Can You Guess
a proposed explanation intended to address a complex problem by trying to account for all possible contingencies but typically proving to be too broadly conceived and therefore oversimplified to be of any practical use.
English panchreston comes via Latin panchrēstos “good for everything, universal.” In Latin, its usage is restricted to medicine or derived metaphors, e.g., Pliny the Elder (a.d. 23-79) uses panchrēstos stomaticē, a phrase of two Greek words with Greek inflections, meaning “universal remedy for ailments of the mouth”; Cicero (106-43 b.c.), in one of his forensic speeches, uses panchrēstō medicāmentō “universal cure” as a scornful periphrasis for “bribe.” The original Greek adjective (and noun) pánchrēstos has the same relatively restricted meaning, i.e., to describe widely useful tools or medications. Panchreston entered English in the 17th century.
Bunnell … suggested that the term “fragmentation” has become a panchreston because it has become a catch-all phrase that means different things to different people.
Unfortunately, this term has by now acquired so many definitions (at least 70 by recent count) that it has become a panchreston–a term that means so many different things that it means almost nothing.
Slang. a person who is extremely neat about surroundings, appearance, etc.
Neatnik was formed in opposition to the supposedly scruffy, unshaven beatnik (coined in 1958). The suffix -nik, still unnaturalized in English, is of immediate Yiddish origin, from Slavic (Russian, Ukrainian). English peacenik, also derogatory, dates from 1962. Neatnik entered English in 1959.
This yard scrubbing leaves the neatnik poised and ready to intercept the very first leaf to yield to gravity.
I could almost identify by type the managers who had come and gone in the thirty years the building had been occupied. One was a neatnik, who’d filed all the paperwork in matching banker’s boxes.
facts and information about books, especially about authors and circumstances of publication.
One of the current meanings of booklore, “facts about books, their authors and publication,” applies mostly to the business of buying, trading, and selling books, especially of first editions and antiquarian books. The other meaning of booklore is as a much less common synonym of book learning. Wulfstan of York (died 1023), Archbishop of York and homilist (a writer or speaker of sermons, usually on Biblical or religious subjects) is the first writer to use booklore. Not surprisingly Wulfstan uses bóclár in the sense “book learning, especially religious book learning.” Booklore entered English in the early 11th century.
Besides reviving interest in booklore generally and bringing about the secularization of many of the great libraries, the influence of Humanism and of the Reformation also resulted in demands that libraries be opened to the public.
Scattered among the review excerpts of a gallaxy [sic] of its titles are some fascinating bits and pieces of book lore. Do you know the origin of the words book, volume and tome? Who now is the most widely translated author?
Chiefly British Informal. a situation, especially in politics, in which poor judgment results in disorder or chaos with potentially disastrous consequences.
The first element of omnishambles, omni- “all,” is familiar in English in omnibus, omnipotent, omnivorous, and omniscient, derived from the Latin adjective omnis “all.” Shambles has a gorier history. In the 9th century the Old English noun scomol (spelled variously) simply meant “stool, footstool,” derived from Latin scamellum, scamillum “low stool.” By the 10th century the noun also meant “a counter or table for conducting business”; by the 14th century the word acquired the sense “table or counter for selling meat.” During the 16th century shambles came to mean “slaughterhouse; place of wholesale carnage.” Shambles in the sense “a mess, a ruin, scene of disorder” was originally an Americanism, first occurring in print in 1926.
The Budget, dubbed an ‘omnishambles‘ by critics, marked the government’s mid-term low point which even the triumph of the London Olympics was unable to dispel.
Iannucci calls these characters “well-meaning but damaged individuals” and by putting them into situations of omnishambles where everything is deeply at stake, he makes a stronger satire of Washington and more entertaining television.
proud of one's wealth, especially in an arrogant or showy manner.
Purse-proud was first recorded in 1675–85.
London was still London … heavy, clumsy, arrogant, purse-proud but not cheap; insular but large; barely tolerant of an outside world, and absolutely self-confident.
The fellow is a bad neighbour, and I desire, to have nothing to do with him: but as he is purse-proud, he shall pay for his insolence …
knowledge, understanding, or cognizance; mental perception: an idea beyond one's ken.
English ken comes from the very widespread Proto-Indo-European root gnō- (and its variants gnē-, gen-, and gṇ-) “to know.” The variant gnō- appears in Greek gignṓskein (and dialect gnṓskein), Latin gnōscere, nōscere, and Slavic (Polish) znać “to know.” The variant gnē- forms cnāwan in Old English (and know in English); the variant gṇǝ- (with suffixed schwa) yields cunnan “to know, know how to, be able” in Old English (and can “be able” in English). Ken is recorded in English before 900.
Books, Mr. Taylor thought, should swim into one’s ken mysteriously; they should appear all printed and bound, without apparent genesis; just as children are suddenly told that they have a little sister, found by mamma in the garden.
Little things, trifles, slip out of one’s ken, and one does not think it matter for surprise; but how so bulky a thing as the Seal of England can vanish away and no man be able to get track of it again–a massy golden disk …
Pantofle “indoor shoe, slipper” comes from Middle French pantoufle, pantophle (and other spellings). The word occurs in other Romance languages, e.g., Occitan and Italian have pantofla (and other spellings), and Spanish has pantufla. Catalan changed the position of the l in original pantofla to plantofa under the influence of planta “sole (of the foot)”; compare English plantar (wart). Further etymology of pantofle is speculative. Pantofle entered English in the late 15th century.
“I’ve lost a pantofle!” he whispered desperately.
… your art / Can blind a jealous husband, and, disguised / Like a milliner or shoemaker, convey / A letter in a pantofle or glove, / Without suspicion, nay at his table …