incipient \in-SIP-ee-uhnt\ (adjective) - Beginning to exist or appear.
"Rather than worrying about his actual circumstances, Jeff devoted entirely too much of his energies to worrying about money, preoccupied as he was by thoughts of his incipient pauperdom."
Incipient is derived from Latin incipere, "to undertake, to begin" (literally "to ...Read more
dapple \DAP-uhl\ (noun) - 1 : A small contrasting spot or blotch. 2 : A mottled appearance, especially of the coat of an animal (as a horse).
(transitive verb) - 1 : To mark with patches of a color or shade; to spot.
(intransitive verb) - 1 : To become dappled.
(adjective) - 1 : Marked with contrasting patches or spots; dappled.
"Chris ...Read more
palisade \pal-uh-SADE\ (noun) - 1 : A fence of stakes forming a defense. 2 : A line of steep cliffs, especially along a river.
(verb tr.) - To fortify with palisades.
"The many books, manuals, magazines, technical journals, and other reference materials which surrounded Caroline's desk were all topped by assorted bottles and empty diet-soda ...Read more
spoliation \spo-lee-AY-shun\ (noun) - 1 : The act of pillaging and plundering. 2 : Seizure of neutral ships at sea in time of war. 3 : The deliberate destruction or alteration of a document.
"Before the company's acquisition and inevitable subsequent downsizing were even officially announced the spoliation had commenced, with nary a wheeled ...Read more
toxophilite \tok-SOF-uh-lyt\ (noun) - One who is fond of or expert at archery.
"While barely competent with firearms of any sort, Jan was a toxophilite of the highest magnitude, able to pit a cherry with an arrow at over ten yards."
Coined by Roger Ascham (1515-1568), scholar and writer, as a proper name and the title of his book Toxophilus, ...Read more
apparatchik \uh-pah-RAH-chik\ (noun) - Member of the (Soviet) bureaucracy; now extended to apply to any inflexible organisation man, particularly in a political party.
"Fed up with the usual assortment of apparatchiks and yes-men he was typically faced with, Mel decided to search outside of the regular pool in an attempt to find an assistant ...Read more
capitation \kap-i-TAY-shuhn\ (noun) - 1 : A counting of heads. 2 : A uniform tax assessed by the head; a poll tax. 3 : A fee extracted from each student.
"After it was noticed that the seats of the school bus seemed to be emptier than they had appeared upon arriving, a capitation was performed, and the count was found to be exactly two children...Read more
latitudinarian \lae-teh-tyu-deh-ne-ri-yen\ (adjective) - Tolerating diversity of belief and behavior, particularly with reference to religion; favoring latitude in thought or conduct.
"The school's goal was to create a truly latitudinarian environment, not simply a place for trendy 'politically correct' beliefs."
In England of the mid-1600s, ...Read more
Maisy and The Missing Mice (The Maisy Files Book 1)Elizabeth Woodrum
When a mysterious thief called The Black Boot takes credit for stealing the school’s mascots, Maisy Sawyer has a mystery to solve! Maisy is the best detective in fourth grade. No, she's the best detective in the whole school, and rescuing ...
dyspeptic \dis-pep-tik\ (adjective) - Suffering from indigestion or morose or disgruntled as if suffering from an upset stomach.
"No one in the office was certain if the new supervisor's dyspeptic attitude was indicative of an actual stomach problem or merely an affectation to keep those in his department off balance."
Today's word derives ...Read more
quibble \kwi-bl\ (verb) - To raise petty questions, to hesitate or argue over trivial issues, to cavil.
"Always one to quibble, Ivan would tend to cause club meetings to run hours longer than necessary while he debated petty minutiae that concerned no one and mattered even less."
Just as a dribble is a small drip, and a nibble is a small nip,...Read more
patronym \PA-truh-nim\ (noun) - 1 : A name derived from the name of father or an ancestor, e.g. Johnson (son of John). 2 : A surname or family name.
"While the starlet came from an impressive patronym, her behavior both in public and in private was not at all becoming of the name."
From Greek patronymous (patronymic), from patri- (father) + -...Read more
hellkite \HEL-kyt\ (noun) - An extremely cruel person.
"While hopes were high for a supervisor a bit more easygoing than the previous one, she in fact turned out to be a complete and utter hellkite, a whip-cracker of the first degree who played favorites based on daily whims while doing little actual work herself."
From Middle English hell (a ...Read more
debark \di-BARK\ (verb tr., intr.) - To disembark.
"As Francis completed debarking from the cruise ship he realized that he had left his watch in the stateroom and that he would have to walk up two gangplanks and the entire length of the ship to retrieve it."
From French debarquer, de- from + barque ship.
clerisy \KLER-i-see\ (noun) - The well-educated class; the literati; the intelligentsia.
"While Terry fancied himself one of the clerisy, his friends thought of him as nothing so much as a know-it-all and blowhard."
From German Klerisei (clergy), from Medieval Latin clericia, from Late Latin clericus (cleric), from Greek klerikos (belonging to...Read more
bull's-eye \bulz eye\ (noun) - 1 : The center of a target. 2 : A direct hit. 3 : A convex lens or a lantern with such a lens in it.
"While Greg was consistently able to hit the target's bull's-eye with his own pistol, he was off by several inches when using any other."
Why bull's eye? Why not a cat's eye or a dog's eye? Nobody knows. Perhaps ...Read more
oniomania \O-nee-uh-MAY-nee-uh, -MAYN-yuh\ (noun) - Compulsive shopping; excessive, uncontrollable desire to buy things.
"Candace was periodically struck by fits of oniomania, something which tended to put a severe strain on both her closet space and her bank account."
From Latin, from Greek xnios (for sale), from onos (price) + -mania.
diminutive \di-MIN-yuh-tiv\ (adjective) - 1 : Extremely small in size; tiny. 2 : Of or being a suffix that indicates smallness, youth, familiarity, affection, or contempt, as -let in booklet, -kin in lambkin, or -et in nymphet.
"While he may have been diminutive in size, Jason had a heart in direct proportion to his height and seemed to have ...Read more
anachronism \uh-NAK-ruh-niz-uhm\ (noun) - 1 : The error of placing a person, object, custom, or event in the wrong historical period. 2 : A person, thing, or practice that does not belong in a time period.
"The historical drama, set in the seventeenth century, was utterly spoiled for Terry due to the many anachronisms present in both the decor ...Read more
rident \RYD-uhnt\ (adjective) - Laughing; cheerful.
"The rident atmosphere in the development department was a positive change from the dour, depressing climate Albert left behind in accounting."
From Latin ridere (to laugh) which is also the source of ridiculous, deride, and risible.
Q: In a recent newspaper article on a criminal case involving an issue of missing records, a judge is quoted thus: "But in this case, the trout is just not in the milk. The recordings are just not in the files." The expression "the trout is just not in the milk" is new to me. Any notion of the underlying reason for this expression?" -- Tom ...Read more