Wordcraft Home Page    Wordcraft Community Home Page    Forums  Hop To Forum Categories  The Vocabulary Forum    Learning New Words
Go
New
Find
Notify
Tools
Reply
  
Learning New Words Login/Join
 
Member
Picture of wordcrafter
posted
How many words does an average person know? Many! A youngster is a linguistic vacuum cleaner, sucking up new words at an incredible pace.¹

We adults are of course less voracious. Yet upon reflection I was surprised new words we adults come across, even those of us who already have large vocabularies. This week I’ll present words, new to me, that I’ve come across in the last few weeks. (And I mean “come across” – these are not words I dug up in a word-hunt through dictionaries, word-lists, etc.)

Here’s one I heard in a broadcast of the Olympics.

pelotoncompetitive cycling: a densely packed group of riders, sheltering in each others' draft. In a mass-start race, most riders ride in one large peloton for most of the race.
[from French for a rolled up small ball. A related word, peloter, means “to caress sensually; to cuddle”.]
[The broadcaster used it in a rowing race, referring to the pack of coaches, etc., who bicycled along the riverbank, keeping abreast with the racing boats while shouting instructions.]
    … they did not even mount a serious challenge, attacking twice, but failing to make a significant breakaway from the peloton.
    – The Times, Aug. 20, 2008

¹ The most sophisticated estimate [is that] an average American high school graduate knows 45,000 words. If proper names, acronyms [etc.] had been included, the average would probably be something like 60,000 words.
. . .Is 60,000 words a lot or a little? Word learning generally begins around the age of twelve months. Therefore, high school graduates, who have been at it for about seventeen years, must have been learning an average of ten new words a day continuously since their first birthdays, or about a new word every ninety waking minutes.
. . .Remember that are talking about listemes, each involving an arbitrary pairing [of sound with meaning]. Think about having to memorize a new batting average or treaty date or phone number every ninety minutes of your waking life since you took your first steps.
– Steven Pinker, The Language Instinct (ellipses omitted)

This message has been edited. Last edited by: wordcrafter,
 
Posts: 2670Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Member
Picture of zmježd
posted Hide Post
peloton

Etymology: French peloton 'small ball' < pelote 'ball' < Vulgar Latin *pilotta 'small ball' < Latin pila 'ball'; French peloton > English platoon, English pill from Latin pila via Dutch and French, platooning is a phenomenon in traffic where cars are traveling together in close proximity, as after a signal light has changed to green.


Ceci n'est pas un seing.
 
Posts: 5085 | Location: R'lyehReply With QuoteReport This Post
Member
posted Hide Post
...and a relative of the pelota from jai alai and Mesoamerican ballgames (without the human sacrifice of course).


RJA
 
Posts: 485 | Location: Westport CTReply With QuoteReport This Post
Member
Picture of Proofreader
posted Hide Post
quote:
(without the human sacrifice of course).

Which makes the game much less interesting.


Give a man a fish and he can eat for one day; give a man a fishing pole and he will find an excuse to never work again.
Nollidj is power.
 
Posts: 6002 | Location: Rhode IslandReply With QuoteReport This Post
Member
Picture of wordcrafter
posted Hide Post
Speaking of human sacrifice …

tawse – a leather strap used for disciplining children
OED says that it is “used in Scottish and many English schools.” Ugh.
    Academic standards were high and the teachers there took their job seriously. They were quite determined that we would master our subjects and any slackness was quickly followed by a few strokes of the leather `tawse’.
    – James Herriot, James Herriot's Dog Stories (author’s introduction)

    The chief use of friendship is to inflict pain. Our friends are so many lashes on the great tawse by which we are daily lacerated.
    – Virginia Woolf, as quoted in Virginia Woolf by Hermione Lee
    Apparently the publisher censored this from Woolf’s manuscript.
What new words have you learned recently? PMs are welcome.
 
Posts: 2670Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Member
Picture of jerry thomas
posted Hide Post
New words?

Here's one ....... "feck."


"We grew up ignorant in Limerick, so we did, knowing feck all about anything ...... " Angela's Ashes, by Frank McCourt, p. 68
 
Posts: 6710 | Location: Kehena Beach, Hawaii, U.S.A.Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Member
Picture of arnie
posted Hide Post
New to you, maybe ...

The dictionary you cite leaves out feck's most common use nowadays; particularly in Ireland. It's used as an all-purpose expletive, in effect a replacement for "fuck". A better source for a definition is Wikipedia.


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.
 
Posts: 10930 | Location: LondonReply With QuoteReport This Post
Member
Picture of jerry thomas
posted Hide Post
Thank you, Arnie. If I ever again come across a word that is new to me, I will know more about how to deal with it due to your comment. I'll probably send a PM to Wordcrafter instead of exposing my ignorance to the whole feckin world. Roll Eyes
 
Posts: 6710 | Location: Kehena Beach, Hawaii, U.S.A.Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Member
Picture of arnie
posted Hide Post
Jerry,

Sorry, I didn't mean to sound condescending. I should have included a smiley in post, perhaps.

There's no reason why you should have come across the word unless you'd been to Ireland or perhaps watched the TV show Father Ted, where one character uses it in practically every other utterance. The other word is "Drink!" by the way. Wink


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.
 
Posts: 10930 | Location: LondonReply With QuoteReport This Post
Member
Picture of wordcrafter
posted Hide Post
Today, a delicious word. It’s from German sitzen “to sit” + Fleisch “flesh”; hence “sitting on your fanny”.

Sitzfleisch – the ability to endure or persist in some activity [Characteristically German?]
I would say this has two slightly-different senses.

1. plodding, unrelenting persistence at a task
    The right-winger substitutes Sitzfleisch, unrelieved and unrelenting labor, for flashy outbreaks of genius.
    – The Nation, June 21, 2004

    [Paleontologist Harry] Whittington is meticulous and conservative … – exactly the opposite of anyone’s image for an agent of intellectual transformation. He is, by temperament, a man of ideas, but happily possessed of the patience and Sitzfleisch needed to stare at blobs on rocks for hours on end.
    – Stephen Jay Gould, Wonderful Life: The Burgess Shale and the Nature of History
2. the ability to sit still and tolerate something boring
    Sitzfleisch is also needed for some O'Neill plays and nearly every Wagner opera.
    – New York Times, Dec. 3, 1987

    The school degree really tells you something: that it's sitzfleisch [the ability to sit still] that counts.
    – Boston Globe, Nov. 26, 1996
 
Posts: 2670Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Member
Picture of bethree5
posted Hide Post
This reminds me of a compound expression invented by young law associates I once knew. They reported to a verbose and pedantic old partner who liked an audience, and drew lots as to whose turn it was to "boobstool" (sit on a stool like a boob).
 
Posts: 2050 | Location: As they say at 101.5FM: Not New York... Not Philadelphia... PROUD TO BE NEW JERSEY!Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Member
Picture of wordcrafter
posted Hide Post
Here’s another word I picked up from watching the Beijing Olympics. An interesting root-meaning.

repechage (or repêchage) – a trial heat (esp. in rowing) where competitors who have lost a heat get another chance to qualify for the semifinals or finals
[from French, with literal meaning of “to fish up again”; re- + pêcher to fish]
[pronounce last syllable -shäzh; accent on last syllable or on first]
    After the first round loss, now all the hopes for Rajiv would lie on the Repechage round.
    – Times of India, Aug. 20, 2008

    They cruised to victory in the repechage yesterday (Wednesday) to take their place in the six-team final.
    – Kent News (UK), Sept. 11, 2008

    The eight finished second in its qualifying heat, which meant it had to row in the repechage to try to win a place in the final.
    – Minneapolis Star Tribune, Aug. 17, 2008
 
Posts: 2670Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Member
Picture of wordcrafter
posted Hide Post
I picked up this word at an art show three weeks ago, when I asked an artist about the work she displayed.

cloisonné (pronounced klwaazonay) – a kind of decorative enamelwork: areas are outlined by metal filaments mounted on a backing, and are then filled in with enamel of different colors
[from French for ‘partitioned’; ultimately from Latin claudere to close, lock]
    Annie examined the large cloisonné leopard in delight. … The exotic, intricate cloisonné design was worked gold and green and turquoise over black. The spectacular beast had brilliant green eyes and sported a jeweled collar.
    – Jayne Ann Krentz, Wildest Hearts
 
Posts: 2670Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Member
Picture of bethree5
posted Hide Post
The etymology on that word is interesting. Used to hear a lot about cloisonné in the 1980's (although usually heard it pronounced the anglicized way, 'cloy-zuh-nay'), when my mother was still a buyer for an antique shop specializing in jewelry. That was the decade I was having my kids, & pregnant women were warned to stay away from it. I've never bought any since then-- but I still love to wear my old cloisonné earrings.
 
Posts: 2050 | Location: As they say at 101.5FM: Not New York... Not Philadelphia... PROUD TO BE NEW JERSEY!Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Member
posted Hide Post
quote:
pregnant women were warned to stay away from it.

Now that's a new one on me. Google shows nothing related in a search of "cloisonne pregnancy", though the top hit is for a necklace advertised in Pregnancy Magazine, and further down the page is this this button.

A little further down is a cloissonne white daisy, which is the symbol for teen-age pregnancy prevention month.

It wouldn't surprise me to learn that expectant folks should avoid the making of cloissonne products, but simply wearing them?
 
Posts: 371Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Member
Picture of wordcrafter
posted Hide Post
Do you watch the newsstands? Just a few days ago a new term and technology came into popular-press use, when the current issue of Esquire Magazine hit the newsstands. Part of the magazine-cover in printed is electronic ink.As best I can tell, all prior use and definition of the term (and there is a lot of it) concerns the technological method, not the resulting product. So I’ll be the first to assay defining it in the ordinary way, in terms of what it presents to the user.

electronic ink – a coated substance, of paper-like thickness and flexibility, whose colors at each point can be changed (by electric stimulus) to produce changing text and images
 
Posts: 2670Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Member
posted Hide Post
Sound rather like flat screen TV, where signals illuminate pixels.

This takes the next step and makes the surface flexible...


RJA
 
Posts: 485 | Location: Westport CTReply With QuoteReport This Post
Member
Picture of Proofreader
posted Hide Post
Dows this mean tactile porn is the next step?


Give a man a fish and he can eat for one day; give a man a fishing pole and he will find an excuse to never work again.
Nollidj is power.
 
Posts: 6002 | Location: Rhode IslandReply With QuoteReport This Post
Member
Picture of zmježd
posted Hide Post
tactile porn

Well, the concept of teledildonics (as well as the term) has been around for just over 30 years (link). (Cf. haptics (link).) Electronic paper (link) has been around almost as long. (Like some much that we take for granted computer-wise these days, it was invented at Xerox Palo Alto Research Center (PARC).) Cost has been the major obstacle in the adoption of both technologies.


Ceci n'est pas un seing.
 
Posts: 5085 | Location: R'lyehReply With QuoteReport This Post
Member
Picture of wordcrafter
posted Hide Post
This term was picked up while channel-surfing, from the show What Not to Wear.

ruched or rouchedwomen’s clothing: having prominent pleating, as a decorative feature

Notice these three illustrations. The dictionaries seem to say rouche is a kind of trim or edging. But the pictures show that the pleating may be part of the main fabric, rather than an add-on.

A recent example:
    Conveniently, on the rack next door, I also spy a cotton dress with a trendy ruched top for just £17, reduced from £19.99.
    – Mirror (on-line), UK, Aug. 28, 2008
Interesting etymology. Ruche traces back to Old French rusche “beehive” (often made of plaited straw), and some take it further back to Medieval Latin rusca “bark of a tree” (used for making beehives). I’m speculating that it may be akin to rustic, which would be an odd pairing of rustic simplicity with ruched sophistication.
 
Posts: 2670Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Member
Picture of bethree5
posted Hide Post
quote:
Originally posted by Valentine:
...It wouldn't surprise me to learn that expectant folks should avoid the making of cloissonne products, but simply wearing them?

You get more hits on this with 'cloisonné radiation', but the issue seems to have been limited to a 1983 alert about jewelry made in China-- the amount of radiation apparently considered similar to that obtained by wearing a watch whose numerals are picked out in 'glow-in-the-dark' paint. The only recent thing I found was a 2006 posting for a cloisonné-decorated cigarette case made with "radiation-free cloisonné powderfrom Europe." (Gosh, I'm so glad my CIGARETTES are in a case made with RADIATION-FREE cloisonné powder Roll Eyes)
 
Posts: 2050 | Location: As they say at 101.5FM: Not New York... Not Philadelphia... PROUD TO BE NEW JERSEY!Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Member
posted Hide Post
quote:
the amount of radiation apparently considered similar to that obtained by wearing a watch whose numerals are picked out in 'glow-in-the-dark' paint.

In other words, Much Ado About Nothing.
 
Posts: 371Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Member
Picture of Proofreader
posted Hide Post
My wife has worn that jewelry for years and, since we've been married, I haven't had to buy one night light.


Give a man a fish and he can eat for one day; give a man a fishing pole and he will find an excuse to never work again.
Nollidj is power.
 
Posts: 6002 | Location: Rhode IslandReply With QuoteReport This Post
Member
posted Hide Post
quote:
the amount of radiation apparently considered similar to that obtained by wearing a watch whose numerals are picked out in 'glow-in-the-dark' paint.


In other words, Much Ado About Nothing.

Not necessarily. It would depend on how often you wore the jewelry. Based on the numbers given here,
if you wore it one day a week for 52 weeks you would get an annual dose of about 3.6 rem. Compared with other sources (plutonium powered pacemaker: 0.1 rem/year, upper G.I.: 0.3 rem/procedure) it could be a pretty significant source.

Also, the comparison with glow-in-the-dark paint is misleading. In the old days, glow-in-the-dark paint was radioluminescent which means it contained a radioactive source that caused the paint to glow continuously. Modern glow-in-the-dark paint is phosphorescent: it contains no radioactive source and needs to be charged up with light before it will emit photons.
 
Posts: 1245 | Location: San FranciscoReply With QuoteReport This Post
Junior Member
posted Hide Post
i found lot of words from here in this website
www.vocabularywiki.com
 
Posts: 1Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Junior Member
posted Hide Post
I would like to add my new word for the day:

Verisimilitude

...is a noun meaning “an appearance of truth.”

Example: “The new wig and the heavy application of makeup gave her the verisimilitude of health, but we all knew that she did not have long to live.”

Check this link for a daily dose of English vocabulary: http://www.ultimatevocabulary.com/blog/
 
Posts: 3Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Member
Picture of Richard English
posted Hide Post
Welcome Mae and thank you for this useful contribution. I would only add that, although the definition you give is accurate, I would suggest that verisimilitude, while giving an appearance of truth to something, does not automatically mean that such an appearance is inaccurate, as is the case in your exemplar sentence.


Richard English
 
Posts: 8037 | Location: Partridge Green, West Sussex, UKReply With QuoteReport This Post
  Powered by Social Strata  
 

Wordcraft Home Page    Wordcraft Community Home Page    Forums  Hop To Forum Categories  The Vocabulary Forum    Learning New Words

Copyright © 2002-12