people have posed this question. There is cacography, which is just bad spelling, whether or not deliberately inflicted. Wikipedia provides an entry for Sensational spelling, which is a common marketing ploy as in "froot" for "fruit." Such misspellings are meant to confer cuteness rather than express scorn.

    If I understand correctly vendingmachine's quest is for a term to describe the practice of deliberately misspelling a word as a way to convey disapproval or contempt. I think "disspelling" is a good candidate if it is allowed to cohabit with the sense of dispersal or dissipation. (I also find a "dispelling ring" defined as an apotropaic piece of jewelry in the Dark Souls game, but this is probably ephemeral.)

    disspelling is a combination of dis + spelling.

    June 15, 2015

  • A fictional rabbit in a series of books for children.
    Wikipedia

    June 14, 2015

  • To banter with Grandpa is iffy.
    His temper is lost in a jiffy,
    So raillery's out
    If he's feeling his gout.
    It's then that he's at his most miffy.

    June 14, 2015

  • renaturation: n. restoration to a natural state, as a river or wetland.

    It is a policy of the European Union (feebly supported) that many rivers that have been dammed and/or channelized be restored to their natural or wild state as the best means of flood prevention and environmental enhancement.

    See, for example, Projects in Slovenia

    June 14, 2015

  • Milk maids betimes their swains arouse
    And tempt them away from their plows
    To the kissing-gate,
    There to osculate
    Unhindered by curious cows.

    June 13, 2015

  • The beginning of Keats' sonnet "When I Have Fears: "

    When I have fears that I may cease to be 
    Before my pen has glean'd my teeming brain,
    Before high-piled books, in charactery,
    Hold like rich garners the full ripen'd grain;

    June 13, 2015

  • Canterbury

    They wear this way, their souls to soothe,
    Devotion's the tool that so hews,
    As, barefoot or shod,
    The pilgrims have trod
    The stone of these steps to incuse.

    June 12, 2015

  • He bristles and fights, so he's banty;
    Delighted with life - call him canty.
    An irascible sort
    Or thorough good sport?
    Depends if he's pro- or he's anti-.

    June 11, 2015

  • When life becomes pallid and grim
    Enhance it by wit and by whim.
    Give a glamorous sheen
    To your daily routine
    By adopting a deep cryptonym.

    June 10, 2015

  • When Lexicographers Go Bad

    His offer she called "An amusing sum!"
    Her exit conveyed her opprobrium.
    To the lobby she flounced
    And loudly announced,
    "He's sure got a puny peculium!"

    June 9, 2015

  • gobar

    June 9, 2015

  • See also mill-tail.

    June 9, 2015

  • They grasp but never tarry at
    The fringe of the proletariat.
    The edge is too brittle
    Or strength is too little
    For rescue from the precariat.

    June 8, 2015

  • Dismissing those uncertain "coulds"
    We once affirmed, sure of the goods.
    But, considering tappens,
    Tell me what happens:
    Does a bear always shit in the woods?

    June 8, 2015

  • His worship provokes general jollity.
    Its breadth seems a sign of frivolity
    But, science his psalter
    And nature his altar,
    He practices peaceful cosmolatry.

    June 7, 2015

  • The word evokes "mysterious lascar"
    Or dangers that lurk in the casbah.
    So idle mind plays
    On a poolside chaise
    Adoze by the warm flags of ashlar.

    June 6, 2015

  • Those rappers who natter and howl
    Spew verse whose savor is foul.
    If the match is just assonant
    The rhyming is absonant.
    A rhyme is much more than a vowel.

    June 5, 2015

  • It began as a mere hypomania
    But grows ever stronger and zanier,
    First paper and ink
    Now blog, tweet and link -
    The web abets wild typomania.

    June 4, 2015

  • Some fleece from the golden ram shorn,
    The tears of a mermaid forlorn:
    Nepenthean mixture
    And blissful elixir
    If sprinkled with powder of alicorn.

    June 3, 2015

  • Thank you, ruzuzu. Verse is not neccessary but your good wishes are much appreciated. I only wanted to acknowledge Erin's gesture and to prepare my excuses in advance in case I miss a day here and there.

    June 3, 2015

  • Adjectival form of nepenthe.

    June 3, 2015

  • The scales come off with the scrubbings.
    The salt goes on with the rubbings.
    When the codfish are done
    To dry in the sun
    The gulls come to feast on the gubbings.

    June 2, 2015

  • gubbing (noun) - a heavy defeat...

    BBC News Magazine (5 July 2014): Readers' 48 words for defeat

    June 2, 2015

  • Bookmakers don’t like players who regularly win.....To counter this, regular winners might find that their bet size is restricted, in some cases to ridiculously small stakes – this being known as ‘gubbing’ within the industry.

    HIGH-TECH GAMBLING

    June 2, 2015

  • The fables of Wodehouse quite regularly
    Exemplify manic integrity.
    This brilliant absurd,
    In Bertie's own word,
    Grows out of inspired espieglerie.

    June 1, 2015

  • Splinted and pinned I reflect upon
    My sorely insulted olecranon.
    High spirits are penned
    Till my elbow can bend
    In tribute to merry Anacreon.

    June 1, 2015

  • Kind Wordniks: In her generous verse of yesterday erinmckean referenced my injury, which could interfere with submissions to Wordnik. On my last bike ride, May 22 (alas, my last for some time I'm afraid) an inattentive driver cut in front of me, so

    My dismount was the handlebar vault - 
    A gracefully arcing somersault.
    An elbow twice broken
    And concussion betoken
    The boldness of that asphalt halt.

    Two days ago I had surgery to nail my funny bone back into place. Fortunately (or not - there are opinions) I have been able to continue limericizing. This is a tribute to Erin's helpfulness and the power of OCD.

    May 31, 2015

  • New fashion in grief hearkens back
    To mournful cries our tongues now lack.
    Our keening falls mute
    So pipes substitute
    To lament our loss in shrill coronach.

    May 31, 2015

  • Great Scott! He made how many drunk
    With sentimental rounds of junk?
    Rob Roy and Waverly
    Romance and bravery -
    So Walter begot a world of begunk.

    May 30, 2015

  • 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

Comments for qms

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  • Thank you, ruzuzu. Verse is not neccessary but your good wishes are much appreciated. I only wanted to acknowledge Erin's gesture and to prepare my excuses in advance in case I miss a day here and there.

    June 3, 2015

  • Dear qms,

    I'm sorry I haven't written a get-well verse for you yet. Everything I try to rhyme betrays my dislike of cars and drivers--and since most of the people I know happen to be drivers, I thought maybe I'd cool off for a bit.

    Get well soon,
    ruzuzu

    June 3, 2015

  • Did your vault parse the arc of a diver?
    Or a ballerina's poise: didst thou outstrive her?
    But forgive me this jest,
    I wish you and elbows my best,
    *shakes fist at said stupid driver*

    June 1, 2015

  • Kind Wordniks: In her generous verse of yesterday erinmckean referenced my injury, which could interfere with submissions to Wordnik. On my last bike ride, May 22 (alas, my last for some time I'm afraid) an inattentive driver cut in front of me, so

    My dismount was the handlebar vault - 
    A gracefully arcing somersault.
    An elbow twice broken
    And concussion betoken
    The boldness of that asphalt halt.

    Two days ago I had surgery to nail my funny bone back into place. Fortunately (or not - there are opinions) I have been able to continue limericizing. This is a tribute to Erin's helpfulness and the power of OCD.

    May 31, 2015

  • At Wordnik we are truly blessed
    To have, as lyricist, qms.
    Although a recent awkward injury
    may make his typing a bit gingery
    we still daily receive of his best.

    May 30, 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

  • 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