Entry By: CJ Cooney
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soporific summum bonum obstreperous trencherman miasma rusticate caitiff captious succedaneum jocose Polyphemus objurgate immure portmanteau putative quadrumanous vedi Napoli e poi mori Edisonade lotophagous bower jolie laide pari passu foofaraw littera scripta manet gamin impignorate widdershins otium cum dignitate gemütlich ignotum per ignotius
sleep inducing; a drug that causes sleep or dulls the senses1850The Man in the Iron MaskOutside, the guards of honor and the patrols of the musketeers paced up and down; and the sound of their feet could be heard on the gravel walks. It was an additional soporific for the sleepers; while the murmuring of the wind through the trees and the unceasing music of the fountains still went on uninterruptedly, without being disturbed at the slight noises and trifling affairs of which the life and death of man consist.1914Bambi'It's mutual, I may say,' and he fell into step. 'Bless this old town, it's like——' | 'A soporific,' she supplied, and joined his laugh.1961Thunderball...he knew that in minutes the strong soporific would put Bond out for hours.1970One Hundred Years of SolitudeRemedios in the soporific air of two in the afternoon, Remedios in the soft breath of the roses, Remedios in the water-clock secrets of the moths, Remedios in the steaming morning bread, Remedios everywhere and Remedios forever.
the greatest good; the supreme good1651LeviathanFor there is no such finis ultimus (utmost aim) nor summum bonum (greatest good) as is spoken of in the books of the old moral philosophers.1861UtilitarianismFrom the dawn of philosophy, the question concerning the summum bonum, or, what is the same thing, concerning the foundation of morality, has been accounted the main problem in speculative thought, has occupied the most gifted intellects, and divided them into sects and schools, carrying on a vigorous warfare against one another.1964You Only Live Twice...the 'quick buck', often dishonestly earned, or earned in exchange for minimal labour or skills, are the summum bonum, if you will allow the sentimental echo from my Oxford education.'1978ChesapeakeTo him, England was a respected family memory; he had been educated there, but it was not the summum bonum.
to be unruly; to be aggressively rude1917Who Can Be Happy and Free In Russia?God's curse, the Tsar's anger, | He hurls at the heads | Of obstreperous peasants.1961ThunderballHe was a ruthless, vengeful man and he had eliminated many obstreperous and perhaps dangerous people in his life.1988ZodiacBoone is standing six feet away, a rock, talking calmly and quietly like a nursery school teacher handling an obstreperous child.
a person who eats heavily; a person who eats to the point of excess1891Punch (Vol. 100, May 23, 1891)Lower down sat John Tooker, 'Girt Jan Doubleface' he was ever called, not without a sly hint of increasing obesity, for John, though a mighty man of thews and sinews, was no small trencherman, and, as the phrase is, did himself right royally whenever porridge was in question.1930Castle GayDougal, though very hungry and usually a stout trencherman, had not enjoyed his luncheon. 1997Plum IslandDr. Zollner was arranging his large lunch in front of him with the expertise of a real trencherman.
poisonous air; noxious air; unpleasant atmosphere1897DraculaThere was an earthy smell, as of some dry miasma, which came through the fouler air. But as to the odour itself, how shall I describe it? It was not alone that it was composed of all the ills of mortality and with the pungent, acrid smell of blood, but it seemed as though corruption had become itself corrupt. Faugh! It sickens me to think of it.1995SacramentThe shutters, which were to her left, remained open a little way, but the daylight fluttered at the sill, stopped from entering by the miasma she was giving off.1998Sailing to Sarantium...the miasma of an excruciating headache…1999Conspiracy In DeathEve knew the layer all too well. Sweet, sickly. And here, sneaking under the miasma of urine and sour flesh was the smell of death, and she noted with a faint frown, the bright metallic hint of blood.
to live in the country; to send to live in the country; to live in a bucolic setting1887A Study in ScarletSo alarming did the state of my finances become, that I soon realized that I must either leave the metropolis and rusticate somewhere in the country, or that I must make a complete alteration in my style of living.1903Rebecca of Sunnybrook FarmI always go South for the spring vacation, traveling by sea to Old Point Comfort, and rusticating in some quiet spot near by.1906The Life of Sir Richard BurtonNext morning the culprits were brought before the college dignitaries; but the dons having lectured Burton, he began lecturing them—concluding with the observation that young men ought not to be treated like children. As a consequence, while the other offenders were merely rusticated, Burton was expelled.
a despicable coward; a loathsome wretch1915My Lady CapriceBase caitiff, hold!1921The Decameron...you stretch forth your delicate hands and cull the roses, leaving the thorns alone: which, being interpreted, means that you will leave the caitiff husband to abide in sorry plight with his dishonour…1949See You LaterDidn't you realize what this caitiff schmo was planning, the stinkard?
a propensity to judge things or persons severely; hard to please1928OrlandoThus did the spirit work upon her, for all her past pride, and as she came sloping down the scale of emotion to this lowly and unaccustomed lodging-place, those twangings and tinglings which had been so captious and so interrogative modulated into the sweetest melodies…1969Magister Ludi, The Glass Bead GameThis instruction followed immediately after his own lessons in epigraphy and source work, the pupil becoming the teacher and the honored teacher an attentive listener and often a captious critic and questioner.1977ComaThe anesthesiology resident had had to weather one of the worst bombardments of foul words and captious epithets that had ever been hurled over an anesthesia screen.
a substitute for something1831The Eventful History of the Mutiny and Piratical Seizure of HMS BountyIf, instead of fish, he has flesh, he must have some succedaneum for a knife to divide it; and for this purpose a piece of bamboo is tossed to him, of which he makes the necessary implement by splitting it transversely with his nail. 1876Two Trips to Gorilla Land and the Cataracts of the CongoThe comb is unknown, its succedaneum being a huge bodkin, like that which the Trasteverina has so often used as a stiletto.
humorous; joking; merry; jovial1823The ProvostI therefore assumed a coothy and obliging demeanour towards my customers and the community in general; and sometimes even with the very beggars I found a jocose saying as well received as a bawbee, although naturally I dinna think I was ever what could be called a funny man, but only just as ye would say a thought ajee in that way.1898The Iron GameIt seemed to him a sort of treason to talk of his regiment before the man who was so soon to be in the ranks against them. 'Oh, I can't tell our secrets before the enemy,' he ended, jocosely.1904The Sea WolfThomas Mugridge, on the other hand, considered it a laughable affair, and was continually bobbing his head out the galley door to make jocose remarks.
a cyclops from Greek mythology, the son of Poseidon, appearing as a character in Homer's Odyssey1865The History of Friedrich II of PrussiaFriedrich Wilhelm's conduct, looked at from without, appears that of a hideous royal ogre, or blind anthropophagous Polyphemus fallen mad. Looked at from within, where the Polyphemus has his reasons, and a kind of inner rushlight to enlighten his path; and is not bent on man-eating, but on discipline in spite of difficulties—it is a wild enough piece of humanity, not so much ludicrous as tragical. 1910Terre NapoleonSome of the French sailors who had been ashore returned in a wild state of alarm on account of giants whom they professed to have seen—men of extraordinary strength and stature, they reported, with long black beards, armed with enormous spears and shields, who ran at a furious pace, brandishing their weapons and giving utterance to fearful yells. 'However extravagant these assertions might appear,' said the incredulous naturalist, 'it was necessary to collect precise information on the subject.' The scientific Ulysses regarded the reputed Cyclops with a calculating scepticism. Had Polyphemus been at hand, Peron would have politely requested him to permit himself to be weighed and measured, and would have written an admirable monograph on his solitary optic.
to scold; to chastise; to denounce1871The Adventures of Harry Richmond'Prayers!' He was about to objurgate, but affirmatived her motion to ring the bell for the servants, and addressed Peterborough: 'You read 'em abroad every morning?'1907Heart of the WestFour of his fellow-passengers followed, inspired by his example, ready to explore, to objurgate, to resist, to submit, to proceed, according as their prime factor might be inclined to sway them.1914The Price of LoveRachel remained alone, to objurgate Rachel. It was indeed only too obvious from Mrs. Tams's constrained and fussy demeanour that the old woman had divined the existence of serious trouble in the Fores household.1926The Treasure of the Lake...at this point a kind of rage possessed me which caused me to berate and objurgate Hans…
to imprison; to enshrine; to entomb1845The Count of Monte Cristo'One minute,' cried Albert, without giving Monte Cristo the time to reply. 'Take care, you are going to immure a traveller, Sinbad the Sailor, a man who comes to see Paris; you are going to make a patriarch of him.'1895The Love Affairs of a BibliomaniacTo him the incredible feat of walking seventy miles within the compass of a day was mere child's play; then, when the printer became clamorous, he would immure himself in his wonderful den and reel off copy until that printer cried 'Hold; enough!''1921The Pleasures of IgnoranceThe blue hills in the distance when rain is about, the grey arras of wet that advances over the plain, the whitethroat that sings or rather scolds above the hedge as he dances on the wing, the tree-pipit—or is it another bird?—that sinks down to the juniper-tip through a honey of music, a rough sea seen in the distance, half shine, half scowl—any of these things may easily cut us off from history and from hope and immure us in the present hour.1983The Anubis GatesCertain lines made Ashbless curious: 'No such sweet sights doth Limbo den immure, Wali'd round, and made a spirit-jail secure.
a leather suitcase; a new word derived from two or more words1862The Recreations of A Country ParsonAnd this is labour, and hard labour; though very different from that physical exertion which the uncivilized man would understand by the word. Every one can understand that to carry a heavy portmanteau a mile is work. Not every one remembers that the owner of the portmanteau, as he walks on carrying nothing weightier than an umbrella, may be going through exertion much harder than that of the porter. Probably St. Paul never spent days of harder work in all his life, than the days he spent lying blind at Damascus, struggling to get free from the prejudices and convictions of all his past years, and resolving—on the course he would pursue in the years to come.1876The Hunting of the SnarkThis also seems a fitting occasion to notice the other hard words in that poem. Humpty-Dumpty's theory, of two meanings packed into one word like a portmanteau, seems to me the right explanation for all. For instance, take the two words 'fuming' and 'furious.' Make up your mind that you will say both words, but leave it unsettled which you will say first. Now open your mouth and speak. If your thoughts incline ever so little towards 'fuming,' you will say 'fuming-furious;' if they turn, by even a hair's breadth, towards 'furious,' you will say 'furious-fuming;' but if you have the rarest of gifts, a perfectly balanced mind, you will say 'frumious.'1897The Invisible ManThe stranger came early in February, one wintry day, through a biting wind and a driving snow, the last snowfall of the year, over the down, walking from Bramblehurst railway station, and carrying a little black portmanteau in his thickly gloved hand.
assumed or suggested to exist; generally believed or imagined1919Seven MenIt was then that I espied yonder the back of the putative Maltby.1964The Far Side of the DollarThen I called Arnie Walters in Reno and gave him a rundown on the old man's son, Mike Harley, ex-sailor, ex-fighter, ex-bartender, gambler, kidnapper, wife-beater, putative murderer and driver of a 1958 Plymouth two-door, California license number IKT 449.1982The One TreeBut at his back, his putative son slept.
relating to primates with hand-shaped feet1860CeylonThe only other quadrumanous animal found in Ceylon is the little loris, which, from its sluggish movements, nocturnal habits, and consequent inaction during the day, has acquired the name of the 'Ceylon Sloth.1869The Malay ArchipelagoHe made a spring at me, and if the keeper had not pulled me back would have treated me unhandsomely, like a quadrumanous rough, as he was.1886Tom Finch's Monkey and How He Dined with the AdmiralBut, alas, he never became sufficiently developed or 'evolved' from his quadrumanous condition to answer the question in person, as the engines which were his hobby in the end compassed his untimely death!1925The Everlasting ManWe could imagine a Supermonkey more marvellous than any Superman, a quadrumanous creature carving and painting with his hands and cooking and carpentering with his feet.
vedi Napoli e poi mori
vay-dee NAW-po-lee aa po-ee MO-ree
see Naples and then die1908Il CondeThere is a saying of Neapolitan patriotism, intended for the information of foreigners, I presume: 'See Naples and then die.' Vedi Napoli e poi mori. It is a saying of excessive vanity, and everything excessive was abhorrent to the nice moderation of the poor Count.1908A Spirit in PrisonHer imagination was almost furiously alive, and as the Padrone talked, waving his hands and striking postures like those of a military dictator, she saw the dead Empress, with her fan before her face, nodding her head to the jig of 'Funiculi, funicula,' while she watched the red cloud from Vesuvius rising into the starry sky; she saw Sarah Bernhardt taking the Greek cat upon her knee; the newly made Czar reading the telegram with his glass of punch beside him; Tosti tracing lines of music; Gladstone watching the sea; and finally the gaunt figure and the long beard of Tolstoy bending over the book in which he wrote clearly so many years ago, 'Vedi Napoli e poi mori.'
a young man or boy who creates a machine or tool and takes it out to a frontier region where adventure ensues as his fortune is made; a story featuring an Edisonade1993 Encyclopedia of Science Fiction (Second Edition) The edisonade is not only about saving the country or planet through personal spunk and native wit, it is also about lighting out for the Territory.
Special Note: John Clute's entry EDISONADE in the second edition of the Encyclopedia of Science Fiction is the first appearance of the term "edisonade". Clute is the coiner of the term edisonade, having modeled the term after the term ROBINSONADE.
2002 Victorian Archetypal Heroes and The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen (ultrazine.org, January 2002) An Edisonade was a boy inventor who used a machine, usually some kind of ship, to transport himself to the Western frontier and make his fortune by 'civilizing' it, usually by slaughtering great numbers of natives.
lazy; indolent1883The Correspondence of Thomas Carlyle and Ralph Waldo Emerson (1834-1872)I have even fancied you did me a harm by the valued gift of Antony Wood;—which, and the like of which, I take a lotophagous pleasure in eating.
a nice dwelling; a medieval apartment in a castle1904A Kidnapped Santa ClausSo Wisk the Fairy transported himself to the bower of the Fairy Queen, which was located deep in the heart of the Forest of Burzee; and once there, it did not take him long to find out all about the naughty Daemons and how they had kidnapped the good Santa Claus to prevent his making children happy.1909Seven English CitiesOne must not judge it too severely, though: bowers and prisons of that day looked much alike, and Mary Stuart may have felt this a bower, and only hated it because she could not get out of it, or anyhow break the relentless hold of that Earl and Countess of Shrewsbury whose captive guest she was, though she never ceased trying.1920Glimpses of BengalWhen she arrived in her bower with the dust on her body soaked by the rain into a coating of mud, she must have been a sight!
a woman who is attractive in an unconventional way1921Women in the Life of BalzacShe was a fine equestrienne, a most beautiful dancer, apparently naturally graceful, and bore the sobriquet of la jolie laide.1981The Xanadu TalismanShe smiled, and again for a moment was transformed from a jolie-laide to a beautiful woman.
at equal rates; at equal speed; in lock step with1827The PrairieUnless, indeed, a man may be so called, whose fortune is made, whose fame may be said to be established for ever, whose name will go down to posterity with that of Buffon—Buffon! a mere compiler: one who flourishes on the foundation of other men's labours. No; pari passu with Solander, who bought his knowledge with pain and privations!'1899That FortunePhilip's estimation of himself rose 'pari passu' with his recognition of the discernment and intellectual quality of the frank and fascinating girl who seemed to believe in him.
something gaudy and/or frilly; a commotion over something inconsequential1973The Ferguson RifleIt ain't only the way it shoots, but all that silver foofaraw you got on the stock.1992Steel BeachAll in all, it was the goldarndest, Barnum-and-Baileyest, rib-stickinest, rough-and-tumblest infernal foofaraw of a media circus anybody had seen since grandpaw chased the possum down the road and lost his store teeth, and I was heartily sorry to have been a part of it.2000Sentry Peak...there's some kind of foofaraw back at the camp.
littera scripta manet
lit-ur-aw skript-aw MAW-net
the written word remains; the written word abides1825Diary of Samuel Pepys16th. Up, and by coach to White Hall, and there to the Duke of York as usual. Here Sir W. Coventry come to me aside in the Duke's chamber, to tell that he had not answered part of a late letter of mine, because 'littera scripta manet'. About his leaving the office, he tells me, it is because he finds that his business at Court will not permit him to attend it; and then he confesses that he seldom of late could come from it with satisfaction, and therefore would not take the King's money for nothing.1900Philippian StudiesAnd what a thought of strength and joy this is to the believer of our latter day! Littera scripta manet. How impressive is the permanence of every written reflexion of the mind, and of the life! Who has not felt it, even in the reading of a private letter to himself, written years and years ago? We have St Paul speaking to us in this indelible page as really as if we were seated with him in "his own hired house," and were listening as he dictates to the friend beside him.
a street urchin1922Tales of the Jazz AgeSoft Shoes touched his thumb to his nose and wiggled the fingers derisively at Wessel. 'Street gamin!' muttered Wessel.1924The Pot BoilerBut Bill's not like a street-gamin..1973Assignment Silver ScorpionHer small face changed from a gamin's grin to the strong and stubborn grimace of a dockside girl.
to pawn something; to take out a mortgage on something1835The Pacha of Many Tales Mine is a military conscience, and I agree with Bates and Williams, who flourished in the time of Henry V., that it is 'all upon the King:' that is to say, it was all upon the king; and now our constitution has become so incomparably perfect, that 'the king can do no wrong;' and he has no difficulty in finding ministers, who voluntarily impignorating themselves for all his actions in this world, will, in all probability, not escape from the clutches of the great Pawnbroker in the next—from which facts I draw the following conclusions:—1st. That his Majesty (God bless him!) will go to heaven. 2ndly. That his Majesty's ministers will all go to the devil. 3rdly. That I shall go———on with my story. 1889In the South SeasHowever, I have got the yacht paid off in triumph, I think; and though we stay here impignorate, it should not be for long, even if you bring us no extra help from home. 1889Letter to Charles Baxter (9 February 1889)He has no lands, only the use of such as are impignorate for fines; he cannot enrich himself in the old way by marriages; thrift is the chief pillar of his future, and he knows and uses it.1903The Twilight of the Gods and Other Tales'I rejoice to state,' rejoined Porphyry, 'that it is not these volumes that have involved us in our present difficulties with the superintendent of the Imperial treasury, nor can they indeed, seeing that they are now impignorated with him.'
counter-clockwise1918The First Hundred ThousandWhen the washers are issued, however, the port-wine rule is abandoned; and the washers are despatched to you, in defiance of all the laws of superstition and tradition, 'widdershins,' or counter-clockwise. No wonder articles thus jeopardised often fail to reach their destination!1973The DeathbirdHe walked widdershins around the room.1983Tea With The Black DragonThe direction of his progress was against the clock, or widdershins. To cross a churchyard widdershins is not auspicious…
otium cum dignitate
o-TEE-uhm kuhm dig-nih-TAW-the
dignified retirement; dignified leisure1830 The Monastery For the purpose of commencing my new way of life, I selected for my residence the village of Kennaquhair, in the south of Scotland, celebrated for the ruins of its magnificent Monastery, intending there to lead my future life in the otium cum dignitate of half-pay and annuity. I was not long, however, in making the grand discovery, that in order to enjoy leisure, it is absolutely necessary it should be preceded by occupation. 1863 Diary of a Pedestrian in Cashmere and Thibet SEPTEMBER 30.--For the last fifteen days we have been living once more the life of OTIUM CUM DIGNITATE common to the travelling Englishman in Cashmere. Basking in the sun, taking the daily row upon the river, eating fruit, and buying trash in the city, have been our principal occupations and amusements. 1909 "Celebrates His Jubilee in Victoria", Victoria Daily Colonist. May 11. p 7.The Hon. Edgar Dewdney is 74 years old. Over six feet high, of military appearance, a gentleman of the 'old school,' he still retains much of the extraordinary vigor which has characterized his career in this province. Even now he is unsatisfied to take his otium cum dignitate, but is still evolving schemes, and thinking out plans in connection with his profession
pleasant; easy going1929DodsworthOur European women are very gemutlich, they are easy to be with, they wait on us…1934The Casino Murder Case'Quayle, d' ye see, was a classmate of Bloodgood's. Two aspirin' young chemists. Very good friends. Everything gemütlich.'1988The House That Jack BuiltNever beautiful, but perhaps pretty in a gemutlich sort of way.1994The AlienistPapa Brübacher, a truly gemütlich restaurateur who was always glad to see a regular customer…
ignotum per ignotius
ig-NO-tuhm pur ig-NO-tee-uhs
explaining something difficult to comprehend by reference to something even harder to comprehend1400The Canterbury Tales'Yea, Sir, and is it thus? This is ignotum per ignotius. What is Magnesia, good Sir, I pray?'1909Darwin and Modern ScienceHe refused to supplement them by hypothetical geographical changes for which there was no independent evidence: this was simply to attempt to explain ignotum per ignotius.1989The Great and Secret ShowObscurum per obscurius, ignotum per ignotius, they advised. Let the obscure be explained by the more obscure, the unknown by the more unknown.