looked up 5
and loved 5
sumit commented on the word songlifting
Ridiculous bit of Newspeak used by the music industry instead of the more accurate and altruistic sounding "file-sharing"
November 29, 2009
sumit commented on the word sloap
Space Left Over After Planning - the desert islands of urban environments. By definition, they are neglected by authorities, leaving them in the hands of refugees or predators. They can also be revitalised by street artists, guerilla gardeners and urban renewal specialists.
September 21, 2009
sumit commented on the word digital smallholding
"The bottom line is this - if you’re going to ask somebody to place what is essentially a free advertisement for your product on their homepage, blog, fan-site, social networking profile or whatever other digital smallholding it is they call their own, you better make sure it does something."
March 7, 2009
sumit commented on the word anamorphic
An anamorphic image is one that can only be interpreted when viewed from a particular angle or through a transforming optical device like a mirror. Gallery at the link.
January 17, 2009
sumit commented on the word eperopolis
Term coined in the 1960s by Greek city planner Constantinos Doxiadis to mean a continent-spanning city. Doxiadis predicted that, given contemporary trends in urban development, a European eperopolis which would grow out of the "Blue Banana", a corridor of urbanisation that stretches from northern England to Milan. (He later became more ambitious and invented the word "ecumenopolis" to mean a world-spanning city.)
December 2, 2008
sumit commented on the word ecumenopolis
Ecumenopolis (from Greek: οικουμένη, meaning world, and πόλις (polis) meaning city, thus a city made of the whole world; pl. ecumenopolises or ecumenopoleis) is a word invented in 1967 by the Greek city planner Constantinos Doxiadis to represent the idea that in the future urban areas and megalopolises would eventually fuse and there would be a single continuous worldwide city as a progression from the current urbanization and population growth trends.
sumit commented on the word sky island
"Sky islands are mountains in ranges isolated by valleys in which other ecosystems are located. As a result, the mountain ecosystems are isolated from each other, and species can develop in parallel, as on island groups such as the Galápagos Islands." So says Wikipedia, and there's a conservation group dedicated to preserving these evocatively-named habitats (as well as the rather more obscure "desert seas"). But new research suggests that sky islands might not really exist ...
September 3, 2008
sumit commented on the word kill screen
"A kill screen is a stage or level in a video game (often an arcade game) that stops the player's progress due to a programming error or design oversight. Rather than "ending" in a traditional sense, the game will crash, freeze, or behave so erratically that further play is impossible." The chaos that breaks out if you reach level 256 of Pac-Man is probably the most famous example.
sumit commented on the word neutron loan
A loan whose outcome is a situation where the people have been removed, leaving buildings empty. For example, buy-to-let mortgages can easily be foreclosed and the property repossessed since tenants are relatively to evict. Seen in the wild in Private Eye
April 19, 2008
sumit commented on the word comash
"The novelist Will Self: 'Prose has its own musicality, and the more notation the better. I like dashes, double dashes, comashes and double comashes just as much.' Comashes? A search in books found only a historical reference to an export from the Levant, which may have been a type of stocking or stocking material; a Web search was almost as unrewarding but did find a note that a comash is a comma followed by a dash: “,—�?. Its name is so rare we may presume Will Self invented it. The stop was once common in English prose, going back at least to the First Quarto of Shakespeare’s Othello, printed in 1622 (“I’le tell you what you should do,— our General’s wife is now the General�?). It could appear in pairs to mark a parenthesis (hence double comashes) where we would now use just a pair of dashes. Its usual name is comma dash."
April 14, 2008
sumit commented on the word left-click discount
Downloading something for free, presumably by analogy with five-finger discount, although right-click discount would probably be more appropriate. Spotted in the wild here.
April 9, 2008
sumit commented on the word sand-dancer
Term used by fairground folk to describe members of their community who've settled by the sea. Lots more fairground terminology here.
February 6, 2008
sumit commented on the word skull offal
What the ancient Egyptians used to call brains. (In ancient Egyptian, of course.)
sumit commented on the word night-time spinach
The term given to the meat of wild animals by refugees in East Africa, usually caught illegally and traded and cooked covertly.
January 30, 2008
sumit commented on the word terroiriste
"Few things agitate French winemakers more than other winemakers' unspeakable irreverence towards the terroir, the mix of soil and climate found in the place where a vine is grown. The strength of feeling is so great that the country even has its own breed of, er, terroiristes. A group of masked, militant French winemakers has attacked foreign tankers of wine, bricked up a public building and caused small explosions at supermarkets."
December 27, 2007
sumit commented on the word opisthotonos
aka the dead dinosaur pose.
December 26, 2007
sumit commented on the word skintle
To win at Jenga. New Scientist, for the record, describes skintling as "angling all your blocks so that their diagonals are perpendicular to the edge of the table".
sumit commented on the word zacatuche
The Mexican volcano rabbit, aka teporingo
sumit commented on the word teporingo
The Mexican volcano rabbit, aka zacatuche
sumit commented on the word macroscian
or one who lives in polar regions. Apparently
November 16, 2007
sumit commented on the word camelcase
New Scientist has an article on CamelCase (oh, the irony that Wordie only permits lower-case listings) that notes its original usefulness in making programming terms readable and mentions two derivatives: UpperCamelCase and lowerCamelCase. It also discusses how it's made the transition to web brandnames as a way of avoiding spaces ... and ends on a sinister note by suggesting another programming convention that might be the next to break_free and irritate the_world_at_large.
October 31, 2007
sumit commented on the word orbitz
Hey, I loved that drink! It was horrible, but it was the drink of the future.
October 25, 2007
sumit commented on the word facipulator
@seanahan: an ugly word for an ugly occupation.
October 22, 2007
A "facilitator" who actually manipulates the participants in a conversation or meeting towards particular conclusions or outcomes. For example, critics of Gordon Brown's citizen juries suggest that facipulators are employed to ensure that the juries don't come up with suggestions far removed from government policy.
October 18, 2007
sumit commented on the word tombstoning
The "u" is long. Shoomit!
September 6, 2007
Ah, the confusion between summit and Sumit (which is my real name as well as my username) has plagued me all my life. Despite the number of words beginning "su" that are pronounced "shu" (sugar, sure etc.) the similarity with summit means people always pronounce my name incorrectly and it sometimes takes years to persuade them otherwise. Oh, and sumit.com is owned by Summit Research Labs of Princeton, New Jersey. Thanks, guys!
August 28, 2007
sumit commented on the word vegansexual
"Vegansexuals are people who do not eat any meat or animal products, and who choose not to be sexually intimate with non-vegan partners whose bodies, they say, are made up of dead animals. One vegan respondent from Christchurch said: 'I believe we are what we consume, so I really struggle with bodily fluids, especially sexually.'"
August 6, 2007
Among other things, "an extreme sport involving diving off a fixed point such as sea harbour walls, bridges, rocks and cliff faces into water. The sport's origins can be traced to United Kingdom's West Country." Why this merits a particular name -- and for that matter, how it can be described as a "sport" -- is a bit of a mystery to me. It's an appropriate name, though, since people keep killing themselves doing it.
sumit commented on the word saviour babies
By donating, say, bone marrow or blood. The use of genetic testing and aids to fertility to maximise the chance of a saviour baby being born is controversial in some circles.
August 1, 2007
sumit commented on the word centitechnology
New Scientist, 14 July 2007: "What is most worrying is that government agencies do not yet have a framework for even thinking about how to regulate nanotechnology. So varied are its products that deciding what are potential threats and what to track is a mammoth task in itself. To see why, consider nanotechnology's larger-scale cousin "centitechnology". This would include teacups, loaded guns, pencils, nuclear batteries, tubs of weedkiller and vials of nitroglycerine. Imagine working out a framework for identifying the dangers posed by such a diverse group of things, and then regulating them."
July 18, 2007
sumit commented on the word hagiothecium
Goodness! I had no idea that just adding this would set off such a chain of events. Kind of exciting to be contributing to the sum of human knowledge. Well, to the sum of Google's knowledge, anyway. When it takes over the world I will only have myself to blame.
sumit commented on the word agape table
There are examples carved out of stone in the Roman catacombs of Malta. Agape is a Latin word which is sometimes translated as meaning "the love of family" (as opposed to eros or philia).
July 4, 2007
I saw a hagiothecium in the Cathedral Museum of Mdina on Malta: a small travelling case containing perhaps forty small plaques carved with Byzantine-style portraits of saints. Google finds no (that's right, zero) references to the term ...
sumit commented on the word arribada
Used to describe the mass nesting behaviour of Ridley sea turtles, which come ashore in their thousands to lay eggs.
June 21, 2007
sumit commented on the word cybrid
In other words, a human-animal hybrid. (Or, in the novels of Dan Simmons, an artificial intelligence in a human body.)
sumit commented on the word sistereis
The opposite of a maiden voyage
June 8, 2007
sumit commented on the word boulder
A lump of rock must be bigger than 256 millimetres (just over ten inches) to be a boulder, according to geologists' Udden-Wentworth scale.
February 26, 2007
sumit commented on the word cobble
is defined by the Udden-Wentworth scale as being between 64 and 256 millimetres in diameter.
sumit commented on the word gravel
Is defined by the Udden-Wentworth scale as having a particle size of 2 to 64 millimetres.
sumit commented on the word sand
Is defined by the Udden-Wentworth scale as being composed of grains that are between 62.5 micrometres and 2 millimetres in diameter.
sumit commented on the word silt
Is defined by the Udden-Wentworth scale as having a particle size of 3.90625–62.5 micrometres (0.00015–0.0025 inches)
sumit commented on the word clay
Is defined by the Udden-Wentworth scale as having a particle size of less than 3.90625 micrometres(0.00015 inches) but more than 1 micrometre.
sumit commented on the word colloid
Is defined by the Udden-Wentworth scale as a suspension comprised of particles whose diameter is less than a micrometre.
sumit commented on the word mindsight
1) The term given by some neuroscientists to the ability to apprehend what seems to be going through someone else's mind. 2) the ability to recognize that something has changed in a scene without being able to identify the change. This would represent a new mode of visual perception - "sensing without seeing" - but its existence is disputed
sumit commented on the word croneen
A famous migratory Irish trout.
February 9, 2007
sumit commented on the word sonaghen
A kind of trout only found in Ireland's Lough Melvin.
sumit commented on the word gillaroo
A snail-eating Irish trout whose name derives from the deep red spots on its sides (Giolla Rua is the Irish for "red fellow"). It is apparently the only fish that has a gizzard (of sorts) to aid digestion. This anatomical curiosity lies behind the story that a priest, presented with a gillaroo on a Friday, refused to believe that it was not chicken and would not eat it; ever since, the fish has been considered cursed and unfit to eat.
sumit commented on the word ferox
Ireland's largest, fiercest and most famous species of trout.
sumit commented on the word zombie effect
In palaeontology, geological phenomena that move fossil remains between strata, creating the impression that their owners were still alive long after they actually died
February 5, 2007
sumit commented on the word jimmy hoffa taxon
One of our dinosaurs is missing.
sumit commented on the word lazarus taxon
The coelacanth being the canonical example.
sumit commented on the word elvis taxon
Specimens are often confused with those from a Lazarus taxon.
sumit commented on the word polie
One who works at the South Pole. A polie may also be a winterover (hardcore!).
January 23, 2007
sumit commented on the word winterover
One who spends (or will spend) the winter in Antarctica.
sumit commented on the word stilyagi
January 16, 2007
sumit commented on the word roentgenizdat
In Soviet times, bootleggers on the Russian side of the Iron Curtain found that they could press illicit copies of musical recordings from the West (or from forbidden genres like jazz) onto discarded X-Ray plates in a roentgenizdat. The word is combination of "Roentgen" (the discoverer of X-Rays) with "samizdat", the underground self-publishing publishing and distribution for banned writings.
sumit commented on the word picobiliphyte
recently discovered in the Arctic Ocean. The "pico" refers to their minute size.
sumit commented on the word jollihed
apparently had a rather lackadaisical approach to vocabulary and spelling. (Not unusually for the time, I don't think?) Jollihed was one of his more relaxed bits of wordsmithing; it's synonymous with jollitee, which should tip you off as to its meaning.
January 9, 2007
sumit commented on the word penman
included in a manuscript to illustrate a point being made in the text. As used copiously in the notebooks of Leonardo da Vinci.
sumit commented on the word shalagrama
revered by some Hindus as an icon of Vishnu. You can see one here.
sumit commented on the word vadding
in urbex style. According to Wikipedia, vadding was originally MIT slang for "playing the computer game ADVENT", whose executable was renamed VAD to elude systems administrators. ADVENT involved exploring tunnels; the term was extended to those members of MIT's irrepressible student body who embarked on similar adventures in real life.
January 4, 2007
sumit commented on the word gib
January 3, 2007
sumit commented on the word barrow
Among other things.
sumit commented on the word wether
A castrated sheep.
sumit commented on the word dinmont
A castrated sheep or pig. Though I first heard this word as part of the "dandie dinmont" breed of terrier, which raises some interesting comparisons.
sumit commented on the word havier
A castrated deer.
sumit commented on the word lapin
A castrated rabbit.
sumit commented on the word fanwank
verb: To posit a contrived explanation, often involving special pleading, to redeem blatantly illogical or nonsensical plotting or characterization. Particularly appropriate if the explanation relies on background information that only an obsessive fan would know or care about.
sumit commented on the word serpopard
"The serpopard, a cross between a serpent and leopard, features the body of the latter and a long neck and head representing the former, although it is generally classified as a feline." The serpopard is best known from depictions in Old Kingdom Eyptian art, such as the Narmer and Two Dog Palettes
December 27, 2006
sumit commented on the word hostage-bride
"The story of Tom and his hostage-bride Katie Holmes has played out all year under the steady strobe-light of the paparazzi, with MI:III doing only so-so business and Cruise losing his sweetheart deal at Paramount on a geriatric whim from Viacom chief Sumner Redstone, even as Katie flushed brightly with all the fevers of Stockholm Syndrome."
December 26, 2006
sumit commented on the list word-guidelines-for-wordie
Could we have feeds for comments? I'm thinking it'd be nice to be able to track both comments on individual words and comments by individual users. Thanks for the site!
sumit commented on the word drama pawn
As coined by Dan Curtis Johnson after watching this video of an apparently suicidal driver crashing through a Florida mall
sumit commented on the word shanger
according to this extremely not-safe-for-work story.
December 22, 2006
sumit commented on the word hacksilver
In places or times where coins were not issued by a mint or their value was not guaranteed by a bank (such as Viking Scandinavia, where there was no domestic currency and all coins in circulation were "borrowed" from elsewhere) weight was all important. A coin's value was equivalent to its weight - and interchangeable with the same weight of precious metal in the form of jewellery. Hacksilver is the name given to the bits of metal that were cut off and used as currency.
December 15, 2006
sumit commented on the word skycandy
As explained in cinematic masterpiece Snakes on a Plane, skycandy is a term for attractive flight attendants ...
sumit commented on the word chantepleure
What a beautiful concept and word, and one that I'll find use for more often than I'd prefer.
December 12, 2006
sumit commented on the word beausage
A synthesis of "beauty" and "usage", this was apparently coined by Grant Petersen of Rivendell Bicycle Works to describe the decorative effect of wear on tear on, say, ancient monuments or antique cars. Unlike patina, beausage refers to three-dimensional damage rather than surface effects.
December 9, 2006
sumit commented on the word taswegian
Delighted to discover that this is an acceptable (if not necessarily the generally accepted) term for a resident of Tasmania. I can only think of two other uses of this suffix: Glaswegian, for a resident of Glasgow, and Norwegian, for a resident of Norway. I have no idea why "-gow", "-way" and "-mania" all end up as "-wegian".
sumit commented on the word hemiversary
A coinage for the day six months after a memorable date: in other words, half way to the first anniversary. Increasingly celebrated in its own right; make what you will of the implications for longevity of modern relationships.
Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.
Wordnik is fiscally sponsored by Planetwork NGO, Inc,a California 501(c) (3) non-profit educational organization, EIN #94-3366969.