Informal. a person who vacations in or moves to a warmer climate during cold weather.
Snowbird has three distinct meanings. The original meaning, “a bird that spends winters in a cold climate,” dates from the late 17th century; the second, “a person who travels from the cold north to spend the winter in the warm, sunny south,” dates from the mid-1920s; the third sense, “a person addicted to heroin or cocaine,” dates from around 1915.
I don’t know if I can be a snowbird every year… But I’m going to try, even if it’s only for a week or two: for more winter sunrises, for more sunlight, and even for more — why not? — joyful crying.
As the temperature drops and months of cold weather loom ahead, snowbirds pack up for warmer climates, anticipating sunny days free of freezing ice, snow shoveling and other winter worries.
of or relating to proper names.
English onomastic comes straight from the Greek adjective and noun onomastikós, which has quite a few meanings: “pertaining to a name, naming, special name; (in grammar) nominative (case); vocabulary (organized by subject and not by letter).” Onomastikós is a derivative of the verb onomázein “to name, call by name,” itself a derivative of the noun ónoma, the Greek development of Proto-Indo-European nomen-, which appears in Latin as nōmen, Germanic (English) name, and Sanskrit nā́ma. One of the things that make Greek Greek is the presence of prothetic vowels (prothetic means “put in front”) at the beginning of a word, such as the o- in ónoma, the a- in ástron “star” (akin to English star and Latin stella, from assumed sterla), the e- in ennéa “nine” (Latin novem, Sanskrit náva). Some of the prothetic vowels can be explained according to Indo-European linguistics, others not; they are a source of endless research and speculation. Onomastic entered English in the 18th century.
Today’s baseball rosters are filled with names, not nicknames, not like the ones that used to be. The N.B.A. playoffs are equally devoid of onomastic pleasures, just cheap echoes of Magic and the Mailman, Tiny and Tree, Chief and Cornbread.
… the survey found that mothers’ top reason for onomastic discontent was that they hadn’t been bold enough …
the capacity, especially of a pheromone, to attract.
Attractant is to attractance and attractancy as repellent is to repellence and repellency. Both sets of words are used mostly in biochemistry to describe chemicals, such as pheromones or insectifuges, that attract, drive away, or affect the behavior of other creatures. Attractancy entered English in the 20th century.
From these various investigations it became very clear that numerous components of the cotton plant had some attractancy for the boll weevil, although their effects were often short-ranged.
The attractancy of the brown-rot fungus was discovered by Dr. Glenn Esenther, an entomologist at the Forest Products Laboratory in Madison, Wisconsin.
Astrology. the comparison of two or more natal charts in order to analyze or forecast the interaction of the individuals involved.
English synastry is an astrological term coming ultimately from Greek synastría, a noun compounded of the Greek preposition and prefix syn, syn- “with,” completely naturalized in English, the Greek noun ástro(n) “star,” familiar in astronomy, astronaut, and astrology, and the abstract noun suffix -ia, which is also native to Latin, becoming the noun suffix -y in English. Synastry entered English in the 17th century.
… she matches people according to chart comparison, a branch of astrology called Synastry.
I find this sad because the synastry was really pretty good.
Slang. marvelous; delightful.
Marvy is in origin an American slang term, a shortening of marvelous and the very common adjective suffix -y. Marvy first entered English in the 1930s.
You havent heard of privatizing? That’s this fantastically with-it idea the Reagan circle has for getting the government out of government. Isn’t that too marvy?
The 22-way adjustable driver seat was marvy.
Archaic. inhabitants of the tropics.
Amphiscians is an altogether strange word, at least in its meaning. The English word, a plural noun, comes from Medieval Latin Amphisciī “those who cast a shadow on both sides,” i.e., in the tropics a person’s shadow will fall towards the north or towards the south depending on whether the sun is above or below the equator. Amphisciī is a straightforward borrowing of Greek amphískioi (a plural adjective used as a noun) “casting a shadow or shadowy on both sides,” formed from the preposition and prefix amphí, amphi- “around, about” (akin to Latin ambi- with the same meaning) and the noun skiá “shadow, shade, specter” (from the same Proto-Indo-European root from which English has shine). (Heteroscians is, of course, the opposite of amphiscians.) Amphiscians entered English in the 17th century.
The amphiscians, whose noon shadows fall on both sides, are the people who live between the two tropics, in the region which the ancients call the middle zone.
Are we not similar to those amphiscians / whose shadows fall at one season to the north, / but at another to the south?
an argument constructed in anticipation of a criticism: The alderman began his speech with a question-answer style prebuttal.
Prebuttal is a clever combination of the prefix pre- “before” and (re)buttal. It is equivalent to the Latin rhetorical term prolēpsis “anticipation in the form of a brief summary” or Late Latin procatalēpsis “anticipation and rebuttal of an opponent’s arguments,” a borrowing from Greek prolēpsis “(in rhetoric) anticipation” and prokatálēpsis “anticipation and rebuttal of an opponent’s arguments.” Former Vice President Al Gore seems to be the first person to use prebuttal in 1996.
President Clinton’s White House and campaign team have been drawing favorable reviews for their rapid response operation and penchant for picking off issues before Senate Majority Leader Robert J. Dole (R-Kan.) even gets his TelePrompTer warmed up. Vice President Gore calls it “prebuttal.”
Both in the short term and for posterity, Sotomayor’s work will serve as a prebuttal to what Chief Justice John Roberts and company are poised to do.