Each word featured this week has two separate meanings, conveying two different concepts. Thus you get a double-benefit, "two for the price of one".
captious – 1. fault-finding; with a petty and quarrelsome eagerness to object, as a captious critic
. . .2. calculated to confuse, entrap and entangle through subtle argument
[from Latin for sophistical, insidious; ult. from L. capere, to seize]
Writers as a class are irritable, temperamental, captious, and sensitive.
– Carl Van Vechten, The Tiger in the House
They that have grown old in a single state are generally found to be morose, fretful and captious; tenacious of their own practices and maxims; soon offended by contradiction or negligence; and impatient of any association but with those that will watch their nod, and submit themselves to unlimited authority.
– attrib Samuel Johnson
Meaning 2: entrapping into argument
A captious question, sir, and yours is one,
Deserves an answer similar, or none.
– William Cowper, Tirocinium
pica – 1. abnormal craving to eat inedible substances, such as chalk, ash, dirt
. . . . . .2. a printer's measure, equaling 1/6 in. (in typewriters, a certain type-style of 10 char/in.)
The 'pica' craving is sometimes seen in pregnancy, and in certain nutritional deficiencies or mental disorders.
related terms: pie – a familiar kind of pastry
pied – patterned with separate colors (orig., black and white) in distinct patches
- Memphis Commercial Appeal, March 31, 2005
This then evolved in several directions.
1. For the bird's name, English added its own feminine reference. In slang, Margaret, Meg and Mag were used to scorn supposed 'female' traits, especially idle chatter (e.g. Magge tales = tall tales, nonsense). Our chattery bird's name evolved from pie to magget the py to magot-a-pie to maggoty-pie to maw-pie. Today we call it the magpie.
2. The coloration of the pie bird – black and white patches – came to be called pied, much as an item with spots is called spotted.
3. Pica, a craving to eat inedibles is from the pica bird's willingness to practically anything.
4. Pica, a type-size: Both names of the bird, pica and pie, were later used for the intricate rules which the Church devised to calculate Saints' days each year, based on the changing dates of Easter, etc. (The rules were devised in the late 1400s, as best I can tell.) It's not clear why the rules were so named; Perhaps the rules in print – or as we say "in black and white" – recalled the coloring of the bird.
. . .'Pica' as a print style is thought to derive from these document, for many print styles (pica, canon, brevier, primer) track the names for ecclesiastical documents. However, there is no know copy of the pica rules printed in pica type.
5. Pie: a pastry-dish: Very soon pie was used to name the bird, it also came to be used for a food of multiple ingredients baked in pastry, like a chicken pot pie. (This later evolved to include today's fruit pies.) With such quick timing, it's thought that the pie food comes from the pie bird. (As a parallel, notice the similarity between haggis and haggess – haggis being another food of multiple meats, and haggess an old name for the magpie (from agace, its sometime-name in French).
. . .Why would the pastry be named for the bird? Perhaps, as some say, because it collects various items just as the bird has multiple colors and filches all sorts of trinkets. But I'd think that the more likely connection is that the bird eats all sorts of foods, indeed almost anything, and the pastry dish too can hold almost any miscellaneous leftovers the cook may have on hand.This message has been edited. Last edited by: wordcrafter,
fustian (noun; also used as adj.)
– 1. a strong cotton fabric, thick and twilled; includes courduroy.
– 2. bombast¹; inflated, pompous language full of high-sounding words above the subject
[from Latin, or from El Fustat, a place in Cairo (or near Cairo, or an old name for Cairo]
¹Interestingly, 'bombast' also originally had a fabric meaning: "raw cotton"
– Keith Flett, New Statesman, Sept. 6, 2004
[Ambassador Minton] had a written speech with him – fustian and bombast, I imagine. But … he put the formal speech away. "I am about to do a very un-ambassadorial thing," he declared. "I am about to tell you what I really feel ." Perhaps Minton had inhaled too much acetone.
– Kurt Vonnegut, Cat's Cradle
Yossarian was unmoved by the fustian charade of the burial ceremony, and by Milo's crushing bereavement. The chaplain's voice floated up to him through the distance tenuously in an unintelligible, almost inaudible monotone, like a gaseous murmur
[and much later:] All he could ever see was Aarfy, with whose fustian moon-faced ineptitude he had finally lost all patience.
– Joseph Heller, Catch 22
– Richard Mullen, Contemporary Review, April, 2000
Here's a bit more about Fustat.
It looks like the ancient Fustat is within modern-day Cairo.
The question I've always wanted answered is what is the Latin form of Cairo?
Two words today. In each case the first meaning seems quite useful, but is in fact very rarely used.
palladian – 1. relating to wisdom or study [from Pallas Athena, the goddess of wisdom.]
– 2. of the neoclassical major architectural style that was extremely in 18th century Britain.
[after Andrea Palladio, 16th cent. architect from whom this style is derived. The U.S. White House is an example of Palladian architecture. See here, a picture being worth a thousand words.]
– William Strauss, The Fourth Turning
- 2. an old surgical instrument to cut into the skull to relieve pressure (or a like boring instrument for mining). (verb: to use a trepan; to bore.)
– Thomas Paine, To General Sir William Howe
You can void your warranty [if you] open your iPod. … external modifications can void your warranty to. For example, if you choose to trepan your iPod so as to screw a holder directly onto it, you would void your warranty.
– Guy Hart-Davis, How to Do Everything with Your iPod
– 1. the red fleshy skin hanging at the throat of a turkey or chicken, or like neck-skin on other birds or on lizards
– 2. a framework of stakes with branches interwoven, to form a fence.
[wattle and daub – the same, overlaid with clay, as a construction material.]
The two meanings are probably unrelated etymologically.
– James Joyce, Ulysses
As soon as you had crossed the drawbridgetop of the village street – it had only one street – and this extended for about half a mile, with thatched houses of wattles and daub on either side of it.
– T. H. White, The Once and Future King
Wattle and daub is much as you suggest but clay is not the only constituent. Used on its own it would be too friable once it had dried. Daub used an extra ingredient - cow dung - which was mixed with the clay. Its fibres helped ensure that the resulting surface had flxibility (important for wood-framed buildings of the era as they didn't have the rigidity of more modern designs).
Yesterday I had a drink at the Black Horse in Nuthurst http://www.pubinnguide.com/pubdetailsidx60.asp That still has a section of wattle and daub wall which was uncovered during maintenance work and is now preserved under a glass panel. Strangely this website, although it mentions the wattle and daub, don't show it. In fact, it is the section of wall just to the left of the fireplace in the third picture.
frottage [based on F. for 'rubbing'] –
– 1. in art, the technique of creating a design by rubbing soft charcoal, or the like, over paper which has been placed over an uneven surface
– 2. in life, the practice of rubbing against a clothed person for (ahem) gratification, as in a crowd
British newspapers, particularly The Independent, seem especially fond of 'frottage' in the latter sense.
– Reginald Hill, Good Morning, Midnight
When Miranda denies an insurance claim by phone, she first consoles the would-be claimant with a free vocal massage (for male callers it's closer to a vocal frottage) … Miranda sounds as if she's ready to propose a dinner-date. Until she gets the information she needs to deny the claim, whereupon the telephone romance ends.
– Richard Dooling, Bet Your Life
– Carol Strickland & John Boswell, The Annotated Mona Lisa: A Crash Course in Art History
Strindberg … invented frottage, the making of rubbings from other objects, half a century before Max Ernst incorporated them into his work.
– Tom Rosenthal, The Independent on Sunday, January, 2005
Re 'trepan': A song from Gilbert & Sullivan's Princess Ida, extremely politically-incorrect, but hilarious. (The offensive word is in the original; the text for modern performances is cleaned up.)
Florian: A Woman's college! maddest folly going! / What can girls learn within its walls worth knowing? Hilarion: Hush, scoffer; ere you sound your puny thunder, / List to their aims, and bow your head in wonder!
They intend to send a wire to the moon (to the moon);
And they'll set the Thames on fire very soon (very soon);
Then they'll learn to make silk purses with their rigs (with their rigs)
From the ears of Lady Circe's piggy-wigs (piggy-wigs).
And weasels at their slumbers they trepan (they trepan);
To get sunbeams from cucumbers they've a plan (they've a plan).
They've a firmly rooted notion
They can cross the Polar Ocean,
And they'll find Perpetual Motion, if they can (if they can).
(chorus) These are the phenomena that ev'ry pretty domina
Is hoping at her Universitee we shall see.
These are the phenomena that ev'ry pretty domina
Is hoping at her Universitee we shall see!
As for fashion, they forswear it, so they say (so they say);
And the circle -- they will square it some fine day (some fine day);
Then the little pigs they're teaching for to fly (for to fly);
And the niggers they'll be bleaching, by and by (by and by)!
Each newly joined aspirant to the clan (to the clan)
Must repudiate the tyrant known as Man (known as Man).
They'll mock at him and flout him,
For they do not care about him
And they're "going to do without him" if they can (if they can)! (chorus)This message has been edited. Last edited by: Hic et ubique,
Which meaning of trepan is intended here? Are they catching sleeping weasels or conducting brain surgery on them?
Enquiring minds want to know.
Build a man a fire and he's warm for a day. Set a man on fire and he's warm for the rest of his life.