a system of signaling, especially a system by which a special flag is held in each hand and various positions of the arms indicate specific letters, numbers, etc.
Semaphore came into English from French sémaphore, a device for making and transmitting signals by line of sight. From the point of view of a purist or pedant, semaphore is a malformed word. The Greek noun sêma means “mark, sign, token,” and its combining form, which should have been used in semaphore, is sēmat-, which would result in sematophore. The combining form -phore comes from the Greek combining form -phoros “carrying, bearing,” a derivative of the verb phérein “to carry, bear.” Semaphore entered English in the 19th century.
The gymnasts were like the diagrams to illustrate the semaphore alphabet, arms thrust firmly out in precise positions, a flag in each hand, the little figures in naval uniform like her brother, Ben, drawn over and over.
His younger brother admired his speed and what looked like his precision, though semaphore signals were a closed book to the major.
lopsided or at an angle; out of alignment.
Antigodlin is an adjective used chiefly in the American South and West. The origin of the word is unclear, but it may be a combination of the familiar prefix anti- “against, opposite” and godlin or goglin, a variant pronunciation of goggling, the present participle of goggle, in the archaic sense “to squint” and originally meaning “twisted to one side, cockeyed.” The form godlin may also be reinforced by the folk etymology “against God.” Antigodlin entered English in the early 20th century.
This was moved so as to make it set, as the witness expressed it, “antigodlin.” … we suppose he meant that it was set diagonally to the window after being moved so as to permit the party to pass between the side of the box and the window.
When the ecology of the environment is out of sorts (“anti-godlin” as my mountain neighbors might say, referring to anything that is out of balance or out of plumb or that goes against God and the laws of nature), we also see symptoms …
the process of assigning blame for an outcome or situation.
Blamestorming was originally a colloquialism in American English, modeled on the much earlier (1907) brainstorming. Blamestorming entered English in the 1990s.
Unfortunately, the common behavior exhibited many businesses is to have a meeting “the morning after” for a “blamestorming” session. This is where the CEO or manager sits around with their team and figures out who is to blame for the company’s latest failure.
And as long as we’re blamestorming here, how about the developers who turned the Rollman property into McMansions in the early 1990s?
a person who investigates.
English scrutator comes straight from the Latin noun scrūtātor “searcher (after something or someone hidden),” a derivative of the verb scrūtārī“ to probe, examine closely,” originally “to sort through rags.” Scrūtārī itself is a derivative of the (neuter plural) noun scrūta “discarded items, junk.” Scrutator entered English in the late 16th century.
Mistrust, assuming the ascendency, commenced its regency, and the observations of so indefatigable and eagle eyed a scrutator produced a conviction of the blackest perfidy.
I did not find him to be a thinker, and much less a scrutator …
Archaic. a week.
The archaic English noun sennight means literally “seven nights,” i.e. a week. The Old English form was seofan nihta; Middle English had very many forms, including soveniht, sevenight, seven nyght, sennyght.
It had taken them only a sennight to travel from Sentarshadeen … into the heart of the lost Lands to face the power of Shadow Mountain.
She that I spake of, our great captain’s captain, / Left in the conduct of the bold Iago, / Whose footing here anticipates our thoughts / A sennight‘s speed.
a collection of items or parts in one mass; assemblage; aggregation; heap: From the airplane the town resembled a congeries of tiny boxes.
English congeries comes directly from the Latin noun congeriēs “collection, pile, heap,” a derivative of the verb congerere “to collect, amass.” Congeries is a singular noun in Latin as it has always been in English. In the mid-19th century a new singular arose in English, congery, a back formation from congeries. Congeries entered English in the 17th century.
… each bud has a leaf, which is its lungs, appropriated to it, and the bark of the tree is a congeries of the roots of these individual buds …
He further emptied the valise, lifting out a queer-looking congeries of glass cells and coils to which the wire from the helmet was attached, and delivering a fire of running comment too technical for me to follow yet apparently quite plausible and straightforward.
Botany. bearing or producing berries.
The English adjective bacciferous “bearing berries” comes from Latin bacca (also bāca) “fruit of a shrub or tree, nut,” a word of unknown origin. The Latin suffix -fer “carrying, bearing” is from a very widespread Proto-Indo-European root bher- “to carry,” source of Germanic (English) bear, Greek phérein “to carry, bear,” and Slavic (Polish) bierać “to carry.” Bacciferous entered English in the 17th century.
Bacciferous trees, are such as bear berries; as the juniper and yew-tree.
The rays of the sun are essential to the proper development of all fruits, yet some, especially the bacciferous, demand a certain amount of shade in Summer and protection in Winter …