to be indecisive or evasive to gain time or delay acting.
The current, somewhat negative, meaning of temporize, “to be indecisive or evasive to gain time or delay acting,” is a relatively modern development of Middle French temporiser “to pass the time, await one’s time,” from Medieval Latin temporizāre “to delay,” equivalent to Medieval Latin temporāre “to delay, put off the time.” All of the medieval words are derivatives of Latin tempor-, the inflectional stem of tempus “time,” which has no certain etymology. Temporize entered English in the 16th century.
I’ll temporise till we are all dead and buried.
He is as likely as any man I know to temporize—to calculate what will be likely to promote his own reputation and advantage …
Eyewinker is a very rare noun, originally Scottish and now mostly an American regionalism. Eye needs no explanation; winker has several meanings: “eyelash, eyelid, eye, something that gets in the eye and makes one blink.” Eyewinker entered English in the early 19th century.
“Last night—at dinner”—Mrs. Appel eyed him accusingly—“I found—an eyewinker—in the hard sauce.”
Not even an eyewinker was left to her.
The Latin noun rēgīna “queen” is obviously related to the Latin noun rēx (inflectional stem rēg-) “king,” but how rēgīna is derived from rēx is tricky. There is also a deceptive resemblance between rēx and rēgīna and Sanskrit rā́jan– “rajah, king” and rā́jñī– “queen, ranee” (rēgīna and rā́jñī– are not directly related). There is a definite connection, however, between Latin rēx (rēg-), rēgīna and the Celtic words for king, e.g., Old Irish rí (from rīks), and its stem ríg (from rīg–os). Rígain, the Old Irish word for queen, is cognate with rēgīna. Regina dates from Old English times.
He represented the rule of law, and in Miromara the law bowed to no one, not even the regina herself.
“Mother of heaven, regina of the clouds … .”
a ring of light around the shadow cast by a person's head, especially on a dewy, sunlit lawn, caused by reflection and diffraction of light rays; halo.
Heiligenschein in German means “halo (around a saint’s head), nimbus, aureole,” literally, “saint’s shining, saint’s light.” The optical effect is also called Cellini’s halo, after the Italian artist and writer Benevenuto Cellini (1500-71) who first described the phenomenon. Heiligenschein entered English in the 20th century.
The dark figure outlined on the mountain mist may have had a glory around its head, or at least a Heiligenschein, and seemed like ghost to the mountaineer who saw it.
You may sometimes have noticed a faint sheen, or increased brightness, around the shadow of your head when this falls on a grass lawn, particularly when the Sun is low, and you cast a long shadow. This sheen is known as a heiligenschein, a German word meaning ‘holy glow.’
a euphemism: an evasive style of writing, full of circumlocutions and nice-nellyisms.
Nice-nellyism is an Americanism dating from the early 1930s. It is a contemptuous derivative of the contemptuous noun and adjective nice nelly (also nice Nelly) “prudish; prudish person,” which dates from the nearly 1920s.
This denial was at least partly a nice-Nellyism from the past, I think.
… it had been one of the running jokes of the campus, an exercise in innuendo, misinformation and Victorian nice-nellyism.
characterized by a ready and continuous flow of words; fluent; glib; talkative: a voluble spokesman for the cause.
Voluble ultimately comes from the Latin adjective volūbilis “rolling, rotating, spinning (on an axis); (of speech or speakers) fluent.” Volūbilis is a derivative of the verb volvere “to roll, roll over, roll around, grovel; to bring around (seasons, events).” Compounds of volvere are common in Latin and English: ēvolvere “to unroll, open” (English evolve), dēvolvere “to roll down, roll off, sink back” (English devolve), involvere “to roll up, roll in” (English involve), and revolvere “to roll back (something to its source), unroll (a scroll for reading” (English revolve). Other Latin derivatives from the same root include volūmen “roll, papyrus roll” (English volume), volūta “scroll (on a column) (English volute),” vulva, volva “womb, vulva” (English vulva). Voluble entered English in the 16th century.
But Wolf Larsen seemed voluble, prone to speech as I had never seen him before.
And he aged into a voluble and distinctive public character, a roguish charmer in a kufi, operating out of a packed storefront studio, tooling around Memphis in a plush old sedan.
to bicker or quibble over trifles or unimportant matters.
The verb pettifog is a back formation from the noun pettifogger, originally “ambulance chaser, shyster, fixer.” Pettifogger is a compound of the adjective petty “of minor importance” and fogger “a middleman.” Fogger itself probably derives ultimately from Fugger, the name of a prominent family of German bankers of the 15th and 16th centuries. The family name became a common noun in German and Dutch, meaning “rich man, monopolist, usurer.” Pettifog entered English in the 17th century.
Marius, my boy, you are a baron, you are rich, don’t pettifog—I beg of you.
The way for the President to protect his prerogatives of office is not to pettifog about war powers but to go to the nation with his case.