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chaise longue

[ sheyz lawng, cheyz ] [ ˌʃeɪz ˈlɔŋ, ˌtʃeɪz ] Show IPA Phonetic Respelling


a chair, with or without arms, for reclining, having a seat lengthened to form a complete leg rest and sometimes an adjustable back.

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More about chaise longue

Chaise longue “a chair with a lengthened seat for reclining” is a loanword from French, in which it means “long chair.” A common practice among English speakers is to say “chaise lounge,” which is the result of confusing French longue “long” with English lounge “to rest lazily.” While chaise longue and lounge chair are both considered standard, “chaise lounge” is gaining in popularity. French chaise is a Paris-area dialectal variant of the original chaire (adapted into English as chair); unlike rhotacism, which changes s (or z) to r, Parisian French frequently used to change r to s. The ultimate origin of French chaise is Ancient Greek kathédra “seat, chair,” which is also the source of English cathedral. Chaise longue was first recorded in English in the 1790s.

how is chaise longue used?

No piece of furniture says ‘me time’ quite like a chaise longue. With its reclined back and elevated feet, it offers the promise of serenity in a package designed for just one person …. A chaise longue is ideal in a library, a corner of the master bedroom or an alcove off the living room. And because it usually sits by itself, it can be more sculptural than other pieces of furniture.

Tim McKeough, “Shopping for a Chaise Longue,” The New York Times, December 30, 2019

A well-known example of a piece of furniture that remains steeped in its history, frequently seen in contemporary homes for its anachronistic quality, is the chaise longue (or recamier). Despite its initial popularity in 16th-century France, the elegant silhouette of a chaise longue complete with its twisted, low backrest and detailed feet can be found in many sofa retailers today.

Anya Cooklin-Lofting, “Why forgotten furniture is having a revival,” The Independent, January 24, 2021
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[ faw-nuh ] [ ˈfɔ nə ] Show IPA Phonetic Respelling


the animals of a given region or period considered as a whole.

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More about fauna

Fauna “the animals of a given region as a whole” is an example of a collective noun, a noun that typically appears as singular but refers to a group of persons or objects. Common collective nouns in English also include couple, government, jury, population, and team, all of which refer to groups of people even when the nouns themselves are singular. Unlike mass nouns such as electricity, furniture, and sadness, collective nouns can use the indefinite article a (or an) and numbers; we may say a team or two couples but not an electricity or two furnitures. Fauna is the namesake of the rural Roman goddess Fauna, the feminine counterpart of the forest god Faunus. These two Latin names may come from the verb favēre “to favor,” which would make them potential relatives of the recent Words of the Day Faustian and foehn. Fauna was first recorded in English circa 1770.

how is fauna used?

No complex animals prowled the seas of the Ediacaran Period. Instead, the depths held microbial mats and strange, frond-like creatures that resembled nothing alive today. Paleontologists have suggested that this was a sort of Garden of Eden, a simple ecosystem wiped away by the more vibrant fauna of the following Cambrian Period.

Asher Elbein, “600 Million Years Ago, the First Scavengers Lurked in Dark Ocean Gardens,” The New York Times, November 30, 2018

Bacteria are typically a few millionths of a metre long. To them, a human mouth is an entire world. The tongue, teeth, and gums are all very different habitats, each with their own fauna. There are even differences between the microbes below and above the gum line of a single tooth.

Ed Yong, “The Forest In Your Mouth,” National Geographic, January 25, 2016
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[ ahn-dahn-tey ] [ ɑnˈdɑn teɪ ] Show IPA Phonetic Respelling


moderately slow and even.

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More about andante

Andante “moderately slow and even” is a loanword from Italian, in which it literally means “walking” and is the present participle of the verb andare “to walk, go.” From here, the history becomes somewhat murky. Romance languages merged several roots in a process called suppletion to create their verbs meaning “to go”—similar to English with be (and am, are, was)—but what roots were merged remains a matter of debate. With andante, there are two proposals: a derivation from a lost Vulgar Latin verb such as ambitare “to go in circular motion” or an origin in the Gaulish root andā-, the latter of which is related to Latin passus “step.” Andante was first recorded in English circa 1740.

how is andante used?

The Haydn symphony is the one with the limpid little andante second movement, which some feel is insufficiently important for a Haydn slow movement, but which to my ear touches the ultimate in perennial simplicity and freshness.

Ken Winters, “Making beautiful music together,” The Globe and Mail, April 23, 2004

She lived among her own things like a visitor to a room kept “exactly as it was when.” She tiptoed, even when she went to draw a bath, nervous and andante. She stopped, fluttering and febrile, before every object in her house.

Djuna Barnes, Nightwood, 1936
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