14 December 2011


I am the queen of procrastination!  If I have any work to do, you can be sure I will find at least 5 other things to do first even though they are nowhere near as important...

To procrastinate is to delay or put off til another day.


1540s, from L. procrastinationem "a putting off," noun of action from procrastinare "put off till tomorrow," from pro- "forward" (see pro-) + crastinus "belonging to tomorrow," from cras "tomorrow," of unknown origin.


To firmly stick together to form a mass.

Encountered due to French coursework, where apparently "agglutinés" is a known, well-used word.

ad-: Latin prefix "to"
glutinare: Latin "to glue"
-ate: Latin suffix which makes an adjective.

12 December 2011


Once every 5 years. Came across this delightful word whilst reading the hilarious, yet disturbingly accurate (at least according to Edward Behr) Scoop by Evelyn Waugh.

Latin quinque: five,
Latin anneial: yearly.

9 December 2011


I came across this word while looking in the dictionary for another word.  This is one of the reasons why I enjoy reading the dictionary, I get introduced to new words :-)

Opsimathy means the process of acquiring information late in life.

1650s, from Gk. opsimathia "learning late in life," from opse "late" (related to opiso "backward" + opisthen "behind") + manthanein "to learn."

8 December 2011


My post tonight was inspired by a text I (almost) sent to my friend... As we were bantering away by SMS my iPhone decided to change my spelling of pleasure to oleaster (pronounced oh-le-AS-ter).  Fortunately, I noticed the autocorrect and changed it back to pleasure.

An oleaster is an ornamental shrub or small tree.

Oleaster is a Latin word derived from the olea meaning olive or olive-tree.

5 December 2011


I know many people who are quacksalvers.  They claim to have all this knowledge and try to convince you that you have all these ailments and should therefore do this that or the other.

Have you worked out the meaning yet?  A quacksalver is someone who falsely pretends to have a knowledge of medicine.


quack (n.) 
"medical charlatan," 1630s, short for quacksalver (1570s), from Du. kwaksalver, lit. "hawker of salve," from M.Du. quacken "to brag, boast," lit. "to croak" (see quack (v.)) + zalf "salve." Cf. Ger. Quacksalber, Dan. kvaksalver, Swed. kvacksalvare.

4 December 2011


I use this word mostly in the informal mode where it means a nagging complaint or a constant grumble.

The formal meaning of the word is to suffer pain in the bowels or seize and hold firmly.

The word gripe came to my mind this evening as I am trying to work on a research project for uni and I feel like I have a gripe with or about my tutor.

Why do I find writing essays and doing research so difficult. Procrastination is so much easier and more fun :-)

gripe (v.)
O.E. gripan "grasp at, lay hold, attack, take, seek to get hold of," from P.Gmc. *gripanan (cf. O.S. gripan, O.N. gripa, Du. grijpen, Goth. greipan, O.H.G. grifan, Ger. greifen "to seize"), from PIE base *ghreib- "to grip" (cf. Lith. griebiu "to seize"). Figurative sense of "complain, grouse" is first attested 1932, probably from earlier meaning "gripping pain in the bowels" (c.1600; cf. bellyache). Related: Griped; griping. As a noun, late 14c., from the verb. Figurative sense by 1934.


I was looking for words beginning with J because our J label was looking sparse and this popped up in front of my googling eyes.

Jipijapa is a palmlike plant mainly found in tropical America and it is oft used to make panama hats.

A spanish word coined in 1858.

3 December 2011



What an excellent word. I have no compunction in using it voraciously.

Com-: Latin prefix usually meaning 'with'
Pungere: Latin meaning to prick.

Presumably the figurative early Church writers who coined this phrase hadn't yet been accused of the heinous crimes which they are today accused of; else there's no way they would have coined this phrase.