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anything that tends to rouse, excite, or revive; a stimulus: Praise is an excellent fillip for waning ambition.
Fillip is imitative, or onomatopoeic, in origin. Earlier forms include filip, fylippe, philip, and phillip. Fillip looks like a variant of flip, but flip is first recorded in the late 17th century, whereas fillip dates from the 16th.
It is so pleasant to receive a fillip of excitement when suffering from the dull routine of everyday life!
His ordinary government allowance of spirits, one gill per diem, is not enough to give a sufficient fillip to his listless senses …
Chiefly Scot. a familiar name for a pig.
Grumphie is an exclusively Scottish word, first used by Robert Burns (1759-96). Grumphie is formed from the verb grumph “to grunt” and is imitative of the typical sound pigs and some humans make. The suffix -ie is a spelling variant of -y, one of whose functions is to form endearing or familiar names like Billy, doggy (doggie), and sweetie. Grumphie entered English in the late 18th century.
“Grumphie smells the weather, / An’ grumphie sees the wun’; / He kens when clouds will gather, / An’ smoor the blinikin’ sun.” This extravagant tribute to the pig as a weather prophet is typical of a large number of proverbs, though, perhaps no other animal has been credited with actually seeing the wind.
If ye’re proud to be a grumphie clap yer trotters!
having only one meaning; unambiguous.
Like its cousin equivocal, univocal derives from the Latin vōx meaning “voice.” Whereas the prefix equi- means “equal,” uni- means “one.” Univocal dates to 1535–45.
When then-Fox News chief Roger Ailes was presented with allegations of sexual harassment — first in a bombshell lawsuit, later in published reports — his response was univocal: Deny, deny, deny.
For any given element–event, character, development–is never simply univocal or one-sided but generally has two or more valences: it is serious and ironic, pathos-charged and parodic, apocalyptic and farcical, critical and self-critical.
a shadowy, indefinite, or marginal area.
The noun penumbra is composed of the Latin adverb paene “almost” and the Latin noun umbra “shadow.” Paene is not usual in Latin compounds, the most frequent being paeninsula (paeneinsula) “peninsula” and paenultimus (pēnultimus) “almost last, second last,” especially the “second last syllable” (penultimate is often misused in English to mean “ultimate, last”). Penumbra (paenumbra) does not occur in Classical or Medieval Latin; it is a New Latin coinage by the German mathematician and astronomer Johann Kepler (1571-1630). Penumbra entered English in the 17th century.
… I couldn’t figure out why I was hearing it in the penumbra of an old-growth floodplain forest in South Carolina, a forest that once stretched as far north as Upper Virginia and as far west as East Texas.
It’s a daring move, an attempt to trace the penumbra of abuse across a shattered psyche.
Informal. a. the practice of suddenly ending all contact with a person without explanation, especially in a romantic relationship: He was a victim of ghosting. b. Also called French goodbye, Irish goodbye. the act of leaving a social event or engagement suddenly without saying goodbye: Ghosting might be the best option if we want to get home before midnight.
The dating sense of ghosting is first recorded in 2005–10. It’s possibly linked to the expression get ghost “to leave immediately,” which gained popularity in 1990s hip-hop.
In the case of ghosting, a lack of accountability has brought out the worst in humanity, but applying behavioral science to UX design could be the key to unlocking the solution and with it the next billion dollar idea, paving the way for a new era of ghost-free online dating.
Among younger generations, ghosting has “almost become a new vocabulary” in which “no response is a response,” says Amanda Bradford, CEO and founder of The League, a dating app. Now, “that same behavior is happening in the job market,” says Bradford, who’s experienced it with engineering candidates who ghosted her company.
unnecessarily mysterious or elaborate activity or talk to cover up a deception, magnify a simple purpose, etc.
Hocus-pocus is a pseudo-Latin rhyming formula used by jugglers and magicians. It was first recorded in 1615–25.
Maybe the English are right: [writer’s] block is just a hocus-pocus covering life’s regular, humbling facts.
How, exactly, does the president’s budget propose to use the surplus to “save” Social Security? With accounting hocus-pocus.
diabolic magic or art; sorcery; witchcraft.
English diablerie is a borrowing from French diablerie “mischief,” from Old French diablerie, deablerie “an act inspired by the devil, sorcery.” French diable comes from Late Latin diabolus “the devil” (in the Vulgate and church fathers), from Greek diábolos “slanderer; enemy, Satan” (in the Septuagint), “the Devil” (in the Gospels). Diablerie entered English in the 17th century.
This tragedy, which, considering the wild times wherein it was placed, might have some foundation in truth, was larded with many legends of superstition and diablerie, so that most of the peasants of the neighbourhood, if benighted, would rather have chosen to make a considerable circuit, than pass these haunted walls.
He was, to one friend, “cometlike from some other world of diablerie, burning himself out upon our skies.”