a bony or chitinous shield, test, or shell covering some or all of the dorsal part of an animal, as of a turtle.
Carapace “a bony shell covering the back of an animal” is a borrowing by way of French from Spanish carapacho, which is of uncertain origin. One theory is that carapacho is a corruption related to English caparison (from Old Spanish caparazón) “a decorative covering for a horse,” which may come from Medieval Latin cappa “hooded cloak, cape” or classical Latin caput “head.” Alternative proposals that carapacho shares an origin with English calabash or calabaza, a type of gourd; Spanish galápago “tortoise,” the namesake of the Galapagos Islands; or Ancient Greek kárabos “kind of beetle,” which is related to scarab, are based only on passing phonetic similarity. Carapace was first recorded in English in the 1830s.
Gator snappers are surprisingly large turtles, with wild adult males capable of achieving weights of more than 200 pounds …. The carapace, or top shell, can be up to about 30 inches in length, and by the time one were to measure the head, neck, carapace and tail, the total length can approach a whopping 60 inches. However, most adults are quite a bit smaller with the average carapace length of only 24 inches.
Most fish, from minnows to sharks, have pliant bodies, which they undulate to move through the water. But boxfish sport a set of hard, bony plates, called a carapace. The carapace acts like a suit of armor—protecting them against predators, but restricting their flexibility …. It also gives them their strange shapes: other boxfish species look like purses, Frisbees or ottomans.
aromatic or herb-flavored tea.
Tisane “aromatic or herb-flavored tea” is a loanword from French, in which it indicates herbal tea, and comes from Latin ptisana, also tisana, from earlier Ancient Greek ptisanē “crushed barley,” derived from the verb ptissein “to crush.” Ptissein is related to several words of Latin origin, including pīnsere “to pound, crush,” which is the source of pistil “the seed-bearing organ of a flower” as well as pestle “a tool for grinding substances in a mortar.” Despite the similar sound and meaning, tisane is not related to tea; as we learned from the recent Word of the Day matcha, tea ultimately comes from Middle Chinese. Tisane was first recorded in English in the early 1930s.
Technically, tea comes from the evergreen plant Camellia sinensis. Oxidation transforms the flavor and color of the leaves to produce black tea, whereas green tea leaves remain relatively unprocessed. A drink produced by steeping herbs or flowers in boiling water should, strictly speaking, be called an infusion or tisane. But most of us still call these teas.
Chinese green tea first arrived in North Africa in 1854 when British ships en route to Baltic ports were forced to dock in Tangier, Morocco because of the Crimean War. “There were amazing salespeople on this ship, and they convinced the Moroccans to add … green tea to their mint tisanes .… Then it became a huge tradition,” says [author of The World in Your Teacup, Lisa Boalt] Richardson.
an informal session at which folk singers and instrumentalists perform for their own enjoyment.
Hootenanny “an informal session where folk singers and instrumentalists perform” may be a term popularized by musicians such as Pete Seeger and Woody Guthrie, but its ultimate origin is unknown. The prevailing theory is that hootenanny stems from Appalachian dialectal English and had an earlier meaning similar to that of thingamajig—a fanciful word used when the speaker does not know the true name of the object or concept in question. As we learned from the recent Word of the Day whigmaleerie, English has developed innumerable placeholder words based on nonsensical elements, from the simpler blivit, doodad, and gadget to the more complex doohickey, thingamabob, and whatchamacallit. Hootenanny was first recorded in English in the early 1910s.
The musical activity didn’t congeal and spread to other cities until the folk revival of the late 1950s and early 1960s. These hootenannies or hoots exemplified the values and practices of the folk movement. Later, hootenannies often coincided and helped energize political and countercultural events of the 60s …. Hoots could go on for hours and much like hoedowns often included other culturally expressively [sic] rituals, such as dancing, eating, and other community integrative activities.
My to-do list has 300 items, but when my editor asked if I’d like to drink whiskey and write about it for The Wall Street Journal, I figured I could definitely add that to the list. After I learned the whiskey was named Yippee Ki-Yay, I asked if she could get it to me by Saturday because I knew I was heading to our monthly hoot. (That’s short for hootenanny, I guess I should explain.) At the hoot we play and sing old country tunes—two-, three-chord songs almost exclusively.
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