a diacritic (ˇ) placed over a letter in some languages, as Czech and Lithuanian, and in some systems of phonetic transcription, especially to indicate that a sound is palatalized.
Haček “a diacritic (ˇ) placed over a letter to indicate that a sound is palatalized” is a borrowing from Czech háček “small hook,” a diminutive of hák “hook.” The resemblance between hák and English hook is not a coincidence; hák is adapted from Middle High German hāken (compare modern German Haken) and is cognate to English hook and heckle, Dutch haak “hook” and hoek “corner,” and Icelandic haki “pick” and hækja “crutch.” An alternative name for the haček is caron, which is of unknown origin, though one hypothesis—based purely on spelling similarity, so take it with a grain of salt—is that caron is based on caret (^) and/or macron (¯). Haček was first recorded in English in the early 1950s.
There’s another way to type accents on the Mac and some people find it much easier. Simply press and hold the letter you want to accent and a pop-over menu will appear showing the options. So, e yields seven options and a has eight alternative versions … This means more accents can be accommodated. The inverted circumflex or caron or haček … does not have a keyboard shortcut. Instead, you need to follow the long-press technique on the letter c and it’ll appear as the third option. Again, without letting go of the c, tap the 3 key and you’re golden.
Four … consonants [in the Czech language] are created by adding a haček, literally a “little hook,” above the letters c, r, s, and z. As a result, č is equivalent to “ch” in “cheese,” š to “sh,” and ž to “zh” as in “leisure.” The sound ř, distinctive of the Czech language, is considered virtually unpronounceable by foreigners. Something like a combination r plus ž, it occurs, to give a famous and familiar example, in the name of the composer Antonín Dvořák (usually, “Dvor-zhak”).
a professional storyteller of family genealogy, history, and legend.
Sennachie “a professional storyteller of family history” is borrowed from Scottish Gaelic seanachaidh, which comes from Old Irish senchae or senchaid “historian.” The sen- element in these Old Irish terms means “old, ancient” and is cognate with Latin senex “old; an elder.” From senex (stem sen-), English inherits senate, senescent, and senile, all of which pertain to elders, either in age or in society. The comparative form of senex is senior “older,” which is the source of senior, sir, and surly as well as French seigneur, Italian signore, and Spanish señor. Sennachie was first recorded in English in the 1530s.
Although the Irish folk-tales are largely the same as other folk-tales throughout the world, the method of narrating them in Ireland became very elaborate over time …. The skill involved was recognized beyond the Gaeltacht, such that the Irish word for a professional storyteller—senchai, or its Scottish Gaelic cognate seanchaidh—was borrowed into English as shannaghes (plural) as early as 1534; it is now usually spelled seannachie or sennachie.
It was the sennachie who first told me I was special. He had come to teach my eldest brother, David. The sennachie is the holder of the family story, the keeper of the genealogy, the remembrancer of all that makes a clan or a family…
verb (used with object)
to throw (a person or thing) out of a window.
Defenestrate “to throw out of a window” is a back-formation from defenestration; as with noun–verb pairs such as automation and automate, bartender and bartend, and burglar and burgle, the verb defenestrate is formed from the noun defenestration. Defenestrate ultimately derives from Latin fenestra “window,” which is of uncertain origin. One theory is that fenestra is derived from or connected to the Ancient Greek verb phaínein “to bring to light, cause to appear,” which is the source of many fant- and phant- words in English, from fantastic and fantasy to phantasmagoric and phantom. However, it is likely that fenestra derives from Etruscan, a language of unknown origin that was once spoken in the Italian peninsula. Defenestrate was first recorded in English at the turn of the 20th century.
We poured more oil out of the window while other students defenestrated other portraits, of dead rectors or who or who knows what dry, boring, be-robed and be-medalled characters together with any papers we extracted from the cupboards and everything else we could lay our hands on to make a big and visible bonfire. We flung the windows wide open and after defenestrating everything inflammable and easy to throw down we organised tables and chairs into a barricade behind the balustrades.
One thing the city of Prague is famous for: throwing men out windows. The word for this is defenestration. Tourists can climb the narrow stairs to the room where Catholic noblemen were defenestrated because of a religious dispute in 1618. You can look down from the window to see exactly the length of their fall. Catholics say these men were saved by angels … [and] lowered gently to earth. Protestants say the men survived because they landed in a dung heap piled below the window.
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