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Sunday Word: Obstreperous

obstreperous [uhb-strep-er-uhs]

adjective:
1 resisting control or restraint in a difficult manner; unruly
2 noisy, clamorous, or boisterous

Examples:

The elder Prescott hopes Teddy will soak up some practical business experience, but Ruthie offers his services to the Parlonis, obstreperous retirees whose personal assistants seem to come and go through a revolving door. (Ellen Morton, Sally Thorne's 'Second First Impressions' is full of cracking attraction and cackling laughs, The Washington Post, April 2021)

But she is too aggressive and obstreperous to remain there, and is sent to an asylum in upstate New York, until she's deported to Germany, and winds up in another asylum, where she was declared 'completely sane.' (Pat Launer, Hershey Felder Portrays the Dying Composer Rachmaninoff in 'Nicholas, Anna & Sergei', Times of San Diego, May 2021)

Half-past nine struck in the middle of the performance of 'Auld Lang Syne,' a most obstreperous proceeding, during which there was an immense amount of standing with one foot on the table, knocking mugs together and shaking hands, without which accompaniments it seems impossible for the youths of Britain to take part in that famous old song. (Thomas Hughes, Tom Brown's Schooldays)

Origin:

'clamorous, noisy, boisterous, especially in opposition,' c. 1600, from Latin obstreperus 'clamorous,' from obstrepere 'drown with noise, make a noise against, oppose noisily,' from ob 'against' + strepere 'make a noise,' from PIE strep-, said to be imitative (compare Latin stertare 'to snore,' Old Norse þrefa 'to quarrel,' þrapt 'chattering, gossip,' Old English þræft 'quarrel'). But de Vaan writes, 'It is uncertain that strep- goes back to PIE, since it is only found in Latin and Germanic.' Extended sense of 'resisting control, management, or advice' is by 1650s. (Online Etymology Dictionary)


roses::by any other name

Tuesday word: Graduation

Tuesday, Oct. 19, 2021

Graduation (noun)
grad·u·a·tion [graj-oo-ey-shuhn]


noun
1. an act of graduating; the state of being graduated.
2. the ceremony of conferring degrees or diplomas, as at a college or school.
3. arrangement in degrees, levels, or ranks.

OTHER WORDS FROM GRADUATION
non·grad·u·a·tion, noun
post·grad·u·a·tion, adjective
pre·grad·u·a·tion, noun

WORDS RELATED TO GRADUATION
convocation

See synonyms for graduation on Thesaurus.com

Origin: 1375–1425; late Middle English graduacion < Medieval Latin graduation- (stem of graduatio ). See graduate, -ion

HOW TO USE GRADUATION IN A SENTENCE
Facebook says creating a profile requires only a college email address and graduation year— it’s up to you to add any other information.
FACEBOOK JUST INVENTED … FACEBOOK|TANYA BASU|SEPTEMBER 10, 2020|MIT TECHNOLOGY REVIEW

I think you said 21 when you got your first show, even before you walked in your college graduation.
FULL TRANSCRIPT: TOMI LAHREN ON ‘THE CARLOS WATSON SHOW’|DANIEL MALLOY|AUGUST 31, 2020|OZY

The day after graduation, he flew to Seattle and started in Amazon’s “Pathways” leadership development program.
WHO IS DAVE CLARK, THE NEW CHIEF OF AMAZON’S GIANT RETAIL BUSINESS?|AARON PRESSMAN|AUGUST 22, 2020|FORTUNE

We need kids to be able to see their perspective in history and that goes hand in hand with graduation rates.
AS SCHOOL RESUMES, STUDENTS BRING RACIAL JUSTICE PUSH TO THE CLASSROOM|KAYLA JIMENEZ|AUGUST 18, 2020|VOICE OF SAN DIEGO
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Sunday Word: Jardinière

jardinière, jardiniere [jahr-dn-eer, zhahr-dn-yair]

noun:
1  a: an ornamental stand for plants or flowers
    b: a large usually ceramic flowerpot holder
2  a garnish for meat consisting of several cooked vegetables cut into pieces

Examples:

Then there's the Japanese gilt and patinated bronze jardinière by Miyao. 'One great thing about being married to an ex-florist is that our house is always full of flowers,' he says. 'This jardinière would be the most perfect vessel for orchids.' (Lucy Scovell, The tastemaker: Peter Copping, Christie's, April 2021)

A rare Ewenny jardinière with trailing flowers and a sculptural pair of dragons to the rim sold at Rogers Jones in Cardiff. (Roland Arkell, Hammer highlights: five lots that caught bidders’ eyes including a rare example of automobilia, Antiques Trade Gazette, October 2018)


(click to enlarge)

The markets in France are overflowing with beautiful young veggies. And what better idea for a chef that to combine them in the bright and lovely dish known as a jardinière - literally, a garden box - of vegetables. (Sam Adeoye, Jardinière de légumes printaniers, The Everyday French Chef, April 2014)

Origin:

ornamental flower stand, 1841, from French jardinière 'flower pot' (also 'female gardener, gardener's wife'), noun use of fem. of adjective jardinier 'of the garden,' from jardin 'garden; orchard; palace grounds,' from Vulgar Latin hortus gardinus 'enclosed garden,' via Frankish gardo or some other Germanic source, from Proto-Germanic gardaz, from PIE root gher- 'to grasp, enclose.' (Online Etymology Dictionary)

The seeds of jardiniere were planted back in ancient Germanic languages whose words for 'garden' eventually grew into Old French jardin, a term that produced several offshoots, including the French word jardinier, meaning 'gardener', and its feminine form jardinière (literally, 'female gardener'). It was that jardinière that blossomed into the French (and later the English) word for a large ornamental flowerpot or plant stand. By the way, the Germanic forerunners of the French terms are also distantly linked to another word important to English-speakers: garden. (Merriam-Webster)


iRead!

Tuesday word: Intrepid

Tuesday, Oct. 12, 2021

Intrepid (adjective)
in·trep·id [in-trep-id]


adjective
1. resolutely fearless; dauntless: an intrepid explorer.

WORDS RELATED TO INTREPID
heroic, fearless, spunky, courageous, plucky, audacious, bold, daring, dauntless, doughty, gallant, game, gritty, gutsy, lionhearted, nerveless, resolute, stalwart, unafraid, undaunted

OTHER WORDS FROM INTREPID
in·tre·pid·i·ty, in·trep·id·ness, noun
in·trep·id·ly, adverb

See synonyms for: intrepid / intrepidity / intrepidness on Thesaurus.com
OTHER WORDS FOR INTREPID

brave, courageous, bold.

OPPOSITES FOR INTREPID
timid.

Origin: 1690–1700; < Latin intrepidus, equivalent to in-in- + trepidus anxious; see trepidation

HOW TO USE INTREPID IN A SENTENCE
That conclusion rests on genetic evidence suggesting the intrepid South Americans mated with ancient Polynesians.
THESE SCIENCE CLAIMS FROM 2020 COULD BE BIG NEWS IF CONFIRMED|CASSIE MARTIN|DECEMBER 23, 2020|SCIENCE NEWS

Residents weren’t allowed to visit their burned homes as the National Guard secured the area and local officials performed safety checks on utilities, but one intrepid neighbor snuck up the ridge to report back about the damage.
THE LONG-LASTING MENTAL HEALTH EFFECTS OF WILDFIRES|JANE C. HU|DECEMBER 3, 2020|OUTSIDE ONLINE

The interior of the 20-foot Basecamp X is cleverly designed, with plenty of space for gear and food for the three other intrepid campers along for my test.
AN OFF-GRID TEST OF AIRSTREAM'S MOST RUGGED TRAILER|HAYDEN COPLEN|NOVEMBER 22, 2020|OUTSIDE ONLINE

One intrepid beetle, though, made the journey in just six minutes!
SOME BEETLES CAN BE EATEN BY A FROG, THEN WALK OUT THE OTHER END|JONATHAN LAMBERT|SEPTEMBER 4, 2020|SCIENCE NEWS FOR STUDENTS
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Sunday Word: Copacetic

Sunday Word: Copacetic

copacetic [koh-puh-set-ik, -see-tik]

adjective:
(informal) fine, OK, agreeable, totally satisfactory, in excellent order

Examples:

For months, at exactly 11:15am every Wednesday, it would come on to reassure me that everything would be just copacetic if I would only look beyond my fears and do the work. (Sam Adeoye, One or two quick lessons from the growing world of Sam Adeyemi, The Guardian Nigeria, October 2021)

The term 'Zen' has come to serve as shorthand for a state of being chill, calm, and copacetic. How did an ancient branch of Buddhism eventually become an Insta vibe? (Nicole Shein, 8 Zen Garden Ideas for Peace and Relaxation at Home, bob vila, May 2021)

Grantham never doubted things were copacetic even as Florida's head coach tore into his defensive coordinator on the sideline during last Saturday's win against Kentucky. (Sam Adeoye, Gators coaches Dan Mullen, Todd Grantham move past sideline spat, Orlando Sentinel, December 2020)

Origin:

'fine, excellent, going well,' 1919, but it may have origins in 19c US Southern black speech. Origin unknown; suspects include Latin, Yiddish (Hebrew kol b'seder), Italian, Louisiana French (coupe-sétique), and Native American. Among linguists, none is considered especially convincing. The popularization, and sometimes the invention, of the word often is attributed to US entertainer Bill 'Bojangles' Robinson (1878-1949) (Online Etymology Dictionary)

Copacetic (with many variant spellings) is probably better known for competing theories of its origin than for any record of unconscious everyday use in American English. The first written occurrence of the word thus far detected (as copasetic) is in A Man for the Ages (New York, 1919), a novel about the young Abraham Lincoln in rural Illinois by the journalist and fiction writer Irving Bacheller (1859-1950), born in northern New York state. In the book the word is used twice by a character named Mrs Lukins, noted for her idiosyncratic speech. Bacheller emphasizes that this word and coralapus are her peculiar property: "For a long time the word 'coralapus' had been a prized possession of Mrs Lukins... There was one other word in her lexicon which was in the nature of a jewel to be used only on special occasions. It was the word 'copasetic.' The best society of Salem Hill understood perfectly that it signaled an unusual depth of meaning" (pp. 286-87). While coralapus passes into oblivion after the novel, it is only the beginning for copasetic - though it is far from certain that Bacheller coined the word.

Copasetic next appears in 1920, in the lyrics of a song, 'At the New Jump Steady Ball,' by the African American songwriters Tom Delaney (1889-1963) and Sidney Easton (1886-1971): "Copasetic was the password for all, At the new jump steady ball [a speakeasy]"; a performance of the song was the first issued recording by the singer Ethel Waters, in March, 1921 (see post and link to the song by Stephen Goranson at the website Language Log, March 3, 2017). This attestation begins a long association of the word with African American speech. It was used by the tap dancer Bill 'Bojangles' Robinson (1877-1949) in radio broadcasts during the 1930's; Robinson claimed to have coined the word in an exchange of letters with the lexicographer Charles Earle Funke (see Funke's article 'Bill Robinson's 'Copesetic',' American Speech, vol. 28 [1953], pp. 230-31, citing an earlier column by Funke and Frank Vizetelly in The Literary Digest, vol. 120, no. 20 [November 16, 1935], p. 3). Funke's American Speech article apparently inaugurates the tradition of searching outside English for the origin of copacetic. He cites a report by a correspondent from Milwaukee that the word comes from Louisiana French coupe-sètique; the correspondent even proffers its use in a couplet from 'a charming old Acadian poem.' Unfortunately, outside of this claim, such a word is not known to exist in any variety of French.

The same absence of support vitiates other suggested sources, as Chinook Jargon copasenee (not actually attested in Chinook Jargon) and the putative Italian word copasetti produced by the novelist John O'Hara in a letter of December, 1934 (Selected Letters of John O'Hara, New York, 1978, p. 100). Most prominent in recent decades has been the hypothesis that copacetic is borrowed from Israeli Hebrew hakol beseder 'all is in order' (in a transliteration from pointed spelling ha-kōl bĕ-sēdher), a calque on expressions in European languages (German 'alles in Ordnung', Polish 'wszystko w porządku', Russian 'vsë v porjadke'). This etymology is thoroughly debunked by David Gold in 'American English slang copacetic 'fine, all right' has no Hebrew, Yiddish, or other Jewish connection,' Studies in Etymology and Etiology (Universidad de Alicante, 2009), pp 57-76. The notion that an Israeli Hebrew expression not attested before the early 20th century - when a very small minority of the world's Jews, mostly in Palestine, actively spoke Hebrew - could be the source of copacetic is beyond improbable. Until more evidence appears the origin of copacetic remains obscure. (Merriam-Webster)

It's possible that this word - meaning that something is in excellent order or satisfactory - has created more column inches of speculation in the USA than any other apart from OK. It's rare to the point of invisibility outside North America. People mostly become aware of it in the sixties as a result of the US space program — it's very much a Right Stuff kind of word.

The first stages of the flight of Apollo 10, like most of the flights that led up to it, have gone like clockwork. In the words of ground control at Houston, everything has been 'copacetic' - a term of undetermined origin which means perfect.

But even in the USA it doesn't have the circulation it did thirty years ago. Dictionaries are cautious about attributing a source for it, reasonably so, as there are at least five competing explanations, with no very good evidence for any of them.

One suggestion that's commonly put forward is that it was originally a word of the African-American community in the USA. The name of Bill 'Bojangles' Robinson, a famous black tap-dancer, singer and actor of the period round the turn of the twentieth century is commonly linked to this belief about its origin. Indeed, he claimed to have invented it as a shoeshine boy in Richmond. But other blacks, especially Southerners, said later that they had heard it earlier than Mr Robinson's day. But he certainly did a lot to popularise the word.

A more frequent explanation is that it derives from one of two Hebrew phrases, hakol b'seder, 'all is in order', or kol b'tzedek, 'all with justice'; it is suggested these were introduced into the USA by Yiddish-speaking Jewish immigrants. Yet other accounts say it derives from a Chinook word copasenee, 'everything is satisfactory', once used on the waterways of Washington State, or from the French coupersetique, from couper, 'to strike', or from the French phrase copain(s) c'est épatant! ('buddy(s), that's great!'), or, in a hugely strained derivation, from the cop is on the settee, supposedly a hoodlum term used to describe a policeman who was not actively watching out for crime, and so one who was OK... It's certainly an anachronism. (World Wide Words)

... which is a lot of words to say nobody knows.


words

Wednesday Word: Zugzwang

Zugzwang - noun.

Chess nerds and game lovers will recognize this word immediately--it's a German word describing the moment when you have to make move to your own detriment. It translates to "compulsion to move" and we've all been there where we had to make a move we didn't want to.

If you're interested in a deeper explanation, especially when it comes to chess, you can check out the very thorough section on Wikipedia or watch the video below, which includes pronunciation.



iCook

Tuesday word: Servile

Tuesday, Oct. 5, 2021

Servile (adjective)
ser·vile [sur-vil, -vahyl]


adjective
1. slavishly submissive or obsequious; fawning: servile flatterers.
2. characteristic of, proper to, or customary for slaves; abject: servile obedience.
3. yielding slavishly; truckling (usually followed by to ).
4. extremely imitative, especially in the arts; lacking in originality.
5. being in slavery; oppressed.
6. of, pertaining to, or involving slaves or servants.
7. of or pertaining to a condition of servitude or property ownership in which a person is held as a slave or as partially enslaved: medieval rebellions against servile laws.

OTHER WORDS FROM SERVILE
ser·vile·ly, adverb
ser·vil·i·ty, ser·vile·ness, noun
non·ser·vile, adjective
non·ser·vile·ly, adverb

WORDS RELATED TO SERVILE
abject, base, beggarly, craven, cringing, despicable, fawning, humble, ignoble, low, mean, obedient, obeisant, obsequious, passive, slavish, submissive, unctuous, bootlicking, sycophantic

See synonyms for: servile / servileness / servility on Thesaurus.com
OTHER WORDS FOR SERVILE

1, 2. cringing, sycophantic.
2. mean, base, low.

SYNONYM STUDY FOR SERVILE
Servile, menial, obsequious, slavish characterize one who behaves like a slave or an inferior. Servile suggests cringing, fawning, and abject submission: servile responses to questions. Menial applies to that which is considered undesirable drudgery: the most menial tasks. Obsequious implies the ostentatious subordination of oneself to the wishes of another, either from fear or from hope of gain: an obsequious waiter. Slavish stresses the dependence and labori-ous toil of one who follows or obeys without question: slavish attentiveness to orders.

OPPOSITES FOR SERVILE
1. aggressive.
2. exalted.

Origin:
1350–1400; Middle English < Latin servilis, equivalent to serv- (stem of servire to be a slave) + -ilis -ile

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Sunday Word: Ugsome

adjective:
(Scot and North England) disgusting, horrid; loathsome

Examples:

In a sometimes ugsome, plague-filled world of violence and adventure that evokes the swashbuckling nature of The Count of Monte Cristo, you're presented with so many super heroic abilities, you feel like an omniscient kid in a candy store. (Harold Goldberg, 2012 In Review: The Best Games Of 2012, NPR, December 2012)

              When doukin in the River Nile
              I met a muckle crocodile.
              He flicked his tail, he blinked his ee,
              Syne bared his ugsome teeth at me.
                                                 J K Annand, 'Crocodile'

At all events, the statute literally recites the 'ugsome oaths' that are used by the old versifier. (Julian Sharman. A Cursory History of Swearing)

I found my Vivien full sick, and a weariful and ugsome time had I with her ere she recovered of her malady. (Emily Sarah Holt, In Convent Walls)

Origin:

1350–1400; Middle English, equivalent to ugg(en) to fear, cause loathing (Old Norse ugga to fear, dread; cf. Ugly) + -some-some (Dictionary.com)

If this reminds you of the inarticulate cry of disgust that most often appears as ugh! then you’re on the mark. The conventional spelling of ugh! was probably influenced by that of ugsome, something loathsome or horrible. In a case of linguistic turn-and-turn-about, ugsome derives from the ancient and long defunct word ug, which about a millennium ago came into English from the Old Norse ugga, to dread. That Old Norse word is also the source of ugly (which meant frightful or horrible before it weakened to refer to something merely unpleasing in appearance). You could argue that ugsome is the opposite of handsome.

In the centuries before Shakespeare, ugsome was common enough, mostly in Scotland and northern England, but then almost completely died out except in dialect. It was resurrected in the eighteenth century by writers seeking an archaic word to help set a historical scene. The following century, popular authors such as Sir Walter Scott (“Like an auld dog that trails its useless ugsome carcass into some bush or bracken”), Sir Edward Bulwer-Lytton (“‘’Tis an ugsome bit of road!’ said the Corporal, looking round him”) and Charles Dickens ('One very ugsome devil with goggling eyes, seems to hold up frightful claws, to bar the traveller’s way') regained it some small exposure, though it was never very popular. (World Wide Words)