qms has looked up 7943 words, created 6 lists, listed 221 words, written 1250 comments, added 0 tags, and loved 77 words.

Comments by qms

  • A calico cat is a she;
    The shades of her coat are the key.
    It's quite automatic:
    If a cat's trichromatic
    A female is all it can be.


    February 12, 2016

  • See comments at pilulous.

    February 12, 2016

  • I think that the moment has come,
    As qubits have turned my brain numb,
    To abandon spintronics
    For frosty gin tonics
    And concede that I simply am dumb.

    February 11, 2016

  • Please! You're embarrassing the guests.

    February 10, 2016

  • It's no friendly tournament, no ma'am,
    It's cutthroat, that merciless dough slam,
    So none but the foolish
    Leave unguarded poolish
    At the bakers's biennial pro-am.

    February 10, 2016

  • Elusive rhymes I can't yet fix
    With yoga or other pet tricks,
    But if, as they claim,
    They'll illumine my brain
    I'll sign up for optogenetics.

    February 9, 2016

  • To clear eyes there is no mistaking
    Renewal that's no more than faking.
    Avoiding cheap tricks,
    The twee and the kitsch,
    Is crucial to proper placemaking.

    February 8, 2016

  • Fact with fiction's now indivisible;
    As science can make what was risible,
    A cloak ethereal
    Of metamaterial
    To render a lurker invisible.

    February 7, 2016

  • See provenance.

    February 7, 2016

  • "You can be whatever you wanna be,"
    They told the bright lad from Menominee.
    But who knew he'd steer
    To a brilliant career
    As champion at photoclinometry.

    February 6, 2016

  • In daytime they strut with bravado
    But weep in the night at the fado.
    The gaucho's lament
    Is achingly sent
    To the indifferent stars of cerrado.

    February 5, 2016

  • Great visuals, though.

    February 4, 2016

  • The newborn has reason to scowl
    And protest the change in a howl.
    The babe in the womb felt
    A comforting Umwelt;
    Now Mom is replaced by a towel.

    February 4, 2016

  • Truly, bilby is wise in the ways of Wordnik:

    We Wordniks have authentic class
    And honor what others call crass.
    A frank designation
    Deserves celebration,
    So kudos to unabashed frass!

    February 4, 2016

  • She was a fastidious lass
    Who never would picnic on grass.
    Why dine on the lawn
    Where vile insects spawn
    And frolic in heaps of their frass?

    Also, I repost here a limerick (a rather long-legged variant) I posted to the specific-excrement list on June 17, 2014. I would hate to see the literature of frass go uncollected.

    Philosophers know all things must pass.
    What enters the mouth comes out the ass
    As dung, scat and scumber -
    Too many to number!
    Saints leave us turds, insects their frass.

    February 3, 2016

  • For words in a text a philologist
    Might be an effective apologist.
    To decipher manners
    Of pennants and banners
    Consult with a sharp vexillologist.

    February 2, 2016

  • Though autism looks like adversity
    Some question how much of a curse it be.
    Why call them disabled
    Whose talents are fabled
    And thrive in their neurodiversity?

    February 1, 2016

  • For thirsty Cecilia Bethune
    There's wine with the luncheon at noon
    Then evening cocktails
    And (it never fails)
    To the couch in a ladylike swoon.

    See pass out, faint, syncope, lipothymy.

    January 31, 2016

  • Nurse Pruitt's first sip tastes like hope
    The next speeds her slide down that slope.
    As each new infusion
    Breeds greater confusion
    She ends in a fuddled syncope.

    See pass out, faint, swoon, lipothymy.

    January 31, 2016

  • Old Roger, by God, was no saint,
    And never escaped the drink's taint.
    I regret to divulge
    He could overindulge
    And end on the floor in a faint.

    See pass out, syncope, swoon, lipothymy.

    January 31, 2016

  • Bob Dobbs knows what booze is about:
    You drink till your full to the snout.
    Have near to hand
    A soft place to land
    And guzzle until you pass out.

    See faint, syncope, swoon, lipothymy.

    January 31, 2016

  • In Reggy's self-flattering sophistry
    He boasts of an odd idiopathy,
    Of taste so exquisite
    That should Bacchus visit
    The good stuff induces lipothomy.

    Today's Word of the Day brought to my attention how many words English supplies to denote a loss of consciousness. You can probably find a term to describe the result of too much liquor that is apt for every character type. See pass out, faint, syncope, swoon.

    January 31, 2016

  • Poor Ernest was bored to despair
    And damned his bad luck to be there.
    There's only intense talk
    Of turbine and penstock
    At the hydroelectric dam fair.

    Find out more about Ernest Bafflewit

    January 30, 2016

  • Conté crayon, French crayon conté, drawing pencil named after Nicolas-Jacques Conté, the French scientist who invented it late in the 18th century. The conté crayon is an especially hard pencil, made of an admixture of graphite and clay that can be varied for different degrees of hardness. It is usually made in black, red, or brown and is used as a drawing medium in any combination of these colours.

    January 30, 2016

  • Oh, good. I was running out of things to worry about.

    January 29, 2016

  • The shillelagh though left home in Kerry,
    In the veldt it's ok - not to worry:
    For your kind of club
    There's an African sub;
    They fustigate with the knobkierie.

    January 29, 2016

  • Well, that's enough to discourage the spirit of adventure.

    January 29, 2016

  • My goodness, bilby, how do you find these things?

    January 29, 2016

  • See pugnacious.

    January 28, 2016

  • The cats quell the quoll and the bilby
    So Australia announces a kill spree.
    It's only a furphy
    They're aiming at cur-free,
    But cats are kaput, or soon will be.

    The dogs were in agency purview
    And doubtless some barking and fur flew,
    But their count is slight
    When hunting at night-
    Most dogs will abide by a curfew.

    January 28, 2016

  • The fairy tales' libelous work'll
    Condemn them to Hell's inner circle.
    The Grimms and the Goose
    Have knotted the noose
    To hang the poor ladies novercal.

    January 27, 2016

  • Well, I once worked in public health. I know how these things need to be done.

    January 26, 2016

  • Beware, young laddies and lasses,
    Of bowel-stopping scarabiasis.
    There's nothing to bind you
    Like looking behind you
    At bugs flying out of your asses.

    January 26, 2016

  • Thank you kindly, bilby:

    As compliments go that's a dilly,
    But I versify willy-nilly.
    Old Geoffrey could rhyme
    On matters sublime
    While I merely strive for the silly.

    January 26, 2016

  • Discarded to hasten our pace
    Are many old gestures of grace.
    A gent's autograph
    Forsakes the paraph,
    Appending instead a smiley face.

    January 26, 2016

  • The young pursue sense saturation,
    But lusts will abate with maturation.
    We welcome surcease
    Of threats to our peace
    And pray for a bower of gratulation.

    January 25, 2016

  • Flatlanders must learn how to speak:
    A hillock's a hummock with cheek;
    A mountain is treble
    The size of a jebel
    And a cowlick on top is a peak.

    January 24, 2016

  • Since Jeopardy! is his ecclesia
    To live all alone is just easier.
    A partner distracts
    From gathering facts,
    The food of his mad hypermnesia.

    January 23, 2016

  • Invasions of mice I must abate
    When I open the house to rusticate.
    If I determine
    The presence of vermin
    I get out my cudgel and fustigate.

    January 22, 2016

  • A check on the internet finds
    Appointments of interesting kinds:
    A postponed tertulia
    For those with abulia
    Who never can make up their minds.

    January 21, 2016

  • Emissions make oceans acidic
    And sewage the seashore mephitic.
    Less sensibly tragic
    In regions pelagic
    But woeful in waters neritic.

    January 20, 2016

  • Thus saving the critters from the predations of the lexically scrupulous?

    January 20, 2016

  • With maddening frequency I get telephone calls form "David" or "Walter" in India, claiming to represent "Windows Support" and wanting to tell me that my computer can only be saved by their expensive intervention. This list provides a whole new vocabulary of epithets to hurl at "Charles" or "Matthew!"

    January 19, 2016

  • Pronounced- oot-key-are-a

    January 19, 2016

  • Oh! What a lovely list!

    January 19, 2016

  • uhtceare's long-suffering pawn
    Must pray for the coming of dawn,
    For fears antelucan,
    With birdsong and dew can
    Disperse like the mists of the morn.

    January 19, 2016

  • Despite the comment of 02/10/2013 below, I think this word is better understood as a noun. It’s only appearance in print is in the Old English poem “The Wife’s Lament” where it is glossed with the following note:

    Line 7b
    'uhtceare' - The period just before dawn, a time when the Anglo-Saxon imagination felt grief was particularly potent. Klinck finds 'an element of sexual deprivation'.

    January 19, 2016

  • The garden of memory's vernal
    If tended each day in a journal.
    For all we have known
    Already has flown
    And tomorrow today is hesternal.

    January 18, 2016

  • Full faith in your surgeon is chief;
    Mistrust will lead but to grief.
    If your doc is spastic
    Be blithely doxastic
    And steady his hand by belief.

    January 17, 2016

  • When ailments are all in your head
    Faith healing may cure what you dread,
    But efforts of clergy
    Could drive out your lurgy
    And give you marthambles instead.

    January 16, 2016

  • My postman has the same problem, dammit!

    January 16, 2016

  • Something odd is happening here. If you click on the hyperlinked “reify” in Jimmydiamonds comment you go to an entry page for the word that contains only his comment. I thought this was a surprising omission, since reify is a well-established word. If you enter “reify” in the search box you will come to a full entry for the word. What gives?

    January 15, 2016

  • A chalice will serve for a nip,
    A rhyton ennobles the lip,
    But no vessel can cap
    The majestic hanap -
    The cup of the right royal sip.

    January 15, 2016

  • There's many a Christmas aesthetic,
    Serene to the wildly frenetic.
    Electrical fulgor
    I find rather vulgar
    And opt for a style more ascetic.

    January 14, 2016

  • A visitor mocking things Manx
    Learns quickly contrition and thanks.
    He'll write to the deemster,
    "I pray you, esteemed sir,
    Forgive my impertinent pranks."

    January 13, 2016

  • The hard truth about andragogy
    Is mastering it is rather dodgy.
    Those students not skeptics
    Are often dyspeptics,
    So never be boring or stodgy.

    January 12, 2016

  • My allergies make much taboo -
    No peanut nor even cashew.
    My diet from hell
    Bans fish in a shell
    And gluten of course is napoo.

    January 11, 2016

  • An Irishman skilled in the talk
    Can outpace a laconic Jock.
    Take note how it's spelt
    By the wordier Celt
    And savor the grandeur of "lough!"

    January 10, 2016

  • A leader who's challenged must ponder
    How best to appease a fierce frondeur:
    Just gentle his grief
    With a French apertif.
    With absinthe the heart will grow fonder.

    January 9, 2016

  • He wondered how far will a darg go
    In paying for heat here in Fargo.
    Much better by far:
    Head South in the car
    And look for some work in Key Largo.

    January 8, 2016

  • If license should be ballyhooed
    By Hefner or one of his brood -
    If scurrilous and hortatory
    Can we call it scortatory,
    A dogmatic version of lewd?

    January 7, 2016

  • While Santa and elves are all male
    Controlling the yuletide portrayal,
    The patient Italiana,
    Epiphany's Befana,
    Knows women who wait will prevail.

    January 6, 2016

  • I believe bilby has coined a new word!

    January 5, 2016

  • Old Aram, who had schizophrenia,
    Thought cats were once gods in Armenia,
    So they, harum-scarum,
    Would flock to poor Aram

    To feast on his wild theoxenia.

    January 5, 2016

  • If thou wouldst know a false philomath
    Attend to the habit of speech he hath:
    Who scorns the prosaic
    For the pompous archaic -
    He treadeth not true wisdom's path.

    January 4, 2016

  • The mourners in silence advance
    Behind the wee bier and the crants.
    Their minds are so laden
    With grief for the maiden
    They move as though caught in a trance.

    January 3, 2016

  • See ague.

    January 2, 2016

  • A skier among trees when it's dark
    Can schuss on until he hits bark.
    The beasts of the night
    Delight in his plight
    And leave but a lingering sitzmark.

    January 2, 2016

  • Oh please, my calligrapher friends,
    You masters of shadings and bends,
    I pray you will show me
    In your kakizome
    A happier year than this that now ends.

    January 1, 2016

  • He thinks of himself as a lucky cuss
    If going to bed he is muckibus.
    He's loved by no mortal
    But through liquor's portal
    He blissfully visits his succubus.

    December 31, 2015

  • The cup of your custom's an icon
    Of the level you rightly alight on.
    A rube off the wagon
    Might drink from a flagon
    But a eupatrid uses a rhyton.

    December 30, 2015

  • At Brian's place be sure you drape
    A sumptuous absorbent surnape.
    Let's hope he'll be flattered
    And we'll be less spattered
    With gravy or juice of the grape.

    December 29, 2015

  • The critics deploring subtopia
    Are blinded by snobbish myopia.
    We're in happy thrall
    To movies and mall,
    To retailing's vast cornucopia.

    December 28, 2015

  • In Hollywood's view it's a douceur:
    A starlet, to please a producer,
    Will offer her charms
    To elderly arms
    And spare him the work to seduce her.

    December 27, 2015

  • An old-fashioned cooking apostle,
    She animates many a fossil.
    She brews her own meads
    And seasons with weeds
    And bakes humble pie and fine wastel.

    December 26, 2015

  • The season's come to make us merry
    Let wassail flow and loved ones serry!
    Hang tokens of joy on
    The branches of toyon
    And dance around the Christmas berry!

    December 25, 2015

  • With patience the ebb to abide
    The incoming flow will provide
    Whole shoals of good wishes
    Like new-stranded fishes
    At flood of the high Christmastide.

    December 24, 2015

  • Tasmanian twitchers are taught
    To count very quickly each dot.
    Thirty-nine is verboten!
    The best pardaloten
    Must feature that fortieth spot.

    December 23, 2015

  • "Soft as a grape" is an expression meaning tetched. This was a favorite expression of my late brother, Brendan. I had thought it was just old-fashioned, but I have only learned today that it is probably local to New England. Googling it is complicated by the intrusive presence of a purveyor of sports-themed clothing (headquartered in Massachusetts) that has taken the name, although its aptness to such an enterprise eludes me.

    Its aptness as an idiom is also something of a puzzle. Perhaps it is that a grape gives a deceptive appearance of solidity but it comes apart under even very slight pressure?

    I see that some have construed the expression to imply kindness. They are welcome to this interpretation.

    December 23, 2015

  • "But, soft! What light through yonder window breaks?" Romeo and Juliet, II, 2.

    December 23, 2015

  • The Donald feels terribly wronged
    By schmucks insufficiently pronged.
    It's only a prude
    Who'd say he's been rude.
    The poor fellow's clearly been schlonged!

    December 23, 2015

  • His jive makes it clear he's no fool.
    His rap and his 'toos they, like - rule!
    Such typocosmy
    Totally awes me.
    I mean, like - whatever! He's cool.

    December 23, 2015

  • A Brit will blame you for your sloth
    And call for action with an oath.
    But cross the North Atlantic froth
    And hear the Yank condemn your sloth.
    The language is no tailored cloth
    But bubbles like a homemade broth.
    The Web promotes organic growth,
    So Wordnik wisely sanctions both.

    December 22, 2015

  • A sloth on the hunt cannot hurry
    And stinks to alert its shy quarry,
    So silence and guile
    And slow food's the style
    For the patient but foul mapinguary.

    December 22, 2015

  • This ewe's randy goat was a creep.
    He's gone and replaced by a sheep.
    If it isn't miscegeny
    It must be telegony
    Explaining her new kid - the geep.

    December 21, 2015

  • Smug folk, the pompous and preachy;
    And rich ones, so haughty and chichi,
    Like us were begotten
    By primates besotten
    In some cavern frigid and reechy.

    December 20, 2015

  • What an amazing list! But it needs besotten.

    December 20, 2015

  • I must be unsparingly luculent
    In hopes to forestall a fluke event:
    Believe not his slander
    Nor suffer his pander.
    The Donald is truly a spooky gent.

    December 19, 2015

  • The youth who boasts of "noble" birth
    Of wit displays a dismal dearth.
    He may be a stupid kid
    But since he's a eupatrid,
    His playmates must simulate mirth.

    December 18, 2015

  • Thank you, bilby. I am encouraged.

    December 18, 2015

  • In mornings my juvenile grumbler
    Attempts to impede and encumber.
    He'll tarry and taigle
    And try to finagle
    A few more sweet minutes of slumber.

    December 17, 2015

  • We adults are still girls and boys
    But free to annoy with our toys.
    A cacophonous standard
    Is set in the panyard,
    A hell (or a heaven) of noise.

    However, I am not persuaded by the "steel band corral" definition for this word. It sounds like something concocted in a competition to guess what the word might mean, maybe beating out "the distance traveled by a pancake when flipped from a skillet." I see that the more commonly cited definition is an obsolete version of pannier, a kind of basket. This pleases me more. It's a sturdy weed surviving through neglect.

    A word may do what you ask it
    But temper the challenge you task it;
    Above all stand guard
    So a word like panyard
    Can gracefully age as a basket.

    December 16, 2015

  • See critical.

    December 15, 2015

  • The hunter affects a tough pose
    But sentiment inwardly glows.
    He always is rueful
    When dining on mouffle -
    A platter of Bullwinkle's nose.

    December 15, 2015

  • I read your short-lived response, alexz, and it was a noble effort, but this is just a case of a provocateur unloading a few drive-by insults. Such types are best ignored.

    December 14, 2015

  • When worn by the turbulent quest
    We find ourselves weary and stressed,
    Our need is innate
    To nidificate
    In a place of safety and rest.

    December 14, 2015

  • Now diarrhea, I've heard of it,
    And know it's an excess of shit,
    But had no idea
    That sialorrhea
    Is the word for a surfeit of spit.

    December 13, 2015

  • If sin should take its heavy toll
    A conscience cure should be your goal.
    If you cannot stay pure
    Then seek a razure;
    Let shrift amend your battered soul.

    December 12, 2015

  • If fresh inspiration should fail ya
    Repeat like they do in Australia.
    The Bungle Bungle Range
    And Woy Woy aren't strange
    In Oz, where they've got palilalia.

    December 11, 2015

  • Avoid every danger microbian
    And emulate habits cenobian:
    You'll not have much fun
    But when you are done
    You'll boast of a boredom macrobian.

    December 10, 2015

  • A kid in a pool on long summer days
    Enjoys himself in various ways
    Imagining a storm at sea,
    Perhaps a little naumachy
    Or, castaway, drifts in torpid daze.

    December 9, 2015

  • His moods are weirdly erratic
    But never are less than emphatic.
    In sunshine he's buoyant
    On gray days larmoyant
    But always he's melodramatic.

    December 8, 2015

  • Is preoccupation with oxpecker a sign of grandiosity or of morbid anxiety?

    December 7, 2015

  • Her frenzy has stirred some intrigue;
    It's a fit in a whole different league.
    We're not overawed
    By a simple fantod
    But she has achieved a fantigue.

    December 7, 2015

  • Forbearance is wise but not cheap:
    The hotheads will call you a sheep.
    The blamers will vote
    To make you the goat,
    So learn to be proud you're a geep.

    December 6, 2015

  • He so far cleared up his techno-fog
    To succeed in posting his lexo-blog,
    But the world's unaware
    Ernest's wisdom is there
    Concealed in the mists of electrosmog.

    Find out more about Ernest Bafflewit

    December 5, 2015

  • Some candidates opt for pomposity
    Or hide in evasive verbosity;
    They shed little light
    But thicken the night
    With cynical caliginosity.

    December 4, 2015

  • Conspicuous for her stern militance
    But absent all malice or ill intents,
    At first you're alarmed
    But then you are charmed
    By the grandeur of her magniloquence.

    December 3, 2015

  • I think (but really I'm guessing)
    That Westbury, C., is expressing
    His hope that this group'll
    Embrace his snunkoople
    And give it Wordnikian blessing.

    He needn't have worried his head
    But asserted his new word instead.
    In Wordnik submission
    Amounts to permission.
    We use it if once it's been said.

    December 3, 2015

  • You see, it's happened to bilby. You do a few, it feels good and then you can't give it up. You've lost your stopportunity.

    December 2, 2015

  • It looks to be playful Latin. From the Oxford Dictionaries site:

    Difficult to deal with or settle; perplexing; (of a person) of dubious character.

    Late 17th cent. Origin uncertain; perhaps from classical Latin quisquis whoever, with subsequent alteration of the ending after adjectives in -ous. With the form quisquose perhaps compare -ose.

    December 2, 2015

  • Actually fbharjo's last couple were pretty good, but that's how addictions start.

    December 2, 2015

  • The whole of the Wordnik community
    Gives voice in an agonized unity:
    Oh, stop, we implore,
    And give us no more
    Of the misshapen wretch, shopportunity!

    December 2, 2015

  • Though I have no money to spare
    I still like to spend and to share,
    Thereby to afflict any
    Envious lickpenny
    Who squats on a hoard in his lair.

    December 2, 2015

  • An excellent site for the naming of winds:

    December 1, 2015

  • Phenomena purely climatic
    Can seem to us eerily vatic.
    That cold mountain breath
    Doesn't whisper of death
    It's merely a gust katabatic.

    December 1, 2015

  • I thank you, gangerh, and my wife, famed for her pear tart, also thanks you.

    December 1, 2015

  • The palate and eye are both sated
    By pastry so much celebrated.
    With passion and art
    Her famous pear tart
    Is meticulously imbricated.

    November 30, 2015

  • We've stuffed enough of food in us
    To render us quite hebetudinous.
    We had something to say
    But it's slipping away.
    The thread of this verse is eludin' us.

    November 29, 2015

  • Monogamy suited Prince Rainier
    But others have ways that are zanier.
    Tommy Manville, though rich,
    Had a marital itch
    That amounted to sheer gamomania.

    November 28, 2015

  • No longer for royals and fancy pants
    It's borrowed by fans of old romance.
    In their humble turn
    They'll risk a bad burn
    Performing a version of fackeltanz.

    November 27, 2015

  • Today is known for tables capacious
    And mumbled unfamiliar graces,
    A fest that is excellent
    For offerings esculent
    To please both the pious and edacious.

    November 26, 2015

  • Some things ooze and others gush
    In trickles or in a headlong rush
    But all will debouch
    With unifying whoosh
    In the Heraclitean morning flush.

    November 25, 2015

  • If life is a trail of woe and care
    Refresh with abderian fare.
    A strong inclination
    To loud cachinnation
    Will serve to displace your despair.

    November 24, 2015

  • Though Donald's ambitious delirium
    Breeds feverish dreams of imperium,
    He trumpets, by gosh,
    The sheerest eyewash-
    What Wordniks describe as collyrium.

    November 23, 2015

  • His winter reveries are redolent
    Of summer and of meadow scent,
    Of long golden days
    And amorous ways
    Too sweet to be wholly innocent.

    November 22, 2015

  • Good guidance is subtle but constant,
    In tone only gently remonstrant.
    You job is fulfilled
    By values instilled
    And a pupil who's morally conscient.

    November 21, 2015

  • See ubuntu.

    November 20, 2015

  • He might put on spurs with his Prada,
    Or wear a parka atop his agbada.
    He's often seen wearing
    A startling pairing.
    His style is less dandy than Dada.

    November 20, 2015

  • The pretty girls go by in swarms
    But his restraint defies all norms.
    The sadhu's transcended;
    Desire's all ended.
    Not lasses he sees, but bioforms.

    November 19, 2015

  • Gratefully heard. Thank you.

    November 19, 2015

  • His drinking, prolonged and atrocious,
    Produced a fine case of cirrhosis.
    So he sips no libations
    But bathes in gin basins
    To take up his booze by osmosis.

    November 18, 2015

  • complete?

    November 17, 2015

  • Seriously, though: are not "whole" or "entire" adequate antonyms for "piecemeal?"

    November 17, 2015

  • There's much to amuse in a doggery:
    There's laughter and loud pettifoggery,
    Displays oratorical,
    And often an oracle
    To offer the kennel an augury.

    November 17, 2015

  • Isn't this what you eat after you have smoked the peace pipe?

    November 16, 2015

  • A paralytic no-hoper or perhaps a gem of limitless value? How pregnant with possibility!

    November 16, 2015

  • When word nerds trade claims of malarkey
    The dueling can be rather sparky,
    But thrust and riposte
    Are pretty much lost
    On those who can't tell when they're sarky.

    November 16, 2015

  • To put your poor elders at ease
    You must be unheard and yet please.
    So be a good child,
    Be modest and mild;
    Above all commit no bêtise.

    November 15, 2015

  • When Ernest lays him down to sleep
    He tallies the toll his labors reap.
    He hoards in his noodle
    A lexical boodle,
    It's words that he counts, never sheep.

    Find out more about Ernest Bafflewit

    November 14, 2015

  • His values were always a riddle;
    He tended to dither and quiddle.
    His unlikely hero
    Was Emperor Nero,
    Who set Rome afire for a fiddle.

    November 13, 2015

  • Electoral fare, while inauspicious,
    Yet teases with flavors delicious.
    Aromas mendacious,
    A hint of salacious,
    But served up with sweet meretricious.

    November 12, 2015

  • Enthusiasms will surely mark you:
    A scholar if you love bunraku;
    A discerning man
    If basebaru fan,
    Eccentric if you are otaku.

    November 11, 2015

  • Their sacrament is cranial kibble
    So do not be selfish and quibble.
    If zombies pallid come
    In search of some halidom
    Stand still for a sip and a nibble.

    November 10, 2015

  • Twixt gentle and cruel lies a chasm
    That's vaulted in quick anger's spasm:
    From lightly ironic
    To harshly sardonic,
    Fond jesting to biting sarcasm.

    November 9, 2015

  • He asks after sipping ambrosia,
    "Are we truly who we know we are?"
    For Ernest's confused
    When booze is abused
    And fearful of anosognosia.

    Find out more about Ernest Bafflewit

    November 8, 2015

  • To my surprise the consensus is that this word is pronounced "pree-myoo-NIGH-ree." The concluding "-nire" cluster rhymes neither with "tire" nor with "ear," as I thought it might. The Brits are to blame.

    In Merry Olde the law once viewed
    The pope a risk to be eschewed.
    Now Rome seems benign
    And Islam malign.
    So everywhere the fear's renewed.

    The rhetoric is loud and fiery
    To thwart the menace in entirety.
    From France to Korea
    They're damning sharia
    And resurrecting praemunire.


    November 7, 2015

  • He's running a brilliant campaign:
    He masters the art of chicane;
    He believes what you please
    And lies with great ease.
    Who knows what heights he'll attain?

    November 6, 2015

  • The main course was always the same
    But, oh! She could spice up the game,
    With fine tasty tracklements
    To charm and then shackle gents
    And render the wildest rogue tame.

    November 5, 2015

  • Aunt Mildred affected a bustle
    So haste was a terrible tussle.
    She needed a nudge
    In the empennage
    Whenever required to hustle.

    November 4, 2015

  • My pleasure, zuzu.

    November 4, 2015

  • The oyster's a dire proposition
    To eat one requires tuition:
    Tilt bivalve to lip,
    Then let the beast slip
    And savor before deglutition.

    November 3, 2015

  • Would Woy-Woy be in the Bungle-Bungle mountains? That must have been one long night of namimg. (See comments at bingle.)

    November 2, 2015

  • Welcome aboard, Spruce.

    November 2, 2015

  • When ends the rain, how rare is that!
    The ark come aground on Ararat,
    And man and beast
    Turn eyes to the East
    To clouds aglow in nacarat.

    November 2, 2015

  • I believe in the Eskimo nation
    That after a friendly collation
    The best way to toast
    The work of your host
    Is to offer a loud eructation.

    November 1, 2015

  • Old bones and witches grow trite
    And cannot trick a smirking mite,
    But let the imp ogle
    A potato-bogle
    And treat the wee bairn to a fright.

    October 31, 2015

  • Scunnion is a military slang word for effective destruction. It is generally employed in verb phrases such as "bring scunnion" or "rain scunnion."

    "...but by WWII we learned that planes could rain scunnion from even farther. Noted. Midway, etc."

    From http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/bring-scunnion
    1. To inspire fear or anxiety in others
    2. To concentrate fire, esp. artillery fire.

    October 31, 2015

  • The Martian colonial thesis
    Includes some challenging pieces,
    So develop a taste
    For personal waste -
    The menu of ecopoiesis.

    October 30, 2015

  • The lady has ways that seem funky.
    Her tech she prefers to lean clunky.
    Expenses she'll monitor
    On a vintage comptometer
    Because of its aura steampunky.

    October 29, 2015

  • How smug can be the stumblebum!
    Incompetence might humble some,
    But some get elected,
    Become well-connected,
    And dominate our bumbledom.

    Cf. noodledom

    October 28, 2015

  • One of the more arresting place names in England is Cockermouth.

    October 28, 2015

  • Should Bessie, my cow, ever wander
    To unfriendly fields over yonder
    Should I beg for wayleave
    To retrieve my stray beeve
    Or hope that soon homeward she'll maunder?

    October 27, 2015

  • An aesthete must trust for a start -
    Beginners need a humble heart.
    A case of theophobia
    Could wreck a della Robbia.
    A skeptic should not study art.

    October 26, 2015

  • The Lord of Misrule make a paction
    With those of the frivolous faction
    To reign for a season
    Defying all reason
    And driving the proud to distraction.

    October 25, 2015

  • From gauchos abroad on the pampas
    To peons afloat on chinampas,
    As cowboys iconic
    Or hands hydroponic
    Hispanics have many estampas.

    October 24, 2015

  • The commissars in nomenklatura
    Sold favors to help them secure a
    Far Tuscany farm,
    There, safe from all harm,
    To enjoy a long villeggiatura.

    October 23, 2015

  • Oh, dear, such a heavy responsibility. How to rhyme a variant spelling of an obscure British word? The letter "c" in the town of Quincy in my part of the world is voiced, like a "z." Elsewhere it is unvoiced, like an "s." I see the same potential for confusion in the "s" of winsey.

    The unvoiced version could produce something like this:

    A man of refinement from Cinci
    Despised all that's vulgar and chintzy.
    Bad taste, like an itch,
    Caused a squirm and a twitch
    That earned him the sobriquet "Winsey."

    On the other hand, the voiced version would fit the following:
    There once was a fellow named Lindsey
    Who mortified flesh out in Quincy.
    In strict discipline
    He wore next his skin
    Only underwear woven of winsey.

    I am at an impasse with pronunciation, so I give up.

    October 23, 2015

  • I had never encountered this term until last week when, in the course of trying to do something to help a troubled teenager, I had a conversation with a counselor at a school for special needs children who mentioned school refusal and oppositional defiant disorder (ODD). These terms seem to have replaced “wayward child” and the like.

    October 22, 2015

  • See ODD.

    October 22, 2015

  • Oppositional defiant disorder (ODD) is defined by the DSM-5 as "a pattern of angry/irritable mood, argumentative/defiant behavior, or vindictiveness lasting at least six months as evidenced by at least four symptoms from any of the defined categories and exhibited during interaction with at least one individual who is not a sibling". Unlike children with conduct disorder (CD), children with oppositional defiant disorder are not aggressive towards people or animals, do not destroy property, and do not show a pattern of theft or deceit.2 A diagnosis of ODD is also no longer applicable if the individual is diagnosed with Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD).


    October 22, 2015

  • The fashion in our courtroom flicks
    Is for lawyers who are comely chicks.
    So looks get the part,
    But smarts are the art
    Of the cinematic interrogatrix.

    October 22, 2015

  • To some a horse is made homely
    By a coat that's mottled and pomely,
    But my heart is kindled
    By all that is brindled,
    Recalling my old pinto pony.

    October 21, 2015

  • Might a mullah put out a fatwa for
    Suppression of noxious taqwacore?
    Hear the true ways in
    The call of the muezzin!
    The decadent West is at the door!

    October 20, 2015

  • A factoid as roguish as any get
    Seduced a coquettish factette.
    Their passionate act
    Begot a new fact
    But true or false we don't know yet.

    October 19, 2015

  • If a programmer's heavy load irk
    Then might he insert some codework.
    You must look with care
    To see if it's there
    Else never discern an ode lurk.

    October 18, 2015

  • To fill in the blanks in his lectionary
    Poor Ernest must endlessly query.
    To save wear on his vocals
    With literate yokels
    He prints out a quick questionary.

    Find out more about Ernest Bafflewit

    October 17, 2015

  • Old telephone tech's once vast icon
    Is gone like the dodo and mastodon.
    In vain do I look
    For a telephone book,
    That compendious onomasticon.

    October 16, 2015

  • cf. frankenfood

    October 15, 2015

  • It's Ernest's most intimate fantasy,
    The acme of lexical vanity,
    To know every word
    The ear's ever heard
    And rule in the kingdom of pansophy.

    Find out more about Ernest Bafflewit

    October 15, 2015

  • When an argument perplexes me
    And troubles by subtle complexity,
    So as to refute it
    I simply uproot it
    And mock it by means of contextomy.

    October 14, 2015

  • In words and in flamboyant ways
    He labored to charm and amaze.
    He strove to be Wilde
    But his wit was too mild.
    His mots were not bons but fadaise.

    October 13, 2015

  • A guilty pol should never wait
    But hasten to tergiversate.
    To let voters wonder
    Is always a blunder.
    Proleptically he must evitate.

    October 12, 2015

  • Kamehameha, king of Hawaii,
    Declined to sup on simple ahi.
    It's shrewd lexicography
    To spot the dittography
    And divine he would eat mahimahi.

    Find out more about Ernest Bafflewit

    October 11, 2015

  • When I was in elementary school (a very long time ago) there lived a man in the neighborhood who was known as "Crosspatch Crosley." Mr. Crosley may have had a gentle side to him but he never showed it to the kids. To set foot on his lawn would draw him out fuming like Grendel defending his hoard. Even to slacken your pace while using the sidewalk in front of his house would bring an angry glower from the window.

    I do not know whether he left a legacy of descendants or friends. I suspect that all evidence of his having existed is gone save for faint unpleasant memories in the minds of a few aged children. This is sad.

    I remember him here. Even this limerick is better than perfect oblivion.

    Old Crosspatch, by nature quite bilious,
    Took umbrage at much that was pilulous.
    Since posses of boys
    Do much that annoys
    He made it his business to bully us.

    October 10, 2015

  • I could not do as reesetee bid
    Anent the octopi and squid.
    Becoming aware
    A cephalopod's there
    I pulled up the covers and hid.

    October 9, 2015

  • The engineer knows his mechanics,
    The farmer is wise in botanics,
    But be you beware
    Of any who dare
    To claim they are deep in humanics.

    October 9, 2015

  • Old age in its larcenous creep
    Purloins enough to make us weep.
    Let's hope we can lucidly
    Persist in caducity
    Until we stretch in dreamless sleep.

    October 8, 2015

  • When clearcutters take their brutal toll
    No tree of size protrudes at all.
    The scenery left
    Is sadly bereft
    Of all that's not wretchedly ruderal.

    October 7, 2015

  • Kind stranger might you share a beer
    Or, failing, at least spare a tear?
    For some should be shed
    For the dry and unread,
    The thirsty, impoverished garreteer.

    October 6, 2015

  • Debating is what they will claim
    But prove themselves strangers to shame.
    Not rational colloquy
    But fevered cacology -
    They'll boast, boldly lie, and defame.

    October 5, 2015

  • The logophile suffers a curse
    That tolerance only makes worse.
    In keeping with talion
    The sesquipedalian
    Is sentenced to writing in verse.

    October 4, 2015

  • If a wide oscillation's a seesaw
    And a wild celebration a ree-raw
    A laugh uninhibited
    With tonsils exhibited
    Can fairly be labeled a hee-haw.

    October 3, 2015

  • The truth must at last be admitted:
    Though Donald is beaming and nitid
    Good opinion goes south
    When he opens his mouth
    To leave not a doubt he's half-witted.

    October 2, 2015

  • A worm is indifferent to poesy;
    His interests are mundane and prosy,
    But he will be furious
    If you call him incurious,
    Ignoring his deep geognosy.

    October 1, 2015

  • A scrivening monk would come to grief
    Illuminating a sacred leaf
    Unless his amygdala
    Are stocked with the sigla
    To ornament but keep it brief.

    September 30, 2015

  • It was spit when I was in school
    Or spawl from the mouth of a fool.
    It's sheerest sciolism
    To call it ptyalism
    When all of us know it's just drool.

    September 29, 2015

  • Though Franklin was pleased to ignite
    The colonists' spirit to fight,
    When not incendiary
    Old Ben was very merry -
    A maker of mischief, a riggite.

    September 28, 2015

  • The mourner should master a medium
    And grieve in a coherent idiom:
    The coronach's wail
    The flagellant's flail
    Or stately and slow epicedium.

    September 27, 2015

  • In sudden pastoral reversal
    The congregants suffered dispersal.
    The shepherd's de-flocked
    As all of them walked
    And left hm without any hersil.

    September 26, 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,

    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