July 16th, 2015

Fairies- Vidia

Wednesday word: boondoggle

boondoggle: [boon-dog-uh l]

Noun:

1. A product of simple manual skill such as a plaited leather cord necklace, often made by a camper or a boy or girl scout.

2. Work of little to no value that is done to keep or look busy.  Busywork.

3. A project funded by the federal government that is of no real value to the community or the nation.


Verb:

4. (used with a person or object)  To deceive or try to deceive.

5. (used without a person or object) To do work of no value just to keep or look busy.


Origin:  First known use, America 1930-1935.  For definition 1, this was said to have been coined by an American scoutmaster named R.H. Link.

words are sexy

Thursday word: frowst

frowst (FROWST) - (Brit., informal) n., stuffiness, musty air, a warm stale atmosphere. v., to lounge about in a warm, stuffy atmosphere.


I have only ever seen or heard this one in the States, making it pretty strongly British English, including derived dialects no doubt -- can any Aussies comment? (The one American use was in a book by Edward Gorey, as the name of an obscure essayist of the sort, it was implied, who puts the reader to sleep.) The word is a back-formation from frowsty, a variant of frowzy in the sense of dingy/stuffy, originally meaning scruffy/neglected in appearance, attested from the 17th century of unknown origin.

I was pretty bad myself, but managed to move about all the time, for the frowst in my cabin would have sickened a hippo.
—John Buchan, Greenmantle


---L.