verb (used without object)
(of the larger species of cats) to make a low snuffling sound analogous to the purring of smaller cat species, often as a greeting.
Chuffle, “to make a low snuffling sound analogous to the purring of smaller cat species,” is likely of imitative origin, rendering in letters a close approximation of the sound in question. A comparable sound that steam engines emit is the source of the similar verbs chuff, chug, and even choo-choo. The ending, –le, is likely the frequentative suffix also found in verbs such as sparkle and twinkle, indicating repetitive action or motion.
Tigers make a sound called a chuffle. These guys can’t purr like house cats. They’re roaring cats, they roar. So they chuffle; it’s like blowing air through their nose. That means they’re happy. It’s an affectionate sound.
“Indira’s our most playful and friendly animal at the retreat,” Ms. Wilson, Zambi’s operations manager, said. “She’s everybody’s favourite; she’s the first one to run up and chuffle at you – that’s her friendly sound.”
to meditate or muse; ponder.
Ruminate, “to meditate, muse, or ponder,” comes from Latin rūminātus, the past participle of rūmināre, rūminārī “(of cattle) to chew the cud; (of humans) to turn over in the mind, ponder” (Roman cattle were famous throughout the ancient Mediterranean for their contemplativeness). Rūmināre is a derivative of the noun rūmen (inflectional stem rūmin) “throat, gullet.” Rūmen is possibly related to Sanskrit romantha– “cud-chewing” and Welsh rhumen “belly, paunch, udder.” Ruminate entered English in the first half of the 16th century.
“Good night, little ones!” said the Professor. “You may leave me now—to ruminate. I’m as jolly as the day is long, except when it’s necessary to ruminate on some very difficult subject. All of me,” he murmured sleepily as we left the room, “all of me, that isn’t Bonhommie, is Rumination!”
One of the hardest parts of napping on a schedule is quieting a too-loud brain. It’s easy to ruminate and stress, and to spend half an hour digging through your mind’s detritus rather than unplugging.
pertaining to leave-taking or departing; valedictory.
The English apopemptic is a straightforward borrowing of the Greek adjective apopemptikós, “pertaining to dismissal, valedictory,” a derivative of the adverb and preposition apό- “off, away” and the verb pémpein “to send,” a verb with no clear etymology. The Greek noun pompḗ, a derivative of pémpein, means “escort, procession, parade, magnificence,” adopted into Latin as pompa (with the same meanings), used in Christian Latin to refer to the ostentations of the devil, especially in baptismal formulas, e.g., “Do you reject the devil and all his pomps?” Apopemptic entered English in the mid-18th century.
As Opal Codd said sweetly my last day, her apopemptic word for me was “agathism.” Once again, I could do no more but ask her to translate. “My dear,” she said, “apopemptic! Pertaining to farewell, of course.” “Of course. But ‘agathism’? A belief in Agatha Christie?”
For you the gods of song forgo their quarrel; / Panther and Wolf forget their former anger; / For you this ancient ceremony of greeting / Becomes a solemn apopemptic hymn.
Get A Vocabulary Boost In Your Inbox