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third from the end.
In its most general sense, antepenultimate means “third from the end.” In discussions of grammar and prosody, antepenultimate more often describes the third from last syllable in a word, as te in antepenult. Working backward on antepenultimate, ultimate means “the last, final” (as in ultimatum “the final, last-chance demand)”; pen– is from Latin paene “almost” (as in English peninsula “an almost island)”; ante– is the familiar English prefix meaning “before” (from the Latin preposition, adverb, and prefix ante, ante-). Antepenultimate entered English in the second half of the 17th century.
Theresa May, in her antepenultimate day as the Conservative Party leader, had read an emotional passage from a letter …
this antepenultimate episode takes a softer tack, suggesting that cruel and horrible people can change if they really want to.
difficult and unpleasant: an Augean chore.
The English adjective Augean comes via Latin Augēus “of Augeas” (an adjective used only of King Augeas’ stables), from the proper name Augēās (mentioned in Latin only for the dung in his stables), from Greek Augeíās. Augeíās, whose name may be related to the adjective augḗeis “bright-eyed, clear-sighted,” a derivative of augḗ “light of the sun, ray, beam,” was the king of Elis (in the western Peloponnesus); his stables, filled with 3,000 immortal cattle, had not been cleaned for over 30 years. The cattle, moreover, were not only immortal but also divinely robust and healthy and therefore produced a prodigious amount of dung. Hercules’ fifth task was to clean the dung in Augeas’ stables, a task that was deliberately meant to be humiliating and impossible. Hercules cleansed the stables by diverting the river Alpheus through them. Augean entered English at the end of the 16th century.
Now, after an accumulation of filth for three months, the Spring thaw comes and an Augean task presents itself.
Augean jobs were deliberately assigned to him, tasks of almost unhearable tedium—immense bales of spinach to trim alone—in the expectation that he would muster a chef’s endurance or quit.
something or someone regarded as remarkable, unusual, etc.: a dilly of a movie.
The noun and adjective dilly, like many slang terms, has an obscure etymology. One etymology is that dilly is an alteration of delightful or delicious; the suffix –y is either the native English adjective suffix –y (as in juicy), or the originally Scottish noun suffix –y (as in granny). Dilly was originally an Americanism, first appearing in print in the early 20th century.
It would be a dilly of a painting.
The two big numbers, and they were dillies, were “La Toilette de la Cour” by Anthony Philip Heinrich, and Albert Gehring’s “The Soul of Chopin.”