Tuesday’s Word of the Week 10-17-2017



miz·maze \ ˈmizˌmāz \


  1. A confused maze; a labyrinth.
  2. Confusion; bewilderment.


He left her then in a mizmaze of deep reflections; but he didn’t go until they’d ordained to meet again.
The Torch and Other Tales

But to the end of his days, when he heard mention of fairies and brownies, his mind wandered off in a mizmaze.
The Junior Classics — Volume 6 Old-Fashioned Tales

But so cunningly contrived a mizmaze was never seen in the world, before nor since.
Tanglewood Tales

They come along so fast that I was all in a mizmaze trying to keep track on ’em.
Explorers of the Dawn


The word ‘mizmaze’ is a reduplication of the word ‘maze’.



Tuesday’s Word of the Week 10-10-2017



-At full gallop; at top speed.

pl. tan·tiv·ies
-A hunting cry.
-A fast, furious gallop; top speed.
-The sound of a hunting horn in imitation of a galloping horse


Rather than face death and the death-fear, in an attempt to flee the unfleeable he had thrown every other consideration to the winds, and ridden tantivy into the unknown.
Ultima Thule

Ten minutes later, everyone was back in their seats and Tom, who had purloined the horn from the long basket attached to the side of the guard’s seat, blew a tantivy into the night and Duncan, muffled from neck to heels in the big coat, set the horses in motion.
The Last Gamble

Is it strange that I became known as the wildest tantivy boy that rode with the King?
The Tavern Knight

He then put his horn to his mouth, and blew such a loud and long tantivy, that the giant awoke, and came towards Jack, roaring like thunder: “You saucy villain, you shall pay dearly for breaking my rest; I will broil you for my breakfast.”
The Fairy Book The Best Popular Stories Selected and Rendered Anew

Friar John began to paw, neigh, and whinny at the snout’s end, as one ready to leap, or at least to play the ass, and get up and ride tantivy to the devil like a beggar on horseback.
Gargantua and Pantagruel, Illustrated, Book 4

Did You Know?

Tantivy is an adverb as well as a noun that refers to a rapid gallop. Although its precise origin isn’t known, one theory has it that tantivy represents the sound of a galloping horse’s hooves. The noun does double duty as a word meaning “the blare of a trumpet or horn.” This is probably due to confusion with tantara, a word for the sound of a trumpet that came about as an imitation of that sound. Both tantivy and tantara were used during foxhunts; in the heat of the chase, people may have jumbled the two.


The origin of ‘tantivy’ is unknown, but it may come from the sound of a hunting horn or echo the noise of galloping hooves.



Tuesday’s Word of the Week 10-3-2017




— anhedonic  \-ˈdä-nik\ adjective


  1. inability to experience pleasure from activities usually found enjoyable, e.g. exercise, hobbies, singing, sexual activities or social interactions. While earlier definitions of anhedonia emphasized pleasurable experience, more recent models have highlighted the need to consider different aspects of enjoyable behavior, such as motivation or desire to engage in activities, as compared to the level of enjoyment of the activity itself.


Anhedonia was more than a Warning Sign, it was an out-and-out symptom. A dry rot spreading from pleasure to pleasure, a fungus spoiling the delight in luxury and joy in leisure which for so many years had fueled Gary’s resistance to the poor think of his parents.
— Jonathan Franzen, The Corrections, 2001

Nolan has confused his native island with the anhedonia in his head.
–Christian Lorentzen, New Republic, “Dunkirk Manages to Make War Boring,” 25 July 2017


Anhedonia is used almost exclusively in psychology and psychiatry. The first syllable (an-) is a form of the Greek negative prefix an-, which is related to Germanic (English) un- and the Latin negative prefix in-, from the Proto-Indo-European negative or privative prefix ṇ- (from the Proto-Indo-European adverb ne “not”). The second element comes from Greek hēdonḗ (dialect hādonā́) “pleasure,” a derivative of the adjective hēdýs (dialect hādýs) “sweet,” from the Proto-Indo-European root swād- “sweet,” from which derive Latin suāvis “pleasant” and suādēre “to recommend,” and Germanic (English) sweet. Anhedonia entered English in the late 19th century.



Tuesday’s Word of the Week On Wednesday 9-27-2017


gar·boil \ ˈgär-ˌbȯi(-ə)l \
Popularity: Bottom 30% of words


  1. To throw into confusion or disorder; cause a tumult or disturbance in.
  2. uproar; disorder; disturbance; commotion.


Giojoso fell to trembling; behind him, Rinolfo, the cause of all this garboil, stared with round big eyes; whilst my mother, all a-quiver, clutched at her bosom and looked at me fearfully, but spoke no word.
The Strolling Saint; being the confessions of the high and mighty Agostino D’Anguissola, tyrant of Mondolfo and Lord of Carmina in the state of Piacenza
And even had he done so it is odds none would have heard him, for the late calm was of a sudden turned to garboil.
Mistress Wilding


The word ‘garboil’ is of uncertain origin; the last part may come from a Latin word meaning ‘to boil’.

Or –

Middle French garbouil, from Old Italian garbuglio


Tuesday’s Word of the Week 9-19-2017


[kon-kat-n-ey-shuh n]




  1. a series of interconnected or interdependent things or events.
  2. the act of concatenating.
  3. the state of being concatenated; connection, as in a chain.


We’re nothing but “a fortuitous concatenation of atoms.”
— Lucy Maud Montgomery, Anne of Ingleside, 1939

Owing to an unfortunate concatenation of circumstances, Stilton is viewing me with concern. He has got the idea rooted in his bean that I’ve come down here to try to steal Florence from him.
— P. G. Wodehouse, Joy in the Morning, 1946


Concatenation comes straight from the Late Latin noun concatēnātiō (stem concatēnātiōn-) “connection, sequence” (literally “chaining together”), a derivation of catēna “chain.” The Italian and Spanish words for “chain” (catena and cadena, respectively) far more closely resemble the Latin original than does the modern French chaîne (the English source for “chain”), which passed through the stages chaeine (Old French), from caeine (Old North French), from Latin catēna. Concatenation entered English in the early 17th century





Thursday’s Word of the Week 9-7-2017


[kahr-muh n-yohlFrench kar-manyawl]



1. a dance and song popular during the French Revolution.
2. a man’s loose jacket with wide lapels and metal buttons, worn during the French
3. the costume of the French revolutionists, consisting chiefly of this jacket, black
pantaloons, and a red liberty cap.



My OED also mentions the carmagnole as a peasant jacket, and additionally, from the encyclopedia: The farandole is an open-chain community dance popular in the County of Nice, France.
The WritingYA Weblog: TBR3: A Tale of Two Cities – Wheels Within Wheels

Now the robbers wore national guard costumes and sang the carmagnole, so the sentinel took them for patriots and went inside.

“How much the greatest event it is that ever happened in the world,” cried Fox, with the exaggeration of a man ready to dance the carmagnole, “and how much the best!”
Encyclopaedia Britannica, 11th Edition, Volume 4, Part 4 “Bulgaria” to “Calgary”

Amongst the personages of a lower class, the most prominent is Toussaint Gilles, landlord of the Cheval Patriote, and son of one of the revolutionary butchers of the Reign of Terror; a furious republican, who wears a _carmagnole_ and a red cap, inherits his father’s hatred of the vile aristocrats, and prides himself on his principles, and on a truculent and immeasurable mustache.
Blackwood’s Edinburgh Magazine, Volume 61, No. 379, May, 1847

This specimen was from Throgg’s Neck, and danced the carmagnole in concentric circles all by himself, twisting in and out between the waltzers evidently with the feeling that he was the “whole show,” and that the other dancers were merely accessories to the draught he made, and followed in his wake.
A Fantasy of Mediterranean Travel

Mr. Johnson seems to imagine that the usual method of procedure in Judge Lynch’s court is for the mob to trample its victim to death, bray him in a mortar, kerosene him and set him on fire, then dance the carmagnole around his flaming carcass.
The Complete Works of Brann the Iconoclast, Volume 10


1790-1800 –French, after the name of a ceremonial jacket worn by peasants of Dauphiné

and Savoy, named after Carmagnola, town in Piedmont, Italy.


Tuesday’s Word of the Week 8-22-2017



[al-vee-uh-lit, -leyt or al-vee-uh-ley-tid]


deeply pitted, as a honeycomb.


  • Receptacle alveolate or honeycombed, edge of the cells membranous, with fine bristle-like teeth, gradually higher as the depth of the cells diminishes towards the centre.
    — , The Botanical Register: Consisting of Coloured Figures of Exotic Plants, Cultivated in British Gardens; with Their History and Mode of Treatment, Volume II, 1816
  • Dorothea’s house, bought with a small legacy when she was thirty-one, was madeof an alveolate gray stone …Joyce Carol Oates writing as Rosamond Smith, Soul/Mate1989


Alveolate is a derivative of the Latin noun alveus “hollow, cavity,” and by extension “hull or hold of a ship, bathtub.” Alveus comes from alwo-, a variant, metathesized form of the Proto-Indo-European root aulo- “cavity,” from which Greek derives the noun aulós “tube, flute.” Alveolate entered English in the late 18th century.