a descriptive name or designation, as Bald in Charles the Bald.
Appellative comes from the Late Latin grammatical term appellātīvus “pertaining to a common noun” and nōmen appellātīvum “a common noun” (in contrast to nōmen proprium “a proper noun”). Appellātīvus is a derivative of the verb appellāre “to speak to, address, call upon, invoke.” Appellative in the sense “descriptive name,” as Great in Alfred the Great, is a development in English dating from the first half of the 17th century. Appellative in its original Latin sense entered English in the early 16th century.
In connection with this appellative of “Whalebone whales,” it is of great importance to mention, that however such a nomenclature may be convenient in facilitating allusions to some kind of whales, yet it is in vain to attempt a clear classification of the leviathan …
In addition too to this almost Cimmerian gloom was the agrément of a penetrating rain, known perhaps to some of my readers by the gentle appellative of a Scotch mist …
a writer of fiction, especially a prolific one whose works are of mediocre quality.
The noun fictioneer is composed of the noun fiction and the noun suffix –eer denoting agency. The suffix is neutral in words like engineer and mountaineer, but it frequently has a pejorative sense, as in profiteer and racketeer. Fictioneer, too, has always had a hint of contempt in it: an early (1901) definition of fictioneer reads “a writer of ‘machine-made’ fiction.” Fictioneer entered English in the early 20th century.
If you were not a fictioneer, if you did not place a monetary value on the efforts of your imagination, I should be inclined to think that you were lying ….
That was long ago, and she’s a grandmother today, but still she can toss around the lingo of the Wild West with a fluency that would be the envy of a Hollywood scenarist or a fictioneer of the great open spaces.
very productive or creative intellectually: the fecund years of the Italian Renaissance.
The English adjective fecund ultimately comes from Latin fēcundus “fertile, productive,” used of humans, animals, and plants. The first syllable fē– is a Latin development of the Proto-Indo-European root dhē(i)– “to suck, suckle.” From fē– Latin forms the derivatives fēlīx “fruitful, productive, fortunate, blessed, lucky” (source of the English name Felix and felicity), fēmina “woman” (originally a feminine participle meaning “suckling”), fētus “parturition, birth, conception, begetting, young (plant or animal), child,” and fīlius and fīlia “son” and “daughter,” respectively (and source of filial). Dhē(i)– appears in Greek as thē(i)-, as in thêsthai “to suckle” and thēlḗ “nipple, teat” (an element of the uncommon English noun thelitis “inflammation of the nipple”). Fecund entered English in the 15th century.
… he possesses a fecund imagination able to spin out one successful series after another ….
He sort of reminded me of Billy Name … the guy who pretty much functioned as the Factory’s foreman during its most fecund years.
Jactation comes straight from the Latin noun jactātiōn– (the inflectional stem of jactātiō) “a flinging or throwing about, a shaking or jolting, tossing of the waves at sea,” and by extension, “frequent changing of one’s mind or attitude, boastfulness, grounds for boasting.” Jactātiō is a derivative of the verb jactāre “to throw, hurl, toss,” a frequentative verb from jacere “to throw, toss, sow (seed), cast (anchor).” Jactation entered English in the 16th century.
Judge of my mortification, t’other day, when in a moment of jactation, I boasted of being born in that illustrious, ancient, and powerful kingdom!
Others see in them merely the jactation of a limited wit, which is nothing more.
verb (used with object)
to undo the invention of; to reverse the existence of.
Disinvent is an obvious compound of the prefix dis-, here having a reversing force, and the verb invent. It is quite rare, first appearing in the second half of the 19th century (for the “disinventing” of the telegraph). In the 20th century disinvent has been applied to the impossibility of “disinventing” nuclear or chemical weapons.
However alarmed we are by those weapons, we cannot disinvent them. The world cannot cancel the knowledge of how to make them. It is an irreversible fact.
A number of science fiction movies have actually had to “disinvent” existing technologies in order to retell the myth of how rebels against “the system” help preserve free and open societies.
light, bantering talk or writing.
The origin of persiflage all comes down to sound. English persiflage is borrowed from French persiflage, derived from persifler “to banter” and -age, a noun-forming suffix. Persifler combines per-, an intensive prefix meaning “thoroughly,” and siffler “to whistle, hiss.” Siffler in turn comes from Late Latin sīfilāre, from Latin sībilāre, also “to whistle, hiss.” This perfectly expressive verb yields English sibilate “to hiss” and sibilant “hissing,” which, in phonetics, characterizes such sounds as the –s– and –zh– in persiflage. We can well imagine how the teasing repartee, for example, of two sweethearts in a romantic comedy, sizzles with sibilant sounds, but for all the “hissing” of persiflage, its raillery is light and good-natured. Persiflage entered English in the mid-18th century.
He was not an Italian, still less a Frenchman, in whose blood there runs the very spirit of persiflage and of gracious repartee.
… when persons of unrestrained wit devote their attention to airy persiflage, much may be included in their points of view.
to instigate or foster (discord, rebellion, etc.).
English foment ultimately comes from the Latin noun fōmentum “a soothing dressing or compress (hot or cold), a remedy, alleviation.” Fōmentum is a contraction of an earlier, unrecorded fovimentum or fovementum, a derivative of the verb fovēre “to keep warm, protect from the cold, refresh, ease.” The Latin neuter suffix –mentum is used to form concrete nouns from verbs, such as armāmentum “sailing gear, tackle,” from armāre “to fit out with equipment or weapons.” Foment entered English in the 15th century.
Russian attempts to influence American voters—including ad purchases on social media intended to foment racial division—coexisted with and benefitted from domestic attempts to discourage people from casting a vote.
The coordinated attacks, which took place in three Sri Lankan cities and killed more than 300 people, were designed to foment religious strife in a country that has been slowly recovering from a quarter-century-long civil war.