Labels: Henry Fielding
Entry By: CJ Cooney
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zoodikers impecunious deleterious ameliorate mugwump confabulate ague zolotnik sotto voce objectivism salver mammothrept effulge ante meridiem tête-à-tête calumet à propos de rien Michaelmastide orchidaceous valetudinary rictus aphelion gabions Bartholomew Baby slubberdegullion encomium wunderkind difficile keelhaul outré fissiparous How To Use The Dictionary Pronunciation Guide About This Project
an utterance of surprise, amazement, or displeasure1742The History of Tom Jones'I thought thou hadst been a lad of higher mettle than to give way to a parcel of maidenish tricks.——I tell thee 'tis all flimflam. Zoodikers! she'd have the wedding to-night with all her heart. Would'st not, Sophy?
Labels: Henry Fielding
broke; penniless; needy1920The Age of InnocenceAs it was precisely of that love that poor Winsett was starving to death, Archer looked with a sort of vicarious envy at this eager impecunious young man who had fared so richly in his poverty.1938Ruined CityIt came through Sir David Hogan, who induced an impecunious shipowner associate to speculate on the future to the extent of ordering a replacement to his fleet.1990The Bourne UltimatumIt was a heady experience for a man who had lived an impecunious existence for the past thirty years.
something which has a negative effect1845The Voyage of the BeagleMysterious as this circumstance appears to be, it is not more surprising than that the body of one's fellow-creature, directly after death, and before putrefaction has commenced, should often be of so deleterious a quality that the mere puncture from an instrument used in its dissection should prove fatal. 1972Death CheckYour presence here seems to have a deleterious effect on the quietude of our little rest home.1996DinoshiftAlthough the SD projects had not triggered the space-time discontinuance forecast by Stennerdahl and others, in its collective wisdom the Assembly instructed the Secretary General to suspend the Shift Dispersion program pending 'further investigation of any deleterious effects on the environment'.
to improve something; to get better1874The Ocean and its WondersFull to overflow with the gifts of its new companions, it hastens to bestow of its superabundance on less favoured particles; joins the great army of the ocean's currents; enters, perchance, the Gulf of Mexico, where it is turned back, and hastens along with the Gulf Stream, with all its natural warmth of character, to ameliorate the climate of Great Britain and the western shores of Europe.1945Night Has A Thousand EyesThen, sensing her own awkwardness of posture, aggravated rather than ameliorated it by sidling downward into the nearest armless chair and perched stiffly on that, too far out from the back of it and too rigidly erect to be either rested or restful to others.1972Mafia FixOne time, while ameliorating a Teamster dispute, Mr. Gasso was hit in the face by a truck driver with a sledge hammer.
a person neutral in politics; a fence-sitter; a person unable or unwilling to take a position, especially on difficult issues; one of a group of Republicans in 1884 who refused to support their candidate James G. Blaine and so left the party1922My Memories of Eighty Years...his tactful flattery of local pride, did a great deal to remove the prejudices against him, which were being fomented by a propaganda of a 'mugwump' committee in New York.1959Naked LunchMugwumps have no liver and nourish themselves exclusively on sweets.1972Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator'But my dear old muddleheaded mugwump,' said Mr Wonka, turning to Mrs Bucket.1984Dayworld...we can have the big powwow, see who's the big mugwump.
chat; chitchat; to shoot the breeze; to substitute imaginary memories for real; to create false memories1897Worldly Ways and BywaysShe does not break the thread of a conversation by irrelevant questions or confabulate in an undertone with the servants.1910The Fortune HunterLater, having displayed him on the streets in witness to his good faith, Roland spent the evening with Mr. Burnham mysteriously confabulating behind closed doors in the hotel.1996A Fever in the HeartThere was a question about whether he was confabulating taking a real event and rewriting it so that it emerged in a manner favorable to him.2003The Lake HouseUnlike some children her age, Max doesn't confabulate and she doesn't lie.
aches and chills; fever with shivering and shaking, sometimes including aching bones and joints and persistent tiredness or exhaustion; malaria1697A New Voyage Round the WorldHere I was taken sick of Fever and Ague that afterward turned to Dropsy, which I laboured under a long time after, a many of our men died of this Distempter, though our Surgeons used their greatest Skill to preserve their Lives.1849The Caxtons...the quotidian ague of frigid impertinences…
1/6 of an ounce; ancient Russian weight measure1870Overland through Asia: Pictures of Siberian, Chinese, and Tartar LifeThe pay-dirt is very rich, and the estimates of its yield are stated at so many zolotniks of gold for a hundred poods of earth. From one pood of dirt, of course unusually rich, Mr. Kaporaki obtained 24 zolotniks, or three ounces of gold. In another instance ten poods of dirt yielded 90 zolotniks of gold. The ordinary yield, as near as I could ascertain, was what a Californian would call five or six cents to the pan.
Labels: Thomas Wallace Knox
speaking softly, usually so as not to be overheard; very softly1846Poor FolkToday, therefore, I crept humbly to my seat and sat down in such a crouching posture that Efim Akimovitch (the most touchy man in the world) said to me sotto voce: 'What on earth makes you sit like that, Makar Alexievitch?'1951The Day of the Triffids'Rum sort of setup, this,' he remarked sotto voce to me.1994Midnight In the Garden of Good and EvilAs the two ladies lapsed into silence, I became aware of a conversation taking place sotto voce between a man and two women seated on the divan across from me.
the propensity to focus on elements external to cognition, in contrast to a focus on thoughts or feelings; a philosophy holding that reality is only what one can objectively determine1898So Runs the WorldIt was Emile Zola. A great talent, slow but powerful and a potent force, surprising objectivism if the question is about a sentiment, because it is equal to almost complete indifference, such an exceptional gift of seeing the entire soul of humanity and things that it approaches this naturalistic writer to mystics—all that gives him a very great and unusual originality.1961For the New Intellectual...the name I have chosen for my philosophy is Objectivism.
a food or beverage tray1883To the Gold Coast for GoldAfter the manner of Spanish churches, which love to concentrate dazzling colour at the upper end, the high altar is hung with crimson velvet curtains; and its massive silver lamps (one Italian, presented by Cardinal Ximenes), salvers, altar-facings, and other fixings are said to have cost over 24,000 francs.1905A Thief in the NightAnd I could only think that he was inspired by the same impulse toward the bronzed salvers and the tarnished teapots with which I found him surrounded, until my eyes lit upon the enormous silver-chest into which he was fitting them one by one.1947Waltz Into DarknessThere was no trace of the remnants of one, on the usual salvers she used.1985Walk the Moons RoadAnd only after messengers had come and gone bearing notes sealed with wax on silver salvers did Zhe-nuvnili find herself for the first time sitting demurely across from Qob Qobba and Ranga Strell as Li Ranii set out her position.
a spoiled child1601Cynthia's RevelsAMO: But very well! O, you are a mere mammothrept in judgment, then.1970Master & CommanderAnd having seen the parents I am impatient to see this youth, the fruit of their strangely unattractive loins: will he be a wretched mammothrept?
to shine out; to emanate from1882Atlantis: The Antediluvian WorldThey are all unknown to history—all lost in the light of an effulgent dawn. 1892Under King Constantine With wide eyes searching his lone cell for cause He waited: as the ray became more clear And more effulgent than the mid-day sun, He trembled with that chill of mortal flesh Beholding spiritual things. 1997Izzy and The Father of TerrorWaves of meaning effulged from Shaman. Striking our minds, they crystallized into words1998The God of Small Things...the thrilling promise he held out in his effulgent emerald eyes.
before noon; source of abbreviation AM which signifies the hours of the day between midnight and noon; literally: before the sun has crossed the line (of the sundial)1822The Fortunes of Nigel He has established a council of state, who regularly meet for their morning's draught at seven o'clock; convene a second time at eleven for their ante-meridiem, or whet; and, assembling in solemn conclave at the hour of two afternoon, for the purpose of consulting for the good of the commonwealth, are so prodigal of their labour in the service of the state, that they seldom separate before midnight.2004Deadwood: Sold Under Sin (Episode 12, Season 1)Ante meridiem constitutional, Mr. Russell?
a person-to-person conversation; a one-on-one discussion1908The Great SecretWe walked and sat together, played shuffleboard, and in every way made the most of all those delightful opportunities of tête-à-têtes which a sea voyage affords.1962The Spy Who Loved Me...it would have been a five-hour tête-à-tête…1997The Bone CollectorHe was now regretting the decision to postpone his tête-à-tête with the death doctor.
a Native American ceremonial pipe; a peace pipe1848The Hudson Bay CompanyStemaw has now concluded his arrangements: a small piece of dried deer's meat warms before the blaze; and, meanwhile, he spreads his green blanket on the ground, and fills a stone calumet (or pipe with a wooden stem) with tobacco, mixed with a kind of weed prepared by himself.1855The Song of HiawathaAnd erect upon the mountains, | Gitche Manito, the mighty, | Smoked the calumet, the Peace-Pipe, | As a signal to the nations.1926The Power and the GloryWhen this was ended, the feast was brought—after the calumet pipe had been smoked by La Salle and the chief, and it had been passed to others.
à propos de rien
a pro-PO d' ree-uhn
in connection with nothing; apropos of nothing1849Yeast: A ProblemThe ice thawed rapidly; and one evening it split up altogether, when Bracebridge, who was sitting drawing by Lancelot's sofa, instead of amusing himself with the ladies below, suddenly threw his pencil into the fire, and broke out, a propos de rien—'What a strange pair we are, Smith! I think you just the best fellow I ever met, and you hate me like poison—you can't deny it.'1859Love Me Little Love Me LongI must repeat, they have not that excuse. Perhaps their risibility had been exhausted. After laughing three hours a propos de rien, it is time to be serious out of place.1907The ShuttleIt might seem a propos de rien, but he did not care in the least. He wanted to hear what she would say.
Michaelmas Day, 29 September, a feast day of Michael the Archangel and All Angels; the autumn season1847Wuthering HeightsSummer drew to an end, and early autumn: it was past Michaelmas, but the harvest was late that year, and a few of our fields were still uncleared.1879Jackanapes, Daddy Darwin's Dovecot and Other StoriesThe Grey Goose remembered it well, it was Michaelmastide, the Michaelmas before the Michaelmas before the Michaelmas—but ga, ga! What does the date matter? It was autumn, harvest-time, and everybody was so busy prophesying and praying about the crops, that the young couple wandered through the lanes, and got blackberries for Miss Jessamine's celebrated crab and blackberry jam, and made guys of themselves with bryony-wreaths, and not a soul troubled his head about them, except the children, and the Postman.1988The Confession of Brother HaluinShe's there at Hales, she paid her dues last Michaelmas.
orchid like; relating to orchids1859On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural SelectionNearly all our orchidaceous plants absolutely require the visits of insects to remove their pollen-masses and thus to fertilise them. 2001Hotel HonoluluIt was one of those brilliant orchidaceous days on the North Shore of Oahu, under the towering palms.
a person obsessed with their health; a sick person1815EmmaThe evil of the actual disparity in their ages (and Mr. Woodhouse had not married early) was much increased by his constitution and habits; for having been a valetudinarian all his life, without activity of mind or body, he was a much older man in ways than in years; and though everywhere beloved for the friendliness of his heart and his amiable temper, his talents could not have recommended him at any time.1877The Essays of MontaigneAll which conceits come now into my head, by the remembrance of a story was told me by a domestic apothecary of my father's, a blunt Swiss, a nation not much addicted to vanity and lying, of a merchant he had long known at Toulouse, who being a valetudinary, and much afflicted with the stone, had often occasion to take clysters, of which he caused several sorts to be prescribed him by the physicians, acccording to the accidents of his disease; which, being brought him, and none of the usual forms, as feeling if it were not too hot, and the like, being omitted, he lay down, the syringe advanced, and all ceremonies performed, injection alone excepted; after which, the apothecary being gone, and the patient accommodated as if he had really received a clyster, he found the same operation and effect that those do who have taken one indeed; and if at any time the physician did not find the operation sufficient, he would usually give him two or three more doses, after the same manner.
a big grin; an ugly grimace; the mouth of a bird; an orifice1939The Big SleepWhen one of them touched my tongue I knew that my mouth was open and the ache at the side of my jaws told me it was open wide and strained back, mimicking the rictus of death carved upon the face of Harry Jones.1982Helliconia SpringOf course, dear,' Skitosherill said, sketching a rictus of a smile in her direction.1986AliensThey look like jars containing SEVERED ARTHRITIC HANDS, the palsied fingers curled in a death-rictus.
a planet's orbital position at which point it is furthest from the sun1884Life: Its True GenesisThe actual amount of heat which the earth annually receives from the sun is in no way affected by the eccentricity of its orbit. It is a constant quantity, and only unequally distributed on the earth's surface, being neither increased nor diminished, as our winters occur in aphelion or perihelion. 2000Manifold TimeCornelius pointed to numbers. 'These figures show the asteroid's perihelion, aphelion, eccentricity.'2002Retief!Then there are the tides; half the continent would be inundated twice a year when our satellite is at aphelion…
a component of a building foundation; a basket or wire cage filled with rocks or earth used to fortify a building1862The Art of WarThey required one million sand-bags and fifty thousand gabions.1914My Days of AdventureStone casements were being roofed with earth, platforms were being prepared for guns, gabions were being set in position at the embrasures, sandbags were being carried to the parapets, stakes were being pointed for the many pièges-à-loups, and smooth earthworks were being planted with an infinity of spikes.1945The CommodoreFarther back, under cover of the line of filled gabions, the besiegers were revetting their breastwork with fascines, six-foot bundles of wood, and farther back still they were building the whole thing solid with earth dug from a trench behind the breastwork.
cheap and tawdry dress1682The Greatness of the SoulAs, if it be the lust of uncleanness, then is the motion to sin drest up in all the imaginable pleasurableness of that sin; if to covetousness, then is the sin drest up in the profits and honours that attend that sin; and so of theft and the like; but if the motion be to swear, hector, or the like, then is that motion drest up with valour and manliness; and so you may count of the rest of sinful motions; and thus being trimmed up like a Bartholomew baby, it is presented to all the rest of the powers of the soul, where with joint consent it is admired and embraced, to the firing and inflaming all the powers of the soul.1682The Ten Pleasures of Marriage and The Confession of the New-married CoupleYea, and here she shews you, that though before she was but a Bartholomew Baby, that she is now grown to be a brave houswife.1785A Classical Dictionary of the Vulgar TongueBARTHOLOMEW BABY. A person dressed up in a tawdry manner, like the dolls or babies sold at Bartholomew fair.
a useless person; a slovenly person; a wretched and mean person1805Hudibras Quoth she, Although thou hast deserv'd | Base slubberdegullion, to be serv'd | As thou did'st vow to deal with me, | If thou had'st got the victory | Yet I shall rather act a part | That suits my fame than thy desert. 1898The Battle of the StrongThe dry cackle of the apprentice as he looked after Guida roused a mockery of indignation in the Master. 'Sacre matin, a back-hander on the jaw'd do you good, slubberdegullion—you! Ah, get go scrub the coffin blacking from your jowl!' he rasped out with furious contempt.
any communication praising something or someone1873The Parisians, Book 7 De Mauleon now approached Isaura, who was seated next to Valerie, and after well-merited encomium on Madame S———'s performance, slid into some critical comparisons between that singer and those of a former generation, which interested Isaura, and evinced to her quick perceptions that kind of love for music which has been refined by more knowledge of the art than is common to mere amateurs. 1974Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance The technique of identifying likenesses, the technique of praise, that of encomium and that of amplification.
a person who achieves success at an early age; a child prodigy1981CujoAndy Masen was the Maine Attorney General's Wunderkind…1988The Player of GamesOlz Hap the wunderkind had come out of her shell…1991American PsychoIt's got a great keyboard riff and it's the only track on the album produced by wunderkind producer Narada Michael Walden.
stubborn; difficult to imagine1663A Collection of Scottish ProverbsNothing is difficile to a weill willed man1910Howard's EndLittle need be premised about Tibby. He was now an intelligent man of sixteen, but dyspeptic and difficile.1999The Talented Mr. RipleyPETER: I don't know how to translate that. (he tries) E difficile....il signor Ripley....dormiva all'aperto, con un...
punishment by hauling a person under the keel of a ship; a nasty reprimand1973The Mediterranean CaperHe’d heard old tales that described in detail the ancient and brutal practice of keelhauling insubordinate British sailors.1975ShogunIf Pesaro had not yielded instantly, once again Rodrigues would have had to blow a hole in a man's face or put him in irons or order fifty lashes or keelhaul the man or perform any one of a hundred obscenities essential by sea law to maintain discipline.
something or someone outside the realm of socially or scientifically accepted norms1893The Adventure of the Stockbroker's ClerkIt is a case, Watson, which may prove to have something in it, or may prove to have nothing, but which, at least, presents those unusual and outre features which are as dear to you as they are to me.1946Happy Death Day (The Shadow Magazine, September 1946)For the murder had been a bizarre one with outre overtones.1990Children of the NightThe tourists and teenyboppers came looking for weird and outre, and she was perfectly happy to separate them from their money.
characterized by divisive tendencies; the propensity to divide or break away from a larger body or group1868The Variation of Animals and Plants Under DomesticationSuch cases as that of the Hydra are evidently analogous to the spontaneous division or fissiparous generation of the lowest animals, and likewise to the budding of plants.1911Proportional RepresentationIn such circumstances parties necessarily give place to groups, and the fissiparous tendency is most apparent where party discipline is most rigid.1934A Backward GlanceMay not the matchless beauty of an ancient rite have protected our ancestors from what Huxley called the 'fissiparous tendency of the Protestant sects,'…2003The History of Middle EarthEvil is fissiparous.
How To Use The DictionaryHead Word. A head work begins each entry. Each head word is in bold, underlined, and shown in red. Pronunciation. Pronunciations follow the head word and stressed syllables are shown in upper case. Pronunciations are written using a pronunciation system developed specifically for this dictionary. (See: Pronunciation Guide). Part-of-speech. The part-of-speech, a grammatical attribution, follows the pronunciation key. Definition. Following the part-of-speech is the definition for the head word. An entry's different word meanings, senses or synonyms are delimited using a semicolon. Illustrative Quotations. Each head word is illustrated by one or more quotations. Quote Year. Each illustrative quote begins with the year the source quote was published, written, translated, broadcast, or produced, as the case may be. Quotations are presented in e chronological order, i.e. ordered sequentially by year, from older to newer. Quote Author. The author of the quote appears in all caps. Multiple authors are delimited with "and". Quote Source. The name or title of the originating source for each quotation appears in italics. Quotation. The quotation consists of a sentence or two from the Quote Source illustrating the head word.
Don't you just hate pronunciation systems full of arcane symbols? Systems that sting the brain as much as the eyes? In this pronunciation system, it's just the plain old English alphabet. The idea is, it's perfectly OK for you to speak English with your accent. That the finest phonological distinctions are not made here is a key feature of the guide. Pronunciations follow the head word. Stressed syllables are shown in upper case. That is all.
About This Project
If reading were a sin, the average person today would be a saint.
And this dictionary in progress would be blasphemy.
Just look at the facts. People are addicted to TV. Right? Like super addicted. What else can you say when the average person sits in front of the television for over three hours each and every day? The average person sinks 6.6 weeks into the tube every year. Do it in one sitting and you'd be glued to the set 24 hours a day for 46.6 days. Quite a nice little national obsession we've got going, eh? Or is it? If the whole nation is investing huge chunks of time into TV, that's what normal is. By that standard, it's also normal to read a paltry 0.4 hours per day. That's just six days per year of reading.
Are you one of these saints? Me? Not on your life.
Mea maxima culpa!
The written word has been a life long obsession, or more generously, a passion. And it's a passion shared by many. But how many? They say 10% of the drinkers drink 90% of the booze. I wonder if something like that is true for readers? It could be. We, the word obsessed, can find the well written word just about everywhere. Novels. Novellas. Short stories. Flash fiction. Nonfiction. Newspapers. Magazines. Journals. White papers. Poetry. Plays. Screenplays. Lyrics. Blogs. I've even read a few well written emails.
If reading is your passion, then you may already subscribe to the belief that the English language is the greatest achievement of mankind to date. If reading is your passion, you're probably a sinner too. Not that that implies any kind of moral point between word readers and screen watchers.
The purpose of this dictionary is to collect and spotlight words and phrases and author quotations which deserve more ice-time, more face-time. The words and phrases you will find here are on the verge of extinction. These words are a credit to their language—they have the power to entertain, elucidate, and educate. These words, phrases and author quotations deserve, perhaps, our attention more than yet another evening's slate of television.
This dictionary is an eclectic sampling of the English language's history and genius. Ultimately, The Death of Fissiparous and Other Words is dictionary for people who love words.
A new endangered word is highlighted every day, weekends included! Enjoy.
— CJ Cooney
Do your part: Help keep the words alive and smash illiteracy in one fell swoop! Email a word to a verbally challenged friend or three! Drop the big-word bomb in conversation! Fearlessly throw endangered words into your next txt msg!