affectedly or hypocritically pious or righteous: a canting social reformer.
Canting comes from one of the senses of the verb cant, “to talk hypocritically or with affected piety.” One of the famed lexicographer Samuel Johnson’s five senses for cant is “A whining pretension to goodness, in formal and affected terms.” Cant and canting ultimately come from Latin cantāre “to sing.” Cantāre and its derivatives such as cantus “song, chant, chanting” were used contemptuously in Medieval Latin for perfunctory and lackluster liturgical chanting of the hours. In English by the first half of the 18th century, cant also meant “the singsong whining or chants of beggars; the phraseology peculiar to a particular class, party, or profession,” and “insincere, conventional expressions of enthusiasm for high ideals, goodness, or piety.” Canting entered English in the second half of the 16th century.
He’s a villain in disguise; that’s my opinion of him. A low, canting hypocrite.
While conducting a petty, politically motivated trial and listening to a canting, ideological prosecutor, she looks bored and casts her glance aside.
state; condition: in fine fettle.
The noun fettle is found most often in the stock phrase in fine fettle “in a good state or condition.” Fettle is originally a British dialect word (Lancashire in northwest England), a verb meaning “to shape, prepare, fix, arrange.” Further origin is obscure: fettle may come from Middle English fetlen (fetelen, fatelen, fitelen) “to shape, fix, put, bestow” and be related to the Old English words fetian “to fetch, bring to, marry,” fæt “cup, vessel, vat,” and feter “fetter.” Or fettle may be related to the Old English noun fetel “belt, girdle.” The sense “to shape, prepare” entered English in the 14th century; the metallurgical and ceramics senses entered English in the second half of the 19th century; the sense “state or condition” in the mid-18th century.
Bernie Sanders was, as usual, in fighting fettle.
Mathilde was in fine fettle. The month in Venice had healed all the wounds.
the honor of winning at least one Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, and Tony in competitive rather than honorary categories: How many people have won an EGOT?
The acronym EGOT was coined in 1984 by the American actor Philip Michael Thomas (born 1949) from the initial letters of the Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, and Tony awards. It was later popularized by the TV show 30 Rock. As of 2019, 15 people have accomplished this feat.
Anderson-Lopez’s husband co-created “The Book of Mormon” and “Avenue Q,” and is the youngest person ever to claim the EGOT, or the rare Emmy-Grammy-Oscar-Tony show-biz grand slam.
Porter’s win puts him on the road to EGOT glory.
belonging or pertaining to the rodent subfamily Murinae, which includes more than 500 species of mice and rats.
Murine is an uncommon adjective pretty much restricted in zoology to mice and rats and the diseases they cause or transmit. Murine comes straight from the Latin adjective mūrīnus “of mice, mouse-colored,” a derivative of the noun mūs (inflectional stem mūr-). During the 4th century b.c., original intervocalic s in Latin became r; thus the Roman gens name Papīsius became Papīrius, and mūsīnus (if the word already existed) became mūrīnus. Mūs remains unchanged in the Latin derivative noun mūsculus “muscle.” Mūs is identical with the very common Proto-Indo-European noun mūs, which remains mūs also in Germanic (English mouse); mūs becomes mŷs in Greek, mū́ṣ– in Sanskrit, and mysz in Polish. Murine entered English in the early 17th century.
His estimate of just over two million rats in the city would have been horrifying but for the long-held belief that New York housed equal numbers of rats and humans, as if a municipal sponsor program had assigned each of the eight million New Yorkers a muck-dwelling murine counterpart.
But in order to study how that activity affects human brains at the cellular level, researchers at the University of Oregon managed to put murine brains into a somewhat equivalent state.
verb (used without object)
to associate on very friendly terms (usually followed by with): She often hobnobs with royalty.
The verb hobnob, originally meaning “to drink together, toast one another in turn,” is a rhyming phrase (like willy-nilly). Hobnob is an alteration of hab nab, hab or nab “whether or not, haphazardly,” literally “(whether) I/you/he/she have or not have,” formed from habbe and nabbe, the present subjunctive of the Middle English verbs haven, habben and nabben (Old English habban, nabban) “to have, not to have.” Hobnob was used as a toast when clinking goblets. Willy-nilly comes from will I/you/he/she, nill I/you/he/she “(whether) I/you/he/she want to or not.” Hobnob in the sense “to drink together, toast one another” entered English in the second half of the 18th century; the sense “to associate on friendly terms” entered English in the first half of the 19th century.
… they were to hobnob with nobility and hold friendly converse with kings and princes, grand moguls, and the anointed lords of mighty empires!
Didn’t I want to get out there, hobnob, curry favor, court support, mix it up, do battle, become a gladiator? I did not.
a person who has learned a subject without the benefit of a teacher or formal education; a self-taught person.
Leonardo da Vinci was an autodidact; so were Abraham Lincoln and Thomas Edison. Autodidact ultimately comes from the Greek adjective autodídaktos “self-taught,” a clear compound of the combining form auto– “self, same” (as in autograph), from the Greek pronoun and adjective autós “self, same,” and the adjective didaktikós “good at teaching, instructive.” Autodidact entered English in the first half of the 16th century.
He’s had a rich life as a blogger, and one of the ways he’s learned—he’s not shy about noting he’s an autodidact—has been through his many followers.
a sudden, unpredictable change, as of one's mind or the weather.
Caprice is capricious. It certainly comes from French, from Italian capriccio; the problem is where does Italian capriccio come from? In Italian, capriccio originally meant “sudden startle, shiver,” now “whim, fancy, fad.” The Italian word may come from an unattested Vulgar Latin capriceus “goat,” the image being of a kid skipping or frisking. Capriccio may also derive from the Italian noun capo “head, leader” (from Vulgar Latin capum, from Latin caput) and riccio (from Latin ēricius “hedgehog”), which as an adjective means “curly, frizzy” and as a noun means “hedgehog,” the image now being of the hair standing on end in fright. Caprice entered English in the second half of the 17th century.
This is only a caprice—and it would be the worst thing in the world to give in to her.
The only difference between a caprice and a lifelong passion is that the caprice lasts a little longer.