Comments by tusseymountain

  • a group of woodpeckers

    March 1, 2015

  • Another name for cedar waxwing.

    August 22, 2014

  • Megan McArdle: "doing something stupid because other people around you seem to think it's safe"

    April 11, 2014

  • From a Van Gogh letter: "Weemoed Melancholy may be a good experience, provided we write it as two words: wee woe, which is in every man, each of us having reason enough, but it must be allied to moed courage, and the more the better, for it is good to be someone who never despairs."

    June 22, 2013

  • Lewis and Clark shortened "starboard" to "Stard."

    May 17, 2013

  • wild prairie turnip, secret ingredient of great fry bread

    May 10, 2013

  • Melville uses the word in Moby Dick.

    December 28, 2012

  • For an example, see the last paragraph in this review:

    May 14, 2012

  • Thanks.

    March 13, 2012

  • What a great word.

    March 30, 2010

  • What is the plural of amaryllis? From what I see it's the same for both plural and singular.

    March 13, 2010

  • For more on alphasyllabary: or Wikipedia has this under Abugida: An abugida (pronounced /ˌɑːbuːˈɡiːdə/, from Ge‘ez ’äbugida), also called an alphasyllabary, is a segmental writing system which is based on consonants, and in which vowel notation is obligatory but secondary. This contrasts with an alphabet proper, in which vowels have status equal to consonants, and with an abjad, in which vowel marking is absent or optional. (In less formal treatments, all three are commonly called alphabets.) About half the writing systems in the world are abugidas,citation needed including the extensive Brahmic family of scripts used in South and Southeast Asia.

    March 7, 2010

  • It seems to me someone somewhere was savoring the moment Al Michaels or Bob Costas or whoever it was would have to say "giant inflatable beavers."

    March 2, 2010

  • Thanks for that mollusque!

    February 28, 2010

  • The OED lists this word with besague which it defines as "a double-edged axe." But isn't a besagew a round piece of armor worn to protect the armpit between the spaulders and the cuirass? It is sometimes also called a roundel. I stumbled on this trying to find how to pronounce besagew.

    February 28, 2010

  • Is cluck the best word for the sound made when you move your tongue suddenly from the roof of your mouth to the floor of your mouth? The sound kids use to imitate horses. Seems like there's another word for that but my brain is stuck on cluck!

    February 24, 2010

  • Dog: from Old English, docga, which is of unknown origin.

    February 6, 2010

  • Oops. Yes, that comment is in reference to kagakshi.

    June 28, 2009

  • Potawatomi for prairie:

    June 24, 2009

  • Potawatomi for light rain or drizzle:

    June 24, 2009

  • Potawatomi for crow according to:

    June 24, 2009

  • Potawatomi for crow according to:

    June 24, 2009

  • From Merrill Gilfillan's "Rivers and Birds" published in 2003:

    "So, shortly into Oklahoma, I reached for a tape, 'Enuff Said,' by a native southern plains group, Sizzortail, and that was just right: many-voiced, nonperfectionist, hymnic without enclosure. Its simple harmony, even when off a degree or two, is its declaration."

    June 24, 2009

  • The suprasternal notch which Ondaatje called a vascular sizood in The English Patient:

    In Michael Ondaatje's novel The English Patient, a geographer mapping the Sahara Desert wonders if there is a name for the hollow of a woman's neck just above the breastbone. When he finally gets his answer, he is told it is the "vascular sizood," although there is no such thing. "I'd given it the wrong name," Ondaatje recalled last week in an interview with Maclean's. "I'd been planning to fix it later on and give it the proper name, but I'd forgotten." -- Source

    June 20, 2009

  • You phrased it just right: "cloying perkiness." Thank you JFK!

    June 18, 2009

  • OED mentions John Barth's recent use of the word: 1994 J. BARTH Once upon Time 393 And exactly what were you doing, prithee, in that make-pretend down-county marsh at the make-pretend Place Where Three Ways Meet?

    June 18, 2009

  • Somehow this is one of the most annoying words. Why is that? Brings to mind kegger and daddy long legger. Pregnant, gravid, and expectant are not the loveliest of words either. Interesting.

    June 18, 2009

  • Definitely tongue-in-cheek.

    June 11, 2009

  • The FCC wants to change it to chestmouse. One species is known as tufted titmouse. I like that name but there's also thrummy titmouse which has its own appeal.

    June 8, 2009

  • Matriot (ma’ - tri – at) noun 1. One who 
loves his or her country. 2. One who loves
and protects the people of his or her country.
 3. One who perceives national defense as 
health, education, and shelter of all people 
in his or her country. (Orig. Frances Payne Adler, 1991)

    Thought I'd finally invented a word. Darn. Ms. Adler got there way ahead of me.

    June 6, 2009

  • A great idea for a list. Sometimes it's pre-owned and sometimes it's the more elegant previously owned. A couple more possibilities: rightsize, encore performance when it's actually just a rerun, and regift. Sooner rather than later strikes me as edging toward the smarmy end of the spectrum, but at the end of the day as long as we're moving forward together... that's what I'm talking about.

    June 5, 2009

  • "...yielded on the crests of the relief to touches of Watteau brown."

    -from John Updike's short story "Who Made Yellow Roses Yellow?"

    June 4, 2009

  • OED: An exclamation of impatience: Nonsense! fiddlesticks!

    May 20, 2009

  • Usually in reference to woods: thick, dense, and dark. Introduced by Lewis Carroll.

    May 15, 2009

  • Twilight, dusk; dim or poor light. Usually this is owl-light. OED has one reference to it without the hyphen: "1776 M. DELANY in Autobiogr. & Corr. (1862) 2nd Ser. II. 213, I must finish to-morrow, for I have written thus far by owllight."

    May 15, 2009

  • The word features prominently in the movie Priceless.

    May 15, 2009

  • OED: (Ornithology) - One of the principal feathers of a bird's wing, by which it is sustained and carried forward in flight; a wing-quill.

    May 15, 2009

  • Dutch from wee (woe) and moed (courage).

    May 15, 2009