No theme this week. The words will be miscellaneous ones.
homologate – to approve officially; in particular, to approve (a vehicle, etc.) for sale or for a class of racing
Used particularly of automobiles, motorbikes, etc., esp. in racing: an engine, tire, or track layout may be homogulated by the sport’s governing body.
[Latin homologare agree, from Greek homologein confess]
– Elvio Deganello and Arturo Rizzoli, Abarth: All the cars
It turns out, America is hell of a place to sell cars. The clientele has peculiar tastes, including engines more powerful and thirstier than buyers want overseas; federal safety and emissions requirements are usually more stringent than required by other countries; and every variance that carmakers are obliged to make in adapting a world car to U.S. regs—a process called homologation—costs money.
– Wall Street Journal, May 8, 2010
Here’s a delicious, rare word you won’t find in any dictionary – not even in OED, though it’s sufficiently common to be included there. Perhaps OED’s original editors excluded it out of priggishness?
entremetteur (masc.); entremetteuse (fem.) – a go-between for illicit sexual liaisons
– Charles Mackay, Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds (ellipses omitted)
Before marriage, men would employ the services of an entremetteuse to teach them the ways of love. These old women procured young women for the men.
– Janell L. Carroll, Sexuality Now: Embracing Diversity (ellipses omitted)
I don't think that entremetteur/entremetteuse should be included in English dictionaries. The word is French. Although some words in French are included, they are loan-words. The word was obviously used by the authors of the works cited to add some French spice to a sordid occupation. They could of course easily have used the English equivalents, such as procurer, pimp, or go-between.
That the word hasn't been adopted into English is evidenced by the use of italics, and the fact that it retains the French masculine and feminine endings.
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.
On the other hand, the OED includes other loanwords that are italicized, like entre nous, and words that still retain gender like masseur/masseuse.
The italics are mine, added to highlight the daily word.
In the Mackay work the word in italicized in some editions, but not in others. (My source, the Kindle edition, uses normal font.) In the Carrol work it appears in bold – the author's convention where she provides a definition of a term – not italicized.
Today’s word is a good one for Scrabble.
zona – an encircling garment (a girdle or belt), as a part of dress
A friend who knows of my love of words sent me this term in a delicious quote. So even though the word is almost never used this way (It’s usually a term of biology), that’s how we’ll present it.
. . ."Charlotte!" Half of the house looked over as Caroline's outraged shriek pierced the dinner conversation. "I . . . you . . . Charlotte" Caroline sputtered.
. . ."Yes, now that you have the question of pronouns and proper nouns settled, perhaps you would care to tell me what news you have?"
. . ."My bosom is neither here nor there," Caroline said with dignity as she opened her fan in a manner that hid the bodice of her dress.
. . ."My point exactly – it's nonexistent."
– Katie MacAlister, Nobel Destiny (ellipses omitted)
autodidact – a self-taught person
Our quote concerns a paradoxical man: “The amazing thing is that a man who treated people so heartlessly—wives, friends and family alike—could play music with such heart. This failed husband of of Ava Gardner, Lana Turner and others —there were eight in all – was “musical genius, personal wretch”. From the Wall Street Journal, May 14, 2010 (ellipses omitted):
Today's word, common in the early days of aviation, has thankfully become almost obsolete.
volplane – to glide toward the earth in an airplane with the engine cut off
An emergency measure.
[text] … They … had reached an altitude of 2,500 feet when they developed motor trouble and volplaned to earth.
– New York Times, Feb. 20, 1921
If it's a flying fox, is it a vulpine volplane?
I've long wondered about this archaic flying term. Since volplaning is always descending, is it really flying in the true sense?
It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society. -J. Krishnamurti