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.




Tuesday’s (Fun) Word of the Week 8-15-2017

al desko

adj. adv
[al des-koh]


1. Facetious. (of meals or eating) at one’s desk in an office: always snacking al desko; having an al desko lunch.


They’ll be working through until it’s done, so Janice has gone to KFC for a bargain bucket. They’re dining al desko.
— Christopher Fowler, The Water Room, 2004

Other reasons people dine ” al desko ” vary …. They need to hightail it out of the office at 5 p.m. sharp to pick up the kids. They want to save money, or they are just too stressed to leave. 

Abby Ellin, “When the Food Critics Are Deskside,” New York TimesFebruary 18, 2007


Al desko is patterned after al fresco and was first recorded in the 1980s.


Tuesday Word Of The Week 8-8-2017





An almost horizontal entrance to a mine.


We’re standing beneath the adit of our long-desolate cave, proffering a sheaf of papers that you might consider a manuscript.
What Kind of Young Writer Were You?

A narrow and untrodden cavern at the bottom connects it with the outer sea; they could even then hear the mysterious thunder and gurgle of the surge in the subterranean adit, as it rolled huge boulders to and fro in darkness, and forced before it gusts of pent-up air.
Westward Ho!

“Shh!” said an older child, cocking his head and listening very hard, his eyes never moving from the cloud exuding from the adit.
Dragon’s Kin

After the last verse Taita turned and, with every eye fixed avidly upon him, strode back down the adit until he stood before the blue-grey wall of newly exposed rock at the end.

Then he’ll be needed at the mine, when we’ve got the adit cleared.
The Rowan


The word ‘adit’ comes from a Latin word meaning “entrance, access”.



Tuesday’s Word of the Week 8-1-2017



fal·cate \ˈfal-ˌkāt, ˈfȯl-\

Popularity: Bottom 20% of words


Hooked or bent like a sickle; as, a falcate leaf; a falcate claw; — said also of the moon, or a planet, when horned or crescent-formed.


Wildlife officials say a male falcated duck, a bird common in China, was first spotted at the refuge on Dec. 8.
Falcated Duck, Rare Asian Bird, Makes Appearance In California

The last streak of light had faded from the west, and a pale lustre kindling in the eastern portions of the sky, became brighter and brighter till the white falcated moon was lifted up above the horizon; while uncountable stars appeared to reflect their brilliancy in the waters below.
By Water to the Columbian Exposition

“The enlightened part of the moon appears in the form of a sickle or reaping-hook, which is while she is moving from the conjunction to the opposition, or from the new moon to the full: but from full to a new again, the enlightened part appears gibbous, and the dark _falcated_.”
The German Classics of the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries, Volume 03 Masterpieces of German Literature Translated into English. in Twenty Volumes


Latin falcatus, from falc-, falx sickle, scythe

Asian duck, formerly called Falcated Teal


As an aside, here is an interesting short video (nothing to do with falcate, but interesting) :

Words from the Norman Invasion

Tuesday’s Word of the Week 7-18-2017

scaramouch (e)

scar·a·mouch \ˈskar-ə-ˌmüsh, -ˌmüch, -ˌmau̇ch\
Popularity: Bottom 40% of words


a cowardly buffoon; a rascal or scamp


  • He completed changing in haste, and despite what scaramouche had said; and then followed with Rhodomont. —Scaramouche Rafael Sabatini 

  • “It is unfortunate that you are without a scaramouche,” said Andre-Louis. —Scaramouche Rafael Sabatini 

  • He had overcome the difficulty in a manner worthy of scaramouche. —Scaramouche Rafael Sabatini 

Did You Know?

In the commedia dell’arte, Scaramouch was a stock character who was constantly being cudgeled by Harlequin, which may explain why his name is based on an Italian word meaning “skirmish,” or “a minor fight.” The character was made popular in England during the late 1600s by the clever acting of Tiberio Fiurelli. During that time, the name “Scaramouch” also gained notoriety as a derogatory word for “a cowardly buffoon” or “rascal.” Today not many people use the word (which can also be spelled “scaramouche”), but you will encounter it while listening to Queen’s ubiquitous rock song “Bohemian Rhapsody,” in the lyric “I see a little silhouetto of a man / Scaramouche, Scaramouche, will you do the fandango?”


French Scaramouche, from Italian Scaramuccia, from scaramuccia skirmish



Tuesday’s Word Of The Day 7-11-2017



Past participle: snottered
Gerund: snottering


noun- (often plural) another word for snot

A rope going over a yardarm, used to bend a tripping line to, in sending down topgallant and royal yards in vessels of war; also, the short line supporting the heel of the sprit in a small boat.

verb- To snivel; to cry or whine; to breathe through obstructed nostrils


The snotter was a short piece of rope with a loop at each end.
The Scientific American Boy The Camp at Willow Clump Island

What signified his bringing a woman here to snotter and snivel, and bather their Lordships?
The Heart of Mid-Lothian

When raising the sail it was first partly hoisted, then the sprit was hooked in the loop and the snotter, after which the throat halyard was drawn taut.
The Scientific American Boy The Camp at Willow Clump Island


The origin of the word ‘snotter’ is obscure.



Word Of The Day 7-7-2017




The act of dancing.


And observe also, that of the three types of lout, whose combined chorus and tripudiation leads the present British Constitution its devil’s dance, this last and smoothest type is also the dullest.
Love’s Meinie Three Lectures on Greek and English Birds

Breathless messengers, fugitive Swiss, denunciatory Patriots, trepidation; finally tripudiation!
The French Revolution

Till champagne and tripudiation do their work; and all lie silent, horizontal; passively slumbering, with meed-of-battle dreams!
The French Revolution


The word ‘tripudiation’ comes from the Latin word for a type of religious dance, probably from roots meaning “three” and “foot”.


I’m a bit skeptical about a word for dancing which starts with ‘trip.’

Due to the time involved, I am going to have to stop doing a word every day – at least for now. I will be doing Tuesday’s Word of the Week instead. When time gets better, I hope to go back to Word of the Day. Thanks to all who have enjoyed the words.

Word Of The Day 7-6-2017


noun  mu·rage \ˈmyu̇rij\
Popularity: Bottom 10% of words


A tax or toll paid for building or repairing the walls of a fortified town.


Generous benefactors, like Sir Richard Whittington, frequently contributed to the cost, and sometimes a tax called murage was levied for the purpose which was collected by officers named muragers.
Vanishing England

For three days, the three busiest of the year, when we might do well out of tolls on carts and pack-horses and man-loads passing through the town to reach the fair, we must levy no charges, neither murage nor pavage.
St. Peter’s Fair

By fineounce and imposts I got and grew and by grossscruple gat I grown outreaches — ly: murage and lestage were my mains for Ouerlord’s tithing and my drains for render and prender the doles and the tribute:
Finnegans Wake


Middle English, from Middle French, from murer to enclose with a wall + -age