lariat

Definition: (noun) A long noosed rope used to catch animals. Synonyms: riata, lasso. Usage: He spent his days chasing after fleeing cattle, roping them with his lariat and bringing them back to the ranch. Discuss …read more

The Daguerreotype

The daguerreotype, an early form of photograph, was invented by Louis Daguerre in the early 19th c. He collaborated with J. Nicéphore Niepce, who created the first permanent photograph, but completed the design alone following his partner’s sudden death. A daguerreotype, produced on a silver-plated copper sheet, produces a mirror image photograph of the exposed […]

The Didgeridoo

The didgeridoo, developed by the Australian Aborigines, is perhaps the world’s oldest wind instrument. Though the exact age of the didgeridoo is unknown, studies of rock art in northern Australia suggest that the Aboriginal people have been using it for approximately 1,500 years. Didgeridoos measure about 4 ft (1.5 m) in length and are made […]

refractory

Definition: (adjective) Obstinately resistant to authority or control. Synonyms: fractious, recalcitrant. Usage: He still made a naughty or refractory lad stand with one arm stretched out for anything from ten minutes to half an hour. Discuss …read more

hackneyed

Definition: (adjective) Repeated too often; overfamiliar through overuse. Synonyms: banal, old-hat, stock, threadbare, timeworn, trite, well-worn, tired, shopworn, commonplace. Usage: For God’s sake do not thrust upon me your hackneyed remarks, repeated to nausea, that “I was only a dreamer,” while they even then had an understanding of life. Discuss …read more

shivaree

Definition: (noun) A noisy mock serenade for newlyweds. Synonyms: belling, callithump. Usage: The clamorous shivaree stood in stark contrast to the refined, reserved marital ceremony it followed. Discuss …read more

granger

Definition: (noun) A person who operates a farm. Synonyms: sodbuster, farmer, husbandman. Usage: Their lands had been bought long ago, and the grangers moved to the city to find work as manual laborers. Discuss …read more

Does It Pass the ‘Smell Test?’

smell test ‎(plural smell tests) (idiomatic) An informal method for determining whether something is authentic, credible, or ethical, by using one’s common sense or sense of propriety. An inspection of an object using the sense of smell, as for freshness of food. (physiology) An assessment of a subject’s ability to detect and distinguish odors. https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/smell_test

annihilative

Definition: (adjective) Wreaking or capable of wreaking complete destruction. Synonyms: withering, devastating. Usage: The possession of annihilative power has not slowed down the drive toward even more fiendish modes of inflicting wholesale death. Discuss …read more

Mimesis

Mimesis is the imitation or representation of nature and human behavior in art. According to Plato, all artistic works are mere imitations of that which exists. Because the substantive reality perceived by man is only a reflection of a higher truth, art is thrice removed from the truth. Aristotle believed that this necessary distance between […]

shenanigan

Definition: (noun) Reckless or malicious behavior that causes discomfort or annoyance in others. Synonyms: mischief, devilment, roguery, devilry, mischievousness, rascality. Usage: Mr. Jones had had enough of Billy’s shenanigans and sent him to the principal’s office in the hopes that she would be able to straighten the unruly student out. Discuss …read more

Bezoar – It’s a Medical Term

A bezoar is a mass found trapped in the gastrointestinal system, though it can occur in other locations. A pseudobezoar is an indigestible object introduced intentionally into the digestive system. There are several varieties of bezoar, some of which have inorganic constituents and others organic. The term has both a modern (medical, scientific) and a […]

The Oxford Comma

In English language punctuation, a serial comma or series comma (also called Oxford comma and Harvard comma) is a comma placed immediately before the coordinating conjunction (usually and or or) in a series of three or more terms. Read More: Serial comma (Oxford comma) – Wikipedia

honky-tonk

Definition: (noun) A cheap, noisy bar or dance hall. Synonyms: barrelhouse. Usage: The missionaries went to the honky-tonk on a Saturday night hoping to save souls, but they were not very successful. Discuss …read more

Jongleur – (folk singer, minstrel, poet-singer, troubadour)

Definition: (noun) A wandering minstrel, poet, or entertainer in medieval England and France. Synonyms: folk singer, minstrel, poet-singer, troubadour. Usage: The group of jongleurs was so popular that King Edward requested a private performance. …read more

Adoxography

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia Adoxography is a term coined in the late 19th century, and means “fine writing on a trivial or base subject”. It was a form of rhetorical exercise “in which the legitimate methods of the encomium are applied to persons or objects in themselves obviously unworthy of praise, as being trivial, […]

exulansis

exulansis n. the tendency to give up trying to talk about an experience because people are unable to relate to it—whether through envy or pity or simple foreignness—which allows it to drift away from the rest of your life story

deprecate v. to belittle

Definition: (verb) To belittle. Synonyms: depreciate. Usage: The teacher should not deprecate his student’s efforts. Discuss …read more

dispositive

dispositive – adjective – legal term directed toward or effecting a disposition (as of a case) <an endless variety of dispositive…pretrial motions — Robert Shaw-Meadow> relating to a disposition of property <dispositive words in a will> read more:http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/dispositive

Onism: The frustration of being stuck in just one body, that inhabits only one place at a time

onism n. the frustration of being stuck in just one body, that inhabits only one place at a time, which is like standing in front of the departures screen at an airport, flickering over with strange place names like other people’s passwords, each representing one more thing you’ll never get to see before you die—and […]

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