special care in anticipating or catering to the needs and pleasures of others.
Every breakroom in every restaurant in the U.S. should have prominently displayed a great big poster in bold sans serif caps: “prévenance, special care in anticipating or catering to the needs and pleasures of others.” Prévenance is a French noun meaning “thoughtfulness.” Prévenance is a derivative of the verb prévenir, one of whose meanings is “to anticipate.” Prévenir comes from Latin praevenīre “to come before, anticipate,” a compound of the preposition and prefix prae, prae– “before, in advance” and venīre “to come.” Praevenīre does mean “to anticipate,” but in the sense “to forestall, prevent.” Prévenance entered English in the 18th century.
A much older and far wiser woman would have been persuaded to believe, as she believed, that in all this delicate prévenance for her pleasures and her preferences the tenderest love had spoken.
My father I fear, was not remarkable in general for his tenderness or his prévenance for the poor girl whom fortune had given him to protect; but from time to time he would wake up to a downright sense of kinship and duty ….
verb (used with object)
to startle into sudden activity; stimulate.
The English verb galvanize comes from the French verb galvaniser “to make muscles contract by application of electrical current,” a discovery made by the Italian physiologist Luigi Galvani in 1780, when an assistant touched the exposed sciatic nerve of a dead frog with a metal scalpel that had picked up a charge, which made the dead frog’s leg kick as if alive. Galvanize in its physiological sense entered English in the early 19th century; the figurative sense “to startle into sudden activity” dates to the mid-19th century.
The presence of the enemy seemed to galvanize the growers, underscoring the subtext of Elliot’s message: that their industry was under attack, and they needed D&W’s crisis-management services.
… [Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis] looms as just barely premodern, even though she presided over the start of (and maybe even helped galvanize) the most turbulent social transformation in recent history.
a swaggering swordsman, soldier, or adventurer; daredevil.
If one is old enough, the word swashbuckler will call to mind Errol Flynn, the baddest, most romantic swashbuckler of them all during Hollywood’s Golden Age. Others may think of the dueling swordsmen from The Princess Bride. Swashbuckler is a compound whose first element is swash, a verb of imitative origin meaning “to splash loudly or violently, dash about.” A buckler is a small round shield held by a handgrip and having straps through which one’s arm is passed. A swashbuckler is a swaggering hero who makes a racket by striking the bad guy’s shield with his own or with his sword. Swashbuckler entered English in the mid-16th century.
Even Johnny Depp, the linchpin of the series as the swishy swashbuckler Captain Jack Sparrow, knew that the last film, directed by Gore Verbinski (as were the first two), had lost its way.
The fairy tale is about a swashbuckler named Westley (Elwes) who has to rescue his true love, Buttercup (Robin Wright), before she is forced to marry the evil Prince Humperdinck (Chris Sarandon).
as much as you like; to your heart's content; galore: food and drink à gogo.
The colloquial phrase à gogo comes from the name of a Parisian nightclub and discotheque Whisky à Go-Go “Whisky Galore,” which opened in 1947 and quickly became very hip (or hep). A similar club, Whisky a Go Go, opened in Chicago in 1958, and a third Whisky a Go Go opened in Los Angeles in 1964. The French phrase à gogo means “aplenty, galore”; it derives from a Middle French adverb sense “joyfully, uninhibitedly, extravagantly,” from the preposition à “to” and gogo, probably a reduplicated form of gogue “witticism, fun, amusement.” À gogo first appears in print in 1960.
… go up and out onto the Boulevard St.-Germain with its cafes a gogo for unlikely‐seeming students and unpublished poets.
I was at my local park the other day, watching my sons playing tennis, and spotted the Mayor of London on another court—blond hair flying, Hawaiian shorts a go-go.
the introductory statement of the U.S. Constitution, setting forth the general principles of American government and beginning with the words, “We the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union. …”
English preamble, “introductory statement or paragraph,” which has the variant spellings preambel, preambile, preambul in Middle English, comes from Old French preamble, preambule, from Medieval Latin preambulum, praeambulum “preliminary statement, preface (in legal documents).” Praeambulum is a neuter adjective used as a noun from the Late Latin adjective praeambulus “walking before,” a compound of the Latin preposition and prefix prae, prae– “before, in advance” (usually spelled pre– in English and completely naturalized), and the verb ambulāre “to walk, walk for health or pleasure, stroll.” Preamble first appears in English in Chaucer’s “Wife of Bath’s Tale” (from The Canterbury Tales, after 1387). The legal sense “introductory paragraph of a treaty, deed, will (or other legal document)” dates to the second half of the 16th century. Preamble, with a capital P, specifically refers to the opening statement of the U.S. Constitution, signed on September 17, 1787. Beginning with the momentous phrase “We the people,” the Preamble lays out the principles and purpose of the Constitution and the government it establishes.
Is not the preamble the foundation of our Constitution; does it not contain the basic principles, and is not the accomplishment of these principles the aim, the end and the essence of our government and Americanism?
… the Preamble is a declaration of purposes and the underlying spirit of the grand game, if such it may be called, of self-government and liberty to be played by the people of the United States.
compelling or pressing; urgent: a clamant need for reform.
The English adjective clamant comes from the Latin present participle clāmāns (stem clamant-), from the verb clāmāre “to shout, utter a loud noise.” The second sense in English, “compelling, pressing, urgent,” does not occur in Latin and is mostly a Scottish usage. Clamant entered English in the 17th century.
… despite the clamant need for economic and political measures which only peace can render possible, may it not be the part of the far-visioned statesmanship to face that inescapable issue now … ?
I remember dwelling in imagination upon this or that dish till my mouth watered; and long before we got in for the night my appetite was a clamant, instant annoyance.
an area where special environmental circumstances have enabled a species or a community of species to survive after extinction in surrounding areas.
The biological or ecological sense of English refugium “an area where special environmental circumstances have enabled a species or a community of species to survive after extinction in surrounding areas,” is a straightforward borrowing of the Latin noun refugium. (The usual English plural is the Latin plural, refugia, but refugiums is also found.) The Latin noun does not have the modern English sense, of course, and means only “a place or means of shelter, a place to flee or retreat to.” Refugium entered English in the early 20th century.
Hence, it served as a refugium for animal and plant species that the ice cap displaced or destroyed elsewhere.
Trees that survive in a refugium also may help speed the recovery of the surrounding ecosystem. Their seeds float across the charred landscape, producing a new crop of plants.