October 28th, 2013

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Saturday & Sunday Word: Bugaboo & Cockaigne

In honor of the upcoming Halloween or Samhain, both words have lineage within the works of renowned author of the macabre, Mr. Edgar Allen Poe (though the 2nd was irresistible after Friday's entry by med_cat.

bug·a boo [ˈbə-gə-ˌbü]:
origin: Celtic; Cornish buccaboo= the devil

Pronounced remarkably as it is spelled (France take notice!). A bugaboo is something that causes fear or distress out of proportion to its importance; an imaginary object of fear like the boogeyman.

Some people might find going to the dentist to be a bugaboo.

Perhaps you became familiar with this word through Scary Godmother by Jill Thompson?
This character is named "Bugaboo" in her comicbook series (turned animation).

"I took vigorous exercise. I breathed the free air of Heaven. I thought upon other subjects than Death. I discarded my medical books. "Buchan" I burned. I read no "Night Thoughts" -- no fustian about churchyards -- no bugaboo tales -- such as this. In short, I became a new man, and lived a man's life."
- Edgar Allen Poe, The Premature Burial 1850

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Monday words: patibulary, barmecide

I missed last week, so two words this week.

patibulary (ˈtibyəˌlerē), adj.
Of, relating to, or suggesting the gallows or execution.

Etymology:  Latin patibulum, gallows, gibbet.

barmecide (bärm-sd), adj.
Plentiful or abundant in appearance only; illusory; sham.

Etymology:  named after Barmecide, a character in The Arabian Nights.  A barmecide feast is one that does not live up to expectations.