exceptionally pleasing to taste or smell; especially delicious or fragrant.
The English adjective ambrosial comes from the Greek noun ambrosía “immortality; elixir of life, food of the gods.” (Néktar is “the drink of the gods, nectar”). The initial a– of ambrosía is a variant of the prefix an– meaning “not, without, lacking,” as in atheist or anarchy. The b in ambrosía is a glide consonant between the m and the r. The mro is a derivative of mŗ-, a variant of the very common Proto-Indo-European root mer-, mor-, mŗ– “to die.” The variant mŗ– is also the source of Latin mors (stem mort-) “death,” Morta “goddess of death,” and morī “to die,” Armenian mard “man,” Sanskrit mŗtá– “dead,” and Slavic (Polish) martwy “dead.” The root variant mŗ– regularly becomes mur– in the Germanic languages, yielding murder in English and Mord “murder” in German. The root variant mor– is the source of Greek mortós and Sanskrit márta– “human (being), mortal,” and Old Persian martiya– “mortal, man.” The root variant mer– is the source of Hittite mert “died.” Ambrosial entered English in the second half of the 16th century.
Her dishes were threaded through with the islands’ smoke and spice and with the ambrosial sweetness of tropical fruit …
He quickly sautes the preserved duck with wild onions, bathes it with a buttery white wine sauce, and tosses in the parboiled, bite-sized pasta and the glistening green fiddleheads. After a few ambrosial bites, I call it investigative journalism.
a heated discussion, debate, or argument; fuss; to-do.
All the authorities agree that pother “commotion, uproar; heated argument” has no reliable etymology; indeed, even the words that pother may be related to, like bother, have no trustworthy etymology. (The fact that an early citation of pother is spelled bother just makes things worse.) Pother originally rhymed with other and brother; it acquired its current pronunciation by the beginning of the 19th century.
Yet what a pother is there of pismires over a grain of sand. But that grain of sand is their whole world.
“I don’t know what’s so very extraordinary about it, or why there should be such a pother,” he began; and he knew that he was insolently ignoring abundant reasons for pother, if there had been any pother. “Yes, I’m engaged.”
cleverly inventive or resourceful.
Ingenious comes from late Middle English ingenious “intelligent, resourceful, quick-witted,” from Old French ingenïos, engeignos, from Latin ingeniōsus “clever, talented, gifted.” Ingeniōsus is a derivative of the noun ingenium “natural disposition, temperament, mood; natural ability, cleverness,” and the adjectival suffix –ōsus, the source via Old French and Anglo-French of the English suffix –ous. Ingenious entered English in the second half of the 15th century.
She was an ingenious inventor who planted a seed that would blossom into some of today’s most ubiquitous technology, including Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, GPS, cordless phones and cell phones.
Yet as ingenious as this inventor was, their toy did not spark a societal revolution.
verb (used with object)
to entertain lavishly or agreeably; delight.
Regale “to entertain lavishly; delight” comes from the French verb régaler “to feast, entertain,” from the Old French noun regale, rigal(l)e, a derivative of gale “festivity, feast, lavish meal.” The prefix re– or ri– is borrowed from the verb (se) rigoler “to amuse (oneself)”; (se) rigoler in its turn is a derivative of galer “to make merry.” The French present participle of galer is galant, which in Middle English becomes galaunt, galant “merry, gay, gaily dressed,” English gallant. Regale entered English in the second half of the 17th century.
It used to be that road-weary travelers would regale their nightly hosts with tales of rivers forded, vistas taken in, injuries sustained, and possibly even enemies vanquished.
One dinnertime, he regaled me with the story of how Lord Byron’s challenge to Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley to write a ghostly tale led to the creation of Frankenstein.
verb (used with or without object)
to bend; turn; crinkle.
The uncommon verb crankle “to bend, turn; crinkle” is a frequentative verb derived from crank “to rotate a shaft with a handle or crank.” A frequentative verb is one that expresses frequent or repeated action. In English such verbs end in –er (as flutter from float, slither from slide) and –le (as dazzle from daze, bobble from bob). English frequentatives are a closed set, that is, English no longer produces frequentatives with the suffixes –er and –le. Instead, modern English expresses the frequentative by the plain present tense, e.g., “I walk to school (habitually, usually),” as opposed to the present progressive “I am walking to school (right now).” Crankle entered English at the end of the 16th century.
Two miles down, the river crankles round an alder grove.
She pleaded with Dagda not to take her child, but her pleading was no more than the sound that a river makes when it crankles between stones.
noisy, clamorous, or boisterous.
Obstreperous “noisy, clamorous” comes straight from the Latin adjective obstreperus, a derivative of the verb obstrepere “to make (a loud) noise against.” Obstrepere is a compound of the preposition and prefix ob, ob– “toward, against” and the simple verb strepere “to make a loud noise (of any kind), shout confusedly, clamor.” The facetious, almost comic adjective obstropolous, in existence since the first half of the 18th century, is a variant of obstreperous. Unfortunately there is no further etymology for strepere. Obstreperous entered English at the beginning of the 17th century.
I could not have been the only one in that obstreperous crowd, made up overwhelmingly of Michiganders, to know the presumably important fact that, well…those car plants didn’t exist.
For one critic, the final movement [of Beethoven’s Ninth] was sometimes “exceedingly imposing and effective” but its “Szforzandos, Crescendos, Accelerandos, and many other Os” would “call up from their peaceful graves… Handel and Mozart, to witness and deplore the obstreperous roarings of modern frenzy in their art”.
a person who is skilled in implementing creative ideas into practical form.
There must be many millions of people who watched the TV show The Mickey Mouse Club, which began airing in 1955, and these same fans of The Mickey Mouse Club may also associate the word imagineer with the designers of Walt Disney’s theme parks (the original Disneyland opened in Anaheim, California, in 1955). Imagineer, a blend of imagine and engineer, however, predates Disneyland by a good dozen years, first appearing in print on 1 June 1942, just before the Battle of Midway, in the very darkest days of World War II, in an upbeat advertisement, “Postwar America … will be a great day for Imagineers.”
those who have followed this major imagineer since early baroque efforts like “Veniss Underground” and “Shriek: An Afterword,” or who know his lavish craft guide, “Wonderbook” … won’t find Aurora and its denizens to be such a departure.
Bernie and Connie Karl are imagineers who make good things happen in Fairbanks and throughout the state of Alaska.