Entry By: CJ Cooney
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Admetus antediluvian seppuku persona grata vicissitude tant mieux zucchetto quantum mutatus ab illo screed strath navvy recreant a posteriori Brobdingnagian avidity unberufen yoiks janizary ebullient tant pis antimacassar jobation kobold hapless jeremiad zounds logomachy saturnine begorra legerdemain
From Greek mythology: Pherae, a king of Thessaly, saved by Apollo from death when his wife Alcestis offers to die in his place.1854WaldenWhile my acquaintances went unhesitatingly into trade or the professions, I contemplated this occupation as most like theirs; ranging the hills all summer to pick the berries which came in my way, and thereafter carelessly dispose of them; so, to keep the flocks of Admetus.1882New Arabian NightsElvira and Stubbs advanced behind him, like a couple of Admetus's sheep following the god Apollo.1895Old Greek StoriesIt's over, Admetus is marrying her And they're joining the two of them at this moment. Ah! How a jealous soul Endures a harsh torture!1895The Golden AgePerseus, with his cap of darkness and his wonderful sandals, was not long in winging his way to our hearts; Apollo knocked at Admetus' gate in something of the right fairy fashion; Psyche brought with her an orthodox palace of magic, as well as helpful birds and friendly ants.
biblical era before the flood; antiquate; unfashionable1939Tropic of CapricornCertainly I did not need this grotesque, cumbersome, antediluvian desk which I had installed in the parlour…1975The Road to Gandolfo'That phrase is about as antediluvian as you are,' muttered Sam as he stood up.2003The Da Vinci CodeThe air inside smelled antediluvian, regal somehow, with traces of pipe tobacco, tea leaves, cooking sherry, and the earthen aroma of stone architecture.
suicide; the suicide ritual of the samurai; hara-kiri1939Some Buried CeasarMaybe you think they call it hara-kiri, but they don't or at least rarely. They call it seppuku.1975ShogunWomen committed seppuku only with a knife in the throat.1986HardwiredDaud and I aren't planning to commit seppuku with you, and I don't think the Hetman will, either.1989Canal DreamsThe condemned man ate a hearty breakfast. Feast before seppuku.1990DragonYou will please allow me to save face by committing seppuku.
a welcome or acceptable foreigner in the eyes of a government; an acceptable and recognized person1890Modern Types: The Servant of Society, Punch (Vol. 99, Sept. 27, 1890)At forty-five he marries the daughter of a powerful Peer, and, shortly afterwards, insures so much of the favour of Royalty as to be spoken of as a persona grata at Court. Henceforward his services are often employed in delicate negotiations, which may necessitate the climbing of many back-stairs.1914My First Years As A Frenchwoman: 1876-1879He was more of a soldier than a statesman—had contributed very successfully to the formation of 'United Italy' and the suppression of the Pope's temporal power, and was naturally not exactly persona grata to the Catholics in France.1994Faith 'Been on holiday somewhere lovely, Mr. Samson?' said the guard as the video screen pronounced me persona grata and he waved me through.
a change in a person's circumstances; a burden associated with a way of life; change in social affairs or social status1902The Puppet CrownHe cast a pebble into the lake, and watched the ripples roll away and disappear, and ruminated on a life full of color and vicissitude.1907PragmatismI am willing to think that the prodigal-son attitude, open to us as it is in many vicissitudes, is not the right and final attitude towards the whole of life.1911The Prodigal JudgeHe was deeply absorbed in Hannibal's account of those vicissitudes which had befallen him during their separation.
so much the better1886Vendetta!She is already afraid of you—in a little while she will look upon you with loathing and disgust—tant pis pour vous, tant mieux pour moi!'1894In the Quarter'Tant mieux!' cried the girl; 'I shall make a snowball…1934Tropic of CancerAnyway, what could go wrong? I asked myself. Kill herself? | Tant mieux.
a skullcap; colored by rank; and worn by Roman Catholic clerics1928The Old and the YoungMonsignor Montero removed his zucchetto…
Labels: Luigi Pirandello
quantum mutatus ab illo
he is a changed person; his circumstances have changed from what they were1753The Adventures of Ferdinand Count FathomAnd now, to return from this digression, you will perhaps be surprised to hear that the head or chairman of our club is really a sovereign prince; no less, I'll assure you, than the celebrated Theodore king of Corsica, who lies in prison for a debt of a few hundred pounds. Heu! quantum mutatus ab illo.1915Who Was Who: 5000 B. C. to DateLEOPOLD, King, of the Congo and Belgium. Has not been dead long enough for historians to make him famous. Ambition: Song, women, and wine. Recreation: Wine, women, and song. Address: Several in Brussels. Epitaph: Quantum Mutatus Ab Illo.
a long boring speech or written document1898The Inca of PerusalemTHE INCA. Well, why not! An Inca can do nothing. He is tied hand and foot. A constitutional monarch is openly called an India-rubber stamp. An emperor is a puppet. The Inca is not allowed to make a speech: he is compelled to take up a screed of flatulent twaddle written by some noodle of a minister and read it aloud.1915The Gray DawnPrivate facetiousness had labelled most of them with signboards. These were rough pictures of disaster painted from the marking pot, and various screeds—'Head of Navigation,' 'No Bottom,' 'Horse and Dray Lost Here,' 'Take Soundings,' 'Storage, Inquire Below,' 'Good Fishing for Teal,' and the like.1994Heavenly CreaturesMISS WALLER gestures at a screed of subjugated verbs scrawled on the blackboard.
a wide and flat river valley1862Wild WalesI passed under a crag exceedingly lofty, and of very frightful appearance. It hung menacingly over the road. With this crag the wall of rocks terminated; beyond it lay an extensive strath, meadow, or marsh bounded on the cast by a lofty hill.1909Poems and Songs of Robert BurnsAmang thae wild mountains shall still be my path, | Ilk stream foaming down its ain green, narrow strath; | For there, wi' my lassie, the day lang I rove, | While o'er us unheeded flie the swift hours o'love.
a menial worker; a lowly laborer; a drudge1868The Dock and the ScaffoldThrough the long, dim streets, and past the tall rows of silent houses, the full tide of life eddied and poured in rapid current; stout burghers, closely muffled and staff in hand; children grown prematurely old, with the hard marks of vice already branded on their features; young girls with flaunting ribbons and bold, flushed faces; pale-faced operatives, and strong men whose brawny limbs told of the Titanic labours of the foundry; the clerk from his desk; the shopkeeper from his store; the withered crone, and the careless navvy, swayed and struggled through the living mass; and with them trooped the legions of want, and vice, and ignorance, that burrow and fester in the foetid lanes and purlieus of the large British cities: from the dark alleys where misery and degradation for ever dwell, and from reeking cellars and nameless haunts, where the twin demons of alcohol and crime rule supreme; from the gin-palace, and the beer-shop, and the midnight haunts of the tramp and the burglar, they came in all their repulsiveness and debasement, with the rags of wretchedness upon their backs, and the cries of profanity and obscenity upon their lips.1885Twice Bought (a Tale of the Oregon Gold Fields)He laboured each day with pick and shovel with the energy of a hero and the dogged perseverance of a navvy, and each night he went to Lantry's store to increase his gains by gambling.1936The Ultimate WeaponHe had the body and muscles of a dock navvy, which Nature started out to make.
a disloyal person; a coward; a traitor to something1852Queechy'I will choose neither, Mr. Thorn, till you have heard me. I came here to see you on the part of others—I should be a recreant to my charge if I allowed you or myself to draw me into anything that might prevent my fulfilling it….'1876Among My BooksHe sympathized with the hopes of France and of mankind deeply, as was fitting in a young man and a poet; and if his faith in the gregarious advancement of men was afterward shaken, he only held the more firmly by his belief in the individual, and his reverence for the human as something quite apart from the popular and above it. Wordsworth has been unwisely blamed, as if he had been recreant to the liberal instincts of his youth.1921The FugitiveThrough the great rent that yawned for my deserted first-born, all my life's pleasures have run to waste. On that accursed day when I belied my motherhood you could not utter a word; to-day your recreant mother implores you for generous words. Let your forgiveness burn her heart like fire and consume its sin.
inductive reasoning; reasoning based on observable facts1873Critiques and AddressesOn the other hand, these views are supported a posteriori by an induction from observation, which professes to show that whatever is done by a Government beyond these negative limits, is not only sure to be done badly, but to be done much worse than private enterprise would have done the same thing.1894The History of RomeNo accounts have been preserved of the mode in which the settlements of the Latins took place in the district which has since borne their name; and we are left to gather what we can almost exclusively from a posteriori inference regarding them.1897On Human Nature: Essays (Partly Posthumous) in Ethics and PoliticsDialectic, for the most part, can be constructed only a posteriori; that is to say, we may learn its rules by an experiential knowledge of the disturbance which pure thought suffers through the difference of individuality manifested in the intercourse between two rational beings, and also by acquaintance with the means which disputants adopt in order to make good against one another their own individual thought, and to show that it is pure and objective.1961The Dandelion GirlTheir animated discussion of the transcendental aesthetic did more than elicit a priori and a posteriori conclusions…
having incredible size; mammoth; immense1963Cat's CradleHe was as nicely scaled as Gulliver among the Brobdingnagians, and as shrewdly watchful, too.1972Under the Green starHe had no difficulty in recognizing Susy's peculiarly Brobdingnagian school-girl hand.2002The Shiva OptionThe Brobdingnagian structure burned, crumpled, collapsed in on itself, shed streamers of debris.
keenness; eagerness; enthusiasm; craving1826The Last ManMy active mind, when once it seized upon this new idea, fastened on it with extreme avidity. 1893Travels in the Interior of AfricaExcessive thirst made many of them furious; others, being too weak to contend for the water, endeavoured to quench their thirst by devouring the black mud from the gutters near the wells, which they did with great avidity, though it was commonly fatal to them.1923Within a Budding GroveThose tender speeches, that invitation or acceptance, we think only of the pleasure which they would have given us, and not of all those other speeches and meetings by which we should have wished to see them immediately followed, which we should, as likely as not, simply by our avidity for them, have precluded from ever happening1990The White NinjaThe Pack Rat's attention drifted back to the girl who was sipping tea with the avidity of a lioness hunkering down to her fresh-killed meal.
uttered after boasting to avoid any bad lucky that might arise as a result of the boast; the verbal equivalent of knocking on wood1872Their Silver Wedding Journey'I don't suppose,' Burnamy said, 'that life ever does much better than this, do you? I feel like knocking on a piece of wood and saying 'Unberufen.' I might knock on your bouquet; that's wood.'1911Zuleika DobsonWhile Mr. Druce put the finishing touches to his shin, 'I am utterly purposed,' he said to himself, 'that for this death of mine I will choose my own manner and my own—well, not 'time' exactly, but whatever moment within my brief span of life shall seem aptest to me. Unberufen,' he added, lightly tapping Mr. Druce's counter.1912Mark Twain, A BiographyI think the hen ought to have a name; she must be called Unberufen. That is a German word which is equivalent to it 'sh! hush' don't let the spirits hear you!' The superstition is that if you happen to let fall any grateful jubilation over good luck that you've had or are hoping to have you must shut square off and say 'Unberufen!' and knock wood. The word drives the evil spirits away; otherwise they would divine your joy or your hopes and go to work and spoil your game. Set her again—do!
an utterance of surprise: "Yoiks!"1867Birds of PreyDon't let him slip through your fingers for a day; hunt him from lodging to lodging, from tavern to tavern, into jail and out of jail—tantivy, yoicks, hark-forward!1908The Gentle GrafterWe'll go out and get what's coming to us from a farmer; and then yoicks! and away.1914Children of the GhettoOh yes! Yoicks! Tallyho!' cried Benjamin, with sudden excitement.1922Right Ho, JeevesIt only needed Aunt Dahlia after them, shouting 'Yoicks!' or whatever is customary on these occasions, to complete the resemblance to a brisk run with the Quorn.1960Rogue MoonYoicks!' he yapped twistedly…
elite members of the Turkish army from the 15th to 19th century1845Twelve StoriesAbout half a mile out of the village, a little Hungarian, a boy of ten or twelve years, came running after me, pursued by a troop of Janizaries. He was half naked. I saw he couldn't hold out long. So I turned back and took him up on my horse. Just then the first Janizary reached me. Before he fell, he gave me this memento of him across my face. But I saved my little Hungarian.1849Mardi and A Voyage ThitherNow, one of these boats was to be made way with. No facile matter, truly. Harder than for any dashing young Janizary to run off with a sultana from the Grand Turk's seraglio. Still, the thing could be done, for, by Jove, it had been.1874Cobwebs From an Empty SkullA janizary standing here split his visage to grin, but it was surprising how quickly the Sultana had his head off.1895A Set of RoguesBut at the same time, turning his back on a janizary who stood hard by, he gave me a most significant wink and a little beck, as if I were to follow him presently.
very enthusiastic; extremely positive1974JawsHis eyes were bright, and he felt ebullient, vibrant.1982SpacePrior to every flight, NASA officials had warned Claggett that since what he said would be heard by millions or even billions of people around the world, he must censor his ebullient speech…1990The GriftersMyra enters, ebullient.
so much the worse1870Anna Karenina'I'm not to blame in any way,' he thought. 'If she will punish herself, tant pis pour elle.' But as he was going he fancied that she said something, and his heart suddenly ached with pity for her.1990A Year in Provence'Ah well,' he said, 'if you're on a diet, tant pis.'
a chair arm or back cover used to prevent soiling from hair oil1899The Story of the Treasure SeekersBy this Alice had put on the nursery tablecloth, which is green, and tied the old blue and yellow antimacassar over her head, and she said: 'If your intentions are correct, fear nothing and follow me.'1912The Chronicles of AvonleaAunt Olivia's parlour was much like herself—painfully neat. Every article of furniture stood in exactly the same place it had always stood. Nothing was ever suffered to be disturbed. The tassels of the crazy cushion lay just so over the arm of the sofa, and the crochet antimacassar was always spread at precisely the same angel over the horsehair rocking chair.1975Searching for CalebHe returned to his view of the seat ahead, a button-on antimacassar with an old lady's netted hat just beyond.
a scolding1884A Perilous SecretWalter Clifford returned home pretty well weaned from trade, and anxious to propitiate his father, but well aware that on his way to reconciliation he must pass through jobation.1884We Two'I was called this morning into Mr. Ashgrove's private room; he informed me that he had just learned with great annoyance that I was the nephew of that (you can supply his string of abusive adjectives) Luke Raeburn. Was it true? I told him I had that honor. Was I, then, an atheist? Certainly. A Raeburnite? Naturally. After which came a long jobation, at the end of which I found myself the wrong side of the office door with orders never to darken it again, and next month's salary in my hand.'1887Allan QuatermainHe listened to this jobation submissively, and then frankly acknowledged that he had spoken hardly. It is one of the best points in Sir Henry's character that he is always ready to admit it when he is in the wrong.1907Father and SonIt is difficult for me to justify to myself the violent jobation which my Father gave me in consequence of my scream, except by attributing to him something of the human weakness of vanity.
a trickster spirit or a gnome that lives underground; a German leprechaun1896In the Blue PikeHow could she have suspected that what stirred her passionate soul so fiercely was grief at the sight of the man whom she had regarded as the stronghold of integrity, the possessor of the firmest will, the soul of inviolable fidelity, succumbing here, before the eyes of all, like a dissolute weakling, to the seductive arts of an immature kobold? 1920The Metal MonsterA troll from the kindergarten! A kobold of the toys!1981Blue AdeptNay, thou art more likely a giant kobold, serving in the house of the human lady.2000American GodsThey brought me, and Loki and Thor, Anansi and the Lion-God, Leprechauns and Kobolds and Banshees, Ku-bera and Frau Holle and Ashtaroth, and they brought you.
without luck; luckless; unfortunate1902Literature and Life: Spanish Prisoners of WarThis would have been consequent, logical, and in a sort reasonable; but to butcher and capture a lot of wretched Spanish peasants and fishermen, hapless conscripts to whom personally and nationally we were as so many men in the moon, was that melancholy and humiliating necessity of war which makes it homicide in which there is not even the saving grace of hate, or the excuse of hot blood.1991The Penalties of PiratingAs the hapless driver was struggling to open his crumpled door, a blue IBM business limo came sliding to a stop beside it.1993Disneyland With The Death Penalty (Wired Magazine, Issue 1.04, Sep/Oct 1993)One reads of clubs there having their licenses pulled for stocking private cubicles with hapless Filipinas…
a lengthy complaint or harangue; a prophesy of doom1884Against The GrainWhen Des Esseintes had studied theology, he was already sick and weary of the old monk's preachings and jeremiads, his theories on predestination and grace, his combats against the schisms.1901The Purple CloudHowever, the bodies here were not numerous, most, as before, being foreigners: and these, scattered about this strict old English burg that mourning dark night, presented such a scene of the baneful wrath of God, and all abomination of desolation, as broke me quite down at one place, where I stood in travail with jeremiads and sore sobbings and lamentations, crying out upon it all, God knows.1903The Way of All FleshMoreover, Puritanism restricted natural pleasures; it substituted the Jeremiad for the Paean, and it forgot that the poor abuses of all times want countenance.1908Vanished ArizonaBut, alas, evil times have fallen upon us, and—I'm not writing a jeremiad—I took the book from the post office and when I saw the crossed guns and the '8' there was a lump in my throat, and I went into the barber shop and read it through before I left.1912Rolling StonesNot grief, but a hereditary rapprochement with death in the abstract, moved her to a dismal, watery snuffling, accompanied by her usual jeremiad.
an utterance of surprise: "Zounds!"1773She Stoops to ConquerMARLOW. Zounds, man! we could as soon find out the longitude!1890The Captain of the Polestar'And you,' he continued, turning suddenly upon our hero, 'are you ready to join the great cause which will make England what it was when the learned Alfred reigned in the land? Zounds, man, speak out, and pick not your phrases.'1915The HighwaymanGeoffrey exhibited a tender agitation. 'Why, Alison, what is it? Zounds, I cannot have you go travelling alone! You must give me news when you make a journey, and I'll ride with you.'1921Ptomaine StreetZounds, if you could hear those two quarrel!1971Gadget Man'Zounds!' said the captain.2000The Hades FactorHe held up the remote control with a flourish. 'Zounds! They're screwed!'
a battle over words; a battle of words1884Against The GrainAnd, in fact, the curiosity, the complicated naivete of the Christian language had also foundered. The balderdash of philosophers and scholars, the logomachy of the Middle Ages, thenceforth held absolute sway. The sooty mass of chronicles and historical books and cartularies accumulated, and the stammering grace, the often exquisite awkwardness of the monks, placing the poetic remains of antiquity in a ragout, were dead.1909Revolution and Other Essays'You are anachronisms. You stand in the way of humanity. To the scrap-heap with you.' To those that protested, and they were many, he said: 'This is no time for logomachy. You can argue for centuries. It is what you have done in the past. I have no time for argument. Get out of the way.'1970Fire From HeavenThe King had forbidden, and the philosopher did not want, the quibbling logomachy of eristics, that science which Sokrates had defined as making the worse cause look the better.
to be melancholy; to be bitterly sarcastic; a grave; foreboding appearance1878Drift From Two Shores After the Sunday episode, already referred to, she was given her liberty on that day, a privilege she gracefully recognized by somewhat unbending her usual austerity in the indulgence of a saturnine humor. 1946Vintage SeasonHe saw one man's face, over and overa long, dark saturnine face, deeply lined, sorrowful, the face of a powerful man wise in worldliness, urbane and helpless.1957Wild TownBugs glowered at him helplessly, wanting nothing so much as to smash his fist into the deputy's bland, saturnine face.1995The Outcast of RedwallTall and saturnine, he dressed plainly and affected the manner of a gentlebeast.
an exclamation of surprise1848The Kellys and the O'KellysWell, Mr Daly, I didn't expect this kind of thing from you: begorra, I thought you were above this! 1886Muslin Begorra, I am very glad they were murthered.1915The Toaster's HandbookAn Irishman once was mounted on a mule which was kicking its legs rather freely. The mule finally got its hoof caught in the stirrup, when the Irishman excitedly remarked: 'Well, begorra, if you're goin' to git on I'll git off.'
a magic trick or illusion; sleight of hand; any skillful deception1889In the South SeasHe would not seem to move from his position, and yet every day, when the things fell to be returned the plug had disappeared; he had found the means to conceal it in the roof, whence he could radiantly produce it on the morrow. Although this piece of legerdemain was performed regularly before three or four pairs of eyes, we could never catch him in the fact; although we searched after he was gone, we could never find the tobacco.2000From the Corner of His EyeHe produced her coat as if by legerdemain.