Author Topic: Vocabulary Exploration  (Read 35173 times)

DGSquared

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Re: Vocabulary Exploration
« Reply #15 on: January 21, 2018, 11:18:56 AM »
Murenger - official in charge of ensuring city walls are repaired.

 

Moronger - Troll in charge of making other countries pay for great walls that people will just tunnel under anyway. America's version of a bridge troll. I made up the word, the description fits an actual troll.
"Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend. Inside of a dog it's too dark to read." -Groucho Marx

A child’s life is like a piece of paper on which every passerby leaves a mark. -Chinese proverb

Blondesplosion! ~Deb

Jo Bannister

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Re: Vocabulary Exploration
« Reply #16 on: January 21, 2018, 02:27:16 PM »
Nodal point - either of two points on the axis of a lens system, so placed that an incident ray directed through one point produces a parallel emergent ray from the second point. 

Spell Chick

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Re: Vocabulary Exploration
« Reply #17 on: January 21, 2018, 03:44:53 PM »
omphalomesenteric

adj.
Relating to the navel and the mesentery.
Imperfect Reason My thoughts, such as they are.

Jo Bannister

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Re: Vocabulary Exploration
« Reply #18 on: January 22, 2018, 02:27:39 PM »
Phytoplankton - drifting oceanic algae that live near the top of the water column where there is sufficient sunlight for photosynthesis.

DGSquared

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Re: Vocabulary Exploration
« Reply #19 on: January 23, 2018, 11:51:05 AM »
Quaaltagh  -  Manx English
Mid 19th century. From Manx quaaltagh, qualtagh.


The first person to enter a house on New Year's Day. Still used on the Isle of Man.

Also: the first person one meets after leaving home, especially on a special occasion.

The practice or custom of a group going door to door at Christmas or New Year, typically making a request for food or other gifts in the form of a song. Now historical.

Perhaps the origins of caroling and the song, We Wish You a Merry Christmas.
"Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend. Inside of a dog it's too dark to read." -Groucho Marx

A child’s life is like a piece of paper on which every passerby leaves a mark. -Chinese proverb

Blondesplosion! ~Deb

Gyppo

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Re: Vocabulary Exploration
« Reply #20 on: January 23, 2018, 01:46:17 PM »
Quaaltagh  -  Manx English
Mid 19th century. From Manx quaaltagh, qualtagh.


The first person to enter a house on New Year's Day. Still used on the Isle of Man.


The practice or custom of a group going door to door at Christmas or New Year, typically making a request for food or other gifts in the form of a song. Now historical.

Perhaps the origins of caroling and the song, We Wish You a Merry Christmas.

In Northern England, and 'down south' if the the northern immigrants stick to the old traditions, we call this 'first footing'.

The rhyme is some variation on this, you knock on the door after midnight and when it's 'cracked open' you recite the following.
 
"Old Year out, New Year in, please will ye gi' mi a New Year gift.  Hole in mi stockin', hole in mi shoe, if ye havenae got a penny an ha'penny will do.  If ye havnae got an ha'penny a farthin' will do, but if ye havenae got a farthin' then God Bless You."
 
Traditionally the 'first footer' delivers a small lump of coal, and in return for bringing in a year of good luck receives a mince pie and a small drink.

If you live alone and don't have a neighbour willing to do the deed for you then you need to be outside before midnight and let yourself back in.  Mumbling to yourself is optional, but it makes sure you remember the words ;-)
« Last Edit: January 23, 2018, 01:49:36 PM by Gyppo »

Spell Chick

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Re: Vocabulary Exploration
« Reply #21 on: January 23, 2018, 05:12:36 PM »
rhumb
 
noun, Navigation.
1. rhumb line. (a curve on the surface of a sphere that cuts all meridians at the same angle. It is the path taken by a vessel or aircraft that maintains a constant compass direction.)

2. a point of the compass.
Imperfect Reason My thoughts, such as they are.

Jo Bannister

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Re: Vocabulary Exploration
« Reply #22 on: January 24, 2018, 02:27:36 PM »
Slime mould - possibly the weirdest thing in creation, it spends most of its life as a vegetable.  But in times of stress, it is capable of dragging itself into an animal-like individual which can then move off in search of better conditions.  (It doesn't go very far, its ambulatory ambitions seem to be fairly limited, but you'll wait a long time to see a potato to pull the same trick.)

Gyppo

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Re: Vocabulary Exploration
« Reply #23 on: January 24, 2018, 02:43:53 PM »
I used to work with a chap who did his Uni thesis on slime moulds.  His wife called it an unnatural obsession.  Mind you, she did hers on Anglo-Saxon literature and had her typewriter modified so she could type the 'thorn' symbol, þ without having to keep doctoring it with a pen.

DGSquared

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Re: Vocabulary Exploration
« Reply #24 on: January 25, 2018, 07:37:57 AM »
Quaaltagh  -  Manx English
Mid 19th century. From Manx quaaltagh, qualtagh.


The first person to enter a house on New Year's Day. Still used on the Isle of Man.


The practice or custom of a group going door to door at Christmas or New Year, typically making a request for food or other gifts in the form of a song. Now historical.

Perhaps the origins of caroling and the song, We Wish You a Merry Christmas.

In Northern England, and 'down south' if the the northern immigrants stick to the old traditions, we call this 'first footing'.

The rhyme is some variation on this, you knock on the door after midnight and when it's 'cracked open' you recite the following.
 
"Old Year out, New Year in, please will ye gi' mi a New Year gift.  Hole in mi stockin', hole in mi shoe, if ye havenae got a penny an ha'penny will do.  If ye havnae got an ha'penny a farthin' will do, but if ye havenae got a farthin' then God Bless You."
 
Traditionally the 'first footer' delivers a small lump of coal, and in return for bringing in a year of good luck receives a mince pie and a small drink.

If you live alone and don't have a neighbour willing to do the deed for you then you need to be outside before midnight and let yourself back in.  Mumbling to yourself is optional, but it makes sure you remember the words ;-)
Thank you, Gyppo. That was fascinating. I am familiar with the last half of that rhyme in a song but the first half has been switched up quite a bit. I love hearing about traditions. Do you know the origin of this one?
"Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend. Inside of a dog it's too dark to read." -Groucho Marx

A child’s life is like a piece of paper on which every passerby leaves a mark. -Chinese proverb

Blondesplosion! ~Deb

Gyppo

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Re: Vocabulary Exploration
« Reply #25 on: January 25, 2018, 10:50:19 AM »
No idea of the origins.  What I wrote was the Yorkshire version as learned from my Grandad.  He would do the same for a few other houses along their street and the Irish couple in particular couldn't settle down until he'd been to visit.

When I was little I never thought to wonder why Grandad was turfed out of the house just before midnight,no matter what the weather, and allowed back in just afterwards.  He used to walk up to the corner, talk for a while with other men on the same mission, and listen for the ships' sirens and hooters from the docks a few miles away.

There was no motorway traffic then, no 24 hour TV, and it was generally a 'silent night' until the crews hit the horns.  If the Queen Mary or Queen Elizabeth was in dock, or one of the other big transatlantic liners, we could hear it even indoors.  Accompanied by lesser sirens and piping little whistles from the tugboats and fishing vessels.

Even if your own clock was stopped, and you didn't have a radio, you couldn't miss the New Year sirens.  The navies, both Merchant and Royal, could be relied on for spot-on timekeeping.  If you were outside you'd see them shooting off out-of-date signal flares/rockets which had been kept aside for the occasion.

Indoors, on the radio, we could hear the fading last notes of Big Ben chiming midnight and within a minute there's be a knock on the door.  Grandad, a tall old man, looked quite a threatening figure through the glass, wrapped up in his black greatcoat, thick scarf, and a broad brimmed hat if it was raining.  I mentioned this once and Gran laughed but said ""Ee, just as well he's not carryin' a scythe."  So I guess she saw it too.

=====

One year when Grandad was too ill, Paddy Murphy from up the street came and did the honours.  He didn't do the new year poem, but brought in a lump of coal which he ceremoniously put on the fire and spoke the Irish words for "God bless all here."

Paddy said this wasn't a specific new year greeting but something they did when visiting a friend, often taking in a small lump of peat from the stack outside the house.  A 'visiting gift' tradition, similar to many other cultures.  It can sometimes be a mere token, but if you're visiting someone unexpectedly then 'something for the cooking pot' is never a bad thing.  'Fuel for the fire' or 'food for the belly'  probably has its roots in harder times.

I remember Mum handing over a recently purchase tin of red kidney beans to the lass sat at the fire when we visited a New Age Travellers camp near Winchester.

She took it, thanked Mum with a curious old fashioned courtesy, and said it was nice to see someone remembering the old ways.  I noticed later that some other new arrivals to the camp did the same.  We were only visiting, but some of them were there for a week or two before moving on.

If you have a neighbour who 'just pops in for minute', saying she's 'overdone her baking and would you like half a cake or some home-made biscuits' she's probably just following an old tradition.

===
« Last Edit: January 25, 2018, 01:02:22 PM by Gyppo »

DGSquared

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Re: Vocabulary Exploration
« Reply #26 on: January 25, 2018, 12:40:26 PM »
Up until after our first year here, we used to go outside just before midnight with big spoons, metal bowls, pots, lids, and pans. As soon as it struck midnight, we'd beat bang the heck out of them and wake up any sleeping neighbors. I'm not sure why we did it or where my husband got the idea. I assumed it was a traditions passed down from his grandparents.

Our youngest son started a new tradition he kept up for several years, a lemonade stand.

We used to live two blocks up from the Veteran's Memorial Building, a great hall with a stage, industrial kitchen, and bathrooms. It's where our high school proms were held and is still used for the big Alumni Dinner, among other things. The Lion's club used to sponsor a New Year's Eve Dance there. We'd end up with twenty or so vehicles parked on our street due to limited parking at the Memorial Building.

I don't know if while we waited with our kitchen percussion ensembles, Dillon overheard party goers talk about being thirsty as they passed by on the way to their car or if Dillon saw the opportunity to sell to potential customers he didn't have when he opened his weekend lemonade stand. He was only in first grade. He said, "Mom, next year I want to have a New Year's Lemonade Stand."

Sure enough, he remembered as the following New Year approached and began preparing. His lemonade stand was a success. He sold lemonade for one dollar in 16 ounce cups filled about 4/5ths and made twenty three dollars the first year selling to neighbors and patrons leaving the dance. He made thirty two dollars the year after that because more of the neighbors came by to get New Year's Lemonade. I'm not sure how much he made the following year but he sold out. 

On his 4th year in business, they cancelled the New Year's Dance but eight to ten neighbors faithfully showed up every year thereafter. He decided to stop after his first year in middle school. I'm not sure if it was because he grew bored or didn't think it was worth the trouble. Maybe he didn't want to be teased in middle school. Kids here are cruel and surly at that age. He had a good six year run.

Someone commented to me about what a pain in the ass this must be. I never saw it that way. It was a joy for me to see our kid so happy and industrious and it was fun. I tried to fully support everything they wanted to do. Looking back, it makes me sentimental. I wouldn't trade those moments for all of the money in the world.

~Deb
« Last Edit: January 25, 2018, 12:49:16 PM by DGSquared »
"Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend. Inside of a dog it's too dark to read." -Groucho Marx

A child’s life is like a piece of paper on which every passerby leaves a mark. -Chinese proverb

Blondesplosion! ~Deb

DGSquared

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Re: Vocabulary Exploration
« Reply #27 on: January 25, 2018, 12:43:53 PM »
ranunculaceous   - of, like or pertaining to buttercups
"Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend. Inside of a dog it's too dark to read." -Groucho Marx

A child’s life is like a piece of paper on which every passerby leaves a mark. -Chinese proverb

Blondesplosion! ~Deb

Gyppo

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Re: Vocabulary Exploration
« Reply #28 on: January 25, 2018, 01:14:36 PM »
Someone commented to me about what a pain in the ass this must be. I never saw it that way. It was a joy for me to see our kid so happy and industrious and it was fun.

Some people wouldn't bother to breathe if it wasn't an autonomous function.  To these folks everything in a pain in the arse.  So I say "Bugger 'em", which would at least fulfil their expectations ;-)

Gyppo

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Re: Vocabulary Exploration
« Reply #29 on: February 20, 2018, 06:58:00 AM »
PANEGYRIC

A panegyric is a formal public speech, or (in later use) written verse, delivered in high praise of a person or thing, a generally highly studied and undiscriminating eulogy, not expected to be critical.