characterized by bitter or scornful derision; mocking; sneering; cynical.
Sardonic “characterized by bitter derision” is an alteration of sardonian, which derives either by way of Latin sardonius or directly from Ancient Greek sardónios “of Sardinia.” Sardinia comes into the picture here because, allegedly, sardónios once alluded to a plant from the island that, when consumed, was legendary for producing convulsive laughter until the eater died. However, this story about sardónios may in fact be folk etymology; one theory is that this spelling and definition replaced those of the original term, sardánios “bitter or scornful laughter.” Unfortunately, the ultimate origin of sardonic remains today, as it has for centuries, a mystery. Sardonic was first recorded in English in the 1630s.
Mr. Crampton … rode very fast until he was round the bend—just to show how angry he was. For a space he was boiling with rage. Then he laughed aloud in a sardonic fashion. “Of all possible experiences!” he said. “Ha-ha! And this comes of trying to help a fellow-creature!” The sardonic mood remained. He hated every human being on the road and every human being in Crawley, both on the right-hand side and on the left.
Phrenologically speaking, physiognomically speaking, Jack was as plausible a claimant to character and distinction as any of the rest of them, as he must have known. Perhaps that is why he seemed mildly sardonic when he looked at her, knowing with what interest she looked at him. Yes, he seemed to say, here it is, the face we all joked about and lamented over and carried off as well as we could, the handsome face.
a small three-legged table or stand.
Teapoy “a small three-legged table or stand” is adapted from Hindi tīpāi, with a spelling change likely because of the association with tea. Hindi tīpāi, however, is not related to tea; instead, tīpāi comes from Persian sipāya “three-legged stand.” The phonetic change from Persian s to Hindi t is due to a replacement of the Persian word for “three” with its Hindi cognate tīn, while the instrument sitar “a lute with a small, pear-shaped body” preserves this Persian numeral. Sipāya is a compound of Persian sē “three” and pāy “foot,” which are distant relatives of English three and foot, Latin trēs and pēs, Ancient Greek treîs and poús, and Sanskrit trí and pád. Teapoy was first recorded in English in the 1820s.
There was a small wooden teapoy near the sofa, with an embroidered cross stitch tablecloth on it, with designs of Mistress Mary, quite contrary, watering her flowerbeds. Naomi had done it for her craft class in the ninth standard. A beautiful crystal vase, filled with wilting red roses stood on the teapoy. There were faded yellow half-curtains for the windows strung on taut springs. But the windows were shut.
a reward, recompense, or requital.
Guerdon “a reward, recompense, or requital” is a variation of Old French werdoun, continuing a trend in which the w in Germanic-origin borrowings often becomes gu when adapted into French and other Romance languages. For other examples, compare the cognate pairs ward and guard, warranty and guarantee, and William and Guillaume. Old French werdoun comes from Medieval Latin widerdonum, which in turn was adapted from Old High German widarlōn, with a phonetic change from l to d because of the influence of Latin dōnum “gift.” Widarlōn is a compound of widar “again, back” (which survives today in the German expression auf Wiedersehen “until we meet again”) and lōn “reward” (cognate to Latin lucrum “gain, profit,” as in English lucrative). Guerdon was first recorded in English in the mid-14th century.
What a Cannes Film Festival. It has been an unruly jungle. Unruly and luxuriant. The movies have climbed over each other in excellence, every new one transcending the last as it reaches towards that gilded guerdon, that light-giving cynosure of legendary tree-forms, the Palme d’Or.
BIRON. When tongues speak sweetly, then they name her name, And Rosaline they call her: ask for her; And to her white hand see thou do commend This seal’d-up counsel. There’s thy guerdon; go.
[giving [Costard] a shilling]
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