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worried or tormented, as by a witch.
The hag in hagridden has always meant “evil spirit (in female form), ghost, woman who deals with the Devil, a witch; an ugly, repellent, malicious old woman.” The noun is very rare in Middle English (hegge appears once in the 13th century, and hagge once in the 14th) and becomes common only in the 16th century as heg, hegge. Hag is generally believed to descend from Old English hægtesse, hægtis “a fury, witch,” akin to Old High German hagazissa, German Hexe (cf. hex signs on barns, especially in Amish country), from West Germanic hagatusjōn-. Hagridden entered English in the 17th century.
We are a simple people, but we are hagridden by our fear of darkness.
Alas, poor devil! spectres are appointed to haunt him: one age he is hag-ridden, bewitched; the next priestridden, befooled; in all ages, bedevilled.
the practice of misquoting someone by shortening the quotation or by leaving out surrounding words or sentences that would place the quotation in context.
Contextomy is a blend of the words context and -tomy, a Greek suffix meaning “cutting.” In was first recorded in English in 1965–70.
Contextomy can be used to create a false impression of a source’s attitudes in the service of motives as harmless as selling movie tickets or as harmful as character assassination, which is typical of its employment in political advertising.
They engage in what writer Milton Mayer once called “contextomy“: cutting a statement out of context (e.g. John Adams on religion) in order to give a completely misleading impression what what some famous person believes.
an informal talk or chat.
In French the noun causerie means “a chat; a talk (as at a conference).” As a literary style a causerie is a short, topical essay, personal and humorous (there is no one precise English translation for causerie). Causerie is a derivative of the verb causer “to chat, talk, gossip.” The French verb comes from Latin causārī “to plead a case, bring a (legal) action; to plead as an excuse or reason,” a derivative of the noun causa “legal case or proceeding, trial.” Causerie entered English in the 19th century.
I was once booked by my manager to give a causerie in the drawing-room of a New York millionaire.
It hardly seemed a speech when he was at the tribune, more like a causerie, though he told very plain truths sometimes to the peuple souverain.