Do You Know This Word?
verb (used without object)
to act in a swaggering, boisterous, or uproarious manner.
The English verb roister, “to act boisterously; to revel without restraint,” started life as a noun meaning “noisy bully” (now roisterer), from Middle French rustre, ru(i)stre “ruffian, boor, lout,” from the adjective ruste “rude, rough,” from the Latin adjective rusticus “rural, rustic.” Roister entered English in the 16th century.
Haerlem, Schiedam and Olifant were the ships, and they tied up so that their sailors could roister ashore, and large fights broke out because sailors from the first two ships, which bore honorable names, began to tease those. from the Olifant, Dutch for elephant.
Their tails had become sticky with pine sap, then got knotted together as the squirrels roistered around.
of a new kind or fashion.
Newfangled comes from Middle English new– “new,” –fangel, –fangol, an otherwise unrecorded adjective suffix meaning “taken, inclined to take,” and the adjective suffix –ed, the entire adjective meaning “taken by the new, inclined to the new.” The element –fangel, –fangol most likely is from the same root as the British dialect verb fang “to seize, grab” and the standard English noun fang “canine tooth” (that is, “the seizer”), all from fang-, the stem of the Old English verb fōn “to take.” Newfangled entered English at the end of the 15th century.
Both the floss and the AI toothbrush had surprised me. … But they had also sparked a desire for the potentially unnecessary, as newfangled things are prone to do.
YouTube was less than two years old—Justin Bieber had not yet been discovered there—and still resembled a newfangled version of “America’s Funniest Home Videos.”
verb (used with object)
to cause inconvenience to; disturb, trouble, or bother.
Discommode, “to cause inconvenience or trouble to,” comes from Middle French discommoder, a compound formed from the Latin prefix dis– “apart, away,” here with a privative or negative force, and the French adjective commode “convenient, easy,” from Latin commodus “of standard size or weight, suitable, convenient.” Commodus is a compound of the Latin prefix com-, here with the intensive force “completely,” and the noun modus, “measured amount, size, or quantity.” Discommode entered English in the second half of the 17th century.
I decided not to discommode him further on walks by abruptly bringing him out into the same car-whizzing streets that had so shivered and terrified him, so when we went outside it was through the back door into a warren of unthreatening urban alleyways.
“We didn’t know we were discommoding you so.” Norma liked that word and she said it over under her breath. “Discommode —I wouldn’t want to discommode you, Mr. Gable, but I think you should know…”
a person's individual speech pattern.
An individual person’s own pattern of speech is called an idiolect, formed from the Greek adjective ídios “private, one’s own, peculiar.” (The English noun idiot comes ultimately from Greek idiṓtēs “private person, a citizen who does not participate in public affairs,” a term of abuse and contempt in Periclean Athens). The combining form –lect, extracted from dialect (from Greek diálektos “speech, language, discourse, accent, manner of speech,” and later “the language of a country or district”), has been promoted to a full word, lect, which in linguistics means “a distinct variety of a language, such as a standard variety or a nonstandard regional dialect.” Idiolect entered English in the mid-20th century.
Vollmann’s idiolect is obsessive, punctilious, twitchy, hyperobservational, and proudly amateurish.
There is debate, for example, over whether we each have an “idiolect,” or unique linguistic fingerprint. And if we do, how consistent is it in academic essays or love letters as opposed to, say, e-mails and text messages? Betcha its not!! 🙂
a quick, witty, or pointed remark or retort.
Zinger, “a quick, witty, pointed remark or answer,” is a derivative of the verb and noun zing, “(to make) a sharp whizzing noise.” It is, unsurprisingly, an American slang term that dates to about 1950.
He delivered his zingers with a sly twinkle in his eye, a deadpan expression, and a laugh so big he’d pull out a handkerchief to wipe the tears from his eyes.
Pope Francis often sprinkles his writings or public speeches with pungent zingers on issues like inequality and environmental destruction.
capable of holding much; spacious or roomy.
The English adjective capacious comes straight from Latin capāc-, the stem of the adjective capax “able to take, take in, contain,” a derivative of the verb capere “to take, catch, seize.” The Latin suffix –ax (stem –āc-) is not very common; it forms adjectives denoting ability or behavior from verbs and some nouns, such as mendax (stem mendāc-) “untruthful, lying” (English mendacious), formed from the noun mendum “blemish, fault, error.” The English element –ious is a variant of the adjective suffix –ous, which comes via Middle English and Old French from the Latin adjective suffix –ōsus. Capacious entered English in the first half of the 16th century.
With its high ceiling and muted lighting, the capacious lobby of the Hotel Okura’s main building seemed like a huge, stylish cave.
this is a vision of a 21st-century city remade with public health in mind, achieving the neat trick of being both more populated and more capacious.
anxiety caused by a dread of environmental perils, especially climate change, and a feeling of helplessness over the potential consequences for those living now and even more so for those of later generations.
Ecoanxiety, “anxiety caused by a dread of environmental perils, especially climate change,” is a compound of the now common combining form eco– “pertaining to ecology or the environment” and anxiety. The combining form eco– comes via Latin oeco-, eco– from Greek oîkos “house” and oikía “house, dwelling.” An early occurrence in Greek of the combining form oik-, oiko– is in the noun oikonomía “management of a household or family, thrift” (source of English economy, which appears in English in the mid-15th century). Another early compound of oik-, oiko– occurs in (hē) oikouménē (gê) “(the) inhabited (earth),” English ecumenic(al). The noun ecology is composed of Greek elements, but oikología does not occur in Greek: English ecology comes from German Oecologie (1866; the word is now spelled Ökologie) “the branch of biology dealing with the relations and interactions between organisms and their environment,” its meaning in English.
Long before eco-anxiety became a national ailment this year, a strong environmental ethic seemed to come naturally to people in Anne Arundel.
I know those feelings. Eco-anxiety. Doing something is about the only thing that helps, in my experience.