Entry By: CJ Cooney
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animadvert bon vivant sciolist adscititious Siddhartha Gautama copacetic ventripotent moiety heterodox hoi polloi quondam acolyte codswallop pellucid solecism extirpate myrmidon éminence grise inveigh ceteris paribus vade mecum conduce leaven ochlocracy iwis colporteur apothegm uxorial minauderie naïf cachinnate
to express one's self fearlessly; to harshly criticize1862North AmericaIt is true that in that letter the Secretary declared that in case of any future seizure the vessel seized must be taken into port, and so declared in animadverting on the fact that Captain Wilkes had not brought the 'Trent' into port.1889The Blue Fairy BookIt is not our business to animadvert upon these lines; we are not critics, but historians.
an elegant and refined person, especially when it comes to fine dining and social events; bon viveur1865The CrocodileA certain well-known bonvivant of the highest society, probably weary of the cuisine at Borel's and at the X. Club, went into the Arcade, into the place where an immense crocodile recently brought to the metropolis is being exhibited, and insisted on its being prepared for his dinner.1994Pulp FictionINT. LANCE'S HOUSE - NIGHT At this late hour, Lance has transformed from a bon vivant drug dealer to a bathrobe creature.1997Plum IslandI thought about Mr. Fredric Tobin, proprietor, bon vivant, connoisseur of all things beautiful, local big wheel, acquaintance of the deceased.
a pretender to knowledge; a dabbler1861Considerations on Representative GovernmentClauses omitted which are essential to the working of the rest; incongruous ones inserted to conciliate some private interest, or some crotchety member who threatens to delay the bill; articles foisted in on the motion of some sciolist with a mere smattering of the subject, leading to consequences which the member who introduced or those who supported the bill did not at the moment foresee, and which need an amending act in the next session to correct their mischiefs.1910The Silent IsleNo doubt, if the writer in question made any claim to be discussing the latest theological position on the subject of the Atonement, in a technical way, he would be a mere sciolist; but he is only claiming to discuss the Current conception of the Atonement; and, as far as I can judge, he states it fairly enough.1935Doc Savage: Spook Hole'Exacerbative sciolist in cognoscence,' said Johnny.
incidental; supplemental; non-essential component of something1791The Life of JohnsonWe have notices of the Rambler in the Carter Corres:—'May 28, 1750. The author ought to be cautioned not to use over many hard words. In yesterday's paper (a very pretty one indeed) we had equiponderant, and another so hard I cannot remember it [adscititious], both in one sentence.'1825The Works of Samuel Johnson, Volume 4It seems therefore to be determined by the general suffrage of mankind, that he who decks himself in adscititious qualities rather purposes to command applause than impart pleasure: and he is therefore treated as a man who, by an unreasonable ambition, usurps the place in society to which he has no right.1922Since Cezanne Cezanne was direct because he set himself a task which admitted of no adscititious flourishes—the creation of form which should be entirely self-supporting and intrinsically significant, la possession de la forme as his descendants call it now.
name of the founder of Buddhism who lived circa 500 B.C.1979The Eternal MercenaryIt came to us from across the great mountains along with the teachings of another great sage, Siddhartha Gautama, called the Buddha.1998Acts of GodSiddhartha Gautama, the father of Buddhism, based his authority on having achieved nirvana and bodhi.
all's well; satisfactory; acceptable; OK; fine1986The Tank LordsIt's all copacetic.1987The Rip OffThen everything's copacetic, right, Britt?1989Black Cherry BluesEverything's copacetic.1990L.A. ConfidentialAssuming that Whalen and Mickey don't collide upon the Mick's release, things look hunky-dory and copacetic, don't they?
a huge paunch; a large belly; a powerful appetite1915The Rivet in Grandfather's NeckAfter a little, shaggy, big-thewed ventripotent Pan will grow jealous, and ravish you away from me, as he stole Syrinx from her lover.1918ShandygaffThis was a copper well lavished; for the publican, a ventripotent person with a liquid and glamorous brown eye, told us excellent gossip about Dr. Johnson and George Eliot, both heroes in that neighbourhood.1919In the Sweet Dry and DryI sat by the doors that were slatted | And the stuff had a surf like the sea—| No vintage was anywhere vatted | Too strong for ventripotent me! 1920The Days Before YesterdayI do not speak from personal experience, for I detest the sweet, cloying stuff; but it occasionally fell to my lot to guide downstairs the uncertain footsteps of some ventripotent Kommerzien-Rath, or even of Mr. Over-Inspector of Railways himself, both temporarily incapacitated by injudicious indulgence in Swedish Punch.
half of something; a part of something; one portion of something divided1697A New Voyage Round the WorldIt is fortified and garrisoned by a large Portuguese Colony, but yet under the Chinese Government, whose People inhabit one Moiety of the Town, and lay on the Portuguese what Tax they please; for they dare not disoblige the Chinese, for fear of losing their Trade.1719Robinson CrusoeThe old man told me he had not been in the Brazils for about nine years; but that he could assure me that when he came away my partner was living...but he assured me that the steward of the king's revenue from lands, and the providore, or steward of the monastery, had taken great care all along that the incumbent, that is to say my partner, gave every year a faithful account of the produce, of which they had duly received my moiety.1819Ivanhoe'It is sufficient,' said the Disinherited Knight. 'Half the sum my present necessities compel me to accept; of the remaining half, distribute one moiety among yourselves, sir squires, and divide the other half betwixt the heralds and the pursuivants, and minstrels, and attendants.'
unorthodox opinions; opinions divergent from the norm; not orthodox1766The Journal to StellaProbably William Whiston, who was deprived of the Lucasian professorship at Cambridge in 1710 for his heterodox views.1871AutobiographyAll of these who had anything in them, myself among others, quickly outgrew this boyish vanity; and those who had not, became tired of differing from other people, and gave up both the good and the bad part of the heterodox opinions they had for some time professed.1887The Crusade of the ExcelsiorThe march of science, which had been stopped by the local fogs of Todos Santos some fifty years, had not disturbed the simple Aesculapius of the province with heterodox theories: he still purged and bled like Sangrado, and met the priest at the deathbed of his victims with a pious satisfaction that had no trace of skeptical contention.1924Buddhism and Buddhists in China...his daughter was associating with a young monk discussing heterodox doctrines…
average people; the middle class; the great unwashed masses1973BurrI am told that Mrs. Monroe was so stuck-up that she had a platform built in the East Room where she used to sit on a throne and receive the hoi polloi like she was a queen.1989Dead Poets SocietyKEATING This is battle, boys. War! You are souls at a critical juncture. Either you will succumb to the will of hoi polloi and the fruit will die on the vine—or you will triumph as individuals.1998HellfireFor the assailant to vanish so quickly, he must have looked like hoi-polloi; a prosperous merchant or a noble would have stood out by his bearing and the manner of his dress.2002SlanderIn early 2002, David Geffen, Barbra Streisand, Steven Spielberg, and about one hundred other Malibu Marie Antoinettes erected chain-link fences to keep hoi polloi off the public beaches adjacent to their beachfront estates.
having been one time; former; of a former time1852QueechyThorn's answer was merely a bow, and Mr. Carleton withdrew, his quondam antagonist lighting him ceremoniously to the door.1877Grappling with the MonsterAttacks of sickness.—A quondam inebriate should never employ a physician who drinks, and should always tell his medical attendant that he cannot take any medicine containing alcohol.1914AmericaI have noticed curiously enough that English Colonials, especially in such particulars as speech and manners, follow their quondam sister colony, rather than the mother country. And this, not only in Canada, where the phenomenon might be explained by climatic, geographic, and historic reasons, but also in such antipodean places as Australia and South Africa, which are so far away as to apparently have very little in common either with America or with each other.
a follower; a devote; minor assistant to clergy in liturgical services1884Roman Life in the Days of CiceroIf it was the duty of the father to act as priest in some temple of the State (for the priests were not a class apart from their fellow-citizens), or to conduct the worship in some chapel of the family, the lad would act as camillus or acolyte.1960The GodmakersThe Abbod felt the force flowing between these two walls and experienced the anticipatory flash of guilt-fear which he knew was shared by the acolyte class.1986The Darkest Road...Jaelle was quick to enlist Leila as an acolyte in the Temple.
nonsense; something totally stupid1987Don't Panic: The Official Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy CompanionThe only voice raised against the series came from Mr Arthur Butterworth, who wrote to the Radio Times, saying, 'In just about 50 years of radio and latterly TV listening and watching, this strikes me as the most fatuous, inane, childish, pointless, codswallopping drivel... It is not even remotely funny.1997Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's StoneSome say he died. Codswallop, in my opinion.1997The Dark Tower: Wizard and GlassPish-tush, spare me the codswallop and pretty words.
crystal clear; transparent1841The Idler in FranceThe fountain, too, in its natural bed, which is not less than seventy-two French feet in diameter, and twenty feet in depth, was pellucid as crystal, and through it the long leaves that nearly cover the gravel appeared green as emerald.1881Eight Hundred Leagues on the AmazonLook well at it, then!' said Lina. 'All these beautiful things pass so quickly! Ah! dear mistress! do you see the troops of monkeys disporting in the higher branches, and the birds admiring themselves in the pellucid water!'1900From Jest to EarnestIf Lottie had been born pellucid as a drop of dew, as some claim, she would not have remained so long, even in the nursery, and as she stepped out farther and faster in the widening sphere of her life, surrounding influences did not improve.
ungrammatical speech; ungrammatical writing; something out of the norm1926Dreads and DrollsThen you must change one of them or wait till another time to pay, for, in England, to pay in gold is a solecism only pardonable in a stranger.1932Brave New WorldA man so conventional, so scrupulously correct as the Director—and to commit so gross a solecism!1998Nimisha's ShipCertainly no hostess would commit the solecism of inviting both Vescuya and Rezalla to the same function.
to exterminate; utter destruction; to pull up by the roots1911Under Western Eyes'We, of course, talked to him. And do you know what he said to me? 'What have we to do with Balkan intrigues? We must simply extirpate the scoundrels.' Extirpate is all very well—but what then? The imbecile! I screamed at him, 'But you must spiritualize—don't you understand?—spiritualize the discontent.'1917Why We are at WarEven in checking these things and trying to extirpate them we have sought to put the most generous interpretation possible upon them because we knew that their source lay, not in any hostile feeling or purpose of the German people toward us (who were, no doubt, as ignorant of them as we ourselves were), but only in the selfish designs of a Government that did what it pleased and told its people nothing.1987Sharpe's SiegeThe Thuella existed, her crew had made themselves a fortress on land, and it would take two days to extirpate that nest of pirates.
a henchman; an unscrupulous follower1742The History of Tom JonesAt which last words the door flew open, and in came Squire Western, with his parson and a set of myrmidons at his heels.1816Headlong HallHis myrmidon on this occasion was a little, red-nosed butler, who waddled about the house after his master, while the latter bounced from room to room like a cracker.1914Snake and SwordAnyhow, he could imagine that Bully Harberth was the Snake or Its emissary and, since he was indirectly brought upon him by the Snake, regard him as a myrmidon—and deal with him accordingly.
a behind the scenes decision-maker or power-broker; a puppet-master; literally: gray eminence1988The Lyre of OrpheusThere was no secret about the compelling portrait of Judas, holding firmly to his moneybag; there were enough sketches in the books Francis had filled at Düsterstein to mark him clearly as Tancred Saraceni, father in art to Francis, and an ambiguous éminence grise in the art world of forty years ago…1989HollywoodThe subject of the assistant president, the éminence grise, the Texas Machiavelli, was too enormous for either to embark on.1990The Bourne UltimatumHis bald head, fringed by perfectly groomed gray hair above his temples, was like the skull of an anointed éminence grise of some royal court where kings, princes and pretenders deferred to his wisdom…1994The Alienist...Ward McAllister had been Mrs. Astor's social éminence grise…
to rail against; to bitterly complain; venting of disapproval1861UtilitarianismWe not uncommonly hear the doctrine of utility inveighed against as a godless doctrine.1869Culture and AnarchyFor instance, when the Reform League orators inveigh against our cruel and bloated aristocracy, these invectives so evidently show the passions and point of view of the Populace, that they do not sink into the minds of those at whom they are addressed, or awaken any thought or self-examination in them.1884Jack in the ForecastleBut Captain Thompson, the next day, when I received my half month's pay in advance, and informed him of my arrangements, called me a fool, and inveighed in bitter terms against the whole race of sailor landlords.2001Foreign Legions A few had chosen not to, and Father Timothy had agreed, under the circumstances, not to inveigh against them.
all things being equal1834A Voyage Round the WorldIn my opinion, no man under thirty years of age, should think of travelling in an unhealthy country; before that age, the constitution is more liable to the infection of the endemic diseases of a hot climate than afterwards. Perhaps, between forty and fifty would be the best age—'ceteris paribus.' 1874On WarAgainst the far superior worth which the destruction of the enemy's armed force has over all other means stands the expense and risk of this means, and it is only to avoid these that any other means are taken. That these must be costly stands to reason, for the waste of our own military forces must, ceteris paribus, always be greater the more our aim is directed upon the destruction of the enemy's power. 1903The Way of All FleshYou will agree with me that though the efficacy of the sacrament does not depend upon the source of the baptismal waters, yet, ceteris paribus, there is a sentiment attaching to the waters of the Jordan which should not be despised.
a handy reference book; a manual; something carried around for convenience of reference1829The Mirror of Literature, Amusement, and Instruction (7 February 1829)To these are superadded the usual contents of a pocket book, so as to render the present volume a desirable vade-mecum for the operative, the manufacturer, and engineer.1910Strictly BusinessSo, driven to the wall, we go for our subject-matter to the reliable, old, moral, unassailable vade mecum—the unabridged dictionary. 1978ChesapeakeAnd she handed him a small, poorly printed volume called The Industrious Boy's Vade Mecum.1990A Voice From the AtticThey share with a great part of literate mankind the dream of the Wondrous Book, the invaluable Vade Mecum, in which the answer to their special question is to be found.
to influence, contribute to or lead toward a specific outcome1734An Essay on ManIn the physical universe all things work together for good, although certain aspects of nature seem evil to man, and likewise in the moral universe all things, even man's passions and crimes conduce to the general good of the whole.1857The ProfessorA lace-mender may make a good wife as well as a lady; but of course you have taken care to ascertain thoroughly that since she has not education, fortune or station, she is well furnished with such natural qualities as you think most likely to conduce to your happiness.1871GorgiasSOCRATES: And when we kill a man we kill him or exile him or despoil him of his goods, because, as we think, it will conduce to our good?1914The Press-Gang Afloat and AshoreThe exemption he otherwise enjoyed appears to have conduced not a little to the waterman's proverbial joviality.
something which causes fermentation; something which enlivens1901The Man Who Was AfraidWhat is it?' said Mayakin, excitedly, trembling. 'That either comes to him from excessive drinking, or else—Heaven forbid—from his mother, the orthodox spirit. And if this heathenish leaven is going to rise in him I'll have to struggle hard with him! There will be a great conflict between us.1917The Red PlanetI was among farmers from Skye and butchers from Inverness and drunken scallywags from the slums of Aberdeen, and a leaven of old soldiers from all over Scotland. I had no idea that such people existed.1935The Seven Pillars of WisdomThis was the unleavened dough cake of yesterday, but crumbled between the fingers while still warm, and moistened with liquid butter till its particles would fall apart only reluctantly.
control of a government by criminal elements; the rule of the mob1849Alton Locke: Tailor and PoetRemember always that Democracy means a government not merely by numbers of isolated individuals, but by a Demos—by men accustomed to live in Demoi, or corporate bodies, and accustomed, therefore, to the self-control, obedience to law, and self-sacrificing public spirit, without which a corporate body cannot exist: but that a 'democracy' of mere numbers is no democracy, but a mere brute 'arithmocracy,' which is certain to degenerate into an 'ochlocracy,' or government by the mob, in which the numbers have no real share: an oligarchy of the fiercest, the noisiest, the rashest, and the most shameless, which is surely swallowed up either by a despotism, as in France, or as in Athens, by utter national ruin, and helpless slavery to a foreign invader.1867The Rise of the Dutch Republic 1574-84The Prince had not power enough, however, nor the nascent commonwealth sufficient consistency, to repress the disorganizing tendency of a fanatical Romanism on the one side, and a retaliatory and cruel ochlocracy on the other.1905Moral PhilosophyBy such perversion monarchy passes into tyranny, aristocracy into oligarchy, and democracy into ochlocracy or mob-rule.
certainly; with certitude1904The NibelungendliedHad he so gladly lingered: | iwis it was that he, Now whensoe'er he wished it, | Kriemhild the maiden fair could see.1921The DecameronLazy and uncleanly and a liar he is, Negligent, disobedient and foulmouthed, iwis, And reckless and witless and mannerless: and therewithal he has some other petty vices, which 'twere best to pass over.
a street hawker or door-to-door peddler of religious literature1890In Darkest England and the Way OutWe shall establish an immense second-hand book shop. All the best books that come into our hands will be exposed for sale, not merely at our central depots, but on the barrows of our peripatetic colporteurs who will go from street to street with literature which, I trust, will be somewhat superior to the ordinary pabulum supplied to the poor.1915Through Five Republics on Horseback'Last year,' writes Mr. Milne, of the American Bible Society, 'one of our colporteurs in Ayacucho had to make his escape by the roof of a house where he was staying, from a mob of half-castes, led on by a friar.
a maxim; a pithy saying; a succinct remark1846The Old ManseIt has been an apothegm these five thousand years, that toil sweetens the bread it earns.1877The Essays of MontaigneHad any one formerly brought me to Erasmus, I should hardly have believed but that all was adage and apothegm he spoke to his man or his hostess.1905The House of MirthIf you would forgive your enemy, says the Malay proverb, first inflict a hurt on him; and Lily was experiencing the truth of the apothegm.1922Jurgen Besides, a kiss, wherever deposited, as Jurgen pointed out, is, when you think of it, but a ceremonial, of no intrinsic wrongfulness. The girl demurring against this apothegm—as custom again exacted—was, still in common fairness, convinced of her error. So now, says Jurgen presently, you see for yourself.
something suitable for a wife; something characteristic of a wife1989Brothers in ArmsIt’s hard to imagine that Great Admiral yielding to, ah, uxorial blandishments.1996Goebbels In fact Magda probably entertained little real ambition to harness her uxorial ambitions to such an uncertain chariot.
a contrived and unnatural show or display; affectation1823Peveril of the PeakJulian was under the necessity of enduring all her tiresome and fantastic airs, and awaiting with patience till she had 'prinked herself and pinned herself'—flung her hoods back, and drawn them forward—snuffed at a little bottle of essences—closed her eyes like a dying fowl—turned them up like duck in a thunderstorm; when at length, having exhausted her round of minauderies, she condescended to open the conversation.1850The History of Pendennis, his Fortunes and Misfortunes, his Friends and his greatest Enemy...what a pretty natural manner she has; how much pleasanter than the minauderies of the young ladies in the ballrooms.1853Villette'There is no time to be lost,' he went on, now speaking in French; 'and let us thrust to the wall all reluctance, all excuses, all minauderies. You must take a part.'1884A Perilous Secret'Connu ,' said Hope, 'voyons ca;' and in a minute repaired the article, and the girl spread it, and went off wriggling and mincing with it, so that there was a pronounced horse-laugh at her minauderies.1885Letter to William Archer (18 October 1885)Again, your first remark upon the affectation of the italic names; a practice only followed in my two affected little books of travel, where a typographical minauderies of the sort appeared to me in character; and what you say of it, then, is quite just.
a naïve person; a credulous person1860Atlantic Monthly (22 June 1860)There is something charmingly naïf in thus throwing in the company as a succedaneum to the dinner, and carefully segregating the widow from the rest of mankind as a distinct species. 1889Fruits of CultureLEONÍD FYÓDORITCH: It is quite evident he also is a medium. Especially as he is very like Home in appearance. You remember Home—a fair-haired naïf sort of fellow?1935The Inquisitor...because of his physical size, his voice, his laugh and something attractively naïf in his personality people laughed at him indulgently.1992Red SquareA naïf might ask why Minin hadn't gone to the Lenin's Path Collective. Arkady knew from experience that there were two types of investigations: one that uncovered information, and the more traditional type that covered it up.2003QuicksilverHmm, you are well-informed, for a political naif.
to laugh overly loud1846The Christmas BanquetIt turned out, however, that, with the best possible flow of spirits, our poor friend was afflicted with a physical disease of the heart, which threatened instant death on the slightest cachinnatory indulgence, or even that titillation of the bodily frame produced by merry thoughts.1902The Two VanrevelsNelson waited upon them at table, radiant, his smile like the keyboard of an ebony piano, and his disappearances into the kitchen were accomplished by means of a surreptitious double-shuffle, and followed by the cachinnating echoes of the vain Mamie's reception of the visitor's sallies…1919JurgenThen the brown man stamped his foot, and the striking of his foot upon the moss made a new noise such as Jurgen had never heard: for the noise seemed to come multitudinously from every side, at first as though each leaf in the forest were tinily cachinnating; and then this noise was swelled by the mirth of larger creatures, and echoes played with this noise, until there was a reverberation everywhere like that of thunder.1928The Call of CthulhuThen came the storm of 2 April, and a gathering of the clouds about his consciousness. There is a sense of spectral whirling through liquid gulfs of infinity, of dizzying rides through reeling universes on a comet's tail, and of hysterical plunges from the pit to the moon and from the moon back again to the pit, all livened by a cachinnating chorus of the distorted, hilarious elder gods and the green, bat-winged mucking imps of Tartarus.1972Time's Last GiftThen the lion was bowled over and he and about six hyenas became a rolling, roaring, cachinnating, yelping mess.