verb (used with object)
to confuse or disconcert; upset; frustrate.
Discombobulate “to confuse, upset, or frustrate” was originally a jocular American coinage from the North Midland U.S. (from Ohio west through Indiana, Illinois, and Iowa, to Nebraska). Discombobulate is a pseudo-Latinism like absquatulate and confusticate, and based on learned Latin words like disaffiliate or disaggregate, or humorous alterations of discompose or discomfort. The many variant spellings include discombobligate, discombobolate, discomboberate, discombooberate, and discumboblificate. Discombobulate entered English in 1825 in the spelling discomboberated.
The filmmaking theory seems to be that if you discombobulate viewers with random shifts of the camera perhaps they won’t notice that your U.F.O. show contains no hard evidence of U.F.O.’s.
On how humankind will cope, I tend to take the long view: new transformative technologies have discombobulated us before and we’ve managed to adapt—to the invention of writing and printing, to living in cities, to the Industrial Revolution and instant communication and automobiles and nuclear technology.
apt to take offense.
Umbrageous has two main senses: “creating or providing shade, shady” and “apt or likely to take offense.” The word comes via French ombrageux “shady; inclined to take offense,” from Latin umbrāticus “(of a person or an activity) living or performed in the shade, secluded, devoted to quiet, impractical pursuits.” Umbrāticus, a derivative adjective and noun of umbra “shadow, shade, reflection, outline,” does not have the senses “shady, providing shade” or “apt or inclined to take offense,” which are senses that English borrowed from 17th-century French. Umbrageous entered English in the second half of the 16th century.
… he was quite umbrageous, and his personality lent itself to confrontation.
Is it possible to spend time with friends whose company I do enjoy without incurring the wrath of the umbrageous?
insincere talk; claptrap; humbug.
Bunkum means “insincere talk by a politician” and is an alteration of Buncombe, a county in North Carolina. Bunkum is an all-American word that fittingly enough derives from a debate in the U.S. House of Representatives during the 16th United States Congress (1819-21) during the House debate about the admission of Missouri as a state into the Union. This so-called “Missouri Question” was extremely important, because it dealt with whether Missouri entered the Union as a Free State or Slave State. (Under the Missouri Compromise of 1820, Maine was admitted as a Free State, Missouri as a Slave State.) Just before the vote was called, Felix Walker (1753-1828), U.S Representative from North Carolina, began a long, tedious, irrelevant, dull, and exasperating speech. His House colleagues tried to shout him down, but Walker persisted, saying that he was obliged to say something for the newspapers back home to prove that he was doing his job: “I shall not be speaking to the House, but to Buncombe.”
It’s bunkum to suppose we can be touched by tragedies other than our own.
According to the Mail worldview of recent years, dignified British ways are under attack, mauled by vain liberal cosmopolitans, crafty foreigners, and fashionable bunkum.
Aoristic “indeterminate, undefined,” comes from Greek aoristikós, a derivative of the verbal adjective aóristos “unlimited, unbounded, indeterminate, debatable,” which is a compound of the negative prefix a-, an– (from the same Proto-Indo-European source as un– in English and in– in Latin), and the verbal adjective horistós “definable (of words), delimited (of property or land).” Horistós comes from the verb horízein “to divide, separate,” whose present active masculine participle horízōn “separating,” when modifying the noun kýklos “circle” (“the separating circle”) refers to the (apparent) circle separating the land from the sea, the horizon. Horízōn kýklos seems to be a coinage of Aristotle’s; so it can be trusted. Aoristic entered English in the first half of the 19th century.
Because Gideon is away indefinitely our lives seem bracketed in a kind of aoristic limbo where things happen haphazardly, without an ordered sequence.
She caught at the nerves like certain aoristic combinations in music, like tones of a stringed instrument swept by the wind, enticing, unseizable.
sincere; honest; straightforward; frank.
Guileless means “without guile, sincere, honest, frank.” Guile comes from Middle English gile, guile “a crafty or fraudulent trick, double-dealing,” from Old French guile “lie, trick, deception,” most likely from a Germanic source. The problem is: Which Germanic language or languages? From the point of view of phonetics, Old French guile could very well come from Germanic wīl, but sources are lacking: Old English wīl “device, trick” may itself be a borrowing from Old French. Old Norse vél “artifice, device, trick” is wrong for phonetic reasons. Guileless entered English in the first half of the 18th century.
Looking at them is an exercise in nostalgia not only for the languid California of the early seventies, or the looseness offered by working in a medium that had little respect from the art world and therefore no money, but for a moment when, even if only in the world of these images, the encounter between self and stranger could be guileless.
Guileless? Guess again, sister. There is nothing remotely guileless about this guy, and nowhere is that more evident than in his land deals.
to whatever place.
Whithersoever, now archaic, meaning “to whatever place,” comes from Middle English whider-so-evere, whidersere, whidursever, an adverb phrase that could be spelled as two or three words; the one-word spelling first appears in the first half of the 17th century. Etymologists break down whithersoever in several ways: whitherso (by itself meaning “whithersoever”) + ever; whither + so + ever; whider + so-ever; and whider–so + ever. Old English has the adverb phrase swā hwider swā, which means the same thing as the Middle English forms but is not their direct ancestor. Whithersoever entered English in the first half of the 13th century.
Though you may cross vast spaces of sea … your faults will follow you whithersoever you travel.
From wheresoever they come and whithersoever they afterward go, all ships that use the canal will pass through the Caribbean.
a person of great wit or intellect.
Bel-esprit “a person of great wit or intellect” is a French term. It means literally “beautiful mind, fine mind, wit,” and by extension “person of wit and intelligence.” Bel is the regular French development of Latin bellus “nice, pretty, handsome, charming,” a diminutive adjective formed from bonus “good, good at (something), morally good.” The French noun esprit “spirit, mind” comes from Latin spiritus “breath, breathing, vital principle, soul.” Bel-esprit entered English in the first half of the 17th century.
She was a bel esprit, and a dreadful Radical for those days.
Though I would prefer to be dubbed an aristophren, someone of superior intelligence, or a bel-esprit, a person of refined intellect and graceful wit, the proper term for me is lexiphanes (lek-SIF-uh-neez), a showoff with words.