Learn A New Word
a person who has a remarkably retentive memory.
Memorist is a rare word. When it entered English in the late 17th century, it meant “one who prompts the memory or conscience.” Memorist was revived in the late 19th century as an Americanism meaning “one who has a retentive or prodigious memory.”
As a memorist he is phenomenally endowed, his retentiveness so acute that he recites readily without reference or prompting, declamations committed in his schoolboys days more than seventy years ago.
… a memorist appeared on a Sunday morning TV show. He was introduced to the 100 or so youngsters in the audience and repeated all of their names back to them at the end of the show.
Southern U.S. ill temper; grumpiness.
The extravagant spelling variants of mulligrubs, e.g., mulligrums, mouldy-grubs, merlygrubs, muddigrubs, mullygrumps, murdiegrups,… at least show very plainly that mulligrubs has no sound etymology. Mulligrums “low spirits, bad temper, bad mood” first appears at the end of the 16th century. (Some scholars suggest a relationship between mulligrums and the slightly earlier noun megrims “melancholy, low spirits.”) A quarter of a century later, about 1625, mulligrubs meant “stomachache, diarrhea” and a few years later “ill-tempered or surly person.”
Ma has a case of the mulligrubs here lately and some of the kinfolks figure it might be caused by reading the papers too much.
I think when it comes I will enjoy it. It is just the coming that fills me with the mulligrubs.
Noel has been in English since the 13th century as a forename and family name (e.g., Nuwel, Nuuel) for those born or baptized on Christmas or during the Christmas season. In the late 14th century, Nowel is used as an exclamation of joy in The Canterbury Tales (this usage remains only in Christmas carols). In the late-14th century alliterative poem Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, Nowel meant “Christmas day, the feast of Christmas, Christmastide.” Middle English shows several spellings, e.g., Newel, Nouel, Nowelle, Nowel, all derived from Anglo-French, Middle French, and Old French forms (Nowel, Nowelle, Nouel, Noel), Noël in French. The spellings with o (e.g., Noel) are a variant of spellings with a (e.g., Nael) that began in the 12th century. Nael is a regular French development from Latin nātālis (in full, diēs nātālis “birthday”).
… be sure to wish Tops a joyous Noel.
… the special season for such innocent gaiety is the Christmastide when they celebrate Noël with a joyous fervour not to be outdone elsewhere.