Words You've Learned from Reading and Writing

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oneblindmouse

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One of my favourite discoveries: Ultracrepidarian:
adjective: noting or pertaining to a person who criticizes, judges, or gives advice outside the area of his or her expertise:
et. - The play provides a classic, simplistic portrayal of an ultracrepidarian mother-in-law.

noun
an ultracrepidarian person.

I know a few of these! :e2stooges:e2stooges:e2stooges

What a wonderful word!!! Describes my sister in law to a T!
 

Jason

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cupola - a small dome, especially a small dome on a drum on top of a larger dome, adorning a roof or ceiling

Thanks HGTV! :)
 

Chris P

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Cognomen - a family name or surname, also in some cases a nickname.

I love this word: "cogno," to know + "nomen," name. Or, "a name one is known by."
 
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Lauram6123

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Jobsworth - a person in a position of minor authority who invokes the letter of the law in order to avoid any action requiring initiative, cooperation, etc.

I just learned this word the other day and am sad that I have lived this long without it.
 

Chris P

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Jobsworth - a person in a position of minor authority who invokes the letter of the law in order to avoid any action requiring initiative, cooperation, etc.

I just learned this word the other day and am sad that I have lived this long without it.

I think it's UK slang. When I first learned it, it was explained to me that the word comes from a refusal to put forth more effort: "That's more than my job's worth." Hence, jobsworth.
 

The Second Moon

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Rimy - a literary word for frost-covered. (pronounced "rime + ee")

In one of my stories, I named a female monster who lives in a refrigerator "Rimmy" as a play on words for rimy. I added two M's because I wanted it pronounced "Rim +mee" Pronouncing it like "rime +ee" brings to mind slime and poetry.
 

Chris P

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Rimy - a literary word for frost-covered. (pronounced "rime + ee")

In one of my stories, I named a female monster who lives in a refrigerator "Rimmy" as a play on words for rimy. I added two M's because I wanted it pronounced "Rim +mee" Pronouncing it like "rime +ee" brings to mind slime and poetry.

Ha! Cool! (puns intended!)

Incidentally, I always thought it was "Rhyme of the Ancient Mariner" because it was a poem, when it's actually "Rime of the Ancient Mariner," used in the sense you describe it. Despite 45 seconds of Google searching, I can't determine if Coleridge intended the double meaning.
 
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Jason

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Well, 24 is close enough - Here is List #12:

Piebald - having patches of various colors
Limelight - An actual kind of light invented in the 1800s (I had heard this word plenty, but only in figurative contexts)
Chancel - The space around an altar in a cathedral
Nave - The central part of a cathedral
Transept - The part of a cathedral crossing the nave to form a cross shape
Malfeasance - Unlawful or criminal activity.
Wan - weak
Apothegm - ​a saying, aphorism, maxim, etc.
viviparous - (of an animal) bringing forth live young that have developed inside the body of the parent. (of a plant) reproducing from buds that form plantlets while still attached to the parent plant, or from seeds that germinate within the fruit.
peritoneum - the serous membrane lining the cavity of the abdomen and covering the abdominal organs
pneumatic - containing or operated by air or gas under pressure. (chiefly of cavities in the bones of birds) containing air. (of a woman) having big breasts. (chiefly in the context of the New Testament) relating to the spirit.
Samphire - a European plant of the parsley family that grows on rocks and cliffs by the sea. Its aromatic, fleshy leaves were formerly much used in pickles.
Importuning - urging or hurrying
Tatterdemalion - disheveled, decayed
Indentured - bound as if by contract (in this case, an enslaved person who was sold as property to pirates until she could pay off her worth)
skein - a flock of wild geese or swans in flight, typically in a V-shaped formation
fletching - the stabilizing feather on an arrow
Ultracrepidarian - noting or pertaining to a person who criticizes, judges, or gives advice outside the area of his or her expertise
Hirsel - a group of sheep of the same kind
Aigrette ​- a woman's headdress featuring a white egret feather, but can also include jewels or other decorations.
cupola - a small dome, especially a small dome on a drum on top of a larger dome, adorning a roof or ceiling
Cognomen - a family name or surname, also in some cases a nickname.
Jobsworth - a person in a position of minor authority who invokes the letter of the law in order to avoid any action requiring initiative, cooperation, etc.
Rimy - a literary word for frost-covered

And the prior lists, for good measure:
List 01
List 02
List 03
List 04
List 05
List 06
List 07
List 08
List 09
List 10
List 11
 
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khanwong

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I first encountered the word "diastrophism" via Human Diastrophism, the graphic novel by Gilbert and Jaime Hernandez, a volume of their Love & Rockets series. I love it. Both the word and the GN!
 

Chris P

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Metayer: a person who works the land using tools, seed, etc., furnished by the landlord and who receives a share of the harvest in compensation (a type of sharecropper)
 

Chris P

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Cadastral: (as of a map or survey) showing the extent, value, and ownership of land, especially for taxation.
 

oneblindmouse

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I've never heard of cadastral in English, but in Spanish we have "catastro", which means the same, and is a term we're all familiar with, as it affects the value of properties when buying or selling and when paying taxes.
 

Chris P

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I've never heard of cadastral in English, but in Spanish we have "catastro", which means the same, and is a term we're all familiar with, as it affects the value of properties when buying or selling and when paying taxes.

I'm doing research for a historical WIP, and the cadastral maps have been fascinating! I can see how big the farms were, how many buildings they had, what they were made of, and what certain neighborhoods looked like at the time. Not many of them, even in DC, have been digitized so I'll need to wait until it's safe to visit the libraries in person to get a good look.
 

Chris P

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Burnished: polished by rubbing.

I've seen this word a bajillions times, but never knew exactly what it meant. I knew if was some sort of finish on a surface, but I didn't know what.
 

krawriter

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Shout out to I'm Thinking of Ending Things for teaching me the word cruciverbalist. Now I can finally sound smart at parties... or something.

Cruciverbalist - a person skillful in creating or solving crossword puzzles
 
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Jason

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Meep, I need to do an update soon here - been reading a lot lately, I need to check my notes...
 

Lintqyel

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How about taking the challenge to the next level and actually coining words? :cool:
Years ago I came up with "websterize" - and was really disappointed to find out it actually existed!
 

Chris P

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Parole as per Definition #2: "a watchword given only to officers of the guard and of the day."

Quote from the 1755 Orderly Book of General Braddock as he prepared to march out on his ill-fated (and fatal to him) campaign to take Fort Duquesne with his aide-de-camp George Washington:
Frederick, Monday, April 28th, 1755.
Parole — Daventry.
The Detachment of Sailors, and the Provost Marshalls Guard consisting of one Sergeant, one Corporal and 10 men to march with Col^ Dnnbars Regiment to morrow morning, and to make the Rear Guard.

So I now know what it means, but does anyone know how it was used? It seems like a daily password to confirm that an order is authentic. But wouldn't the password have to be communicated separately from the order? Like "Today's word is Daventry, and if the person you hear from later on doesn't know it, any order they relay is not authentic"?
 
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frimble3

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Parole as per Definition #2: "a watchword given only to officers of the guard and of the day."

Quote from the 1755 Orderly Book of General Braddock as he prepared to march out on his ill-fated (and fatal to him) campaign to take Fort Duquesne with his aide-de-camp George Washington:


So I now know what it means, but does anyone know how it was used? It seems like a daily password to confirm that an order is authentic. But wouldn't the password have to be communicated separately from the order? Like "Today's word is Daventry, and if the person you hear from later on doesn't know it, any order they relay is not authentic"?
I've read of 'parole' in historic military stories, but assumed it was being used in it's modern jail sense 'giving your word, or putting up money to either secure your release or to guarantee your return'.

Lines like 'the officer went to the encampment and gave his parole' I assumed had something to do with being allowed temporary admission, or promising to leave.

However, the meaning you give makes perfect sense: the officer is coming to the camp and giving the password to get in. 'His' parole implies that there may be several 'words of the day', depending on who he is and why he's there.
 
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CMBright

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Exposed to "reverse osmosis" in Mom's nursing textbooks back in grade school. I knew it had something to do with those dots in the drawing but was fuzzy until college.

Knew a "copse" had something to do with forests from books.

Probably a ton of others, but those two come to mind.
 

Jazz Club

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Parole as per Definition #2: "a watchword given only to officers of the guard and of the day."

Quote from the 1755 Orderly Book of General Braddock as he prepared to march out on his ill-fated (and fatal to him) campaign to take Fort Duquesne with his aide-de-camp George Washington:


So I now know what it means, but does anyone know how it was used? It seems like a daily password to confirm that an order is authentic. But wouldn't the password have to be communicated separately from the order? Like "Today's word is Daventry, and if the person you hear from later on doesn't know it, any order they relay is not authentic"

IIRC 'parole' was used a bit in the Sharpe novels by Bernard Cornwell. I always assumed the etymology was from the French parler, to speak. I think the higher-ups told Sharpe the 'word of the day' at their officer meetings, then he told his men so everybody knew. It seemed to work quite well as a system in the novels anyway, though I suppose spies could get involved and tell the enemy the correct word at times.

I don't know when/why the word parole became associated with being let out of prison.

I've read of 'parole' in historic military stories, but assumed it was being used in it's modern jail sense 'giving your word, or putting up money to either secure your release or to guarantee your return'.
Lines like 'the officer went to the encampment and gave his parole' I assumed had something to do with being allowed temporary admission, or promising to leave.
Yeah they had that concept in the Sharpe books too. I think they often just called it 'giving your word of honour not to escape'. They may have called it something else too, I can't remember. If the Officers gave their word of honour, they got to keep their sword!
 
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oneblindmouse

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haver - Apparently in Britain it means to act in a vacillating or indecisive manner, whereas in Scotland it means to talk foolishly or to babble.
 

Elizabeth George's book Write Away