Word Of The Day 6-26-2017

onfall

Popularity: Bottom 10% of words

Definition

A falling on or upon; an attack, onset, or assault.

A fall of rain or snow.

The fall of the evening.

To fall on or upon.

To assault.


Examples

Yet, while they were returning to the castle, he failed not to warn Sir Duncan Campbell against the great injury he might sustain by any sudden onfall of an enemy, whereby his horses, cattle, and granaries, might be cut off and consumed, to his great prejudice; wherefore he again strongly conjured him to construct a sconce upon the round hill called Drumsnab, and offered his own friendly services in lining out the same.
A Legend of Montrose

And now this is the last word: here is a horn of oliphant which thou shalt wear about thy neck, Birdalone; and if thou be sore bestead, or thy heart faileth thee, blow in it, yet not before the onfall; and then, whether thou blow much or little, thou shalt be well holpen.
The Water of the Wondrous Isles

For though he knew there would be many a brave onfall and stout bickering, yet, as Sir Lancelot had become the most valiant knight in all the island of Britain, the king had greatly desired that the knight should show how he excelled all the doughty warriors that would come from all parts.
King Arthur’s Knights The Tales Re-told for Boys & Girls


Origin

The word ‘onfall’ comes from “on-” +‎ “fall” and is cognate with Dutch ‘aanval’ (“an attack, assault”), German ‘Anfall’ (“an attack, seizure, fit”), and Swedish ‘anfall’ (“an attack, offensive, assault”).


http://www.wordnik.com/words/onfall

Word Of The Day 6-25-2017

Abibliophobia

Noun


Definition

someone who is afraid of running out of things to read.


Example

“…it seems rather ironic that the term abibliophobia appears to have been coined on the Web during the last three or four years. It would seem impossible for anyone with regular access to the Internet to be an abibliophobe (someone suffering from a fear of running out of reading material) or to become abibliophobic when more and more reading matter is available by the hour.”

http://www.macmillandictionary.com/buzzword/entries/abibliophobia.html


Origin

a- +‎ biblio +‎ -phobia

Word Of The Day 6-24-2017

Maffick

verb

maf·fick \ˈma-fik\
Popularity: Bottom 30% of words

Definition

to celebrate with extravagant public demonstrations.


Examples

It is evidence of his freedom from pedantry that Doctor Bradley seemed to be willing to accept to buttle, from butler, to bant from Banting, the name of the Englishman who proposed a new method for reducing fat, and to maffick –that is,to indulge in a riotous demonstration in the street, like that which took place in London in 1900 when there came the glad news of the relief of Mafeking, long beleaguered by the Boers.

-Brander Matthews, “The Latest Novelties in Language,” Harper’s Magazine, June–November, 1920


Did You Know?

Maffick is an alteration of Mafeking Night, the British celebration of the lifting of the siege of a British military outpost during the South African War at the town of Mafikeng (also spelled Mafeking) on May 17, 1900. The South African War was fought between the British and the Afrikaners, who were Dutch and Huguenot settlers originally called Boers, over the right to govern frontier territories. Though the war did not end until 1902, the lifting of the siege of Mafikeng was a significant victory for the British because they held out against a larger Afrikaner force for 217 days until reinforcements could arrive. The rejoicing in British cities on news of the rescue produced “maffick,” a word that was popular for a while, especially in journalistic writing, but is now relatively uncommon.


Origin

back-formation from Mafeking Night, English celebration of the lifting of the siege of Mafeking, South Africa, May 17, 1900
First Known Use: 1900


https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/maffick

http://www.dictionary.com/wordoftheday/2017/06/24/maffick

Word For The Day 6-21-2017

jobation

jo·ba·tion \jōˈbāshən\
Popularity: Bottom 30% of words

Definition

A scolding; a long tedious reproof.


Exmples

When he had gone I gave Umslopogaas a jobation and told him that I was ashamed of his behaviour.
Allan Quatermain

It is difficult for me to justify to myself the violent jobation which my Father gave me in consequence of my scream, except by attributing to him something of the human weakness of vanity.
Father and Son: a study of two temperaments

Julian would gladly have fought it out with his imperative father; but, nevertheless, it was a comfort to have to fetch pale Charles for a jobation; so he went at once.
The Complete Prose Works of Martin Farquhar Tupper

After all, there’s no place for a cock to fight on like his own dunghill; and there’s nothing able to carry a fellow well through a tough bit of jobation with a lawyer like a stiff tumbler of brandy punch.
The Kellys and the O’Kellys

Mr Green was presented, and ushered into the service much in the same way as I was; but he had not forgotten what I said to him relative to the first lieutenant; and it so happened that, on the third day he witnessed a jobation, delivered by the first lieutenant to one of the midshipmen, who, venturing to reply, was ordered to the mast-head for the remainder of the day; added to which, a few minutes afterwards, the first lieutenant ordered two men to be put both legs in irons.
Percival Keene

“I can understand, father,” answered Ida, struggling to keep her temper under this jobation, “that my refusal to marry Mr. Cossey is disagreeable to you for obvious reasons, though it is not so very long since you detested him yourself.”
Colonel Quaritch, V.C. A Tale of Country Life


Origin

jobe (to harangue or rebuke in a long-winded or drawn-out way)

-ation (an action or process)


https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/jobation

Word Of The Day 6-17-2017

demilune

Noun/adjective

dem′i-lōōn


Definition

In the shape of a half-moon, i.e. semicircular.

A fortification constructed beyond the main ditch of a fortress, and in front of the curtain between two bastions, intended to defend the curtain; a ravelin.


Examples

He described it as a demilune—meaning half moon—gaming table.
Picky on Provenance

A refined demilune table wrapped in rope, a lampshade crafted from metal mesh, and a petrified log used as an accent table are all creative ways to incorporate texture into an interior.
Thom Filicia Style

The Iroquois respected their palisades and demi-lunes, and withdrew, after burning two Huron prisoners.
“Pioneers Of France In The New World” by Francis Parkman, Jr.

A general formed on the model of him who, not contented with assaulting a demi-lune, had taken une lune toute entiere.
“Dynevor Terrace (Vol. I)” by Charlotte M. Yonge

From that it sweeps out in a huge demi-lune of cliff, the outer cord being the east, the inner hugging the bluff.
“Lore of Proserpine” by Maurice Hewlett

After crossing into Floriana, we are still surrounded by a cordon of elaborate fortifications, demi-lunes, curtains, and ditches.
“The Story of Malta” by Maturin M. Ballou


 

Origin

French: half moon. See demi-, lune


http://www.finedictionary.com/Demi-lune.html

http://www.wordnik.com/words/demilune

 

Word For The Day 6-15-2017

begrutten

be·grut·ten \bi-ˈgrə-tən\
Popularity: Bottom 10% of words

Definition

Showing the effects of much weeping; marred or swollen in face through sore or continued weeping.


Examples

When, therefore, she came on deck and found her own handmaid with her pretty little face swelled, or, as she expressed it, “begrutten,” and heard her express a wish that she had never left home, she lost command of herself — a loss that she always found it easy to come by — and, seizing Bertha by the shoulder, ordered her down into the cabin instantly.
The Norsemen in the West

She stood bravely beside her father, whose face was as begrutten as hers was serene, and those who put her through her catechism found to my mind but a good heart and tolerance where they sought treachery and rank heresy.
John Splendid The Tale of a Poor Gentleman, and the Little Wars of Lorn

Why, your face is as much _begrutten_ as if you were a mere baby.
The Norsemen in the West


Origin

The word ‘begrutten’ comes from the prefix “be-” and the past participle of ‘greet’, “to weep”.


Wordnik.com

Word Of The Day 6-13-2017

mortiferous

mor·tif·er·ous \(ˈ)mȯ(r)¦tif(ə)rəs\
Popularity: Bottom 20% of words

Definition

Bringing or producing death; deadly; fatal; destructive.


Examples

In very short time after, those two infected parts were growne mortiferous, and would disperse abroad indifferently, to all parts of the body; whereupon, such was the quality of the disease, to shew it selfe by blacke or blew spottes, which would appeare on the armes of many, others on their thighes, and every part else of the body: in some great and few, in others small and thicke.
The Decameron

They have many sacred implements or relics, which are for the most part carefully kept concealed from the eyes of all, but especially from the women, such as, pieces of rock crystal, said to have been extracted by them from individuals who were suffering under the withering influence of some hostile sorcerers; the pringurru, a sacred piece of bone (used sometimes for bleeding), etc. The latter, if burned to ashes in the fire, possesses mortiferous influence over enemies.
An account of the manners and customs of the Aborigines and the state of their relations with Europeans, by Edward John Eyre


Origin

Latin mortifer, mortiferus, from morti- (from mort-, mors death) + -fer, -ferus -fer, -ferous


https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/mortiferous