Thursday, June 30, 2011

#540 gaffe

gaffe- a social blunder, especially a tactless remark

C19 from French

If the definition of a gaffe is a politician accidentally telling the truth, this is absolutely, positively, one hundred percent gaffetastic.

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Wednesday, June 29, 2011

#539 gable

gable- the triangular upper part of a wall between the sloping ends of a pitched roof

C14 Old French gable, from Old Norse gafl; related to Old English geafol fork, Old High German gibil

One lord of Ulland had expressed his fancy on the eastern fa├žade in gable and sculptured gargoyle; another his fear or his defiance in the squat and sturdy tower with its cautious slits in lieu of windows.

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Tuesday, June 28, 2011

#538 gabble

gabble- to utter words, etc. rapidly and indistinctly; jabber; of geese and other birds to utter rapid cackling noises

C17 from Middle Dutch gabbelen, of imitative origin

The gabble of excited adolescents overwhelmed the substitute teacher.

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Monday, June 27, 2011

#537 fustian

fustian- a hard-wearing fabric of cotton mixed with flax or wook with a slight nap; pompous or pretentious talk or writing; cheap, worthless; pompous; bombastic

C12 from Old French fustaigne, from Medieval Latin fustaneum, from Latin fustis cudgel

This unidentified artist specialized in depictions of Italian peasants wearing jackets, aprons and dresses made from what was then called "genes," fustian cotton named after its assumed city of origin in Genoa, Italy.

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Sunday, June 26, 2011

#536 fusillade

fusillade- a simultaneous or rapid continual discharge of firearms; a sudden outburst as of criticism

C19 from French, from fusiller to shoot

The soldiers, part of Mexico's ongoing effort to curb narco-trafficking violence, were met with a fusillade of grenades and gunfire.

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Saturday, June 25, 2011

#535 furbelow

furbelow- a flounce, ruffle, or other ornamental trim; showy ornamentation

C18 by folk etymology from French dialect farbella

“There wasn't a single frill, flower or furbelow in her house, and he suspected her mind was just as streamlined.”

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Friday, June 24, 2011

#534 funambulist

funambulist- a tightrope walker

C18 from Latin funambulis rope dancer, from funis rope +ambulare to walk

“It's an extraordinary quality bartenders have; a bar or, in this case, a lounge, can be quite adverse and hectic and easily become chaotic, yet bartenders - good bartenders, that is, go about the storm of hands and impatient glares and fidgets with a frightful calm, riding a teetering wire between cordiality of social obligation and quickness and precision of hand with the balance of a world-class funambulist.”

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Thursday, June 23, 2011

#533 fulminate

fulminate- to make severe criticisms or denunciations; rail; to explode with noise and violence

C15 from Medieval Latin fulminare

Not sure if you're being funny or not, but for those playing at home I will simply note that in modern usage "fulminate" usually means "criticize acidly.

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Wednesday, June 22, 2011

#532 fulgent

fulgent- shining, brilliantly; resplendent; gleaming

C15 from Latin fulgere to shine, flash

Uncharacteristically, he summoned his imagination instead, painting an ecstatic vision of the village under a fulgent canopy of stars and a crescent moon.

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Tuesday, June 21, 2011

#531 fugue

fugue- a musical form consisting essentially of a theme repeated a fifth above or a fourth below the continuing first statement; in psychiatry a dreamlike altered state of consciousness, lasting from a few hours to several days, duing which a person loses his memory for his previous lifeand often wanders away from home

C16 from French, from Italian fuga, from Latin: a running away, flight

And knowing what a fugue is can make you fall in love with Bach.

The reasons for his fugue are mysterious, and they need to stay that way for at least half of the novel.

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Monday, June 20, 2011

#530 frump

frump- a woman who is dowdy, drab, or unattractive

C16 (in the sense: to be sullen; C19 dowdy woman): from Middle Dutch verrompelen to wrinkle, rumple

Okay, like everyone else, I too was staggered that such a seemingly trained voice should come out the mouth of a woman who's been dubbed a 'frump.'

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Sunday, June 19, 2011

#529 frugal

frugal- practising economy; living without waste; thrifty; not costly; meagre

C16 from Latin frugalis, from frugi useful, temperate, from frux fruit

Another answer when pressured to not be frugal is to say we choose to spend our money on different things and blank is just not a priority for us.

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Saturday, June 18, 2011

#528 froufrou

froufrou- a swishing sound, as made by a long silk dress; elaborate dress or ornamentation

C19 from French of imitative origin

Like many froufrou fashionistas, my bedroom is an extension of my wardrobe, and therefore has to be interesting, welcoming, and a little bit funky.

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Friday, June 17, 2011

#527 frivolous

frivolous- not serious or sensible in content, attitude, or behavious; silly: a frivolous remark

C15 from Latin frivolus silly, worthless

She said she resigned her governorship because she ran up $500,000 in debt defending herself against what she called frivolous claims.

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Thursday, June 16, 2011

#526 frippery

frippery- ornate or showy clothing or adornment; showiness; ostentation; unimportant considerations; trifles; trivia

- C16 from Old French freperie, from frepe frill, rag, old garment, from Medieval Latin faluppa a straw,

Cars like the Subaru Impreza WRX and Mazda's hatchbacks are loved for their rough-and-tumble rally personalities, not for interior frippery or extra design cues.

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Wednesday, June 15, 2011

#525 fresco

fresco- a very durable method of wall painting using watercolours on wet plaster or less properly, dry plaster with a less durable result; a painting done this way

C16 from Italian; fresh plaster, coolness, from fresco fresh, cool

He explained the general rules of color composition in fresco, enamel, and pastel painting, showing how to use his wheel and chart together as a tool to select the appropriate color combinations for each technique.

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Tuesday, June 14, 2011

#524 frenzy

frenzy- a violent mental derangement; wild excitement or agitation, distraction

-C14 from Old French frenesie, from Greek, phren mind

If falsifying data to stir the public into a frenzy is your idea of “profit motive” then my friend you are a sad individual.

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Monday, June 13, 2011

#523 fray

fray- a noisy quarrel; a fight or brawl; archaic word for fight

C14 from French frayer to rub, from Latin fricare

One of the most prominent voices to jump into the fray is popular right-wing radio host.

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Sunday, June 12, 2011

#522 fractious

fractious- irritable; unruly

C18 from fraction discord

fractiously, fractiousness

The country was filled with fractious groups which made consensus difficult.

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Saturday, June 11, 2011

#521 foudroyant

foudroyant- adj.- (of a disease) occurring suddenly and with great severity; (Rare: stunning, dazzling, or overwhelming)

C19 from French, from foudroyer to strike with lightning, from Old French foudre lightning, from Latin fulgur

The reclusive actress was charming and foudroyant as she took the reporters' questions.

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Friday, June 10, 2011

#520 fossick

fossick- verb- to search for gold or precious stones in abandoned workings, river, etc.; to rummage or search for something

C19 Australian, probably from English dialect fussock to bustle about

fossicker- noun

I just fossick around reading whatever interests me.

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Thursday, June 9, 2011

#519 fortuitous

fortuitous- happening by chance, especially by a lucky chance; unplanned; accidental

C17 from Latin fortuitus happening by chance, from forte by chance, from fors chance, luck

More probably the resemblance which may be traced in this respect between the religions of the East and West is no more than what we commonly, though incorrectly, call a fortuitous coincidence, the effect of similar causes acting alike on the similar constitution of the human mind in different countries and under different skies.

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Wednesday, June 8, 2011

#518 fornication

fornication- voluntary sexual intercourse outside marriage; Bible: sexual immorality in general, especially adultery

C16 from Late Latin fornicari, from Latin fornix vault, brothel situated therein

Fornication: but that was in another country; And besides, the wench is dead. Christopher Marlowe

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Tuesday, June 7, 2011

#517 foreboding

foreboding- a feeling of impending evil, disaster,; an omen or portent; presaging something

With much foreboding from the other characters as to how the disaster has altered the healthy course of her mind, she commits herself to the path of revenge and vows to regain their inheritance from her bitter uncle or his invalid son.

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Monday, June 6, 2011

#516 foray

foray- a short raid or incursion; a first attempt or new undertaking; to raid or ravage a town, district

C14 from forrayen to pillage, from Old French forreier, from fuerre fodder

Her first literary foray is a story about making a new life and her subsequent fictions sustain a bare minimum of grief-stricken life.

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Sunday, June 5, 2011

#515 foppery

foppery- the clothes, affectations, obsessions of or befitting a fop

fop- a man who is excessively concerned with fashion and elegance

C15 from German foppen to trick

I can tell you without a doubt … I’d allow myself to be staked out on top of a fire ant pile for three days before I’d have appeared at this sycophantic exercise in foppery, irrelevance and pathetic grandstanding.

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Saturday, June 4, 2011

#514 foment

foment- to encourage or instigate; stir up

C15 from Latin fomentare, fomentum a poultice, ultimately from fovere to foster

Countries that fear modernity, that cling to dogma, that exclude women, that foment ethnic divisions—they cannot seem to make progress and join the modern world.

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Friday, June 3, 2011

#513 foible

foible- a slight peculiarity or minor weakness; diosyncrasy;

C17 from French feeble

He thinks his only foible is spending too long daydreaming.

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Thursday, June 2, 2011

#512 flummox

flummox- to perplex or bewilder

C19 of unknown origin

Once again, in terms of political theater, the president has managed to flummox both critics and angels alike.

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Wednesday, June 1, 2011

#511 flummery

flummery- informal meaningless flattery; nonsense

chiefly British a cold pudding of oatmeal

C17 from Welsh llymru

That speech was flummery, full of humbug.

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