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    Saturday, January 20, 2018

    doodlesack

    noun [dood-l-sak]
    a bagpipe.
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    What is the origin of doodlesack?

    Doodlesack, a respelling of German Dudelsack “bagpipe,” literally “bagpipe sack,” is a rare word in English. The German word is, or seems to be, a derivative of dudeln “to tootle” (unless the verb is a derivative of the noun). Even in German Dudelsack appears not to be a native word but is likely to be a borrowing from a Slavic language, e.g., Polish and Czech dudy “bagpipe.” Doodlesack entered English in the mid-19th century.

    How is doodlesack used?

    You wouldn't happen to have brought a shawm or a doodlesack with you, by any chance? Or even a kazoo? Charlotte MacLeod, The Silver Ghost, 1988

    Kurdis put his hands to his kannel, the piper blew into his doodle sack and the assembled crowd moved across the courtyard. Friedebert Tuglas (1886–1971), "The Mermaid," The Poet and the Idiot And Other Stories, translated by Eric Dickens, 2007

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  • Word of the day
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    Friday, January 19, 2018

    enfant terrible

    noun [ahn-fahn te-ree-bluh]
    French. an outrageously outspoken or bold person who says and does indiscreet or irresponsible things.
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    What is the origin of enfant terrible?

    In French enfant terrible means “terrible child,” one whose language and behavior are embarrassing to adults. From the beginning of the appearance of enfant terrible in English in the mid-19th century, the phrase has also referred to adults who embarrass or compromise their party or faction by outrageous speech or behavior, especially artists or other creative people notorious for their unconventional lifestyle.

    How is enfant terrible used?

    I am the enfant terrible of literature and science. If I cannot, and I know I cannot, get the literary and scientific big-wigs to give me a shilling, I can, and I know I can, heave bricks into the middle of them. Samuel Butler, The Notebooks of Samuel Butler, 1912

    In fact, he closely resembled Mrs. Littlejohn's uncle, Jeremy Uprichard, the obstinate and domineering enfant terrible of an otherwise charming and happy family. George Bellairs, Death in the Night Watches, 1946

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  • Word of the day
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    Thursday, January 18, 2018

    heartsome

    adjective [hahrt-suh m]
    Chiefly Scot. giving cheer, spirit, or courage: a heartsome wine.
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    What is the origin of heartsome?

    Heartsome was first recorded in the 1560s.

    How is heartsome used?

    ... Pauline ... ended with a silvery laugh that made the silence musical with its heartsome sound. Louisa May Alcott, Pauline's Passion and Punishment, 1863

    As he looked, the warm, red sun came out lighting up with a heartsome warmth the whole gray day. Rebecca Harding Davis, Margret Howth, 1861

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  • Word of the day
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    Wednesday, January 17, 2018

    paralipsis

    noun [par-uh-lip-sis]
    Rhetoric. the suggestion, by deliberately concise treatment of a topic, that much of significance is being omitted, as in “not to mention other faults.”
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    What is the origin of paralipsis?

    The rhetorical term paralipsis comes from Late Latin paralīpsis, which dates from the 3rd century and is a direct borrowing of Greek paráleipsis, a rhetorical term used and possibly coined by Aristotle in his Rhetoric to Alexander (also known by its Latin title Rhetorica ad Alexandrum). Preterition and apophasis are equivalent terms. Paralipsis entered English in the 16th century.

    How is paralipsis used?

    Paralipsis ... is a Greek term that translates to “leave to the side.” It’s thought to be an ironic way for a speaker to say two things at once. For example, say you wanted to imply that your coworker takes too many coffee breaks without actually accusing him wasting time at work. You might say something like, “I'm not saying that he drinks more coffee than anyone else in the office, but every time I go to the break room, he’s in there.” Jennifer Mercieca, "There’s an insidious strategy behind Donald Trump’s retweets," The Conversation, March 8, 2016

    After listing all the glories of Newark, all the familiar set pieces from his novels, after making sly and constant denials that he would dwell on any of it—a rhetorical move, he admitted, known as paralipsis—Roth finally settled into his real theme of the night: death. David Remnick, "Philip Roth's Eightieth-Birthday Celebration," The New Yorker, March 20, 2013

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  • Word of the day
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    Tuesday, January 16, 2018

    decathect

    verb [dee-kuh-thekt]
    to withdraw one's feelings of attachment from (a person, idea, or object), as in anticipation of a future loss: He decathected from her in order to cope with her impending death.
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    What is the origin of decathect?

    Decathect is an extremely rare word in English, used only in Freudian psychology. It is formed from the common prefix de-, signifying privation or removal, and the very rare verb cathect “to invest emotional energy.” Cathect is a derivative of the adjective cathectic (from Greek kathektikόs “capable of holding or retaining”), from the noun káthexis “holding, possession, retention.” The English noun cathexis is an arcane translation or partial translation of Sigmund Freud’s Besetzung, a common, ordinary word in German meaning “(military) occupation, cast (of a play),” from the verb besetzen “to occupy, stock, fill.” Decathect entered English in the 20th century.

    How is decathect used?

    It is getting easier now for me to decathect from Eugene. Patricia Marx, Him Her Him Again The End of Him, 2007

    According to Freud, bereavement was not complete until the mourner was able to withdraw the emotional attachment to the deceased (decathect) and reinvest that emotional energy into a new relationship or, at least, back into life. J. William Worden, "Theoretical Perspectives on Loss and Grief," Death, Dying, and Bereavement, 2015

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  • Word of the day
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    Monday, January 15, 2018

    nonviolence

    noun [non-vahy-uh-luh ns]
    the policy, practice, or technique of refraining from the use of violence, especially when reacting to or protesting against oppression, injustice, discrimination, or the like.
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    What is the origin of nonviolence?

    Nonviolence was first recorded in the 1830s.

    How is nonviolence used?

    At the center of nonviolence stands the principle of love. Martin Luther King, Jr., Stride Toward Freedom: The Montgomery Story, 1958

    Fifty years ago, the civil-rights movement understood that nonviolence can be an effective weapon even if—or especially if—the other side refuses to follow suit. Hendrik Hertzberg, "Partisanship, by the Bye," The New Yorker, February 23, 2009

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  • Word of the day
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    Sunday, January 14, 2018

    vatic

    adjective [vat-ik]
    of, relating to, or characteristic of a prophet.
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    What is the origin of vatic?

    The Latin noun vātis or vātēs “soothsayer, prophet, poet, bard” is probably a borrowing from a Celtic language (it has an exact correspondence in form and meaning with Old Irish fáith “seer, prophet,” from Proto-Celtic wātis). The Latin noun and Celtic root wāt- are from a Proto-Indo-European root meaning “to be spiritually aroused.” One of the Germanic forms of this root appears in the Old English adjective wōd “raging, crazy,” which survives in modern English in the adjective wood. Vatic entered English in the early 17th century.

    How is vatic used?

    ... I can't escape the feeling that Yeats knew, in the vatic, unwitting way of poets. Marcel Theroux, Strange Bodies, 2013

    An ominous vatic feeling had persisted throughout the rest of the evening, which was doubly unsettling to Laurel Manderley ... David Foster Wallace, "Mister Squishy," Oblivion, 2004

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