The 2021 Word Of The Year is…
verb (used without object)
to stretch oneself, as after sleeping.
The verb rax “to stretch oneself, as after sleeping,” is used in Scotland and Northern Ireland. Rax comes from Middle English raxen, rasken (Old English racsan, raxan). Raxan is from the same root as rack “a bar, framework of bars” and is akin to the verb reccan, reccean “to stretch, extend.” Rax dates from the Old English period.
The quenis dog begowthe to rax …
On easy chair that pamper’d lie, / Wi’ banefu’ viands gustit high, / And turn an’ fauld their weary clay, / To rax an’ gaunt the live-lang day.
like an orb; circular; ringlike; spherical; rounded.
The uncommon adjective orbicular ultimately comes from the rare Late Latin adjective orbiculāris “circular, orbicular,” which occurs in zoological and botanical texts. Orbiculāris is a derivative of orbiculus “small disk or ring, small wheel or pulley.” Orbiculus is a diminutive of the noun orbis “ring, disk, hoop, millstone, table, tabletop (i.e., a two-dimensional figure), sphere, ball, globe (i.e., describing a heavenly body).” In English, orbicular is about as restricted in usage as it is in Latin, occurring in anatomy, physiology, botany, and zoology. Orbicular entered English in the 15th century.
The whole orbicular World hangs by a golden chain from that part of the battlements of Heaven whence the angels fell.
What would be thought of a zoologist who should describe the feet of the web-footed birds as orbicular disks, divided to a great or less extent?
an informal variant of well used to indicate disappointment, resignation, or acceptance at the beginning of an utterance: Welp, this might not work out for us after all.
The etymological explanation of welp is accurate, if wonky: welp is a form of well as an isolated or emphatic utterance, with an excrescent p representing closing of the lips, creating an unreleased labial stop, as also in nope, yep, and yup. Excrescent consonants are pretty common: the usual one in English is t, as in amongst, midst, and whilst. Excrescent t also occurs in ancient Greek and Sanskrit. German Sekt “champagne” derives from French vin sec “dry wine” and shows the same excrescent t. Welp is first recorded in English in the mid-1940s but doubtless has been around far longer.
Pitt smiles and bluntly states, “There is no future.” Welp.
Knowing that I’ll get to retire is such a “Bitter Sweet Symphony.” Welp, time for another day of answering e-mails.