a euphemism: an evasive style of writing, full of circumlocutions and nice-nellyisms.
Nice-nellyism is an Americanism dating from the early 1930s. It is a contemptuous derivative of the contemptuous noun and adjective nice nelly (also nice Nelly) “prudish; prudish person,” which dates from the nearly 1920s.
This denial was at least partly a nice-Nellyism from the past, I think.
… it had been one of the running jokes of the campus, an exercise in innuendo, misinformation and Victorian nice-nellyism.
characterized by a ready and continuous flow of words; fluent; glib; talkative: a voluble spokesman for the cause.
Voluble ultimately comes from the Latin adjective volūbilis “rolling, rotating, spinning (on an axis); (of speech or speakers) fluent.” Volūbilis is a derivative of the verb volvere “to roll, roll over, roll around, grovel; to bring around (seasons, events).” Compounds of volvere are common in Latin and English: ēvolvere “to unroll, open” (English evolve), dēvolvere “to roll down, roll off, sink back” (English devolve), involvere “to roll up, roll in” (English involve), and revolvere “to roll back (something to its source), unroll (a scroll for reading” (English revolve). Other Latin derivatives from the same root include volūmen “roll, papyrus roll” (English volume), volūta “scroll (on a column) (English volute),” vulva, volva “womb, vulva” (English vulva). Voluble entered English in the 16th century.
But Wolf Larsen seemed voluble, prone to speech as I had never seen him before.
And he aged into a voluble and distinctive public character, a roguish charmer in a kufi, operating out of a packed storefront studio, tooling around Memphis in a plush old sedan.
to bicker or quibble over trifles or unimportant matters.
The verb pettifog is a back formation from the noun pettifogger, originally “ambulance chaser, shyster, fixer.” Pettifogger is a compound of the adjective petty “of minor importance” and fogger “a middleman.” Fogger itself probably derives ultimately from Fugger, the name of a prominent family of German bankers of the 15th and 16th centuries. The family name became a common noun in German and Dutch, meaning “rich man, monopolist, usurer.” Pettifog entered English in the 17th century.
Marius, my boy, you are a baron, you are rich, don’t pettifog—I beg of you.
The way for the President to protect his prerogatives of office is not to pettifog about war powers but to go to the nation with his case.
intended to be sung.
Melic comes from the Greek adjective melikós “lyric (poetry, poet),” a derivative of the noun mélos “limb (of a body), member, musical member, musical phrase, music, song.” Melic is not a common word, unlike its cousin melody, from mélos and ōidḗ “song” (the source of English ode). Melic entered English at the end of the 17th century.
… anapaests are commonly used either as a sung form, “melic anapaests”, or chanted, a form sometimes called “marching anapaests.”
The earliest discussions call this kind of verse ‘melic’ (the Greek melos means ‘song’), and roughly distinguish sung poems from epic and tragedy.
strong dislike or enmity; hostile attitude; animosity.
In Latin the noun animus has many meanings: “the mind (as opposed to the body), the mind (or soul) that with the body constitutes a person, the mind as the seat of consciousness, the immortal part of a person (the soul)….” Animus comes from the same Proto-Indo-European source (anә– “to breathe”) as Greek ánemos “the wind.” The modern sense “strong dislike, enmity” is a development within English, appearing only at the end of the 18th century.
This time, it’s not a border wall or a health care proposal driving the animus, but an online ad for a men’s razor, because, of course.
Second, people should not let their animus toward him—and his animus toward the truth—trick them into trafficking in conspiracy theories.
to change repeatedly one's attitude or opinions with respect to a cause, subject, etc.; equivocate.
Tergiversate comes from the Latin verb tergiversārī “to keep turning one’s back on a task, show reluctance.” The Latin noun tergum means “back (of a human or animal),” and the verb versārī “to keep moving about” is a derivative of vertere “to turn.” Tergiversate entered English in the 17th century.
The nominees will equivocate and tergiversate. They will never engage.
I can sense a growing concentricity in my manner of thinking, a desire to circle back on my own thoughts, to tergiversate, to animadvert, to extemporise.
a distinctive scent, usually described as earthy, pleasant, or sweet, produced by rainfall on very dry ground.
Petrichor is an uncommon word used in mineral chemistry or geochemistry to describe the pleasant scent of rain falling on very dry ground. Petrichor is a compound of the Greek nouns pétrā “rock, stone” (as in petroleum “rock oil”) and īchṓr, the juice or liquid—not blood!—that flows in the veins of the Olympian gods. About 60 percent of ancient Greek words have no satisfactory etymology; īchṓr is one of them. Petrichor was coined by two Australian chemists, Isabel “Joy” Bear and Richard Grenfell Thomas, in 1964.
I surfaced from the tunnel in a shack, where the air was close and smelled of petrichor.
So whether rainfall reminds you of summer soccer games, puddle-splashing with siblings or a terrifying storm, thank (or blame) the planets [sic], microbes and minerals that give petrichor such a distinctive odor.