31 March 2009


At Joaquin's birthday party there was little quaffing. It is clear that age reduces quaff-age. Also, for my part, the traumatization from viewing older middle-aged drunkenness has greatly reduced my desire to quaff with gusto. DEF:
–verb (used without object)
1. to drink a beverage, esp. an intoxicating one, copiously and with hearty enjoyment.
–verb (used with object)
2. to drink (a beverage) copiously and heartily: We spent the whole evening quaffing ale.
3. an act or instance of quaffing.
4. a beverage quaffed.

1515–25; orig. uncert.
quaffer, noun
1. swallow, gulp, swig, guzzle. PS: Quaff-age is not a real word.

30 March 2009


The pellucid atmosphere is one of the things I enjoy about Tucson, but due to the windiness this afternoon there is a serious lack of pellucidity. The Tucson mountains are looking very hazy from my office window.

  1. Admitting the passage of light; transparent or translucent. See Synonyms at clear.
  2. Transparently clear in style or meaning: pellucid prose.

[Latin pellūcidus, from pellūcēre, to shine through : per-, through; see per- + lūcēre, to shine; see leuk- in Indo-European roots.]
pel·lu·cid'i·ty, pel·lu'cid·ness n., pel·lu'cid·ly adv.
(American Heritage)

27 March 2009


During my late, great return to youthfulness, I saw a rather twee singer whose music I liked but whose personality not so much.

–adjective Chiefly British.
affectedly dainty or quaint: twee writing about furry little creatures.

1900–05; appar. reduced from tweet (perh. via pron. twiʔ), mimicking child's pron. of sweet
Dictionary.com Unabridged

26 March 2009


After being invited to serve on a committee, Joe Schmoe wondered whether others would consider him to be a quisling or a stooge to the administration if he did serve on the committee.

n. A traitor who serves as the puppet of the enemy occupying his or her country.

[After Vidkun Quisling (1887-1945), head of Norway's government during the Nazi occupation (1940-1945).]

23 March 2009


Due to the materialistic insecurity these days everyone is desperate for free stuff. You think you are accumulating booty, but once the free frenzy has subsided you realize that you have just accumulated dross. I say, "Let us embrace our materialistic insecurity and lead dross-free lives."

  1. Waste or impure matter: discarded the dross after recycling the wood pulp.
  2. The scum that forms on the surface of molten metal as a result of oxidation.
  3. Worthless, commonplace, or trivial matter: "He was wide-awake and his mind worked clearly, purged of all dross" (Vladimir Nabokov).

[Middle English dros, from Old English drōs, dregs.]
dross'y adj.

20 March 2009


A special Friday posting. woo hoo!

Thanks to Henry Oyama and others like him, there is little need to use the word miscegenation.

The interbreeding of different races or of persons of different racial backgrounds.
Cohabitation, sexual relations, or marriage involving persons of different races.
A mixture or hybridization: "There was musical miscegenation at a time when segregation was the common rule" (Don McLeese).
//-->[Latin miscēre, to mix; see meik- in Indo-European roots + genus, race; see genə- in Indo-European roots + -ation.]
//--> mis·ceg'e·na'tion·al adj.

19 March 2009


A mundane malaise is weighing me down. Moreover, my macrocosm is malodorous with a malaise, that we can only wish were on the verge of being moribund.

  1. A vague feeling of bodily discomfort, as at the beginning of an illness.
  2. A general sense of depression or unease: "One year after the crash, the markets remain mired in a deep malaise" (New York Times).

[French, from Old French : mal-, mal- + aise, ease; see ease.]

  1. Approaching death; about to die.
  2. On the verge of becoming obsolete: moribund customs; a moribund way of life.

[Latin moribundus, from morī, to die; see mer- in Indo-European roots.]
mor'i·bun'di·ty (-bŭn'dĭ-tē) n., mor'i·bund'ly adv.
(American Heritage)

  1. Of, relating to, or typical of this world; secular.
  2. Relating to, characteristic of, or concerned with commonplaces; ordinary.

[Middle English mondeine, from Old French mondain, from Latin mundānus, from mundus, world.]
mun·dane'ly adv., mun·dane'ness, mun·dan'i·ty (-dān'ĭ-tē) n.

Here is my maundering M day full of M words. Not as amusing as the P alliterative day, but the malaise is making me morose. Perhaps, you all thought I was relinquishing my word of the day throne, but you get several words for the price of one posting.

Bonus Bonus DEF:
(môn'dər, män'-) Pronunciation Key
intr.v. maun·dered, maun·der·ing, maun·ders
  1. To talk incoherently or aimlessly.
  2. To move or act aimlessly or vaguely; wander.

[Probably dialectal variant of meander (probably influenced by wander).]

18 March 2009


Only unkempt musicians can participate in the West by Southwest music festival. That is the rule.

DEF: adj.
Not combed: unkempt hair.
Not properly maintained; disorderly or untidy: an unkempt garden. See Synonyms at
Unpolished; rude.
//-->[Middle English unkemd : un-, not; see un-1 + kembed, past participle of kemben, to comb (from Old English cemban; see gembh- in Indo-European roots).]
( American Heritage)

05 March 2009


I think the reason the 36 hour ride bicyclists on the Mall are there is because they have a yen to be ogled in their tight, little bike outfits.

v. tr.
  1. To stare at.
  2. To stare at impertinently, flirtatiously, or amorously.
v. intr.
To stare in an impertinent, flirtatious, or amorous manner.
n. An impertinent, flirtatious, or amorous stare.

[Perhaps from Low German oghelen, oegeln, frequentative of oegen, to eye, from oghe, oge, eye; see okw- in Indo-European roots.]
o'gler n.

Bonus definition:
Yen-n. A strong desire or inclination; a yearning or craving.
intr.v. yenned, yen·ning, yens
To have a strong desire or inclination; yearn.

[Chinese (Cantonese) uên, hope, wish, equivalent to Chinese (Mandarin) yuàn.]

For two days now I have ridden my bicycle through the Mall on campus and seen these super-fit guys riding their cycles with their back wheels in the stand that allows them to do a stationary ride trying to figure out what they are doing there and, of course, noticing their fitness. This morning noticing that I was noticing their fitness, I figured that they should be my inspiration for the word of the day? week?