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Monday word: orenda

orenda  /ˈɔːrɛndə/, noun
Spiritual energy

Wikipedia.defines it as "spiritual power inherent in people and their environment".

This site calls orenda "a mystical force present in all people that empowers them to affect the world, or to effect change in their own lives".

If you try to google 'orenda iroquois', you will get pictures of a Canadian turbojet engine (below pic is from Wikipedia).

Etymology: Iroquois

Friday word: Guetapens

noun guet·a·pens \ ¦getə¦päⁿ \

plural guetapens \-äⁿ(z)\
: ambush, snare, trap


a trick to lure him into some guetapens —Rafael Sabatini


French guet-apens, from Middle French, from de guet apens with premeditation, alteration of de guet apensé

(from one of the Merriam-Webster spelling bee quizzes, this was the top word in the National Spelling Bee a few years ago, according to the quiz)

Monday-ish word: argyria

argyria (är-jĭr′ē-ə), noun

Discoloration of the skin caused by exposure to silver.

Wikipedia lists some examples of people with argyria from taking silver supplements; even if the supplements are stopped, the blue-gray discoloration is permanent.

The picture below is from the cover of a book Rosemary Jacobs, who developed argyria after being prescribed nasal drops containing silver.

Etymology: Greek argyros, silver

Friday words: Camelopard and Mereswine

Camelopard: a giraffe


Mereswine: a dolphin


(from Grandiloquent Word of the Day)
I was planning to make this post next Thursday, but I'll be out of pocket that day. So I'm moving the timeline up:

Effective next week, I am stepping down as maintainer of this community, and as regular Thursday poster. This is mainly due to changes in my life, but to be honest I haven't had the time or energy to put into community building for a long time.

So we have openings. Anyone interested?

I'll be available to hand off keys and offer advice, though it may take a day or two to respond to things.

And given that, a bonus word for the day:

administrivia (ad-min-es-TRIV-ee-uh) - n., routine paperwork and other administrative tasks that are regarded as trivial, uninteresting, and time-consuming.

Maintaining a good community, one that enriches your life, is in no way administrivia.


Thursday word: wigeon

wigeon or widgeon (WIJ-uhn) - n., any of three common freshwater dabbling ducks of the genus Mareca (formerly Anas); a fool.

The three being the Eurasian wigeon (M. penelope), the American wigeon (M. americana) and the Chiloé wigeon (M. sibilatrix) of South America -- but usually the first is what's meant. All three are related to mallards and have a similar shape, though with different coloring in the male:

Thanks, WikiMedia!

The name dates to around the start of the 16th century, but where it came from and how it came to be a now rare if not obsolete term of abuse is unknown.


Friday word: Gilligaupus

-An awkward, foolish, or silly person.
-A Scotch term for a tall awkward fellow.
(The 1811 Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue, originally by Francis Grose.)

From Scottish Gaelic "gille" & Irish "giolla" - youth + Middle English “gawp” to yawn, gape, to stare at someone or something in a rude or stupid way from obsolete "galp".

Used in a sentence:
“Gerald will never entice Ms. Penistone into courtship so long as he remains such a cack-handed gilly-gaupus.”

(from the Grandiloquent Word of the Day FB page)

[do check out their new line of t-shirts on Amazon--see link below]

From the Grandiloquent Mercantile: I Love Peculiar People T-Shirt - https://amzn.to/2sDtb0V

(and, sorry I've been AWOL from this comm, I'll do my best to be more diligent in the Fridays to come)

Thursday word: orris

orris (AWR-ris, OR-ris) - n., any of several irises (especially Iris germanica and I. pallida) with a fragrant root; said root as used in perfumes or a favoring in gin, orrisroot.

Also, a lace or braid made of gold or silver much used in the 18th century but not so much today, either the stuff or the word. The flower name has been used since at least the 15th century, and appears to be an alteration of iris (from Latin, from Greek iris, rainbow) though no one can explain why or how it was altered. (The pimped-out braiding is from Old French orfreis, from Latin auriphrygium, Phrygian gold, to which I say ooooo-kay then.)

A sample of I. pallida to brighten your day:

Thanks, WikiMedia!

A sample usage:

A delectable, creamy blend of vanilla, heliotrope, and orris, which is like a layer of dark-golden nougat.



Monday-ish word: ratiocinate

ratiocinate (răsh′ē-ŏs′ə-nāt′), verb

To reason or argue logically and methodically.

This word came to me from a friend who was reading a book that used the word "out-ratiocinate". I didn't think to ask for the full sentence.

Etymology: Latin, from ratio, reason or calculation

(Apologies for lateness and skipped week(s); the work-life balance is...not, these days.)

Thursday word: chameleon

I've been doing lizard names over in my main journal.

chameleon (kuh-MEE-lee-uhn, kuh-MEEL-yuhn) - n., any about 200 species of tropical lizards (family Chamaeleontidae), mostly from Africa and Madagascar, with the ability to change the color of their skin, prehensile tail, and a projectile tongue; a changeable, fickle, or inconstant person.

Most are small- to mid-sized reptiles, and contra what most believe (and I wrote in the definition) not all of them can change colors. Is the name three syllables or four? That's up to you. I suspect I change my pronunciation depending on the rhythm of the sentence. It's a chameleon pronunciation.

The name first appears in English in the 14th century as camelion, from Medieval French, from Latin chamaeleon (the classical -h- was restored in English early 18 century), from Greek khamaileōn, from khamai, on the ground + leōn, lion, a word-for-word translation of Akkadian nēš qaqqari, literally lion of the ground, used as name some sort of lizard, possibly in fact a chameleon but we're not sure.

A common chameleon (Chamaeleo chamaeleon) feeling green:

Thanks, WikiMedia!



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