Language Lab
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Language Lab

Words You Have Taught Me — Feb 2022

№ 18 — a rebound listicle

photo credit: Alexa

Coming out of retirement, once again, I present you with a brand new WYHTM. The series now spans half a decade — I know, crazy — the first installment dating back to December of 2017.

As usual, with a sprinkling of slang, a few foreign terms, and nouns both proper and not so proper.

So, without further ado — here is the latest in literary lingo, journalist jargon, author’s argot and pencil pusher pidgin that I soaked up here since the last time we did this …


the inability to voluntarily create mental images in one’s mind, derived from the Ancient Greek word phantasia, meaning “imagination”, and the prefix a- meaning “without” [Wikipedia]

from Danielle Loewen


a small, showy trinket or decoration

from Laura Sheridan


(Scottish) a coin of little value

from Laura Sheridan


a plant native to tropical and subtropical America, typically having short stems with rosettes of stiff, usually spiny, leaves

from JoAnn Ryan


a curve formed by a wire, rope, or chain hanging freely from two points and forming a U shape

from Stuart James


(German) bagpipe

from Mary L. Holden

(se) faire une montagne d’une taupinière

(French, idiom) to make a mountain out of a molehill

from Gianina Buda, PhD

Fiador knot

(also Theodore knot) is a decorative, symmetrical knot used in equine applications to create items such as rope halters, hobbles, and components of the fiador

fiador — a cord fastened to a hackamore and acting as a throatlatch

from Zay Pareltheon

finking and narking

(slang) snitching

from Sarah Lofgren

Hanna Ruax

Finnish-born Bay-area designer who died in the Ghost Ship warehouse fire in Oakland, California

from Evelyn Jean Pine


the branch of knowledge that deals with interpretation, especially of the Bible or literary texts

from E. Scott Alighieri


a hearing condition that causes a heightened sensitivity to sound, making everyday noises, like running water, seem extremely loud

from John Ege


a pan-European nationalist, far-right political ideology asserting the right of European ethnic groups and white peoples to Western culture and territories claimed to belong exclusively to them [Wikipedia]

from Comrade Morlock

Idiopathic Truncal Dystonia

a condition characterized by involuntary contractions and postures of the paraspinal, abdominal or chest muscles, typically due to neurological disease or a side effect of drug therapy

from Marcus aka Gregory

lachrymatory jar

a small, narrow-necked vase found in ancient Roman tombs, formerly thought to have been used to catch and keep the tears of bereavement

from Carlyn Beccia


Liquor Control Board of Ontario

from Andrew Scott


(Arabic) the practice of force-feeding girls from as young as five to nineteen, in countries where obesity was traditionally regarded as desirable; specially prevalent in rural areas and having its roots in Tuareg tradition, leblouh is practiced to increase chances of marriage in a society where high body volume used to be a sign of wealth … practiced in Mauritania, Niger, Uganda, Sudan, Tunisia, Nigeria, Kenya, South Africa [Wikipedia]

from Alema Ljuca

Mirror (the boy band)

from Shirley Lee 🍟


a neurological condition characterized by the inability to recognize the faces of familiar people

from David B. Clear


a city in the Bay of Plenty region of New Zealand’s North Island; known for its geothermal activity, and features geysers — notably the Pohutu Geyser at Whakarewarewa — and hot mud pools [Wikipedia]

from Anne Harrison

San Dog

U.S. Navy slang for San Diego

from Barry Dawson Jr. IV, in his response to my response to


(Scottish, derogatory) an English person

from Gus Gresham


(German) literally “fake” or “sham” student

from Annika Wappelhorst


foretell the future using a crystal ball

Every installment of WYHTM has a word that feels like I should have known it, but honestly I can’t say I did. This time around, scry is it.

from Roy Reichle


a type of apple — the brand designation of the cultivated apple ‘Minneiska’, which is a patented cross breed between the ‘Honeycrisp’ and the Zestar!, introduced in 2009 at the University of Minnesota

from Chris Drew

Tegran M. Samour

Tegran M. Samour (shortened from Samourkashian) invented the modern version of the pinwheel, originally titled “wind wheel,” in 1919 in Boston, Mass. Samour owned a toy store in Stoneham, Mass. [Wikipedia]

from Oscar Rhea

toque and toonie

toque (Canadian) — a knitted beanie style winter hat
toonie (Canadian)—a two-dollar coin

from proud Canuck Shira Packer


more accurately called Konye-Urgench, or Old Urgench, a city in Turkmenistan, destroyed in a bloody invasion in by the Mongols led by Genghis Khan

from Ryan Fan


a British tradition of house-to-house caroling, often involving the consumption of “wassail”, spiced ale or mulled wine … from Old Norse “ves heill”

from Rashmee Roshan Lall

thanks for your continual patronage — keep ’em coming!

here is the previously latest episode of WHYTM — please go ahead and browse, there is some great stuff in there




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