What People Are
of a town; urban.
Oppidan derives from Latin oppidānus “of a town,” from the noun oppidum “town.” Oppidānus didn’t just describe any town, though: it was used of towns other than Rome, which was referred to as urbs “city,” specifically the capital city of Rome. Due to this distinction from Rome, Latin oppidānus could have the pejorative connotation of “provincial, rustic.” The adjective form of urbs was urbānus “of the city,” source of English urban. Another city-based adjective English gets from Latin is municipal, from mūnicipium, a town whose residents had the rights of Roman citizens but which otherwise governed itself. Oppidan entered English by the mid-1500s.
A lot of people were confused when Kaplan … took a job at Condé Nast Traveler, a magazine not widely known as a bastion of oppidan irreverence.
Forsake your oppidan haunts and play manorial backgammon in the ballroom at Old Westbury Gardens, John S. Phipps’s former Long Island estate.
the making of profit out of sacred things.
Simony takes its name from the figure of Simon Magus in the New Testament of the Bible. Acts 8:9–24 presents the account of Simon, a Samaritan sorcerer who converted to Christianity. When Simon sees the apostles Peter and John bestowing the Holy Spirit by laying their hands on people, he offers them money in hopes that he, too, can possess spiritual or ecclesiastical gifts. This story is the source of Late Latin simōnia “buying or selling of spiritual or ecclesiastical gifts.” Entering Middle English around by early 1200s in the form of simonie, simony expanded to refer to the sin of buying or selling positions or privileges in the church and, more broadly, “the making of profit out of sacred things.”
His critique was that the Jellybys of the world sometimes commit the sin of simony, meaning that they trade in sacred and spiritual materials for their own emotional profit.
But isn’t what I’m doing the greatest crime of all? … Am I committing simony?
verb (used without object)
to make or give a speech, especially extensively or elaborately; spiel; orate.
Spruik “to make or give a speech, especially extensively or elaborately” is an Australian and New Zealand slang term recorded by the early 1900s. While its exact origin is unknown, spruik may have been borrowed from German Sprüche “patter, spiel,” the plural of Spruch, “a saying; empty talk,” among other senses. Other proposed sources include forms of Dutch spreken “to speak,” such as spreuk “saying, spell.” German Spruch and Dutch spreken are both related to English speak, which developed from Old English specan, a variant of sprecan that lost the original r.
Thompson might have had the power of the press to spruik his message, but he had other factors going against him.
Andi, Justin and Karl will sit around the set looking uncomfortable waiting their turn to spruik about the New Alchemy Institute in Massachusetts, the world’s most powerful microscope, robot technology in Japan and research into children’s co-ordination.
Chutzpa is one of many colorful, and very useful, English words of Yiddish origin. Also commonly spelled chutzpah (among other forms), chutzpa was borrowed into English in the late 1800s from Yiddish khutspa “impudence; gall; audacity; nerve,” from Aramaic ḥūṣpā. Chutzpa often has a negative connotation, as in “The unruly siblings had the chutzpa to correct their father on manners.” The qualities of chutzpa, however, can also be positive, as in “The employees showed a great deal of chutzpa when they demanded pay raises.”
It takes a certain amount of chutzpah to write a book called “The Problem With Everything,” but chutzpah is something essayist and cultural critic Meghan Daum has always possessed in spades.
Selling these artifacts at these prices requires more than a list of customers with too much disposable income. It takes hard work, chutzpa and catalog copy that ignites neural brush fires in the amygdala.
by the fact itself; by the very nature of the deed: to be condemned ipso facto.
First recorded in English in the mid-1500s, ipso facto is an adverb that comes directly from the Latin phrase ipsō factō “by the fact itself, by the very fact.” Ipso facto is often used when the very fact that one thing occurs is a direct consequence of another, as in “Having won all the gold medals in the sport’s Olympic events, she was ipso facto the best gymnast in the world.” Latin factō is the ablative form of factum “deed, act, fact,” and ipsō is the ablative of ipsum “very, same, itself,” among other senses. Ipso appears in other Latin expressions used in English, especially in law, including eo ipso “by that very fact” and ipso jure “by the law itself.”
… the notion that cars made in Germany would ipso facto be better crafted than others … this would have seemed curious indeed just a generation before.
I had, it seemed, defined myself as a “popular” writer, and if one is popular, then, ipso facto, one is not to be taken seriously.
a gap or missing part, as in a manuscript, series, or logical argument; hiatus.
In Latin lacūna means “ditch, pit, gap, deficiency, hole, hole where water collects.” Modern French lagune “lagoon,” Italian laguna “lagoon,” and Spanish laguna “lagoon, gap” are obvious developments from lacūna. Lacūna in turn is a derivative of lacus “basin, tub, cistern, pond, lake,” the source (through Old French) of English lake. Latin lacus is also related to Scots Gaelic and Irish loch. Lacuna entered English in the 17th century.
I hardly know what to say after that, for there is a lacuna in the story, a line of verse missing from the elegy.
Attending to the mundane and the momentous, they punch in on the dark side of the clock, bridging the quiet lacuna between rush hours.
a hodgepodge; jumble; confused medley.
Gallimaufry is an unusual but delightful word for “a hodgepodge; jumble; confused medley.” It was borrowed into English in the mid-1500s from Middle French galimafree, a kind of stew or hash, apparently concocted from a mishmash of ingredients. Galimafree may be its own etymological jumble, probably a conflation of French galer “to amuse oneself” and Picard mafrer (Picard is a language spoken in northern France) “to gorge oneself.” Like gallimaufry, other terms for a “confused medley” originally named food items composed of a mix of ingredients, including farrago, hodgepodge, and potpourri.
Luncheons at Retta’s home were ridiculous affairs … There would be a gallimaufry of ices and trifles and toasts ….
Yet this gallimaufry of satire, real history, fake history, and score-settling … never loses that relentless, fatiguing quality that is the hallmark of all books written out of an obsession.