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Archaic. (used with a plural verb)
winding, roundabout paths or ways.
The English noun ambages is usually used in the plural, just like its Latin original, ambāgēs. Both English and Latin nouns share the same meanings: “winding, roundabout paths; prolix, ambiguous, or equivocating language.” The Latin noun is a compound of the prefix ambhi– “around, about, both” (as in ambidextrous “able to use both hands equally well”), and a derivative noun of the hard-working verb agere “to lead, drive, act, do.” Ambages entered English in the early 15th century.
A city of monstrous size to which London was but a market town. Its ambages of streets bewildered.
few readers, we apprehend, will have the resolution to keep him company to the end of his book, or to follow him through the ambages of his descriptions, without occasional symptoms of weariness.
something of tawdry design, appearance, or content created to appeal to popular or undiscriminating taste.
One person’s art is another person’s kitsch. Kitsch is a German noun meaning “trash, rubbish; slapdash, pretentious, sentimental, or tacky work of art.” Kitsch is a derivative of the verb kitschen “to throw together (a work of art),” from German kitschen “to sweep up or scrape up mud from the street,” or from German dialect kitschen “to sell cheaply.” Kitsch entered English in the first half of the 20th century.
When the art critics call me “cornball” and my work “kitsch,” which I’m told is a derogatory term for popular art, I begin to worry. But I always pick up my brushes and go back to work. For better or for worse, I’ll never be a fine arts painter or a modern artist. I’m an illustrator, which is very different.
Allee Willis … lives in a light-pink house north of Hollywood with a bowling-ball garden and a heaving collection of kitsch.
extremely full; crowded; jammed: a room chockablock with furniture and plants.
Chockablock is a nautical term describing the position of tackle when the blocks are drawn close together. From the sense of the blocks being pressed tightly together, chockablock develops the sense “extremely full, crowded.” Chock and block are clear enough: they are synonyms for a wedge or other solid, heavy mass for holding something steady. The only problem with chockablock is the –a-: it is likely a reduced form of and. Chockablock entered English at the end of the 18th century.
I have a steel engraving of the Old Harbor chockablock with ships ….
The lyrics and the video are chockablock with suburban Americana signifiers: lawns, pools, divorce.