a slip or blunder in etiquette, manners, or conduct; an embarrassing social blunder or indiscretion.
Faux pas, from French and still unnaturalized in English, literally means “false step,” nowadays referring to a breach in good manners, a social blunder. French faux comes from Old French fals, faus, from Latin falsus, past participle of the verb fallere “to deceive, mislead.” The French noun pas, source of English pace, comes from the Latin noun passus “a step, stride, pace,” a derivative of the verb pandere “to spread (legs, arms, wings), spread out, open.” Faux pas entered English in the second half of the 17th century.
I sat for almost half an hour as they finished preparing, acutely aware of my social faux pas.
I accidentally exposed to them my entire desktop, which felt like a big faux pas despite the fact that there was nothing embarrassing on there at that moment.
Esurient, “hungry, greedily hungry, greedy,” comes from Latin ēsuriēns (stem esurient-), the present participle of the verb ēsurīre “to feel hunger, suffer from hunger,” formed from ēs(us), past participle of edere “to eat” and the desiderative suffix -urīre (of unknown origin); thus ēsurīre literally means “to desire to eat.” Esurient may be familiar to those who like Johann Sebastian Bach’s Magnificat (Luke 1:46-55), which contains the verse Ēsurientēs implēvit bonīs et dīvitēs dīmīsit inānēs, “He [God] hath filled the hungry with good things, and the rich He hath sent empty away.” Esurient entered English in the second half of the 17th century.
The whole business of bribing, so far as it is carried on, will fall into disreputable hands, those of untrustworthy, esurient, broken attorneys, who will sell their clients very often …
However, this esurient eye for detail can, on rare occasions, cloud the larger picture.
an effigy, image, or representation: a simulacrum of Aphrodite.
Simulacrum, “a likeness, an image,” comes straight from Latin simulācrum “a resemblance in sight or sound, an image, a statue (of a god).” Simulācrum is a derivative of the verb simulā(re) “to simulate, pretend” and -crum, a variant of -culum, a suffix denoting tools or instruments. Simulāre in its turn is a derivative of the adjective similis “like, similar,” which through Medieval Latin similāris and Old French similaire becomes English similar. Simulacrum entered English at the end of the 16th century.
Except for flakes of plaster in its streets, the little city is entirely undamaged. The simulacrum now more whole than the original.
A gallery of thumbnail-size co-workers on a laptop screen is a diminished simulacrum of the conference-table gatherings that drive so much of corporate life.