ornate or florid in speech, literary style, etc.
If any word looks Italian or Spanish, rococo certainly does. But in fact rococo is a French word meaning “out of style, old-fashioned” and is a humorous distortion of rocaille “pebble-work, shellwork,” which was done to excess in some 18th-century art, furniture, and architecture. The French word may have been influenced by the Italian adjective barocco “baroque.” Rococo entered English in the 19th century.
Should you contemplate purchasing a copy of Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel García Márquez, a “mega-genius” according to Aaron (in private), he will tell you beforehand that García Márquez “is so rococo and torporific you’ll need an insulin shot every twenty pages.”
… such versions respond to perfectly legitimate concerns about what is comprehensible to a child, who might well feel ‘squashed by the words and strangled by the sentence’ … when faced by some of Kingsley’s more rococo passages …
a spiral or twisted formation or object.
Volute is a technical word, a noun used in architecture, ornamental decoration, and marine biology. It comes from French volute or from Latin volūta “scroll.” Volūta is a noun use of volūtus, the past participle of volvere “to turn.” Volute entered English in the late 17th century.
The interior of the tiny temple was dim, and wisps of incense smoke made graceful volutes in the air.
My, how light this Alonso de Avila was, forced to walk on mere earth only because of the richness and gravity of his damask and jaguar-skin suits, his gold chains, and his tawny mantle decorate with a reliquary–all of it lightened, let me assure you, by the feathers in his cap and the volutes of his mustache, the wings of his face.
to conceal one's true motives, thoughts, etc., by some pretense; speak or act hypocritically.
Dissemble comes from late Middle English dissemile, dissimill, an alteration of the verb dissimule (from Old French dissimuler “to keep one’s intentions hidden,” from Latin dissimulāre, “to disguise or conceal one’s thoughts”), and associated in form with the noun semblance and the obsolete verb semble (from Old French sembler, from Latin similāre and simulāre “to pretend”). Dissemble entered English in the sense “to pass over, ignore, neglect” in the 16th century.
He counted heavily on his ability to dissemble, knowing that every decent lawyer had at least several drops of dissimulation in his blood.
I didn’t know how to dissemble, I quite openly acknowledged the mistakes I made, and didn’t try hard to hide them.
a person who undertakes to predict the outcome of elections, sports events, or other contests that hold the public interest.
The dope at the heart of this Americanism refers to information, data, or news. This slang term dates to 1905–10.
The 1954 season for predicting the Congressional elections is now in full swing and the political dopesters will be hard at it from now until Nov. 2, when the voters will select more than one-third of the Senators and all of the Congressmen who will sit in the Eighty-fourth Congress.
We make no prediction, not being either a dopester or an expert.
ancient, as a witticism, expression, etc.; passé; hoary: a bewhiskered catchword of a bygone era.
Bewhiskered is first recorded in 1755–65. It combines be-, a prefix used in the formation of verbs, with whiskered.
That bewhiskered saying that “pride goeth before a fall” is true only in the case of ignorant people, says The International Lifeman.
Good things come in small packages. … This wrinkled and bewhiskered expression haunts our editorial vision when we pause to contemplate the career of a life, progressive citizen of the gopher state, a man small in stature but big in brain.
anything that tends to rouse, excite, or revive; a stimulus: Praise is an excellent fillip for waning ambition.
Fillip is imitative, or onomatopoeic, in origin. Earlier forms include filip, fylippe, philip, and phillip. Fillip looks like a variant of flip, but flip is first recorded in the late 17th century, whereas fillip dates from the 16th.
It is so pleasant to receive a fillip of excitement when suffering from the dull routine of everyday life!
His ordinary government allowance of spirits, one gill per diem, is not enough to give a sufficient fillip to his listless senses …
Chiefly Scot. a familiar name for a pig.
Grumphie is an exclusively Scottish word, first used by Robert Burns (1759-96). Grumphie is formed from the verb grumph “to grunt” and is imitative of the typical sound pigs and some humans make. The suffix -ie is a spelling variant of -y, one of whose functions is to form endearing or familiar names like Billy, doggy (doggie), and sweetie. Grumphie entered English in the late 18th century.
“Grumphie smells the weather, / An’ grumphie sees the wun’; / He kens when clouds will gather, / An’ smoor the blinikin’ sun.” This extravagant tribute to the pig as a weather prophet is typical of a large number of proverbs, though, perhaps no other animal has been credited with actually seeing the wind.
If ye’re proud to be a grumphie clap yer trotters!