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Edentate means “lacking teeth, toothless,” a neutral term; it is also used in taxonomic names for an order of mammals lacking front teeth, e.g. sloths, armadillos, another neutral sense. The origin of edentate is the Latin adjective ēdentātus, the past participle of the verb ēdentāre “to knock (someone’s) teeth out,” definitely not a neutral sense. Edentate entered English in the 19th century.
As would have been the case a million years ago, a typical colonist can expect to be edentate by the time he or she is thirty years old, having suffered many skull-cracking toothaches on the way.
Anyway, an edentate man led a bloated, mouth-foaming goat down a road webbed with knee-deep gullies.
secret, underhanded, or scandalous: backstairs gossip.
Backstairs was first recorded in 1635-45. It’s the adjectival extension of the noun back stairs.
I say to Lord Hartington before you all, not by any backstairs intrigue and not by any secret negotiations, but in the face of this great meeting held in this great town and before all of England … “Come over and help us!”
He would never believe it–it was a nasty piece of backstairs gossip!
clear in meaning, expression, or style: a pellucid way of writing.
English pellucid comes from the Latin adjective pellūcidus (the usual Latin spelling is perlūcidus) “very clear, transparent.” The Latin adjective lūcidus is thoroughly naturalized in English lucid, but the Latin prefix and preposition per- is worth explanation. In Latin per- is used to intensify adjectives, adverbs, and verbs, e.g., perbonus “very good, excellent,” perbrevis “very short,” perbene “very well,” perbellē “very charmingly,” and percelebrāre “to make thoroughly known.” The Greek prefix and preposition perí- serves the same purpose, as in Periklês (c495-429 b.c.), the Athenian statesman, from the adjective perikleês “very famous.” Pellucid entered English in the 17th century.
His art is highly complex, but its expression is so pellucid, so simple, that we can see only its body, never the mechanism of its body.
Trump’s ramblings about Vladimir Putin were positively pellucid in their clarity compared with his March 29 comments on the U.S.-South Korea trade deal …