Word of the Week


By Dani Dipirro, 2016

Hygge (pronounced hue-guh not hoo-gah) is a Danish word used when acknowledging a feeling or moment, whether alone or with friends, at home or out, ordinary or extraordinary as cosy, charming or special.

I love this word that’s new to me. I found an audio book entitled “The Little Book of Hygge” at the library by accident. I’m listening to it now and will write a review once I’m finished. For now, take a look at the images below. These are the photos that a search on for hygge.

Screen Shot 2017-11-17 at 5.50.25 PM

Notice all the candles and sheep

Below is an infographic that shows the elements of hygge.



Word of the Week

iatrogenic – a disease or condition caused by a medical treatment or an examination.

A friend just started studying psychology and learned this word.

Word of the Week

Orthorexia nervosa – eating disorder when a person is obsessed with only eating an extreme healthy diet.

I saw an article in the Jakarta Post describing this condition. So eating vegan or only raw foods can become an obsession and lead to serious health problems.

So a little wheat or chocolate ain’t necessarily bad.

Words of the Week

I just finished reading Shakespeare’s Antony and Cleopatra and have run across several words that aren’t used that much, but have a ring to them. Here are a few:

Vouchsafe: v. to give (something) to someone as a promise or a privilege

Huswife: n. hussy
   I guess now with so many working women, some of which would be hussies, this isn’t needed.

Yare: adj. swift

Forspoke: v. spoke against.

Shakespeare was a genius so he’d have a large vocabulary, but it seems that his audience would have known most of the words he used. Have our vocabularies shrunk? Yes, we use words like computer and telephone, but did they push out words the Bard and his contemporaries knew?


Word of the Week

multiloquence, n. Excessive talkativeness or loquaciousness; prolixity.
Pronunciation: Brit. /ˌmʌlˈtɪləkw(ə)ns/,  U.S. /məlˈtɪləkw(ə)ns/
Etymology: <  post-classical Latin multiloquentia (Vetus Latina; translating ancient Greek πολυλογία polylogy n.) <  multi- multi- comb. form + -loquentia -loquence comb. form. Compare earlier multiloquent adj. and multiloquiousness n., multiloquy n.
 Now rare.
1760  ‘J. Copywell’ Shrubs Parnassus 147 Where Clamour wages war with Sense, And Oratory centres in Multiloquence.
1846  J. E. Worcester Universal Dict. Eng. Lang.Multiloquence, quality of being multiloquent; loquacity, talkativeness. [Citing J. Q. Adams.]
1893 Temple Bar 97 625 He would invariably flounder astray in his own multiloquence.
1923 Science 6 Apr. 418/1 Perhaps their silence on this matter, as contrasted with their relative multiloquence on the pedigree culture data, is indicative of a capacity to judge the comparative importance of the facts.
1952 Daily Tel. 23 Jan. 4/6 Multiloquence characterised by a consummate interfusion of circumlocution.

Word of the Week

Here’s a word I’ve never heard before. I wonder if I can get this to be widely used.

ogdoad \OG-doh-ad\ noun
1. the number eight.
2. a group of eight.

The monad, [that is,] the one tittle, is therefore, he says, also a decade. For by the actual power of this one tittle, are produced duad, and triad, and tetrad, and pentad, and hexad, and heptad, and ogdoad, and ennead, up to ten. For these numbers, he says, are capable of many divisions, and they reside in that simple and uncompounded single tittle of the iota.
— Hippolytus (170–235), The Refutation of All Heresies, translated by J. H. MacMahon, 1851

Ogdoad came to English from the Late Latin in the early 1600s and ultimately derives from the Greek ógdoos meaning “eighth.”

Word of the Week

I’m reading Dicken’s The Old Curiosity Shop and occasionally running across words like condign, which are new to me.

Condign, adj.
1. well-deserved; fitting; adequate:
example: condign punishment.

What is a Hobson’s Choice?

After watching David Lean’s film, I wanted to make sure I knew the meaning of a “Hobson’s Choice.”

What it, really?

A Hobson’s Choice is a choice between something that’s probably undesirable and nothing. “Take it or leave it..”

In the play and the movie, at the end, Henry Hobson, fittingly, is left with a Hobson’s Choice.

[categories film, words]

Word of the Week

philtre | philter, n.
[‘ A potion, drug, or (occas.) charm supposed to be capable of exciting sexual attraction or love, esp. towards a particular person; a love potion. Also, more generally: any potion or drug having supposedly magical properties. Also fig.’]
Pronunciation: Brit. /ˈfɪltə/, U.S. /ˈfɪltər/
Forms: 15– philter, 15– philtre, 16 18 filtre.
Etymology: < Middle French, French philtre (1381 in sense 1; 1611 in sense 2 (now obsolete in this sense); also as †filtre (17th–19th cent. in sense 1) < classical Latin philtrum philtrum n. Compare Spanish filtro (1549 in sense 1; also as philtro), Portuguese filtro (16th cent. in sense 1), Italian filtro (1598 as philtro in senses 1 and 2). With sense 2 compare slightly earlier philtrum n. 2.
1. A potion, drug, or (occas.) charm supposed to be capable of exciting sexual attraction or love, esp. towards a particular person; a love potion. Also, more generally: any potion or drug having supposedly magical properties. Also fig.?a1563 W. Baldwin Beware Cat (1584) ii. sig. Ciii, To make a Philtre to serue for my purpose.
1586 T. Newton Tryall Mans Owne Selfe 91 By any secret sleight or cunning, as drinkes, drouges, medicines, charmed potions, amatorious Philters, figures, characters, or any such lyke paltring instruments, deuises or practises.
1616 B. Jonson Epicœne iv. i, in Wks. I. 567 Trv...If I should make ‘hem all in loue with thee afore night! Dav. I would say thou had’st the best philtre.
a1618 J. Sylvester tr. Fracastorius Maidens Blush (1620) sig. C5v, The hellish Philtree made of Stygian Wave.
1621 R. Burton Anat. Melancholy i. ii. i. iii. 72 They can make friends enemies, and enemies friends, by philters.
1686 F. Fane Sacrifice i. ii. 28 Good Gods, what Charms! Her very Frowns are Philtres.
1700 S. L. tr. C. Schweitzer Relation Voy. in tr. C. Frick & C. Schweitzer Relation Two Voy. E.-Indies 347, I threw all over-board, for fear some trick or philter should have been play’d with them.
1731 E. Thomas Pylades & Corinna 273 Those called secretly..learn strange poisoned Philters and Receipts, whereby they do much Hurt and Mischief.
1788 S. Low Politician Out-Witted ii. i. 16 Why you are positively the arrantest love-sick swain that ever had recourse to a philter.
1805 R. Southey Madoc i. i. 6 Some lethargy The Briton blood, that came from Owen’s veins.
1830 T. Flint Shoshone Valley I. vi. 211 She spoke of philtres and medicated drinks, that..she had been taught..were of potency to inspire corresponding love in the man or maiden, who should drink of them.
1868 Tennyson Lucretius 16 A witch Who brew’d the philtre.
1900 J. Conrad Lord Jim iii. 20 They carried his soul away with them and made it drunk with the divine philtre of an unbounded confidence in itself.
1936 Amer. Home Feb. 42/1 Cloves were used by the Persians, Greeks, and Romans as the base of many of their love philters.
1989 W. Weaver tr. U. Eco Foucault’s Pendulum xxxvi. 231 When you feel that need, you have to watch your step: like having drunk a philter, the kind that makes you fall in love with the first thing you meet.
2002 N. Drury Dict. Esoteric 218/1 Monkshood was used by medieval witches in flying ointments and ‘love philtres’, but is one of the most poisonous and dangerous of all magical herbs.

†2. = philtrum n. 2. Obs. rare—0.

[categories words, OED]

Word of the Week

passepartout, n. – ‘ Originally: †a person who may go anywhere (obs.). Subsequently: a thing giving a person the right or opportunity to go anywhere; spec. a key that opens any or many doors, a master key; (occas.) a passport. Freq. in extended use and fig.’

Pronunciation: Brit. /ˈpaspɑːtuː/, /ˈpaspətuː/, /ˌpaspɑːˈtuː/, /ˌpaspəˈtuː/, U.S. /ˌpɑspɑrˈtu/
Forms: 16 paspartout, 16–17 passepartout, 17 passpartout, 17– passepartout.
Etymology: < French passe-partout (1564 in Middle French in sense ‘person who may go anywhere’, 1567 in Middle French in sense ‘key that opens many doors’, 1677 in figurative use, 1690 in sense 2a, c1830 in sense 2b) < passe- (see pass- comb. form) + partout everywhere (end of the 10th cent. in Old French as per tot; < par through, by (see per prep.) + tout all: see tout adv., n.4, and adj.).
1. Originally: †a person who may go anywhere (obs.). Subsequently: a thing giving a person the right or opportunity to go anywhere; spec. a key that opens any or many doors, a master key; (occas.) a passport. Freq. in extended use and fig.
[1655 J. Howell 4th Vol. Familiar Lett. xix. 52 A travelling warrant is call'd Passeport, wheras the Original is passe par tout.]
1675 W. Wycherley Country-wife i. 6 Now may in short the Pas par tout of the Town.
1680 Dryden Kind Keeper v. i. 55 With this Passe par tout, I will instantly conduct her to my own Chamber.
1700 W. Congreve Way of World iii. i. 38 Why this Wench is the Pass-par-tout, a very Master-Key to every Bodies strong Box.
1710 D. Manley Mem. Europe I. iii. 313 One of my Servants, who is gone with two of Monsieur Le Envoy's, and his passe par toute to Nova.
1749 Lady M. W. Montagu Let. to C'tess Bute 30 Nov., He opened his door with the passe-partout key.
1760 S. Foote Minor i. 23 My art, sir, is a pass-par-tout. I seldom want employment.
1826 M. Kelly Reminisc. I. iv. 71, I must say, that at the time I speak of, to be a native of Great Britain, was a passe partout all over Italy!
1833 C. MacFarlane Lives Banditti (1837) 365 Shortly after the prior went with a passe-partout, and opened the door of his cell.
1918 E. J. Dillon Eclipse of Russia x. 178 He showed them his passe-partout and they set him at liberty at once.
1987 Sunday Times 4 Oct. 64/2 The tale wields the dreamy passe-partout of extreme wealth.
2002 Sydney Morning Herald (Nexis) 23 May (News & Features section) 24 The chambermaids had passe-partouts, but when your key was in the keyhole you were assured privacy.

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