I'm feeling uncreative this week, and so will present miscellaneous words, without a theme. Maybe I can turn it into a theme as we go!
fourberie – trickery or deception
This word, from from Webster's Unabridged, is not in OED.
– Chris Noon, Forbes, July 18, 2005
I get 162,000 hits on Google but surprisingly only one in OneLook: http://onelook.com/?w=fourberie+&ls=a
suggesting it's either a rather recent term or it's obscure and obsolete. In this case it's apparently the latter; tho the number of hits suggest it's making a comeback
However I've noted it's usu difficult to determine the age of an expression and especially its currency if it's making a comeback, without tediously checking out each hit, one by one. Surely there;'s an easier wayThis message has been edited. Last edited by: dalehileman,
You get so many hits because you're accepting all languages, and fourberie seems to be a reasonably common French word. If you set your Google preferences to "English" only, you'll get far-far-far fewer hits, and even many of them are French.
Today's word has an interesting variety of meanings.
chicane – 1. chicanery 2. bridge (game): a holding of no trumps 3. motor traffic or racing: a sharp double bend [or other obstacle made to slow traffic?]
– Winston Churchill, Marlborough: His Life and Times (Book Two)
London's most hated trafficcalming scheme - a brutal chicane that has caused scores of collisions - is being redesigned. … Motorists said it was so tight their cars collided with the kerbs, causing damage to tyres and wheels.
– David Williams, Evening Standard, Aug. 23, 2002
I'd prefer traffic-calming or perhaps traffic calming, but not that ugly compound word with an unnatural-looking double "c" in the middle.
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.
Kerbs? Curbs -- I had no idea we spell that differently.
Today, another word with divergent meanings.
1. a cheat; a swindler (verb: to dupe, cheat, trick or swindle)
2. to disturb or harry (cattle)
The first sense seems to come from Turkish chiaus, an official messenger. The story is that a Turkish chiaus, in England in 1609, swindled home-country merchants out of a substantial sum. But OED is skeptical of this tale.
obreptitious – making false statement to obtain something
In ecclesiastical law obreption is distinguished from subreption in that the former involves misstating facts, and the latter suppressing or failing to reveal facts. But the latter, like the familiar word surreptitious, has been generalized to cover both cases.
– Albert J Beveridge, The Life of John Marshall
I managed to create a theme of "deception and trickery words"
One of today's words is antique, the other modern, but notice how similar they are in each of their meanings.
tregetry – 1. juggling 2. deception; trickery
legerdemain – 1. sleight of hand; jugglery; conjuring tricks 2. trickery, deception, hocus-pocus
Upon a table of sicamour
Pleye an uncouthe thing to telle;
I saugh him carien a wind-melle [carry a windmill]
Under a walsh-note shale. [walnut shell]
– Geoffrey Chaucer, The House of Fame