Monday, January 1

Olla Podrida of Words

I love words. Unfortunately, I do not possess a terribly good memory for them. I can learn a word, and within a few days will have promptly forgotten it. If only words could be somehow transformed into numbers perhaps I would have some hope. Since they cannot, I subscribe to a word of the day email in an attempt to bombard my mind with a plethora of words in hopes that I will remember some of them. Today I was looking through the pile of word of the day emails that I have neglected for lack of time and have decided to share some of the more amusing and/or useful ones with you.
1. fait accompli \fay-tah-kom-PLEE; fet-ah-\, noun;plural faits accomplis \same or -PLEEZ\: An accomplished and presumably irreversible deed or fact.

2. equanimity \ee-kwuh-NIM-uh-tee; ek-wuh-\, noun:Evenness of mind; calmness; composure; as, "to bear misfortunes with equanimity."
3. bricolage \bree-koh-LAHZH; brih-\, noun:Construction or something constructed by using whatever materials happen to be available.
4. irenic \eye-REN-ik; -REE-nik\, adjective:Tending to promote peace; conciliatory.
5. flibbertigibbet \FLIB-ur-tee-jib-it\, noun:A silly, flighty, or scatterbrained person, especially a pert young woman with such qualities. (Sometimes, I'm pretty sure that this word was created for me, minus the pertness.)
6. neologism \nee-OLL-uh-jiz-um\, noun:1. A new word or expression.2. A new use of a word or expression.3. The use or creation of new words or expressions.4. (Psychiatry) An invented, meaningless word used by a person with a psychiatric disorder.5. (Theology) A new view or interpretation of a scripture. (This word I've known thanks to nursing, but I decided to put it in because I thought it interesting that the last two uses of the word are seemingly contradictory.)
7. olla podrida \ol-uh-puh-DREE-duh; oy-uh-\, noun;plural olla podridas /-DREE-duhz/ or ollas podridas: 1. A stew of highly seasoned meat and vegetables.2. A mixture; a hodgepodge.
8. Argus-eyed \AR-guhs-ide\, adjective:Extremely observant; watchful; sharp-sighted.
9. risible \RIZ-uh-buhl\, adjective:1. Capable of laughing; disposed to laugh.2. Exciting or provoking laughter; worthy of laughter; laughable; amusing.3. Relating to, connected with, or used in laughter; as, "risible muscles."
10. avoirdupois \av-uhr-duh-POIZ; AV-uhr-duh-poiz\, noun:1. Avoirdupois weight, a system of weights based on a pound containing 16 ounces or 7,000 grains (453.59 grams).2. Weight; heaviness; as, a person of much avoirdupois.
11. trencherman \TREN-chuhr-muhn\, noun:A hearty eater. (This was one of the words that I found more amusing than useful.)
12. bootless \BOOT-lis\, adjective:Unavailing; useless; without advantage or benefit. (Contrary to popular belief, bootless does not pertain to one without boots.)
13. inexorable \in-EK-sur-uh-bul; in-EKS-ruh-bul\, adjective:Not to be persuaded or moved by entreaty or prayer; firm; determined; unyielding; unchangeable; inflexible; relentless. (This one I have also known, but I like it and so it is included.)
14. gauche \GOHSH\, adjective:Lacking social polish; tactless; awkward; clumsy.
15. ab ovo \ab-OH-voh\, adverb:From the beginning.
16. peripatetic \pair-uh-puh-TET-ik\, adjective:1. Of or pertaining to walking about or traveling from place to place; itinerant.2. Of or pertaining to the philosophy taught by Aristotle (who gave his instructions while walking in the Lyceum at Athens), or to his followers.3. One who walks about; a pedestrian; an itinerant.4. A follower of Aristotle; an Aristotelian. (This has potential to be used in a play on words...)
17. congeries \KON-juh-reez\, noun:A collection; an aggregation.
18. fillip \FIL-uhp\, noun:1. A snap of the finger forced suddenly from the thumb; a smart blow.2. Something serving to rouse or excite; a stimulus.3. A trivial addition; an embellishment.4. To strike with the nail of the finger, first placed against the ball of the thumb, and forced from that position with a sudden spring; to snap with the finger.5. To snap; to project quickly.6. To urge on; to provide a stimulus, by or as if by a fillip. (When I read this word, it really just made me wonder what the name Phillip means. It also has great potential for use in the Christian world; for example, The purpose of the General Youth Conference was not stagnating, but rather it was intended as a fillip.)
19. prevaricate \prih-VAIR-uh-kayt\, intransitive verb:To depart from or evade the truth; to speak with equivocation.
20. puissant \PWISS-uhnt; PYOO-uh-suhnt; pyoo-ISS-uhnt\, adjective:Powerful; strong; mighty; as, a puissant prince or empire.

*Postnote: I originally entitled this blog "Purely Educational," however, I decided that was not an accurate description of the post. The introduction was not educational, though informative, and there was some intention of amusement, so it is not purely educational.


CJK said...

now you need to start using them in your everyday conversation! I know, when we get back to school, you can try to use the word that you received that day while talking to me :)

Kristin said...

Christy, "that day" is a rather ambiguous phrase. I'm not really sure what word you're talking about because I can't really remember when I talked to you while reading a word of the day. If you remember :) you can remind me of what it was.

Paul said...

thanks for improving my vocab

Joel said...

see, look how many of these words come from french. Fait is a conjugation of faire, which means to do (although this might come from latin originally.) Avoirdupois literally means "to have some pounds" in french, gauche means left in french, which leads to the english meaning: awkward, or left-handed;), and finally puissant, which is directly stolen from french, where it means the same thing. See how much more useful french is than spanish? I don't see any of the words on your list that came directly from spanish. :p

Kristin said...

Joel, I get the impression that you are implying I should attempt to learn French rather than Spanish. If I'm correct, then you are not because your reasoning is faulty. Your suggestion that French is much more useful than Spanish has very little of a foundation to stand on and I've reached a different conclusion than you from your evidence.
I conclude that English is just an improvement upon French and so I should just learn it better rather than waste my time learning a subordinate language ;) Besides, many more people in this country speak Spanish than French :) And your suggestion that Spanish and English have little in common suggests that learning Spanish would be broadening my mind, and therefore much more useful than studying French.
Oh, and I think the connection between gauche in French and English may be a bit of a stretch and perhaps offensive to our left-handed friends :)

CJK said...

oh, "that day" just being whatever day it is. hmm, this is a bit confusing. I'm not sure how to explain.

Kristin said...

Oh wait! Christy, I understand what you mean. I feel silly now. I thought you were talking about something that happened in the past. :) You're right I should, but I don't usually check my word of the day on a regular basis; I allow it to pile up and read like the past three weeks worth of words all at once. But maybe it's time for a change :)

Caitlin said...

ya'll make me laugh :)
and yes, ya'll is a word
in Alabama anyway :)

Caitlin said...

On the language controversy....
I have reached the personal conclusion that Portuguese is superior to both Spanish and French!
My reasoning: Portuguese was strongly influenced by both Spanish and French, because of this people who speak Portuguese can usually understand Spanish, as well as some French and Italian.
Those who speak only Spanish can not understand Portuguese, but those who speak Portuguese can understand Spanish.
Therefore, because of its extensive connections to both languages... I belive it to be the best of both worlds!