to catch (fish) by groping with the hands, as under rocks or along a riverbank.
The verb guddle “to catch (fish) by groping with the hands, as under rocks or along a riverbank” is a Scottish word with no known etymology. Guddle was used by several Scots writers, the most popular being Robert Louis Stevenson. Guddle entered English in the first half of the 19th century.
Tam once more resumed his attempt to guddle a trout ….
They have to learn how to catch frogs and how to skin them, for the outside is unpalatable; how to guddle for trout and eels; how to detect the plaice in the shallow waters of the bay, hidden in or against the sand, with only their eyes showing.
given to using long words.
Sesquipedalian comes directly from the Latin adjective sesquipedālis “having a (linear or square) measure of one and a half (Roman) feet.” Unsurprisingly, sesquipedālis is used in farming, military fortifications, architecture, and construction. The poet Horace (65–8 b.c.) uses the phrase sesquipedālia verba “words a foot and a half long” in his Ars Poetica (c19–18 b.c.), a poem in which Horace sets forth his ideas on “poetic art.” It is from Horace’s phrase that English has its only meaning “having or using very long words.” The first part of sesquipedālis is the adverb and prefix sesqui, sesque “one and a half times,” from an earlier, unrecorded sem(i)que, a contraction of sēmis “one half, a half more” and the generalizing particle –que. Pedālis is easy: it’s an adjective meaning “measuring a foot, a foot long, wide, deep, etc.,” a derivative of the noun pēs (inflectional stem ped-) “foot”; –ālis is a very common adjective suffix in Latin, the source of the English adjective suffix –al. Sesquipedalian entered English in the 17th century.
Because my father was a professor, I early picked up a sesquipedalian way of speaking (which has been defined as a tendency to use words like “sesquipedalian“).
The Players’ was so successful that Moss Empires invited Sachs to undertake a long tour of major variety theatres, resulting in The Good Old Days, a music hall show which ran on BBC Television from 1953 to 1983 with Sachs as its sesquipedalian Chairman.
a group whose size seems absurdly excessive for the purported function of the group, and whose effectiveness is therefore questionable: The planning committee has added yet another member to its clown car, almost guaranteeing further delays.
The term clown car in its original sense “a very small car used in a circus comedy act, in which the normal passenger capacity is greatly exceeded by the numerous clowns who climb out from inside,” dates from the early 1950s. The disparaging, usually political sense “a group whose size seems excessive for the function of the group, and whose effectiveness is therefore questionable,” dates from about 2013.
But I’m old enough to remember 2015, when there were so many Republicans vying for the nod of their party, the early intraparty debates needed to be divided into two to ensure everyone got airtime …. The clown car, people named it.
… as the clown-car of guest stars that Swift brought out in each city verged on the absurd … it started to feel like Taylor Swift was not interested in a collective, collaborative vision of feminism so much as one that proved the dominance of her own brand.
a product of one's creative work or thought.
The noun brainchild is so common that we forget what a startling metaphor it is: one of the earliest citations for it reads, “All my braines Children fraile and mortall be.” Brainchild entered English in the 17th century.
Coney Island’s white-towered Freudian fairway had been the brainchild of a real-estate entrepreneur named William H. Reynolds … .
Google Art Project, the brainchild of a small group of art-happy Google employees, brings the Street View technology of Google Earth and Google Maps inside 17 museums around the world.
the lack of individual creativity, or of a sense of personal responsibility, that is sometimes characteristic of group interaction.
Groupthink is a disparaging term modeled on doublethink “the mental ability to believe simultaneously two contradictory things,” appearing in 1984, by George Orwell (1903–50). Groupthink entered English in the early 1950s.
Lately, as scientists try, and fail, to reproduce results, all of science is taking a hard look at funding biases, statistical shenanigans and groupthink.
You don’t need to do many focus groups to see groupthink in action.
the false ascription of a piece of writing to an author.
The noun pseudepigraphy comes from Late Latin pseudepigrapha, a neuter plural adjective (from pseudepigraphus) used as a noun meaning “books or writings falsely titled or attributed to Hebrew writings supposedly composed by biblical patriarchs and prophets.” Pseudepigrapha was borrowed unchanged from the Greek compound adjective pseudepígrapha (from pseudepígraphos), composed of pseudḗs “false” and the Greek combining form –grapha, neuter plural of –graphos “drawn or written.” Pseudepigraphy entered English in the 19th century.
If de León was the author, his exercise in pseudepigraphy was among the most successful in history.
Even this gimmick exactly parallels the ancient scriptural practice of pseudepigraphy whereby a later, undistinguished writer, would hide behind the name of a greater figure of the past, claiming venerable authority for his own innovations.
a sudden, passing sensation of excitement; a shudder of emotion; thrill: The movie offers the viewer the occasional frisson of seeing a character in mortal danger.
Frisson is still unnaturalized in English, as its pronunciation shows. In French frisson means “shudder, shiver.” Frisson comes from Old French friçons, a plural noun meaning “trembling (as before the onset of a fever).” Friçons in turn comes from Latin frictiōn-, the stem of frictiō, an irregular derivative (as if from the verb fricāre “to rub,” with a short i) of the verb frīgēre (with a long i) “to be cold, lack vigor.” Frisson entered English in the 18th century.
Musical passages that include unexpected harmonies, sudden changes in volume, or the moving entrance of a soloist are particularly common triggers for frisson because they violate listeners’ expectations in a positive way …
That first dinner triggers hope, a frisson of discovery.