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Have you met people of the sorts we'll name or describe this week?

polymath– a person of great or varied learning
quote:
He seems a paradigmatic figure of the new science, and not just because frustration comes more often than triumph. He was the ultimate polymath when "natural philosophers" had not yet begun to specialize. The great chemist Robert Boyle, his employer, was famed as a moralist; Christopher Wren was better known to colleagues as an astronomer than an architect, and Newton won renown for his optics as well as for his gravitational theories and the calculus. But the diversity of Hooke's record trumped them all.
– Derek Hirst, reviewing Lisa Jardie's biography of Robert Hooke, in The New York Times. Excellent article, as published in International Herald Tribune, June 1, 2004
Bonus word:
paradigm
– something that serves as a model, example, or pattern
Per AHD, 'paradigm' is also used to mean 'the prevailing view of things', but the experts are evenly split over whether that use is approved. Example: The paradigm governing international competition and competitiveness has shifted dramatically.
 
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mossback – a very old-fashioned person, one with ancient views or thinking; an old fogy
quote:
He had just one strategy – attack, attack, attack, carry the fight to the enemy's camp. He hammered the Republicans relentlessly, in speeches. The 80th Congress, he said at Reno, Nevada, was run by a "bunch of old mossbacks still living back in 1890." The country must not go backward, he would keep saying over and over...
– David McCullough, Truman

Churchill in 1912 set out to reform the Royal Navy. He eliminated the dreadnoughts and replaced them with more mobile battleships. Then he sent into early retirement many mossback admirals.
– James C. Humes, The Wit & Wisdom of Winston Churchill
 
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mendicant – a beggar adj: begging for a living.
[The word is also used for religious orders that at one time so supported themselves. It is most often found in a religious concext.]
quote:
A mendicant at a mosque in Ennore paid with his life for making an indecent proposal to another comrade-at-alms, who, nursing a grudge over the beggar-friend's amorous interest towards his wife, invited him home for a drink and slashed his throat with a knife.
– News Today, India, May 25, 2004 (nice pun there)

The real lesson for South Australia ... is that it needs to shake off the culture of the mendicant state, dependent on uneconomic, sheltered industries and large handouts from the taxpayers.
– Alan Wood, Car market overheats, The Australian, May 25, 2004

Odysseus came through his own doorway as a mendicant, humped like a bundle of rags over his stick.
– The Odyessy, Bk. XVII (Fitzgerald translation)
 
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In my youth, before I discovered my mortality, I used to yell "death to mendicants!" at panhandlers.
 
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I wonder if there's any connection between 'mendicant' and "mendacious: lying, untruthful".
 
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Gamin has two different meanings depending on whether it is used for a male or a female. Gamine, which has two related meanings, is exclusively female.

gamin (male) – boy who hangs around on the streets; a street urchin.
The word carries the implication of a clever, roguish child.
quote:
What boy well raised can compare with your street gamin who has the knowledge and shrewdness of a grown-up broker.
– Elbert Hubbard (1856–1915), American author/publisher. Hubbard wrote "A Message to Garcia" (1899). He died on the ship Lusitania when it was sunk by a German submarine.
Gamine, the feminine form, has a second meaning not pertaing to the streets:
Gamine (female) –
1. feminine form of gamin above
2. a playfully mischievous girl or woman of impish appeal. (One source adds that she "is thin, short-haired and attractively like a young boy in appearance: Her newly cropped hair gives her a fashionably gamine look")

Coming full circle:
gamin (female) - a gamine in the second, impish sense.
Most dictionaries omit this female meaning of gamin, but examples in use are not hard to find. I give but one – reluctantly omitting more from The Happy Hooker, Valley of the Dolls, and Robert Ludlum novels – and have put a long one below.
quote:
Kate was so beautiful, with the gamin quality of a Meg Ryan or Goldie Hawn, a perky, carefree perfection that Charlie greatly envied.
– Shirley Rousseau Murphy, Cat Fear No Evil

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First salvo of the 1952 advertising campaign for Revlon's Fire and Ice Cosmetics, which was called the most memorable of Revlon's promotions and the one which has made a permanent impression on the cosmetics business.

What is the American girl made of? Sugar and spice and everything nice? Not since the days of the Gibson Girl! There's a new American beauty. . . . She's tease and temptress, siren and gamin, dynamic and demure. Men find her slightly, delightfully baffling. Sometimes a little maddening. Yet they admit she's easily the most exciting woman in all the world! She's the 1952 American beauty with a foolproof formula for melting a male! She's the "Fire and Ice" girl. (Are you?)
    Have you ever danced with your shoes off?
    Do you ever wish on a new moon?
    Do you blush when you find yourself flirting?
    When a recipe calls for one dash of bitters, do you think it's better with two?
    Do you secretly hope the next man you meet will be a psychiatrist?
    Do you sometimes feel that other women resent you?
    Have you ever wanted to wear an ankle bracelet?
    Do sables excite you, even on other women?
    Do you face crowded parties with panic – then wind up having a wonderful time?
    Does gypsy music make you sad?
    Do you think any man really understands you?
    Would you streak your hair with platinum without telling your husband?
    If tourist flights were running would you take a trip to Mars?
    Do you close your eyes when you're kissed?
Can you honestly answer "yes" to at least eight of these questions? Then you're made for "Fire and Ice"!
 
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Today, for Father's Day, fathers may may indulge in a little innocent flânerie.

flaneur (fem. (flaneuse) - an aimless idler; a loafer
[implies, but not limited to, idle strolling. from F. flâner, to idle about, stroll]
(flânerie: the occupation [or lack thereof])
quote:
There is a titanic story beneath all this, where the aspirations of postindependence African nationalism are sidetracked by personal hubris and competing notions of art and culture. Masekela cannot fully tell it. But he lived it, almost as a flaneur, and it keeps the story of a wastrel somehow emblematic.
- Eric Weisbard, New York Times, June 11, 2004, reviewing Still Grazing: The Musical Journey of Hugh Masekela by Hugh Masekela and D. Michael Cheers

Perhaps you are a naturally slothful person, sluggish and indolent, a dawdling flaneur, content to waste his life spread eagled on pillows forever indulging himself in the pleasures of the palm.
- Episode of The League of Gentlemen, broadcast 25 Jan 1999; titled Nightmare in Royston Vasey
Note: flaneur is a pejorative term, but (despite this quote) not a sexual one.
Bonus word:
wastrel
- 1. a spendthrift; one who squanders money 2. An idler; a loafer; a good-for-nothing
 
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I wonder if there's any connection between 'mendicant' and "mendacious: lying, untruthful".

I thought not, but Pokorny does so. Mendax and mendico 'to beg, ask for charity' are supposed to be from the PIE root *mend- 'defect, error, flaw'. Also emendo 'to be free from faults'.
 
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latitudinarianadj: broadminded; permissive; undogmatic noun: a person of such attitude.
[pertains particularly to religious matters, but not always. see quotes below]

quote:
Holmes was exacting in construing a statute and latitudinarian in construing powers under the Constitution. He often said that there was nothing in the Constitution that prevented the country from going to hell if it chose to.
– Max Lerner, The Mind and Faith of Justice Holmes (1954)

[On U.S. senators of adjacent states, each claiming their own state originated baseball: ] [Senator] Frank Lautenberg of New Jersey wants June 19 declared "National Baseball Day." His resolution originally was supported by New York's Pat Moynihan, who at that point was somewhat of a latitudinarian regarding baseball's provenance. Moynihan has since defected to the D'Amato insurgency."
– George Will, Hard Feelings along the Lower Hudson River, June 2, 1996, in his book Bunts

Mr. Newdow seeks through this lawsuit to force all public schools to banish any statement that might be construed as a reference to religious values, no mater how benign, latitudinarian, or important that expression may be to the inculcation of civic virtue.
– Brief to U.S. Supreme Court, in case on whether school may require children to recite a daily pledge that includes reference to "God" (2003)

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Here are three gradations of the antynom of our flânerie of Father's Day.

ergophile – one who loves work

ergomaniac – a workaholic

karoshi – death caused by overwork or job-related exhaustion.
[This is a Japanese term, but it is coming into English and is now listed in OED. Karoshi is a major cause of death in Japan.]

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