it isn't a 5 dollar word, but i love it. some lips are luscious, men's lips, boys lips. when someone is in love, their lips swell up when they see that person, did you know that? as well as pupils dilating and skin blushing. i saw an old boyfriend a while back and i kept saying how he wasn't good looking anymore. that he seemed dried up, not ripe and luscious like he was. a friend pointed out that the problem is, he was so good looking because he was in love with me before.
Similarly, I have a favorite phrase that, to me, says it all. Folate deficiency in the diet results in the loss of papilla on the tongue -- which is called: slick tongue. Love it! My students see that one on their exams every time!
This word pulls all sorts of threads together. It is a lovely, sonorous word in its own right. It comes from the Greek. It contains a diphthong -- even the American spelling is the same as the British.
It is used a lot in poetry and means the formation of words in imitation of sounds, like buzz and hiss.
Come to think of it, sonorous is a nicely onomatopoetic word as well...
i have a kind of fetish for cleanness, scented soaps, fresh, ironed linens, polished silver, someone to pour tea, all the things butlers do. why can't a man be more like a butler? why can't a man be a gentleman in the living room, and servile everywhere else? (mocking the saying "i want a wife who's a lady in the living room, and a whore in the bedroom. i forget what she is in the kitchen, but why not a whore in the kitchen?) a man who will put my shoes on me in the morning. did you ever see "The Night Porter"? anyway, servile.
In "Apology", Socrates spoke called his accusers the oligarchy of 30. How many institutions do we know that is run by an oligarchy? ie, a small group that exercises control for selfish or corrupt purposes.
Another is caitiff -- despicable coward. Nice new insult for me to use!
As I was traveling today, I came up with 2 more of my favorite words. Dazzling. I will always remember a compliment someone gave me once, "You have a dazzling smile". What a charming word.
The other is smarmy. I don't even think the AHD does this word justice, "hypocritically, complacently, or effusively earnest". We all know smarmy when we see it--and it is more slippery than that definition, don't you agree? BTW, is there much of a difference between smarmy and unctuous?
I'm with you on this word. I wouldn't say there was any real difference between it and unctuous. Possibly smarmy is used more in common speech, whereas unctuous is slightly more "literary", but there's not much in it. Another excellent synonym is oleaginous. Oily is another, though not such a fun word.
quote: Disraeli once described the manner of Bishop Wilberforce as "unctuous, oleaginous, saponaceous." And the good prelate was ever afterward known as Soapy Sam. For every man there is something in the vocabulary that would stick to him like a second skin. His enemies have only to find it. -- Ambrose Bierce; The Devil's Dictionary
thank you for the butter and soap-like descriptions. i will now re-pigeonhole all appropriate a**holes into their oleo or soap categories. however, due to 2002 restrictions (see dealer), all garbage birds will remain garbage birds until further notice.
[QUOTE]Originally posted by Hic et ubique: sapononaceous (= "soaplike") and oleaginous:
You've got one too many "on's" in there. Sapindaceae is the soapberry family; the type genus is Sapindus.
Oleaceae is the olive family; the type genus is Olea. Oleaginus, meaning "falsely or smugly earnest; unctuous" (or "of or relating to oil"), ultimately derives from the Latin oleaginous "of the olive tree" (olive oil).
Sapindaceous and oleaceous refer to the Sapindaceae and Oleaceae, respectively.
Yes, Richard, as you probably know, but others may not, the word 'serendipity' was coined in 1754 by Horace Walpole, an English writer, connoisseur (of beer perhaps?) and MP after The Three Princes of Serendip (Sri Lanka), a fairy tale. I've never been to Serendip, but methinks 'twould be quite serendipitous an occasion.
Discombobulated. I have always love that word! The local newspaper used it, describing the Chicago White Sox. In trying to find out more about it, the AHD says: perhaps an alteration of discompose. Does anyone know anything more?
quote:My old favorite word used to be philtrum - meaning the groove in one's upper lip
Interestingly, I recently learned that "philtrum" is only found in Mrs. Byrne's Dictionary and in a reverse dictionary that is found online. It is NOT found it OED. That leads me to ask the question: Is it a legitimate word then? What makes a word legitimate? If you find a word in some online weird word dictionary, is it a word?
I hate to answer my own question, but now I am wondering if perhaps "philtrum" is a medical term. Is it? I have never seen it used in medicine, but that would explain why it is not in OED. Since it was in Mrs. Byrne's dictionary, I thought it was a general term. However, maybe not.
Mrs Byrne's Dictionary was the result of said woman's reading a wide variety of established dictionaries as a hobby. While this may sound like a sacrelige to our other-side-of-the-Atlantic friends, just because a word isn't in the OED doesn't mean it's not a "real" word. One has to decide on which sources to put one's faith in:
The OED, certainly. Mrs. Byrne's Dictionary, yes. Billy Bob's On-line Dictionary of English Like We Speak It, well, probably not.
Sidenote: "sacrelige"? "sacrelidge" another I instead of that first E, maybe?? I can't get that word to look right. Why is there no spell-check on this site, or am I missing something?
Thanks Arnie, but had I learnt Latin I might not have had sufficient wetware storage area left over for the really important things in life such as the words to the "Gilligan's Island" theme song or the fact that the avacado was once known as an "alligator pear."
To re-ask the question, though, is there a way to spell-check postings here? To anyone who might reply, please keep in mind that I am one of millions who are not as computer savvy as I probably need to be so if you answer something along the lines of "Cut & paste your posting to cross-cyberformat your motherboard netdot modem and then just HTMLize the transpost to the F3 home format," I probably just go on my merry way and continue to commit the occasional misspelling.
Me, too, CJ (I have also wondered if there is a spell-checker on wordcraft). Please forgive us Arnie. And, I did take Latin!
Arnie, thanks a lot for that wonderful link. I had been asking that question for a long time now, and that is the first really cogent answer that I have gotten.
A colleague, who learned the word philtrum in medical school, said that she thinks the reason philtrum isn't in OED is because it is a medical term. Of course, OED will not include all medical, or other technical, terms. I never thought of philtrum as a medical term because I have only seen it generally used. However, she could be right.
quote:My old favorite word used to be philtrum - meaning the groove in one's upper lip.
Is it a legitimate word then?
Yes, philtrum (plural, philtra) is a legitimate word, derived from the Greek philtron, meaning “love charm”. Here are some sites that will tell you more than you wanted to know. Did you know a long flat philtrum is characteristic of fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS)?
This is a new favorite word for me because of its meaning, rather than how it sounds. Its etymology is: Middle English emperiall, from Medieval Latin empyreus, from Late Latin empyrius, fiery, from Greek empurios
It means: The highest heaven, where the pure element of fire was supposed by the ancients to subsist; heaven; paradise
"She might have been an angel arguing a point in the empyrean if she hadn't been, so completely, a woman. --Edith Wharton, "The Long Run," The Atlantic, Feburary 1912" - From Dictionary.com word of the day (Nov. 11, 2001)
Muse, what a fabulous word. I hadn't heard of it either. I put it into Onelook and found it to mean "mysterious, sublime, supernatural, or appealing to the higher emotions or to the aesthetic sense". I guess he was referring to the latter definition? Or to "mysterious"? The example that 2 sites gave for using it in a sentence was: "a numinous wood". Now that doesn't make sense to me, unless they meant "woods".