needless repetition of an idea, especially in words other than those of the immediate context, without imparting additional force or clearness, as in “widow woman.”
Tautology comes from Late Latin tautologia, a borrowing of a Hellenistic Greek rhetorical term tautología “repetition of something already said.” The second half of tautology is clear enough, being the same suffix as in theology or philology. The first element tauto- needs some clarification: it comes from tò autó “the same,” formed from the neuter singular of the definite article and the third person pronoun (the combination of tò autó to tautó is called krâsis “mixture,” which appears in idiosyncrasy “personal temperament”—a “personal blend” as it were. Tautology entered English in the 16th century.
Take away perspective and you are stranded in a universal present, something akin, weirdly, to the unhistoried — and, at the risk of tautology, perspective-less — art of the Middle Ages.
… the central moral question is whether we are going to use the language of tautology and self-justification – one that gives us alone the right to be called reasonable and human – or whether we labour to discover other ways of speaking and imagining.
a sweet variety of apple.
Sweeting is an obvious noun formed from the adjective sweet and the noun suffix -ing “one belonging to, descended from.” The sense “sweetheart,” not used nowadays, dates from about 1300; the sense “a variety of sweet apple” dates from the 16th century.
… I do give her the frut of two appel trees one a sweeting ye nothermost of ye sweetings in ye Lower yard and ye westermost tree by ye highway.
They be not righteous actions that make a righteous man; nor be they evil actions that make a wicked man: for a tree must be a sweeting tree before it yield sweetings; and a crab tree before it bring forth crabs.
Heraldry. (of an animal, as a deer) shown facing forward without a neck: a stag's head caboshed.
Caboshed, also spelled caboched and cabossed is a technical term in heraldry referring to a beast decapitated behind its horns. The -ed shows that the variant spellings are all past participles of the very rare and obsolete verb cabochen, cabachen “to behead (a deer or other beast) right behind its horns.” The English verb comes from the French verb cabocher (past participle caboché), a derivative of caboche (Old French caboce), a pejorative northern French dialect (Norman, Picard) word meaning “head” (literally “cabbage”). Caboche may be a development of Latin caput “head.” Caboshed entered English in the 16th century.
… an heraldic shield featuring a lion’s head caboshed, with medusa hair, a single bulging eye, a beard, and tusks …
A fanciful menagerie flourished on the banners: the caboshed boar of Janos of Hungary, the naiant dolphin of a Sicilian Norman, the salient-countersalient white stags of Conrad’s men, and everywhere the Templars’ Pegasus.
a person who makes an effort to eat food that is grown, raised, or produced locally, usually within 100 miles of home.
Locavore was coined in 2005 by Jessica Prentice (born 1968), an American chef and author, and a co-founder of Three Stone Hearth, a community-supported kitchen in Berkeley, California. Locavore is a compound of English local, from Latin locālis “pertaining to a place” (from locus “place”) and Latin vorāre “to swallow ravenously,” which also appears in devour “to swallow down, gulp down,” carnivore “meat eater,” and herbivore “grass eater.”
The pomegranates, Boston lettuce, and tomatoes came from out of state–it was hard to be a complete locavore in New England during the winter.
The locavore movement aims to capture that flavor difference and promote sustainable, community-based agriculture by favoring “low-mileage” foods over ones that have traveled long distances to arrive at your plate.
English cyclopean comes from the Latin adjective Cyclōpēus, a borrowing of Greek Kyklṓpeios, a derivative of the common noun, proper noun, and name Kýklōps, which the Greeks interpreted to mean “round eye” (a compound of kýklos “wheel” and ōps “eye, face”). The most famous Cyclops is Polyphemus, a crude, solitary shepherd living on an island whom Odysseus blinded in Homer’s Odyssey. Hesiod (ca. 8th century b.c.) in his Theogony names three Cyclopes; they are craftsmen who make Zeus’s thunderbolts, and whom the Greeks often credited with building the walls of ancient Mycenae, Tiryns, Argos, and the acropolis of Athens, all constructed with massive limestone blocks roughly fitted together without mortar. Cyclopean entered English in the 17th century.
… large ships’ vents hang from the two-story-high ceiling, like Cyclopean worms poking their heads in to check out the space.
And ahead, the great cyclopean edifice reared like a giant’s curse against the darkness: too dense a black, too severe.
a ring in the form of two hands clasping a crowned heart, given in friendship or love.
The claddagh ring is Irish in name and origin. Claddagh in Irish means “shore” and is also the name of a fishing village on the western edge of Galway City, on the west coast of Ireland. The rings, with the design of two hands (friendship) clasping a heart (love), surmounted by a crown (loyalty), symbolized betrothal or marriage and were used at least as early as 1700. Claddagh entered English in the 19th century.
One of the rings was becoming visible thanks to the bright light. “Are those hands?” “It’s a claddagh.”
Taking note of the thick band of sterling silver, I saw alternating squares of intricately engraved pictures: one was a Scottish thistle, one a Celtic knot, one a raven and the last I recognized because of my studies: a Claddagh: two hands clasping a heart together.
to use divination to discover hidden knowledge or future events, especially by means of a crystal ball.
Aphesis is the loss of an unstressed vowel or syllable from the beginning of a word, as descry becoming scry. The adjective formed from aphesis is aphetic. Descry means “to see something unclear or distant by looking carefully”; scry has a narrower meaning, “to use divination to learn hidden events or the future, especially by gazing into a crystal ball or water.” Scry was obsolete by the 16th century, but it was revived in the 19th century by Andrew Lang (1844–1912), the Scottish poet, novelist, literary critic, anthropologist, and collector of folk and fairy tales.
Merlin could scry in any clear or shiny surface. Even now he had a basin of water ready at this elbow for watching his boy king.
And my lord had a great mirror where he wanted me to scry–to see the future.