The 2021 Word Of The Year is…
impressively or overwhelmingly large, luxurious, etc.
The adjective pharaonic, “pertaining to or like a Pharaoh; impressively or overwhelmingly large,” is a derivative of the noun Pharaoh. Pharaoh comes via Late Latin Pharaō (inflectional stem Pharaōn-) from Greek Pharaṓ (inflectional stem Pharaōn-), from Hebrew parʿō, from Egyptian pr–ʿʾ (probably pronounced like the Hebrew parʿō) “great house” (the order is the noun pr-, then the adjective ʿʾ). In Egyptian pr-ʿʾ was not the name of a Pharaoh, but the name of a Pharaoh’s (palatial) residence, very like our own “The White House.” Pharaonic entered English toward the end of the 18th century.
He retired in 2017 to devote himself to new projects, notably raising funds for a somewhat pharaonic museum dedicated to East Africa’s ecology and its status as a birthplace of prehistoric man.
A teapot bunker retails for just shy of $40,000; a more pharaonic model, complete with swimming pool and hot tub, bowling alley, and home theater, goes for $8 million.
a clever, unscrupulous person.
Snollygoster “a clever, unscrupulous person,” is an American slang term that first appears in print in 1845 in Marion County, Indiana. As with many, if not most slang terms, there is no reliable etymology for the word. Some authorities have suggested that snollygoster is a variant of snallygaster, a mythical monster that preys on poultry and children and is supposedly found in Maryland, but the earliest citation for snallygaster is 1940, nearly a century after snollygoster.
But the people will awaken, and all that will be left of the snollygoster will be an unsavory blotch on the history of American politics.
President Reagan has done for succotash what President Truman did for snollygoster: put the spotlight of pitiless publicity on an obscure Americanism.
personification, as of inanimate things.
You can charge a lot for a learned Greek word like prosopopoeia, a term in rhetoric meaning “personification, as of inanimate things; imaging an absent or dead person as speaking or acting.” Prosopoeia is very effective when a master like Demosthenes or Cicero uses it, not so much when it’s badly bungled in a sermon. Prosopoeia comes via Latin prosopopoeia from Greek prosōpoiía “putting speeches in the mouths of characters, dramatization.” Prosōpoiía is composed of the noun prósōpon “face, countenance, person” and the Greek combining form –poiía “making, creating,” a derivative of the verb poieîn “to make” (ultimate source of English poesy and poetry). Prósōpon, literally “opposite the face (of the other),” is composed of the preposition and prefix pros-, pros “toward, in the face of” and the noun ṓps “eye, face, countenance.” Prosopopoeia entered English in the mid-16th century.
Over the 14 lines of the sonnet, the poem moves from making a negative comparison to the Colossus of Rhodes to animating the “new Colossus” with a voice, an instance of what literary critics call personification or, to use the more unwieldy term, prosopopoeia …
Lord Byron’s very numerous comparisons, all admirable, and often under the form of a prosopopoeia, are indicative of the warm imagination which clothed inanimate shapes with the breathing realities of life …