Offal

Considered either waste material or delicacy, depending on the cultural context, offal is the entrails and internal organs of a butchered animal. It is prepared and consumed in a myriad of ways throughout the world. In the Philippines, pig intestines are used to make a type of blood sausage called Dinuguan, and in Pakistan, livers, […]

curare

Definition: (noun) A toxic alkaloid found in certain tropical South American trees that is a powerful relaxant for striated muscles. Synonyms: tubocurarine. Usage: The arrow was usually tipped with a poison, such as curare, which would stun or kill the struck prey. Discuss …read more

The Mortarboard Cap

The pileus quadratus, a type of Roman skullcap topped with a horizontal square board, has given rise to a number of similar cap styles, among them the biretta worn by the Roman Catholic clergy and the academic mortarboard cap. The academic headgear is embellished with a tassel or liripipe, which may be dyed black, colored […]

pâro

pâro n. the feeling that no matter what you do is always somehow wrong—as if there’s some obvious way forward that everybody else can see but you, each of them leaning back in their chair and calling out helpfully, “colder, colder, colder…” …read more

“Selling Airplanes”

On Aug. 7, 1955, Boeing’s chief of flight testing, the legendary Alvin “Tex” Johnston, pulled an impressive stunt in the prototype of the Boeing 707. Johnston didn’t just do a flyover. No. At a speed of 490 miles an hour, Johnston executed a barrel roll. The stunt, called a Barrel Roll, was performed in front […]

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, until the memory itself feels out of place, almost mythical, wandering restlessly in the fog, no […]

Parietal Eyes

Lizards, frogs, lampreys, and some fish species possess a unique organ known as a third, or parietal, eye. Though referred to as an “eye,” this photoreceptive organ does not “see” in the same way that a standard eye does. Instead, it uses a different biochemical method of detecting light than normal eyes and helps regulate […]

onomatopoeia

Onomatopoeia noun is a word which itself sounds like what the word means: Bang, crackle, zip, ha-ha, etc. https://literarydevices.net/onomatopoeia/ Here is a HUGE list of ONOMATOPOEIC words used in complete sentences. You’ll love these original onomatopoeia examples. http://www.ereadingworksheets.com/figurative-language/poetic-devices/onomatopoeia-examples/

windsock

windsock Definition: (noun) A tapered, open-ended sleeve pivotally attached to a standard, that indicates the direction of the wind blowing through it. Synonyms: drogue, air sock, wind cone. Usage: The air traffic controller noted that the airport’s windsock was fully extended. Discuss …read more

Synchronicity

A term coined by psychologist Carl Jung to describe what he called “meaningful coincidences,” synchronicity is the experience of two or more causally unrelated events that are conceptually similar and have very little chance of occurring together randomly—such as the discovery of the same idea by two different people at approximately the same time. Although […]

Disabuse

Disabuse verb Sounds like it has something to with stopping abuse, but really means to persuade someone to a view contrary to their own. Disabuse means to free someone of a belief that is not true. Many teachers of health find that when they teach, they spend as much energy disabusing kids of false beliefs as […]

watchword

Definition: (noun) A slogan used to rally support for a cause. Synonyms: cry. Usage: “Fight and fall, but fly not,” that was our watchword. …read more

abase

Definition: (verb) Cause to feel shame; hurt the pride of. Synonyms: chagrin, humiliate, humble, mortify. Usage: Today she overwhelmed me with shrill reproaches, and abased me to the level of a hearth-brush. …read more

skinflint

Definition: (noun) A selfish person who is unwilling to give or spend. Synonyms: scrooge, churl, niggard. Usage: He had earned for himself the reputation of an awful skinflint, of a miser in the matter of living. Discuss …read more

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

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