something that is uproariously funny, as a joke or a situation.
Sidesplitter is perfectly obvious in its derivation and meaning: something that is so uproariously funny that you split your sides from laughing. Sidesplitter first appears in a weekly newspaper, the New-York Mirror, in 1834 and slightly later in England.
If the lyric “In New York, you can be a real ham” sounds like a sidesplitter, this one’s for you.
My appreciation of the short form was enhanced when I discovered the quirky humor of Damon Runyon and Ring Larder, clearly at their peak in a twenty-page sidesplitter.
Informal: Usually Facetious.
many; numerous; much: It's a hard job, but it pays beaucoup money.
In French, beaucoup is an adverb meaning (in various combinations) “a lot, lots, lots of, much, many.” Beaucoup first appeared in American English about 1760 in the sense “a lot, many.” The word, whether used as a singular or plural, was rare before 1918, when the United States became fully engaged in World War I, as in “We’ve been spending beaucoup francs lately for Uncle Sam,” and as an adverb “very, very much,” as in Ernest Hemingway’s “I’m pulling through my annual tonsilitis now so feel bokoo rotten” (1918). During the 1960s and ’70s, American servicemen returning from Vietnam popularized the word and introduced the spellings boo-koo, boocoo(p).
Grassroots support, a powerful message and good timing can still win elections, even without beaucoup bucks.
Of course, one can ignore the message and simply revel briefly in the traditional values: the days of beaucoup silverware, heaping platters of mutton, folks upstairs and downstairs.
imponderables; things that cannot be precisely determined, measured, or evaluated: the imponderabilia surrounding human life.
There are not very many seven-syllable words in English, which makes imponderabilia a really weighty word. It’s Latin for “imponderable things, imponderables.” It comes from New Latin imponderābilia, a noun use of the neuter plural of the Medieval Latin adjective imponderābilis “unable to be weighed or measured,” ultimately deriving from Latin ponderāre “to weigh.” Imponderabilia entered English in the early 20th century.
… the imponderabilia,—those obscure but all-powerful factors like sentiment, public opinion, good will, affection, and so on. You can’t weigh or measure them, nor get at them by any rule of thumb.
Bronisław Malinowski, called [them] “the imponderabilia of actual life.” These are, he wrote, “small incidents, characteristic forms of taking food, of conversing, of doing work, [that] are found occurring over and over again.”
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