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showy but inferior and worthless.
Brummagem, an adjective and noun meaning “showy but inferior and worthless; something of that kind,” comes from the local Birmingham (England) pronunciation of Birmingham. The original (and standard) spelling and pronunciation of the city is bir-; the nonstandard or dialect spelling bru– is an example of metathesis, the transposition of sounds, a very common phenomenon. Compare Modern English bird with Middle English brid (brid was the dominant spelling until about 1475; the spelling bird is first recorded about 1419). The name Birmingham is first recorded as Bermingeham in William the Conqueror’s Domesday Book (1086); spelling variants with Br- first appear in 1198 as Brumingeham. In the mid-17th century Birmingham was renowned for its metalworking and notorious for counterfeit coins. Brummagem entered English in the second half of the 17th century.
In an effort to brighten up austerity-ridden Britain, the Southern Region of the state-owned railway system devised a pub-on-wheels (bar car) which was supposed to be very quaint. The outside of the car features leaded windows, cream panels, false brickwork and fake timbers, and the motif of brummagem antiquity is carried on inside.
Anthony lay upon the lounge looking up One Hundred and Twenty-seventh Street toward the river, near which he could just see a single patch of vivid green trees that guaranteed the brummagem umbrageousness of Riverside Drive.
patient endurance of hardship, injuries, or offense; forbearance.
Longanimity, “patient endurance of hardship or offense; forbearance,” comes via Middle English and Old French longanimite from Late Latin longanimitāt-, the inflectional stem of the noun longanimitās “long-suffering, patience,” a derivative of the adjective longanimis, which is a compound of the adjective longus “long” and animus “spirit, soul, mind.” Latin longanimis and longanimitās were coined by Christian Latin writers as calques or loan translations of Greek makróthymos (adjective) and makrothymía (noun) used in the Septuagint, the Greek translation of the Hebrew Bible completed sometime between the 3rd and 1st centuries b.c. Longanimity entered English in the early 15th century.
… if your disdain is my humiliation, I shall ill be able, albeit I am well furnished with longanimity, to suffer a grief that is not merely intense but protracted.
“there’s very little we can do about Thomas.” … “Then do very little,” she says in the voice of one whose longanimity foreshortens like shadows cast by the poplars amid the blaze of noon.
apparently good or right though lacking real merit; superficially pleasing or plausible.
Specious, “apparently good but lacking real merit; superficially pleasing or plausible; pleasing to the eye but deceptive; pleasing to the eye, fair,” comes from Latin speciōsus, which has the same ambivalent meanings. Speciōsus is a derivative of the noun speciēs, which also has the same wide range of meaning, but even the literal meaning “sight, view,” as in the common Latin phrase prīmā speciē “at first sight,” implies a “but.” Speciēs is a derivative of the verb specere “to see, look at, observe,” from the Proto-Indo-European root spek-, spok-, with the same meaning. The root appears in Sanskrit spáśati “he sees” and Avestan spasyeiti “he watches out (for), looks out (for).” In the Germanic languages spek– appears as spähen “to scout, look out” in German, and in Old Norse as spā “prophecy” (i.e., something that one has looked out for). Greek not infrequently goes its own way: it metathesizes (switches the positions of) the p and k, resulting in the Greek root skep-, skop-, as in sképtesthai “to look around, survey, spy, contemplate” (source of English skeptic and skeptical); skop– appears in Greek skopós “spy, scout; target, goal, purpose” (English scope). The Greek combining form –skopion, –skopeion “instrument for viewing” appears in microscope and telescope. Specious entered English in the late 14th century.
At the start of the pandemic, there were vague hopes of an artistic flourishing—that hoary and ultimately specious “Shakespeare wrote ‘King Lear’ in quarantine!” trope—but for me, at least, it was difficult to focus on much more than the ways in which my friends and neighbors were suffering.
And his own reasoning in these pages tends to be specious or skewed. He sets up ridiculous paper tigers to knock down easily …