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March 2004 Archives:

Martha Stewart Words: eponymous (epynomic); pandemic; bacchanalia; conflate; turpitude; doyenne (diva); verdure

Caesar Words: caesarism; cognomen (agnomen, prænomen, nomen); rubicon; double comparative (double superlative); princeps (facile princeps; primus inter pares) caesar cipher (cipher; code; substitution cipher); triumvirate

Ineffectual People, from Yiddish: schlemiel (schlimazel); klutz (plonk); schmendrick; shlepper; nebbish; schnook; schmo

Blowing in the Winds: eolian (aeolian); ventifact; williwaw; eluvium (elute; elutriate; effluvium; alluvium; allivion); windrow; spindrift; anabatic (katabatic)


Martha Stewart Words


Contemplate if you will how useful our previous word psaphonic would be, amid today's shock-culture, if it refers to extreme or outrageous self-promotion. Think Howard Stern, Janet Jackson, Dennis Rodman. On a higher level, some might say, "Think Donald Trump and Eliot Spitzer."


Or consider a woman currently in the news: Martha Stewart. This week we'll cull words from the news and commentary about her.


One strongly psaphonic aspect is how closely her business is identified with her person, in both name and in image.


eponymous – relating to an eponym; giving one's name to a tribe, people, country, and the like.


Martha Stewart Living's Stock has traded on the fate of its eponymous founder for the past several months.
– Gregory Zuckerman, The Wall Street Journal, March 6, 2005 p. C1

Living – Without Martha: The Eponymous Company Will need a New Game Plan Should Its Founder Go to Jail
– The Wall Street Journal, March 6, 2004 p. B1 (article headline and subhead)


Two quotes from the same day's edition – but notice the difference? In the first quote eponymous refers to the person for whom the company is named; in the second it refers to the company named after a person.


Which is correct? Technically, the former: in correct usage, "eponymous" applies to the person rather than to the thing named after him or her; for the latter, the precise word is epynomic. Less technically, many press accounts speak of Ms. Stewart's "namesake" company.


pandemic – affecting a large part of the population over a wide geographical area


Is this verdict a landmark in the effort against the corporate malfeasance pandemic?
– Jessie Eisinger, The Wall Street Journal, March 6, 2004, p. C1



Endemic means peculiar to a place or to a class of persons: endemic to the tropics.

Epidemic means simultaneously afflicting a large proportion of the a community.

Pandemic means epidemic over a wide geographical area


Today's word fits lasts week's theme as well as this week's. (This week's only tangentially, for I hasten to note that Ms. Stewart's case involved no bacchanalia).


bacchanalia – a riotous, boisterous, or drunken festivity; a revel

[from Latin, from Bacchus, god of wine, from Greek Bakkhos]


The adjective form is bacchanalian. One who indulges in drunken revels is a bacchanal (accent on either first or last syllable); bacchanal is also another term for a drunken or riotous celebration.


As it happens, Stewart's case ended one business day before closing arguments in the trial of L. Dennis Kozlowski, former chief executive of Tyco International. The Kozlowski case has dragged on and it has gone relatively unreported, except for when the jury got to see the video of Kozlowski's $2.1 million birthday bacchanalia for his new wife Karen.
– Dan Ackman, Martha, Dennis And Corporate Scandals, Forbes, March 8, 2004


conflate – 1. to bring together; meld or fuse 2. to combine (as two readings of a text) into one whole.

[Latin conflare to blow together, from con- with, together + flare to blow.]


Today's quotation is from today's press. Query whether the author was confusing conflate with confuse.


And though Stewart was acting as an individual and hers wasn't a case of corporate wrongdoing, there's been a widespread tendency, of both the public and the media, to conflate the two.
– Alexandra Marks, Amid schadenfreude, sympathy for Martha, The Christian Science Monitor , March 12, 2004


turpitude – depravity, baseness or base act; shameful wickedness

[from Latin turpitudo, from turpis, ugly, foul, base]


Many usages are in the phrase "moral turpitude", which seems reduntant. Can anyone explain what might be "non-moral turpitude"?


But even if her own company does not insist that she step down, the Securities and Exchange Commission is likely to do so when she is sentenced June 17. "When you have questions of moral turpitude, the S.E.C. ... has applied such bars," said Joel Seligman, dean of the Washington University School of Law in St. Louis.
– Constance L. Hays, Imagining Business Without Stewart, New York Times, March 12, 2004


Ms. Steward is sometimes called a domestic doyenne, sometimes a domestic diva. Let's compare the two terms; for the latter, it will be helpful to note prima donna.


doyenne – a woman who is the eldest or senior member of a group

[doyen – 1. the masc. equivalent 2. the oldest example of a category]


After getting battered in the wake of her indictment last year, the stock has risen smartly in recent months [up to the day of the verdict] … But much of the buying has come from investors betting that the doyenne of domesticity would be exonerated.
– Gregory Zuckerman, The Wall Street Journal, March 6, 2004 p. C1


diva: A prima donna is 1. a principal female singer in an opera ; or 2.: an extremely sensitive, vain, or undisciplined person. Most dictionarys define diva as simply the first meaning of prima donna, but some give the second meaning as well (limited to women). I believe the latter are correct. As noted in Time Magazine, October 21, 2002, "By definition, a diva is a rampaging female ego redeemed only in part by a lovely voice."


diva – a principal female singer; also, an extremely arrogant or temperamental woman.


There is little question, in our opinion, that this particular set of facts would not have led to prosecution if the person in question had not been Martha Stewart – the all-too-successful domestic diva that many Americans loved to hate or felt ambivalent about.
Jacksonville (North Carolina) Daily News, March 10, 2004


Call it sympathy for the diva. In the wake of Martha Stewart's conviction last Friday, a wave of compassion for the steely domestic doyenne has swept through water-cooler conversations and onto editorial pages.
– Alexandra Marks, Amid schadenfreude, sympathy for Martha, The Christian Science Monitor, March 12, 2004


verdure – the lush greenness of flourishing vegetation; also, metaphorically: a fresh or flourishing condition: the verdure of childhood

It's worth trying to imagine what it would be like if, with a wave of her hand from prison, all the verdure Martha Stewart caused to grow suddenly vanished. I think we would be surprised at the breadth of her effect. The sadness her conviction causes comes in part from feeling how it diminishes her, how she has diminished herself. But it also comes from feeling that it diminishes everything she discovered about us and the world we live in, even though that can never be true.
– Verlyn Klinkenborg, Martha Stewart's Legacy: 'It's a Good Thing', New York Times, March 12, 2004



The Ides of March: Caesar Words


Julius Caesar died on March 15, in 44 B.C. In his honor, a whole week of words related to Julius Caesar or the caesars generally.


Caesarism – govenment by imperial authority, recognizing no other law as a check upn the ruler’s will; political absolutism; dictatorship


Republicans held the presidency for all of but twelve of the forty years prior to 1992. As a result, conservatives became fixated on the presidency and opportunistically adopted the vocabulary of watery Caesarism, arguing that social progress is a measure of, because it is a consequence of, presidential aptitude.
– George Will, Jan. 28, 1999, reprinted in With a Happy Eye But ... America and the World, 1997-2002


cognomen – 1. the family name of an of ancient Rome (the typical example is the "Caesar" in Gaius Julius Caesar); more generally, a surname 2. a descriptive nickname or epithet


Butler distributed Union rations to the poor and inaugurated an extensive public works progam financed in part by high takes on the rich and confiscation of the property of some wealthy rebels who refused to take the oath of allegiance. These procedures earned the general another Confederate cognomen – "Spoons" Butler – for allegedly stealing southerners' silver for the enrichment of himself and his Yankee friends.
– James M. McPherson, Battle Cry of Freedom: The Civil War Era (Oxford History of the United States)


A reader notes: It seems even the Romans "kept up with the Jones.."

Agnomen:  (n.) An additional or fourth name given by the Romans, on account of some remarkable exploit or event; as, Publius Caius Scipio Africanus; (n.) An additional name, or an epithet appended to a name; as, Aristides the Just.


Another reader notes: By default, the Romans had three names: prænomen, nomen, and cognomen. The prænomen was like our first name. The nomen was the gentile name; the gens was an extended family or clan. The cognomen helped distinguish families within the gens. It was common to add an agnomen to distinguish two people whose three common names were the same. Sometimes agnomina were added because of something somebody had done, e.g., Publius Cornelius Scipio Africanus, so-called because he defeated Hannibal.


rubicon – a line which, one that when crossed, marks an irrevocable commitment person to a dangerous enterprise

[Latin Rubicon-, Rubico, river of northern Italy forming part of the boundary between Cisalpine Gaul and Italy, whose crossing by Julius Caesar in 49 B.C. was regarded by the Senate as an act of war]


I knew I had everything to gain and nothing to lose by giving up the job I despised. I wasn't interested in making a lot of money, but I was interested in making a lot of living. In short, I had come to the rubicon – to that moment of decision which faces most young people when they start out in life. So I made my decision – and that decision completely altered my future.
– Dale Carnegie, How to Stop Worrying and Start Living


double comparative; double superlative – a construction like “Your cooking is more tastier than my mother’s,” with more or more intensifying an adjective/adverb that is already comparative or superlative. Eighteenth-century grammarians made this usage taboo, and today's Standard English allows only one comparison per adjective.


But before that time the construction was perfectly standard as an emphasis. Caesar's death gives an example.


For Brutus, as you know, was Caesar's angel:
This was the most unkindest cut of all;
For when the noble Caesar saw him stab,
Ingratitude, more strong than traitors' arms,
Quite vanquish'd him: then burst his mighty heart
– Shakespeare, Julius Caesar Act III scene 2


A reader notes: Not quite taboo. The word lesser is a double comparative. In verifying this I found that Johnson called it "a barbarous corruption of less, formed by the vulgar from the habit of terminating comparatives in -er."


princeps – chief, headman;

also, first edition of book (unusally in the phrase editio princeps)


Princeps (first citizen) was the original official title of a Roman Emperor. It was first given to the Emperor Augustus in 23 BC, to avoid the bad associations of the previous titles dictator or imperator.


Labour MPs, most of whom lacked public-school educations, object to classical phrases in the House of the very sensible reason that they couldn't understand them. During a discussion of this Churchill rose to a point and began, "As to the chairman of this committee, he should be not facile princeps, but primus inter pares, which for the benefit of any . . ." He paused while the Opposition MPs, anticipating insult, struggled to their feet. Then he broke up the House by continuing, "... for the benefit of any Old Etonians present, I should, if very severely pressed, venture to translate."
– William Manchester, The Last Lion: Winston Spencer Churchill: Visions of Glory, 1874-1932



facile princeps – easily the first; by far the first; admittedly best

primus inter pares – first among equals


caesar cipher – a cipher in which each letter is replaced by the one a fixed number of positions farther in the alphabet. (For example, one where A, B, C, D, etc. are respectively changed to J, K, L, M, etc.)


A cipher, in turn, is any a method of transforming the letters of a text to conceal its meaning, either by transposing the letters or substituting. (Contrast code, where the pre-arranged word-or-symbol stands for an entire word or phrase.)


A caesar cipher is a simple form of substitution cipher, where the letters of the text are replaced by substitute letters, without transposing them.


It is said that Julius Caesar use a caeser cipher, where the plaintext letter was replaced by the ciphertext three places down the alphabet. Thus each letter in the text (blue below) is changed to the corresponding letter in red under it.


A B C D E F G H I. J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

D E F G H I. J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z A B C


triumvirate – a commission or ruling body of three persons (triumvir – a member of a triumvirate)

[L. trium virum, of three men]


His party was the Brotherhood of Brothers,
And there were more of them than of the others;
That is, they constituted the minority,
Which formed the greater part of the majority.
Within the party, he was of the faction
That was supported by the greater fraction,
And in each group, within each group, he sought
The group that could command the most support.
The final group had finally elected
A triumvirate most of them respected.
Now, of the three, two had the final word,
Because the two could overrule the third.
One of the two was relatively weak,
So one alone stood at the final peak.
He was the greater member of the pair
That formed the most part of the three that were
Elected by the most of those whose boast
It was to represent the most of most
Of most of most of the entire state –
Or of the most of it, at any rate.
He never gave himself a moment's slumber,
But sought the welfare of the greatest number,
And all the people everywhere they went
Knew to their cost exactly what it meant
To be dictated to by the majority.
But that meant nothing. They were the minority.
– Piet Hein



Ineffectual people: words from Yiddish


"In the vocabulary of character-types, nebekh stands (along with nudnick, shlemiel, shlimazl, shnuk, shmendrick, yold, Chaim Yankel, shlepper) in that pantheon of special Yiddish words coined to describe the ineffectuals of this world.
– Leo Rosten, Treasure for Jewish Quotations


This week we'll enjoy such Yiddish words that have come into English. We'll notice the fine distinctions and gradations of ineffectualness. And we'll take heavily from Rosten's New Joys of Yiddish. (AHD has many of these words, as "slang", but its definitions are vapid and, I think, imprecise.)


Let's start with a matched pair words. Each of these words carries a distinct note of pity, not contempt.


schlemiel – a foolish simpleton, a hard-luck victim type, a born loser. Proverb: "The schlemiel falls on his back and breaks his nose." [Subsidiary meanings: a butterfingered, all-thumbs type; or, a social misfit; or, a pipsqueak, a nobody. Rhymes with "reveal".]
Roston: "Can a brilliant or learned man be a schlemiel? Of course he can; man a savant is: the absentminded professor, the impractical genius, are paradigms."


schlimazel – a chronically unlucky person, for whom nothing seems to turn out well; a born "loser". [Rhymes with "thin nozzle". From German schlimm "bad" + Hebrew mazel "luck".]



When a schlimazel sells umbrellas, the sun comes out.
From mazel to schlimazel is but a tiny step; but from schlimazel to mazel – oh, is that far!


The two terms seem similar, but schlemiel carries the concept of maladroit: Rosten explains: "A schlemiel can make a fortune through sheer luck; a schlimazel loses a fortune through bad luck. A gifted, able talented man is no schlemiel, but he may run into such bad luck that he is a schlimazel. A schlemiel is a man who is always spilling hot soup – down the neck of a schlimazel."

klutz – a clod; a clumsy, slow-witted, graceless person (Rosten)

Wordcrafter's gloss: 1) At root the word klutz is contemptuous (not with the pitying note of schlemiel and schlimazel), but has come to be used in friendly familiar deprecation. 2) The klutz's clumsiness can be either physical ineptness or social ineptness; the latter usage has probably become more common.


For a man recently returned to office with a massive majority, Peter Beattie is doing an excellent impersonation of a political klutz. Sacking ministerial staffer Teresa Mullan for taking a bottle of wine on a flight into the Aboriginal community of Lockhart River, where alcohol is banned, was a harsh over-reaction. But the Queensland Premier's subsequent behaviour over the incident has been bizarre. A week after firing Ms Mullan, Mr Beattie has changed his mind and appointed her to his staff. This is after she admitted lying to police over the offending bottle of plonk, and publicly questioned the honesty of her former boss, Aboriginal Affairs Minister Liddy Clark, and her new employer, the Premier.
– The Australian, March 12, 2004


Prime Minister Paul Martin's wife Sheila told a biographer that her husband was such a kitchen klutz, he couldn't cook his favourite meal -- Kraft's macaroni-and-cheese classic -- which is about as complicated as boiling water. At the time, Harper had declared that not only could he prepare the stuff, but sometimes went hog wild and added wieners to the mix.
– Don Martin, Calgary Herald, March 16, 2004


Bonus word:

plonkBrit/Aus slang: cheap, inferior wine


schmendrick – a Caspar Milqueoast; a kind of schlemiel – but weak and thin. (A schlemiel can be physically impressive, but not a schmendrick. A schmendrick is small, short, weak, thin, a young nebbish, perhaps an apprentice schlemiel.) ALSO: 2. a pipsqueak; a no-account.


Rosten's example: A woman began to beat her schmendrick of a husband, who crawled under the bed. "Come out!" she cried. "No!" he said. "I'll show you who's boss in this house!"


From Napolean at the Movies [TCM network webpage describing four movies depiction Napolean]:

It was a schmendrick from Brooklyn who delivered the final blow to the exalted memory of the French Emperor. In Love and Death (1975), Woody Allen played Boris, an intellectual Russian landowner recruited to serve in the Army.


Schmendrick can also be used as derisive and miniaturizing slang for penis.


shlepper – a drag, a drip, a jerk, a maladroit performer;

also, someone unkempt, untidy, run-down-at-the-heels (Rosten)


The Rebbe [rabbi] looked up. Standing there in a tattered, oversized coat, a battered hat, with two pitiful eyes staring out from beneath, was Pinchas the Shlepper, the poorest Jew in town. He was the town porter and the downtrodden local doormat; people could wipe their feet on him and not even notice.
– Hasidic tale, on-line


But while rabbis may come and go, the lay leaders of the synagogue must attempt to keep the enterprise going, irrespective of whether their religious leader is a superstar who can pack the pews or just an uninspired shlepper.
– Jonathan Tobin, Take My Rabbi ... Please, Jewish World Review, August 12, 2002


But the word schlepper has a variety of usages. To schlep is to carry or drag onerously ("Don't shlep those packages; let the store deliver them"), so the literal meaning of shlepper is "a porter". A porter's job is drudge work, serving as a beast of burden, perhaps leading to AHD's definition, "shlepper: a clumsy or stupid person". Retail salesmen can refer to their customers as "shleppers".


nebbish – an innocuous, ineffectual unfortunate; a "loser". First cousin to a schlemiel, but more to be pitied. A nebbish is the kind of person who always picks up what a schlemiel knocks over.


It's worth quoting at length from Franklin Foer of The New Repubic Magazine, who mused about "nebish" and distinguished it from "nerd".


The popular parlance conflates nerd with nebbish. But the overlap between the two concepts is not large


While one could build a Nerd Hall of Fame, nebbishes are almost always anonymous. By definition, nebbishes are whiners, lacking self-confidence, generally inept, and on the losing end of social transactions—all characteristics that work against their ever achieving fame. The only famous nebbishes are fictional characters: George Costanza, Isaac Bashevis Singer’s Gimple the Fool, George McFly in Back to the Future, and virtually anyone played by Woody Allen or Rick Moranis.


Other attributes: 1) Nebbishes are necessarily schlumpy, never handsome or physically robust. 2) The term is usually applied to men—often implying effeminacy. ... 3) Few nebbishes are actually nerds or intellectuals—some Woody Allen characters excepted. They lack the nerd’s enterprise and obsessiveness. By contrast, many nerds can be handsome (Gore) or self-confident to the point of arrogance (Gates, Gingrich).


At the heart of the nerd–nebbish divide is pity. Nebbishes are too pathetic to warrant actual disdain. They are too easy a target. On the other hand, nerds evoke envy. We hate them because they are smarter, or more studious, or more focused than we are. Nerds are genuinely threatening.


Nebbishes will never ascend to the heights of nerds. There will be no Revenge of the Nebbishes, no nebbish liberation. A nebbish could never gain real power. More easily, one can imagine nebbishes banding together to promote a nebbish agenda, kvetching that they are systematically discriminated against, demanding Nebbish Studies at universities, and complaining that history textbooks treat them as losers. But only a schmegegge would ever bet on a nebbish.

schnook – a timid schlemiel, a meek patsy; also: a Sad Sack, more to be pitied than despised. A schnook is pathetic but likable. (Rosten)


The chief chiselers are Walter Matthau, an ambulance-chasing legal eagle, and Jack Lemmon, his schnook brother-in-law, a television cameraman whom Matthau entices into an elaborate, one-million-dollar insurance swindle after Lemmon is slightly roughed up.
– Vincent Canby, The New York Times Guide to the Best 1,000 Movies Ever Made, reviewing The Fortune Cookie


Think of a Jack Lemmon character, and you think of a schnook.


schmo; shmo – 1. a boob, a schlemiel; a hapless, clumsy, unlucky jerk 2. an average nobody, a man-in the street; "Joe Shmo," like "Joe Blow," is a slightly more colorful way to say "John Doe." (Rosten)


Surveys on American giving routinely demonstrate that people earning more than $1 million (that includes you, celebs) give less than 1 percent of their income to charity. Of course, even that tiny sliver of, say, Julia Roberts's income would be a heckuva lot more than the average schmo's United Way contribution.
– Hank Stuever, Question Celebrity, Washington Post, March 28, 2004


... "Love and Taxes," Josh Kornbluth's amusing one-man show about his sad-sack journey into the heart of fiduciary darkness. Balding and stocky, and wearing a print shirt and black slacks, Kornbluth presents himself as an average schmo with brains.
– Peter Marks, Love and Taxes: Lien Times, Richly Revisited, Washington Post, March 1, 2004


Al Capp modified 'shmo' to create the shmoo character in his L'il Abner comic strip. From this enjoyable site: This "unusual creature loved humans, laid eggs and bottles of Grade A milk in an instant, and would gladly die and change itself into a sizzling steak if its owner merely looked at it hungrily. ... The Shmoo was an unprecedented media and merchandise phenomenon (1948-52). America went Shmoo-crazy. There had never previously been anything like it."



Blowing in the Winds

March, a blustery month, is an appropriate time to look at words relating to wind.


Not, mind you, the many names given to particular winds in particular places. There are many of them (bise, bora, chinook, foehn, harmattan, khamsin, levanter, mistral, pampero, Santa Ana, simoom, sirocco, and tramontane, to name a few), but they aren't of particular interest; having mentioned them, we'll move on.


Beginning with a general term:


eolian; aeolian – relating to, caused by, or carried by the wind

[Gk Aeolus, god of the winds {hence, an eponym} and aiolos, quick, changeable]


Aeolian harp – an instrument consisting of an open box over which are stretched strings that sound when the wind passes over them. Also called wind harp.


Time to drink in life's sunshine-time to listen to the Æolian music that the wind of God draws from the human heart- strings around us.
– Jerome K. Jerome, Three Men in a Boat


ventifact – a stone that has been shaped, polished, or faceted by wind-driven sand.

[Latin ventus, wind + (arti)fact]


On sol 80, which ended at 10:23 a.m. PST on March 25, NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Spirit repeated overnight measurements of ... two targets on the rock "Mazatzal." ... Mazatzal is one of an apparent class of "light-toned rocks," which may be common in the area where Spirit landed ... This rock appears to be a "ventifact," which means it may have been carved by the steady winds that scientists know come from the northwest into the top area of this crater rim. (Comunicados de Prensa), Spain, Mar 26, 2004


williwaw – sudden gust of wind; a squall

(also: a violent gust of cold wind blowing seaward from a mountainous coast, esp. in the Straits of Magellan)


The ferocity of the land apparently spawned similarly forbidding weather. For some strange meteorological reason, savage, tornadolike downdrafts periodically swooped down from the heights above and fairly exploded when they struck the water, whipping the seas close inshore into a frenzy of spindrift and froth. Hussey thought they were the "williwaws," sudden bursts of wind peculiar to coastal areas in polar regions. [30 pages later] During most of July the weather was comparatively reasonable, and only on a few occasions did the familiar williwaws shriek down from the cliffs.
– Alfred Lansing, Endurance: Shackleton's Incredible Voyage


eluvium – residual deposits of soil, dust, and rock particles produced by the action of the wind

[Latin luere to wash out]


But take care not to confuse this similar words, not pertaining to wind:

elute– to extract one material from another, esp. by a solvent

elutriate – to purify, separate, or remove (ore, for example) by washing, decanting, and settling 2. to wash away the lighter or finer particles of

effluvium – 1. an emanation or exhalation (usu. invisible, e.g., vapor or gas) 2. a byproduct or residue; waste; or, the smelly fumes of by waste or decaying matter 3. an impalpable emanation; an aura

[Latin effluere to flow out]

alluvium – sediment deposited by flowing water, as in a riverbed, flood plain, or delta

alluvion – 1. same as 'alluvium' 2. the flow of water against a shore or bank 3. inundation by water; flood

[Latin alluere, to wash against: ad-, ad- + -luere, to wash]



windrow – 1. a row, as of leaves or snow, heaped up by the wind. 2. a long row of cut hay or grain left to dry in a field before being bundled. verb: to arrange into a windrow


On March 26, 2003, two days of appalling weather had virtually halted the U.S. Army's drive toward Baghdad. Dust lay drifted in windrows inside every tent, and the division's 260 helicopters looked like they had been dipped in milk chocolate.
– Rick Atkinson, The Long, Blinding Road to War, Washington Post, March 7, 2004


Before planting tree seedlings, the traditional site preparation method is to push the brush and unwanted trees into windrows. Topsoil may also be collected in the windrow along with the brush. The windrow is then often burned. "Windrowing can have deleterious effects on many of our East Texas sites, " Taylor said.
– Robert Burns, Extension Education Helps Texans Make Forests a Renewable Resource, AgNews (Texas A&M University Agricultural Program), March 16, 2004


spindrift – windblown sea spray. Also called spoondrift.

[Scots "spenedrift: spene (variant of obs. spoon to run before the wind) + drift]


The sun is a bright smudge, low in the sky underneath a pair of bruise-coloured purple clouds. You can see snow whipping off the far peaks as spindrift.
– Battling it out with the bootnecks: ... Sam Leith joins the Royal Marines for Arctic training in Norway,
The Telegraph, March 4, 2004


anabatic – of or relating to rising wind currents

[Gk anabatikos, skilled in mounting, from anabainein, to rise, from ana- + bainein, to go]



katabatic – of or relating to a cold flow of air traveling downward: a katabatic wind.