work, especially hard work.
Yakka “work” is a term in Australian slang that used to be spelled variously as yacker or yakker, among other options. Because Australian English is a variety of English that is non-rhotic, dropping the r sound after a vowel, the original spelling of yakka may have changed to reflect this r-dropping tendency. While the ultimate source of yakka is obscure, the most popular hypothesis is a derivation from yaga “to work,” a word from the Yagara language. Yagara, also known as Turrbal, is a language native to Queensland, the northeasternmost state of Australia, and belongs to the Pama–Nyungan language family, as do three-quarters of all aboriginal languages of Australia. Yakka was first recorded in English in the late 1880s.
Beyond the stereotyped “G’day” (hello) of souvenir T-shirts and “Crocodile Dundee” movies, are many words rich in tradition that define the Australian identity and give continuity to the variety of voices and experiences that shaped the country’s history. Assuming you pass the tests and move to Australia, you’ll probably find yourself flat out like a lizard drinking, that’s extremely busy, from the hard yakka or labour of your new job.
In Adelaide there may be periods when the ball darts around and the bowlers move to attacking lengths to induce batters into coming forward, and other times when seamers will have to plug away and do some hard yakka, which England’s are capable of doing. The path to victory is to bang away with accurate seam bowlers.
the raised part of a sundial that casts the shadow; a style.
Gnomon “the raised part of a sundial that casts the shadow” is a borrowing by way of Latin gnōmōn from Ancient Greek gnṓmōn “interpreter, discerner.” From there, gnṓmōn is derived from the verb gignṓskein (stem gnō-) “to know, perceive, judge,” and the stem gnō- also appears in other Ancient Greek-origin terms such as agnostic (literally “without knowledge”) and diagnosis (literally “means of discernment”). Because Ancient Greek and Latin are distantly related, Latin contains numerous words related to knowledge that also feature the telltale gn- element, including cognitive (“learned”), incognito (“unknown”), ignorant (“not knowing”), and recognize (“know again”). Gnomon was first recorded in English in the 1540s.
The pork clock was excavated in the 1760s from the ruins of the Villa dei Papiri, a grand country house in the Roman town of Herculaneum. Early scholars were quick to realize that the unprepossessing object was a sundial, though some experts argued that it was modeled after a water jug rather than a ham …. The original clock is missing its gnomon, the part of a sundial that casts a shadow, but an 18th-century museum curator described it having one in the shape of a pig’s tail…
Though not exactly a clock, the Samrat Yantra—or supreme instrument—is the largest sundial in the world, measuring more than 88 feet in height. Made of marble and local stone with a gnomon that stands at 90 feet, this time-keeping attraction can tell accurate time, with just a two-second margin of error, day or night.
a state of freedom from emotional disturbance and anxiety; tranquillity.
Ataraxia “freedom from anxiety” is a borrowing from the Ancient Greek noun ataraxía “impassiveness, calmness,” which is based on the adjective ataráktos “unmoved.” Ataráktos, in turn, is a derivative of the verb tarássein (stem tarak-) “to disturb,” plus the prefix a- “not, without.” One major proponent of ataraxia is the philosopher Epicurus, the inspiration for the recent Word of the Day epicurean. When we discuss the “Ancient Greek” language, we usually mean the Attic dialect of Ancient Greek spoken in the 5th and 4th centuries BC. However, where other Ancient Greek dialects have -ss-, Attic has -tt-, and for these words, Ancient Greek dictionaries opt for the more generic tarássein over the Attic taráttein. This means that, if your name is Melissa, from the Ancient Greek word for “honeybee,” you would be known throughout most of Ancient Greece as Mélissa but in Attica as Mélitta. Ataraxia was first recorded in English in the first decade of the 17th century.
Epicurus (341–270 B.C.) led an eponymous school of thought–Epicureanism—that believed a happy life requires two things: ataraxia (freedom from mental disturbance) and aponia (the absence of physical pain). His philosophy might be characterized as “If it is scary or painful, work to avoid it.” Epicureans see discomfort as generally negative, and thus the elimination of threats and problems as the key to a happier life. Don’t get the impression that I am saying they are lazy or unmotivated—quite the contrary, in many cases. But they don’t see enduring fear and pain as inherently necessary or beneficial, and they focus instead on enjoying life.
Ataraxia should act like a slow-release drug, accumulating over days and weeks. Ancient philosophers believed achieving ataraxia created an emotional homeostasis, where the effect wouldn’t just be a more stable base-level mood, but one that would hopefully flow out to the people around you. If you are more tranquil, you will be less likely to react or combust. So not only do you not ruin your own day, you avoid ruining other people’s too. In a tranquil state you may even make better decisions.
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