Words You Have Taught Me — May 2021
№ 17 — a Look Who’s Back listicle
WYHTM is back, after a near-year-long hiatus. Rested, fortified, vaccinated — as good as new.
It was always a good bit of work, assembling these linguisticles — not to mention the requisite reading — and after sixteen installments spanning four years, featuring over 470 unique terms and expressions, I was burnt out.
But even when I got busy with other pursuits and dialed back my reading, the idiomatic novelties kept cropping up at a steady pace.
Staying true to our tradition, the content below draws from multiple languages, including Kazakh, Arabic, Kannada, German, Italian, Greek and Swahili. And there are a few slang terms in the mix also.
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 point in the orbit of a planet, asteroid, or comet at which it is furthest from its star
from Alex Guenther — of 108 sonnets fame
azathioprine — antimetabolite used especially as an immunosuppressant
azoturia —an abnormal condition of horses characterized by muscle damage especially to the hindquarters and dark-colored urine containing nitrogenous substances from muscle tissue breakdown
“comes from the early days of blogging, when bloggers would often include a list of useful links on their blog (it was literally a roll call of your favorite links. hence, blogroll). It sounds simple, but before search and social media were ubiquitous parts of the internet experience, blogrolls played a crucial role in discovering new content online”
from the product launch article penned by Sam Jayne
a rare, unusual, or intriguing object; short for curiosity
from Tanya E. Denhere
dombra and Daididau
dombra (Kazakh, also dombyra) — a long-necked Kazakh and Bashkir lute and a musical string instrument
read Elisabeth Khan’s story for the full story of Daididau
(Greek) the peaceful state of mind after a pleasant dream
from Rachel B. Baxter
(slang, British) “the gammon are 99.99% white, male, and ruddy-faced — at least when they’re mouthing off about something that raises their blood pressure”
from Katy Preen
(slang, German) literally “face condom” — a COVID-ism
from Rashmee Roshan Lall
(Swahili) “danger”, also a 1962 safari comedy starring John Wayne and Elsa Martinelli
fom Steven Hale
Songs for Insomniacs 28: Henry Mancini, “Theme from Hatari”
When Henry Mancini the composer and Henry Mancini the arranger get together, the results can be magical. In the “Theme…
(Spanish) a range of mountains that rise in southern Otero County, New Mexico and extend south into Texas, generally along the El Paso–Hudspeth county line
from K.C. Knouse
according to Sally Ito, “It’s a condition poets have” :-)
Murmansk is in northeastern Russia. It’s a seaport with a population of 300,000. It’s the largest city north of the…
as exceptional reading ability at an early age without age-appropriate language and speech skills. it is a learning disability accompanied by language deficits.
muscles that run between the ribs, serving to move the ribs in respiration
from Stephen M. Tomic
tear-feeding, characteristic of a number of insect species including moths, butterflies, and bees, usually on the tears of mammals, in pursuit of minerals, chiefly sodium
from David B. Clear
from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
Meet the Marvelous Milk-vetches
Milk-vetches are part of the largest group of plants in the world known as Astragulus and consists of about 3,000…
an institution, said to have been founded by Ptolemy I Soter, which which included the famous Library of Alexandria
from Moin Uddin
From Hagia Sophia to Takht Bhai, A Global Ethnocentric Hangover
There are many undercurrents to recent political and religious fervour.
oily, greasy; exaggeratedly and distastefully complimentary; obsequious
I used this vowel-rich beauty (consonant content only 40%!) in a limerick lampooning our then Vice President, in the final days of the Trump lame duck presidency — but a few days before the now-infamous Capitol Insurrection, so things were kind of still up in the air, and merciless satire was fair game.
(noun) unnecessarily elaborate or complex procedure
(verb) talk unproductively and at length
from Laura Sheridan
matched set of ornaments, or a set of jewels intended to be worn together
from Lise Colas
purlicue — the space between one’s forefinger and thumb
ulna —the thinner and longer of the two bones in the human forearm, on the side opposite to the thumb
from Mary Holden
This one is pretty obvious, yet somehow it never comes up in everyday conversation. 🤔… from Sylvia Wohlfarth
a large geologic landform that rises from the ocean floor but that does not reach to the water’s surface, i.e. a submarine mountain
(derived from the Arabic sharqiyy) a Mediterranean wind that comes from the Sahara and can reach hurricane speeds in North Africa and Southern Europe
from Trisha Traughber
(Italian) tablet, bar, sheet of wood
Adapting Enzo Mari Sedia 1 Chair to American Lumber Standards
When Enzo Mari published the book ‘Autoprogettazione’, he wanted to publish furniture designs that anyone could build…
“trans-exclusionary radical feminist”, first recorded in 2008, the term originally applied to the minority of feminists espousing sentiments that other feminists considered transphobic
The Mumsnet Trap
British TERFs recruit by lying to women on the verge of a breakthrough. It’s happening here, too.
(Kannada) “Ugadi is a festival celebrated in Karnataka, a Southern state in India. The most likely origin of this word is from these two words — Yuga which is a period in time, and Adi which means the beginning. So Ugadi stands for the beginning of a period of time.”
from Anu Anniah
common term for Mutillidae, a family of more than 7,000 species of wasps whose wingless females resemble large, hairy ants sporting bright colorts, a.k.a. “cow killers” on account of their painful stings
Thanks for your continual patronage!
Please don’t be shy, send me your novelties so that I may include them in the next go-around.
Here are all previous episodes of #WYHTM:
Words You Have Taught Me — July 2020
#16 — a “is this still the first wave, cause I’m SO ready for wave two” listicle
Words You Have Taught Me — Oct 2018
#5 — definitely not a Columbus Day listicle