18 November 2022


"I used to be young, hot, and brave. Now I'm old, fat, and scared." 

" If your teeth were any whiter, they would be racist."                                          


                                            Get That Vocab Up!

Bilious-adjective-2) ill tempered

"When I didn't get my way in the bedroom with my girlfriend, I would always become quite argumentative and bilious toward her."

The word bilious derives from the French bilieux. That came from bilis, a Latin term for bile. Bilious is associated with an excess of yellow bile.

Alce Baldwin
Glen Garry, Glen Ross

Ineluctable-adjective-unable to be resisted, unavoidable

"My flippin' girlfriend was so annoying, uptight, and bitchy, breaking up with her was ineluctable."

This term derives from Latin Eluctabilis. The prefix and the root mean to surmount or force a way out, to struggle.

"Tough times never last, but tough people do." Robert Schuller

                                                     23 November 2022

Jejune-adjective-1) naive, shallow, 2) dry, uninteresting

"I didn't want to say anything at the time, but my sweetheart's opinion during a conversation the other day regarding politics was awfully jejune and vapid."

Again, this word derives from the Latin Jejunus which means meager or hungry.

24 November 2022

Sentient-adjective-the ability to perceive or feel

"Human beings with their 5 senses and cognitions are sentient creatures."

Latin Sentientem. This word was first adapted by philosophers in the 16th century and it meant the ability to feel.

"Beauty is its own excuse for being." Ralph Waldo Emerson

Jonathan Heder
Napoleon Dynamite

You can't go wrong with this one.  My all time favorite from S.N.L.

Saturnine-adjective-moody, gloomy, dark, dour

"AS a child, my parent's divorce left me saturnine and unemotional."

It means to be born under the influence of the planet, Saturn. Saturn is named after the Latin God, Saturnus, an old Roman god.  In the 15th century it was adapted and became synonymous with that which is bleak and cheerless.

Casey Kasem loses it. 

Legerdemain-noun-artistry of skillful use in deception of one's hands when performing prestidigitation

"My brother was an amateur magician performing his act in a foreign country for a bunch of adolescent British children.  It seems that his delivery, timing, and legerdemain were off that day.  By the time he finished his first act, the young and rowdy group of spectators grew impatient and stormed his stage area, toppling a table, destroying props, and ruining the rest of his act."

Old French, early 15th century--means to conjure tricks, sleight of hand. Originally it derives from Latin, levis meaning light, not heavy, or having little weight.

"It doesn't matter how slowly you go as long as you don't stop." Confucius

25 November 2022

Recherche-adjective-rare, uncommon, exotic

"The object my wife introduced in the bedroom last night was at the very least recherche.  And it hurt."

Middle French, to seek out.

Ukase-noun-an edict, an official proclamation or order issued by a person in authority, esp. Russian

"My girlfriend's ukase about no-sex-before-marriage sucked! I mean it, a lot!"

Originates from Russian ukaz, a noun, and means an ordinance, an edict, or decree.
Bill O'reilly flips out. Classic.

Captious-adjective-one who easily finds fault in others

"Employers sometimes can be captious with their employees."

It comes from the Latin capito that refers to deception or verbal quibble.

Sine Qua Non-noun-an essential condition, something necessary

"I had no idea that pocket rocket I gave my girlfriend as a gift would soon become her sine-qua-non and put me out of a job in the budoir."

The term is translated from Latin to mean 'without which it could not be.'

"Success is walking from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm."  Winston Churchill

26 November 2022

Egalitarian-adjective-the conviction of principle that all men and women are created equal, deserving equal rights and opportunities

"Unfortunately, bigots and racists do not share an egalitarian perspective with the rest of us as they think other races, religions, and people of color are inferior."

This comes from the French egalitaire which is in turn derived from Latin aequalitis which means equal.

27 November 2022

Castigate-noun-to severely reprimand

"My teacher in grade school castigated me after I told her to fuck off in class."

Circa 1600 from Latin castigatus--to correct, set right, purify, or punish

Gainsay-verb-to deny or contradict, esp. a person or statement

"One time, someone called me a dumb-dumb and a fatso.  Unfortunately, deep down in my heart, I was unable to gainsay that remark."

"Vladimir Putin is responsible for the war in Ukraine, and that's something he certainly cannot gainsay."

From Middle English, gainsayen, to say against or to say in opposition

Donald Sutherland
Animal House

28 November 2022

Monty Python
Meaning of Life

Ken-noun-range of perception, understanding, or knowledge

"Rocket science is above my ken.  Booze, women, and gambling aren't."

Old English cennan; related to Old Norse, kenna, to perceive

Metaplasm-noun-a change in the structure of a word by modifying the sound of it or by manipulation of the letters that compose it.

"As a young child I mistakenly called the frozen tasty treat, sherbet, sherbert."

Latin metaplasmus which means transformation; from the Greek metaplasmos which in turn means to remold

Examples of metaplasms
Candidate morphed into cannadate
Realtor morphed into realitor
Nuptial morphed into nuptual

The Sopranos
Janice Gets Slapped Around

30 November 2022

Nebulous-adjective-(re: ideas)-unclear and vague

"When the cops finally kicked down my door and read me my Miranda rights before locking me up, they were anything but nebulous."

This word comes from the Latin nebulosus in the 14th century.  The word nebh means cloud and nebula is synonymous with mist or vapor.

"Peace begins with a smile."  Mother Teresa

3 December 2022

Armistice-noun-a temporary suspension of hostilities by agreement of parties at war

"My wife and I reached an armistice agreement after days of heavy arguing and fighting about money, sex, and the kids."

"All but the warmongers are calling for an immediate armistice for the war in Ukraine."

This word descends from the Latin sistere which means to come to a stand or cause to stop.

Nictate-verb-to blink or to wink

"Homosexuals enjoy nictating at each other across the bar." 

"An insect flew into my eyeball which caused me to nictate."

Medieval Latin, 1822 -- nictiatus -- to wink

Vagary-noun-an unexpected or inexplicable in someone's situation or behavior

"One of the great vagaries of my marriage was my wife's commitment to celibacy."

It comes from the Latin vagari which means to wander.

4 December 2022

Termagant-noun-an ill-tempered or overbearing woman

"My last girlfriend was a real termagant; always combative, drunk, opinionated, and loud . . . she had to go.  I couldn't do it myself so I hired someone."

Derivation Unknown


"I appear to be educated, well spoken, and spiritually profound, but really I am just a shallow and facile person."

From the Latin facilis meaning easy.

6 December 2022

Transitive Verb-noun-a transitive verb requires an object to complete the meaning of the predicate

Intransitive Verb-noun-an intransitive verb does not require an object to complete the meaning of the sentence or the predicate

Example of a transitive verb--"The Eagles defeated the Lions."
The direct object, Lions, receives the action of the verb, defeated.  A direct object is a thing or person that receives the action of the verb. Transitive verbs express action.

Example of an intransitive verb--"Haggerty slept all day."
Slept is not a direct object and it is an intransitive verb.

"If you tell the truth, you don't have to remember anything."  Mark Twain

7 December 2022

What's the difference between continuous and continual?

Continuous happens and occurs without interruption, stoppage, or ceasing.

"The Earth spins on its axis continuously."

Meanwhile, continual means that something happens regularly or frequently.

"My girlfriend complains about my performance in the bedroom continually."

"I can't hold a job . . . even the stupid ones.  I continually lose them."

This video has profanity in it.
8 December 2022

Deleterious-adjective-causing harm or damage

"Everybody knows smoking can have a deleterious effect on the human body."

From the Greek deleterios which mean noxious; also from deleter which means destroyer and from deleisthai which means to hurt or to injure

Traduce-verb-to expose someone as shameful by means of false representations or falsehoods 2) to violate or betray

"After breaking up, my ex spread lies about me stating I was an abusive alcoholic, traducing me to her friends and everyone we knew."

16 century Latin traducere which means to disgrace

9 December 2022

Defenestrate-verb-the act of throwing someone or something out a window

"Sadly, there are numerous ways to commit suicide, however, defenestration is not a common one."

As with most words this comes from the Latin fenestra meaning window.

Deus Ex Machina-noun-an unexpected power or event saving a seemingly hopeless situation esp. as a contrived plot device in a film, play, or novel
"Our hero in the film was backed into a corner with no way out when a Deus Ex Machina saved him.  He unexplainably possessed superpowers and used them to fight his way out."

This word is a Latin term.  When translated it means God from the Machine.  It originated in ancient Greek theatre.  It refers to a system of cranes and pulleys that would deploy actors from above to the stage below.  The actors portrayed Gods or deities and brought conflict resolution to the spectators so they could understand.
10 December 2022

Feckless-adjective-lacking initiative or strength of character--irresponsible

"As a younger man I was irresponsible, jobless, and feckless.  I was aimless until I went back to school."

This word comes from Middle English in the 1590's.  It comes from the word feck, meaning effect or value.

11 December 2022

Nettle-noun-1) a herbaceous plant covered with jagged hairs and leaves 2) verb-to irritate or to annoy someone

"I was nettled by my sister's continual blatherskite regarding the issues in my life that she deemed I need to change."

 It comes from the Old English, netel, which is a plant that caused someone to itch once they came into contact with it.  From there it became synonymous with vex, peeve, irritate, and aggravation.

"The greatest wealth is to live with little." Plato

12 December 2020

Probity-noun-Honesty and the quality of having strong moral principles

"Men of God, priests, pastors, and ministers are typically considered to be persons of high mores, ethics, and probity."

Latin-first recorded in 1505-probitas meaning upright.

Billingsgate-noun-profanity, abusive language (British)

"After catching his wife cheating on him, the husband scolded her with billingsgate and other harsh reprimands."

The word derives from Old English and a fish market circa the 13th century.  It is where the purchasing of fish took place along with unsavory characters, poor manners and heated dealings between parties.  The market was called Billingesgate.

"The first drink you take is from God, the second is from yourself, and the third is from the devil."  Unknown

13 December 2022

Fatuous-adjective-silly or pointless: stupid

"Arguing with a child is a fatuous thing to do."

"Arguing with my wife is a fatuous thing to do."

From the 15th century.  The term derives from Latin fatuus which means foolish, insipid, or silly.

15 December 2022

Sartorial-adjective-relating to manner of dress, tailoring, and clothing

"A rich man's closet is sure to be full of sartorial splendor."

It's a Latin term, and if one removes the suffix, then sartor remains which means tailor.

Sedulous-adjective-(person or action)-illustrating dedication or diligence

"Homicide investigators comprise a sedulous team."

15 century Latin sedulus meaning painstaking, attentive, and zealous  

18 December 2022

Kvetch-noun-a complaint 2) a habitual complainer
Kvetch-verb-to complain habitually

Verb illustration "My ex-wife was impossible to please.  She always kvetched about a better life with more money, a bigger house, and a new boyfriend . . . a much, much younger boyfriend."

This word is Yiddish and it means to squeeze. It also refers to complaining and whining.

20 December 2022

Deipnosophist-noun-a person skilled at table talk

"Politicians, comedians, and writers may be the ultimate deipnosophists."

"My loquacious girlfriend turns into quite the deipnosophist when she gets liquored up.  There's just no stopping her."

17th century Greek deipnosophistai -- a word describing learned conversations at social functions such as banquets -- deipnon, meal, and sophistai, wise men

"Success is not just about money. It's about attitude." Unknown

Redoubtable-adjective-arousing fear or alarm; formidable

"The inept criminal who broke into our house thought he was redoubtable until my 13
 year old kicked his ass."

"The undefeated 1972 Miami Dolphins were redoubtable opponents all season long."

14th century Old French; from redouter to dread and to be afraid

21 December 2022

In Flagrante Delicto-adverb-the very act of wrong-doing, especially sexual misconduct

"Of course, when I came home early from an appointment, I startled my wife in the bedroom in flagrante delicto with our neighbor again."

This is a Latin word for blazing offence.

17 January 2023

Limpid-adjective-characterized by transparency or clearness 2) calm, untroubled, serene

"After I stopped drinking alcohol I sobered up and my mind became cogent and limpid for the first time in years."

"It was a beautiful property replete with limpid streams."

This comes from the 15th century French word limpide .  It also derives from Latin limpidus meaning clear or transparent and usually referring to water.

Slake--transitive verb--to satisfy, to quench, to extinguish 2) to cause to lessen, to make less active or intense

"I slaked my thirst with a giant mug of Flying Fish beer followed by a Demerol chaser."

"The Russian army was recently slaked by a Ukranian counter offensive in Kharkiv."

This is a Middle English word, slaken, slakken which means to loosen, lessen, or mitigate. 

Post a Comment