Word Of The Year
English sciolism “superficial knowledge, a pretension to learning,” comes from the Late Latin adjective and noun sciolus “pretending to knowledge; a person who pretends to knowledge,” and the common noun suffix -ism, originally Greek but completely naturalized in English. Sciolus comes from Latin scius “knowing, knowledgeable, cognizant,” a derivative of the verb scīre “to know (a fact), know for sure.” The obsolete English noun sciolus “one who possesses only superficial knowledge, particularly and especially an editor of a text,” comes directly from Late Latin sciolus. The uncommon English noun sciolist “a person of superficial knowledge or learning” is another derivative of sciolus. Sciolism entered English in the mid-18th century.
Anderson faded, his showy sciolism proving as tiresome to voters as it had to his congressional colleagues.
An unseemly air of sciolism creeps into our insistence that we others know the difference between Benedict Arnold and Arnold Bennett.
a person or thing that achieves unexpected or sudden success or recognition, especially after obscurity, neglect, or misery.
Cinderella is a partial translation of French Cendrillon “Little ashes,” from Charles Perrault’s Cendrillon ou la petite pantoufle de verre “Cinderella or the Little Glass slipper” (1697). The story of Cinderella is ancient: The Greek geographer and historian Strabo tells the earliest recorded version of the folk tale in his Rhodopis (written between 7 b.c. and a.d. 24), the name of a Greek slave girl who married the King of Egypt. The first modern European version of the folk tale appears in Lo cunto de li cunti “The Tale of Tales” (also known as the Pentamerone), the collection of fairy tales written in Neapolitan dialect by the Neapolitan poet and fairy tale collector Giambattista Basile (1566-1632), from whom Charles Perrault and the German folklorists and philologists the Brothers Grimm later adapted material. Cinderella entered English in the 19th century.
The first Cinderella in the era of the 64-team bracket may be the greatest in history.
Ukraine is the new Cinderella. It could just metamorphose from bankruptcy and potential civil war to surpass elder sister Russia in reform and perhaps even consensus.
a pouting grimace.
The noun moue, “a pout, grimace,” still feels very French in its spelling. Some of its Middle English spellings include moue, mouwe, mowhe “grimace, wry face, grin,” all from Middle French mouwe, moe “lip, pout,” from Old French moe “grimace, pout.” Old French moe is probably from unrecorded Frankish mauwa “pout, protruding lip,” or Middle Dutch mouwe “protruding lip.” Moue entered English in the mid-19th century.
“What, your stitching wasn’t good enough?” The woman made a sympathetic moue.
Disapproval either goes unexpressed or is exaggerated, with a roll of the eye and a theatrical moue and a “She never takes any notice of me, anyway.”
long-lived; living to a great age.
The adjective longevous is much less common than its derivative noun longevity. Longevous derives from the Latin adjective longaevus “of great age, ancient,” a compound of the adjective longus “long” and the noun aevum “time, the past, the ages.” Longevity comes from Late Latin longaevitās (stem longaevitāt-) “long life, longevity,” formed from longus and the noun aevitās (also aetās) “age, one’s age,” a derivative of aevum. Longevous entered English in the mid-17th century (and longevity in the second half of the 16th century).
a vast majority of these extremely longevous folk were of a placid temperament, not given to worry.
It’s hard to remember a longevous rock band that left on such a high note as these women did in 2006.
verb (used with object)
to carry; lug: to schlep an umbrella on a sunny day.
The slang term schlep “to lug, carry” is used mostly in the United States. Schlep is from the Yiddish verb shlepn “to pull, drag” (German schleppen “to draw, tug, haul”). The derivative noun schlepper, “one who schleps,” appears slightly earlier than the verb. Schlepper entered English toward the end of the 19th century; schlep appeared in the early 20th.
She had drawn notice as the doctor who would help mechanics schlep gear, fetch coffee and even massage the overworked massage therapists.
After a bit of trial and error, you’ll find car-free travel is a liberating choice that forces you to schlep considerably less.
the condition of having an unusually vivid or precise memory.
Hypermnesia, a medical or psychological term meaning “the condition of having an unusually vivid or precise memory,” is composed of the familiar prefix hyper-, which usually implies excess or exaggeration, the Greek noun mnêsis “memory,” and the Greek abstract noun suffix –ia. Hypermnesia entered English in the late 19th century.
Psychologists have investigated some persons with exceptional memories – said to exhibit “hypermnesia”. The most famous of these was a Russian, code-named “S”, who could recall long random series of numbers or words without error, many years later.
This sharpened memory is called hypermnesia. A frequent experience in dreaming is a hypermnesia with regard to childhood scenes.
a platitude or trite saying.
The original meaning of bromide was “a chemical compound of two elements: bromine and a second element, such as potassium or sodium.” Potassium bromide and sodium bromide are used in medicine as sedatives and anticonvulsants. The extended use of bromide, “platitude or trite saying” (from its sedative effect), was originally an Americanism, first appearing in print in the early 20th century. Bromide entered English in the first half of the 19th century.
the work is its own reward. That may sound like just another bromide, but Gilbert’s love of creativity is infectious ….
I’m intrigued by the way in which his political success … contradicts bromides about the importance, professionally, of making friends and using honey instead of vinegar.