Word of the Week (WOW) is a weekly meme created by Heena Rathore P. . It’s a fun way to improve vocabulary by learning new words every week. To participate, simply do a post with your word and leave a link to it as a comment on Heena’s WOW post.
7th March, 2015
dyspepsia • \dis-PEP-shuh\ • noun
1 : indigestion
2 : ill humor : disgruntlement
Did you know?
When people get indigestion, they are often affected by nausea, heartburn, and gas—things that can cause the world’s greatest gastronome to curse the world’s most delectable dishes. So, it is no wonder that dyspepsia, a word for indigestion, has also come to mean “ill humor” or “disgruntlement.” The word itself is ultimately derived from the Greek prefix dys- (“faulty” or “impaired”) and the verb pessein (“to cook” or “to digest”). To please the wordmonger’s appetite, we would like to end with this tasty morsel: Dyspepsia has an opposite, eupepsia—a rarely used word meaning “good digestion.”
Latin, from Greek, from dys- + pepsis digestion, from peptein, pessein to cook, digest — more at cook.
March 13, 2015
nonage • \NAH–nij\ • noun
1 : minority
2 a : a period of youth
b : lack of maturity
Origin: Middle English, from Anglo-French, from non- + age.
First use: 15th century
Synonyms: childhood, springtime, youth
Did you know? Minority, majority; infancy, adulthood; nonage, full age—here you have the three contrasting pairs that constitute the vocabulary of legal age. Minority, infancy, and nonage are synonyms that mean “the state or time of being under legal age.” Majority, adulthood, and full age mean “the state or time of being of legal age.” (All these words, particularly infancy and adulthood, have other meanings as well, of course.) Nonage came to us by way of Middle English from an Anglo-French union of non- and age, which combine to mean “not of age.”
March 18, 2015
controvertible • \KAHN-truh-ver-tuh-bul\ • adjective
: capable of being disputed or opposed by reason
First use: 1584
Did you know? If you’re familiar with incontrovertible, you may have wondered about the existence of controvertible. Both words are direct descendants of controvert (“to dispute or oppose by reasoning”), which dates back to 1584 in English and itself derives from controversy. Controvertible was documented in print as early as 1610, and incontrovertible turned up around thirty years later. Controversy comes to us (through Anglo-French) from the Latin controversus, meaning “disputable,” and can ultimately be traced back to the Latin contro- (“against”) and versus, the past participle of vertere (“to turn”).
March 22, 2015
firebrand • \FYRE-brand\ • noun
1 : a piece of burning wood
2 : one that creates unrest or strife (as in aggressively promoting a cause) : agitator
First use: 13th century
Synonyms: demagogue (also demagog), exciter, agitator, fomenter, incendiary, inciter, instigator, kindler, provocateur, rabble-rouser
Did you know? The original firebrands were incendiary indeed: they were pieces of wood set burning at the fire, perhaps for use as a light or a weapon. English speakers started brandishing those literal firebrands as long ago as the 13th century. (Robinson Crusoe held one high as he rushed into a cave on his deserted island and saw “by the light of the firebrand . . . lying on the ground a monstrous, frightful old he-goat.”) But the burning embers of the wooden firebrand quickly sparked figurative uses for the term, too. By the early 14th century, firebrand was also being used for one doomed to burn in hell, and by 1382, English writers were using it for anyone who kindled mischief or inflamed passions.
29th March, 2015
persiflage • \PER-suh-flahzh\ • noun
: frivolous bantering talk
: light raillery
Origin: French, from persifler to banter, from per- thoroughly + siffler to whistle, hiss, boo, ultimately from Latin sibilare.
First use: 1757
Synonyms: backchat, badinage, chaff, give-and-take, jesting, joshing, banter, raillery, repartee
Did you know? Unwanted persiflage on television might provoke an impatient audience to hiss or boo, but from an etymological standpoint, no other reaction could be more appropriate. English speakers picked up persiflage from French in the 18th century. Its ancestor is the French verb persifler, which means “to banter” and was formed from the prefix per-, meaning “thoroughly,” plus siffler, meaning “to whistle, hiss, or boo.” Siffler in turn derived from the Latin verb sibilare, meaning “to whistle or hiss.” By the way, sibilare is also the source of sibilant, a word linguists use to describe sounds like those made by “s” and “sh” in sash. That Latin root also underlies the verb sibilate, meaning “to hiss” or “to pronounce with or utter an initial sibilant.”
April 05, 2015
incisive • \in-SYE-siv\ • adjective
: impressively direct and decisive (as in manner or presentation)
First use: circa 1834
“Albee, 84 and frail from recent heart surgery, smiled broadly as he came on stage to take a bow Saturday. He knows that ‘Virginia Woolf’ is the play that will forever be synonymous with his name, and he could not have hoped for a more incisive rendering of it.” — Hedy Weiss, Chicago Sun-Times, October 14, 2012
“For more than two decades, Carr focused his considerable talents on media criticism, lacing his columns with incisive commentary and wit.” — Terrence McCoy and Justin Moyer, Washington Post, February 13, 2015
Did you know?
Incisive has meant “impressively direct and decisive” since around 1834 and derives from the Latin verb caedere, meaning “to cut.” Its linguistic kin include many cuttings from the fruitful stem caedere, such as scissors, chisel, incise (“to cut into or engrave”), excise (“to remove by cutting”), incisor (“a front tooth typically adapted for cutting”), incision (“cut” or “gash”), precise (“minutely exact”), and concise (“brief”). In addition to the meaning illustrated above, incisive also carries a couple of lesser-known literal meanings relating to cutting: “having a cutting edge or piercing point” (as in “incisive fangs”), and, in dentistry, “of, relating to, or situated near the incisors.”
April 12th, 2015
Petrichor · \ PET-ri-kuhr\· noun
A pleasant smell that frequently accompanies the first rain after a long period of warm, dry weather
‘other than the petrichor emanating from the rapidly drying grass, there was not a trace of evidence that it had rained at all’ ‘The petrichor in the air reminded me of home and I found myself humming “Mitti di khushboo” ‘ ( this sentence I made at random from my own experience)
Origin 1960s: blend of petro- ‘relating to rocks’ (the smell is believed to be caused by a liquid mixture of organic compounds which collects in the ground) and ichor.
20th April, 2015
Nonversation ·noun ·
conversation that seems meaningless or without logic
“There’s a 45-minute wait at the bus office until our coach leaves. Billy disappears to buy water and I strike up a nonversation (smile, nod, hello, Ingalis) with a Kurdish man with a scar on his cheek, who gestures for me to play the guitar.” – blog post at unplanned.com, March 20, 2010
etymology Blend of non and conversation
Etymology error + -ist Noun errorist (plural errorists)
1. One who encourages and propagates error.
2. One who holds onto an erroneous belief.
This week’s winning bumpersticker from the Thursday delivery route showed a drawing of George W. Bush and said “American errorist.” NOFX – American Errorist “We really hate ammerican errorist!”
3rd May, 2015
Examples 1. The girl fell in love with the boy in high school, she had a limerence but lost it when she moved away to college. 2. I usually land up being in limerence of the male protagonist of my favourite TV show/ movie during that particular phase of time.
Chutzpah \noun\ hootz-pah\
(Yiddish) 1. personal confidence or courage that allows someone to do or say things that may seem shocking to others 2. unbelievably gall, insolence, audacity Related words: crust, gall, impertinence, impudence, insolence, cheekiness, freshness < discourtesy, rudeness < manner, personal manner < demeanor, demeanour, behavior, behaviour, conduct, deportment < trait < attribute < abstraction, abstract entity < entity
felicity /fɪˈlɪsɪti/ noun
1. intense happiness.
synonyms: happiness, joy, joyfulness, joyousness, rapture, bliss, euphoria, delight, cheer, cheerfulness, gaiety;
2. the ability to find appropriate expression for one’s thoughts. “he exposed the kernel of the matter with his customary elegance and felicity”
synonyms: eloquence, aptness, appropriateness, suitability, suitableness, applicability, fitness, relevance, pertinence, correctness, rightness “David expressed his feelings with his customary felicity”
Origin late Middle English: from Old French felicite, from Latin felicitas, from felix, felic- ‘happy’.
Idyllic \ ī-ˈdi-lik, chiefly British i- \adjective\
like an idyll; extremely happy, peaceful, or picturesque. “an attractive hotel in an idyllic setting”
synonyms: perfect, ideal, idealized, wonderful, blissful, halcyon, happy; heavenly, paradisal, utopian, Elysian; peaceful, picturesque, pastoral, rural, rustic, bucolic, unspoilt; literary Arcadian, sylvan “their idyllic times together”
First use: 1856
Examples 1. Some say a horrible monster cast its ominous shadow over the peaceful and idyllic valley.
2. The unhappiness of others somehow besmirches their own idyllic picture.
3. After long travelling, foul weather and false starts, the picture before us is not nearly so idyllic or clear cut.
1st June, 2015
(Especially with reference to songs or poetry) a feeling of longing, melancholy, or nostalgia that is supposedly characteristic of the Portuguese or Brazilian temperament
1. “her songs are based on love poems and evoke a melancholy known to the Portuguese as saudade”
2. I often sit in one corner of my room, engulfed in saudade for my home, family, friends.
7th June, 2015
1. A completely worthless conversation, wherein nothing is illuminated, explained or otherwise elaborated upon. Typically occurs at parties, bars or other events where meaningful conversation is nearly impossible.
2. The type of conversation held with another person when you really do not wish to talk to them. It consists of short and to the point replies which do not add to the conversation and make it hard for the other person to continue. It is usually to try and convey politely that you do not have the time for this oxygen thief who insists on bothering you.
3. When two people are speaking but neither side of the conversation has anything to do with the other.
1. I had the most painful nonversation with my girlfriend’s ignorant bigoted father.
2. the thing that I miss the most about school is the nonversations we friends had. Wish could get back those days…..
3. A typical nonversation (related to meaning no 3) goes as follows- “So how are you today?” “Okay.” “What have you been up to?” “Not much.”
14th June, 2015
mondegreen\noun\mɒndəɡriːn\plural noun: mondegreens\
1. a misunderstood or misinterpreted word or phrase resulting from a mishearing of the lyrics of a song
|synonyms:||sweet-sounding, sweet-toned, dulcet, honeyed, mellow, soft, liquid, soothing, rich, smooth, euphonious, lyric, harmonious, tuneful, musical;
“his low, mellifluous voice was instantly recognizable”
jocund\adjective\ˈjō-(ˌ)kənd 1. cheerful 2. marked by or suggestive of high spirits and lively mirthfulness jo·cun·di·ty\jō-ˈkən-də-tē, jä-\noun
Synonyms : joyous,blithesome, festive, gay, gleeful, jocose, jocular, merry, jolly, jovial, laughing, mirthful, sunny
19th July, 2015
agreeable’, from juvare ‘to delight’.
- Wanderlust has led him to many different parts of the world.
- a man consumed by wanderlust
2nd August, 2015
clinomania \ noun \ klin-oh-mayn-ee-ah \
1. an obsession with bed rest.
2. love to bed, pillows and blankets
1. I have clinomania, once I cuddle up on my bed to sleep, I just hate waking up. During exams, I feel like sleeping the whole day!!!
9th August, 2015
Savant \noun\ sa-vahnt \
1. a person with great knowledge and ability
2. a person who is less intelligent than others but who has particular unusual abilities that other people do not have
3. Someone who has been admitted to membership in a scholarly field
= initiate, learned person, pundit
French, from Middle French, from present participle of savoir to know, from Latin sapere to be wise — more at sage
First Use: 1719
1. Cause to be confused emotionally
Synonyms: bemuse, bewilder, throw
2. Be confusing or perplexing to; cause to be unable to think clearly
Example: these questions discombobulate even the experts
Synonyms: baffle, beat, befuddle, bedevil, bewilder, confound, confuse, dumbfound, flummox, puzzle, fuddle, vex, stupefy
Discombobulation : noun
Discombobulated : adjective
1834 US, fanciful variant of discompose, discomfit, etc., originally discombobricate
Vorfreude/ for-froi-duh/ noun
the joyful, intense anticipation that comes from imagining future pleasures
vor- + Freude
Nyctophilia \noun \nict-o-fill-e-a
The love of darkness or night, or feeling like you belong in the dark.
Usually applies to those who often feel sadness!
Sitting in the corner of a dark room and feeling comfortable “nyctophilia”
Dalliance /noun/plural noun: dalliances /
1. a casual romantic or sexual relationship.
2. an action that is not serious
First use: 14th century
play, frolic, frolicking, fun, fun and games, recreation, relaxation, rollicking,sport
“Jack was not averse to an occasional dalliance with a pretty girl”
a period of brief or casual involvement with something.
“Berkeley was my last dalliance with the education system”
Middle English: from
dally + -ance
Orenda /noun/ or-en-da
extraordinary invisible power believed by the Iroquois Indians to pervade in varying degrees all animate and inanimate natural objects as a transmissible spiritual energy capable of being exerted according to the will of its possessor
early 20th century: coined in English as the supposed Huron form of a Mohawk word.
1. a successful hunter’s orenda overcomes that of his quarry
2. This orenda is your power to do things, your force, sometimes almost your personality.
Logophile /noun/ log-uh-fyl
1. A lover of words
2. A person who enjoys having an expansive vocabulary.
3. A person who loves the way words interact with each other to create sentences.
Astraphobia /noun/ as-truh-foh-bee-uh /
1 A morbid fear of thunder and lightning
It is also known as astrapophobia, brontophobia, keraunophobia, or tonitrophobia. It is a treatable phobia that both humans and animals can develop.
Atelier / noun / atuh-lyey /
plural noun: ateliers
A studio especially for an artist or designer
late 17th century: from French, from Old French astelle ‘splinter of wood’, from Latin astula.
Funambulist /noun/ fyoo-nam-byuh-list /
An acrobat who performs on a tightrope or slack rope
1. She works as a Funambulist in the local circus troop
Bucolic / byoo-kol-ik / adjective/
- idyllically rustic
- relating to shepherds or herdsmen or devoted to raising sheep or cattle
- a country person
- a short poem descriptive of rural or pastoral life
rural, pastoral, peasant, eclogue
If you would like to check out more interesting words then visit Heena’s page: