Tell Me If You’ve Heard This One – VI

Something old, something new,
something borrowed, something blue

BINGE-WATCH (verb)
To watch (multiple videos, episodes of a TV show, etc.) in one sitting, or over a short period of time
Due to COVID19, there’s been a shit-ton of this going on over the last two years.  Netflix may end up ruling the planet.

CHIASMUS (noun) Rhetoric
a reversal in the order of words in two otherwise parallel phrases, as in
“He went to the country, to the town went she.”

DECATHECT (verb) 1930-35
To withdraw one’s feelings of attachment from (a person, idea, or object), as in anticipation of a future loss
from de-cathexis, the investment of emotional significance in an activity, object, or idea.
He thought it best to decathect from his cherished toy, since he would soon have to sell it.

EPISTEMIC (adjective)
of or relating to knowledge or the conditions for acquiring it
An example of something epistemic is a journey to discover new sources of truth.

FOREMOTHER (noun)
A female ancestor
Virginia Woolf was the foremother of writers like Joan Didion.

HORSEFEATHERS (noun)
Something not worth considering
This usage refers to something which does not, and perhaps cannot, exist – like feathers on a horse.  In the MASH TV show, Colonel Potter’s usage of the term horse-pucky, is a euphemism for the round, puck-like material often found on the ground behind a horse.

INFIRMARY (noun)
A place (as in a school or prison) where sick or injured individuals receive care and treatment
A large medical facility
Like the forgotten roots of dis-ease, this word shows that it is used by those who are infirm.

FLOTSAM (noun)
the part of the wreckage of a ship and its cargo found floating on the water
material or refuse floating on water.
useless or unimportant items; odds and ends.

JETSAM (noun)
Goods cast overboard deliberately, as to lighten a vessel or improve its stability in an emergency, which sink where jettisoned or are washed ashore

LAGAN (noun) Law
anything sunk in the sea, but attached to a buoy or the like so that it may be recovered.

MAJORDOMO (noun)
A man in charge of a great household, as that of a sovereign, a chief steward
a steward or butler
a person who makes arrangements for another
Alfred was Bruce Wayne/Batman’s majordomo.
In the TV show, Magnum PI, Higgins was ostensibly the majordomo for the author, Robin Masters.  His name comes from the Irish Gaelic uiginn, meaning Viking.

MARMOT (noun)
Any bushy-tailed, stocky rodent of the genus Marmota, such as the groundhog
In 2021, Wiarton Willy, Ontario’s albino groundhog equivalent to Punxatawney Phil, died before Groundhog Day.  Somehow his handlers failed to mention that fact until late November.  They may still be looking for a replacement – for all the difference it makes.

MUFTI (noun)
Civilian clothes, in contrast with military or other uniforms, or as worn by a person who usually wears a uniform
A Muslim jurist, expert in the religious law
The Army agent behind enemy lines, tried to blend in, disguised in mufti.

SAGGITATE (adjective)
shaped like an arrowhead
Sagittarius, the name of the astrological sign of The Archer, the bowman, doesn’t actually refer to the bow, or the man, but to the arrow which is launched – for all the difference it makes.

STARDUST (noun) alternate definition
A naively romantic quality
There was stardust in her eyes every time her beloved entered the room.
Astrophysicist, Carl Sagan said, “We are all stardust.”  He meant, literally, that we are composed of heavier atoms which were produced when stars die and go (super)nova.

So, our vocabularies are expanding to match our waistlines.  I’ll be dropping some more great words in a couple of days, in a vain attempt to lose weight.   😉

9 thoughts on “Tell Me If You’ve Heard This One – VI

  1. Rivergirl says:

    I knew 11 of 14. Yay me!

    Like

  2. shimoniac says:

    If we have majordomo, do we also have minordomo? 😁

    Like

  3. Thank you for a great list! I like that you included years for some of the words. I once heard a short talk that looked at 500 billion digitized words (from millions of books) and analyzed their frequency over different time periods (and other attributes) which may not sound interesting as I type it, but ended up being nothing short of fascinating.

    Like

    • Archon's Den says:

      Non-word-nuts often do not understand the enjoyment that we get from exploring language. With my physical and mental restrictions, learning about words is one of my few pleasant pastimes. On the same day, I recently discovered two quarters in a coin return slot, and the Latin link between funambulism (tightrope walking) and funicular railroads. They were an equal delight.
      I am happy to know another. 😀

      Liked by 1 person

      • Remember what Kipling said about words? “Words are, of course, the most powerful drug used by mankind.” 🙂

        Funambulism is a new word for me (thanks for educating me!), so idk what’s the link between the two words other than funis meaning rope?

        Like

      • Archon's Den says:

        That’s it! When I saw the Latin basis of funis for funambulism my mind suddenly served up funicular. It’s an adjective, but people often use it as a noun – as in a funicular, (railroad) two rail cars balanced on a rope or cable.
        For about ten years we could afford a cheap weekend at Niagara Falls. There was a funicular. We would have liked to ride it like the tourists we were, but it never ran. Finally, the last year we went, someone got it running. We went up, had lunch at the restaurant at the top, and later rode back down. Oh, the excitement. 😉 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      • I love those “hidden” connections, and thank you for teaching me funambulism!

        One of the (many) wonderful things about My Big Fat Greek Wedding was the father of the bride explaining how pretty much every word (you know, like kimono 😁) is derived from Greek. Loved those concocted linkages!

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