open to bribery; mercenary.
The English adjective venal comes from Latin vēnālis “for sale, for hire, susceptible to or obtainable by bribery,” a derivative of vēnus “sale.” Vēnus comes from an unattested noun wesno-, a Latin derivation of wes– (a variant of the Proto-Indo-European root wes-, wos– “to buy, sell”) and the noun suffix –no. Wes– also appears in Hittite washti “thou buyest.” From the variant wos-, Greek (Attic) has the noun ōnḗ “purchase, purchase price” (Homeric Greek has ônos, Aeolic ónna), all from an unrecorded wosnā. Sanskrit vasná “purchase price, wage” may come from either wes– or wos-. Venal entered English in the 17th century.
… the perfectly balanced tool in his hands that could be used for the bribing of venal politicians, with a limitless fund for the bribery ….
Four years after the street protests that ousted the notoriously venal President Viktor Yanukovych, corruption is the wound that won’t stop bleeding.
from the seat of authority; with authority.
The relatively uncommon English adjective and adverb ex cathedra “from the seat (of authority), with authority” comes directly from the Latin phrase ex cathedrā. Latin cathedra “armchair with cushions, easy chair (especially for women), a teacher’s or professor’s chair, a sedan chair” is a loanword from Greek kathédra “seat, sitting posture, teacher’s or professor’s chair, imperial throne.” From cathedra Medieval Latin derived the adjective cathedrālis “pertaining to the chair or throne (of a bishop)”; the bishop’s church, where his throne was located, was called a cathedral church and later just cathedral. Ex cathedra entered English in the 17th century.
There’s no way to maintain an ex cathedra advantage when you’re cavorting in a circus ring.
Pope John once said, “I am not infallible. I am infallible only when I speak ex cathedra. But I shall never speak ex cathedra.”
verb (used without object)
to make objection, especially on the grounds of scruples; take exception; object: They wanted to make him the treasurer, but he demurred.
The verb demur comes via Old French demorer, demourer, ultimately from Latin dēmorārī “to linger, delay, hold up,” its original, now obsolete meaning in English. In the 17th century demur acquired its usual senses in contemporary English “to object, take exception to,” and especially its legal sense “to make or interpose a demurral,” which is a pleading that admits the facts of an opponent’s proceeding but denies any entitlement to legal relief, and that also causes a delay in the proceedings until the point or pleading is settled. Demur entered English in the 13th century.
Montague is genial but determined, and before I could demur he had me packed into a two-thousand-dollar Gore-Tex dry suit with an unbearably tight collar, highly insulated rubber bootees, and an electric-blue life jacket.
… Sonia had a little changed her mind. Wedge would be very unlikely to demur.
a work written as an explanation or justification of one's motives, convictions, or acts.
It is unsurprising that the earliest occurrences of apologia “a defendant’s speech in a trial” appear in 5th-century Athens. The Greek verb apologeîsthai “to speak in defense, defend oneself” and its derivative noun apología are first used by such heavy hitters as Thucydides, Euripides, and Plato. Plato’s Apología Sōkrátous “Apology of Socrates” refers to the three speeches Socrates delivered in his self-defense at his trial in 399 b.c. Apologia is similarly used in Cardinal Newman’s religious autobiography, Apologia pro Vita Sua “Defense of His Own Life” (1864). Apologia entered English in the late 18th century.
Now Starr has laid out the defining saga of his life in a book. … “I view it as not an apologia at all,” he says, “but simply: Tell the story.”
Occasionally, we’ve been accused of writing a show that’s sort of an apologia for the surveillance state.
a principal beam or girder, as one running between girts to support joists.
The rare noun summer “horizontal supporting beam” comes from Old French somier, sommier, which had the semantic development “packhorse,” then “a pack, a load,” and finally “a beam, a joist.” The Old French forms come from the Late Latin (c600) adjective saumārius, a variant of Late Latin (c300) sagmārius “pertaining to a packsaddle” (equus sagmārius means “packhorse”). Sagmārius derives from Late Latin (late 4th century) sagma (inflectional stem sagmat-) “packsaddle,” a loanword from Greek ságma “covering, clothing,” later also “packsaddle.” Finally, the derivative noun saumatārius (sagmatārius) “driver of a packhorse” comes into English (via Old French sommetier) as sumpter “packhorse, mule.” Summer entered English in the 14th century.
The summer was a heavy beam spanning the middle of a large room … and it served as an intermediate support for the floor joists of the story above ….
The cross beams were known as girders, summers or somers, and dormants: one of them carried the chimney, and so was called the “bressummer,” that is the breast girder.
lack of wisdom; foolishness.
Insipience “foolishness” comes via Old French from Latin insipientia. The Latin prefix in-, which has a negative or privative force, as in insipientia, is the ordinary Latin development of a reduced form of Proto-Indo-European ne “not,” which is the same source of Germanic (English un-). The Latin stem –sipient– is a reduced and combining form derived from sapientia “reason, soundness of mind, wisdom,” hence insipientia “foolishness, folly, stupidity.” The root word behind sapientia and insipientia is sapere “to taste, taste of, smell of, have good taste, feel, show good sense, be intelligent.” Sapere is the source of Italian sapere, Spanish saber, and French savoir, all meaning “to know.” The Latin noun sapor “flavor, taste, odor, smell” becomes Italian sapore, Spanish sabor, French saveur, and, through French, English savor and its derivative adjective savory. Insipience entered English in the 15th century.
Too many prefer the charge of insincerity to that of insipience—Dr. Newman seems not to be of that number.
It has to be frustrating to know that you’re surrounded by intelligent, earnest individuals who are prone to moments of public insipience, usually when their fingers are on the voting button.
to jog along.
The verb (and noun) shog “to shake, jolt, to jog along” is now used mostly in British dialect. The Middle English verb shogge(n) is possibly a variant of shock “to strike, jar” and is probably related to the Old High German noun scoc “a swinging, a swing,” Middle High German schock “a swing, a seesaw,” and Middle Dutch, Dutch schok “a shake, a jolt.” Shog entered English in the early 15th century.
If you don’t mind I’ll shog on! I’ve got to walk fast now, or Gerda will be worrying.
Then shog along homeward, chat over the fight / And hear in our dreams the sweet music all night.