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inspissate [22 May 2006|09:17pm]

To undergo thickening or cause to thicken, as by boiling or evaporation; condense.

i found inspissate in a journal article i was reading at work. i have to stare at the word a long time to pronounce it.

The coffee had sat so long in his cup that it inspissated and grew a thick, green mold on top.
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agon [09 Oct 2005|12:31pm]

A conflict, especially between the protagonist and antagonist in a work of literature.

"Catamounts familiar with the Miner family agon...will be happy to know my father has finally called me back." -Home Land, Sam Lipsyte
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[11 Jun 2005|10:08pm]


Very satisfactory or acceptable; fine: “You had to be a good judge of what a man was like, and the English was copacetic” (John O'Hara).
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trilemma [06 May 2005|08:14pm]

1. (Logic) A syllogism with three conditional propositions, the major premises of which are disjunctively affirmed in the minor. See Dilemma.

2. A state of things in which it is difficult to determine which one of three courses to pursue.

(i think dilemma and trilemma are the only words actually listed, but it seems to me that higher numbers could be added analogously.)
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[28 Apr 2005|09:52pm]


A theory attributing the origin of the gods to the deification of historical heroes.
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[19 Apr 2005|12:27am]

mentaltoaster: vanish, doodles, vanish!
mentaltoaster: the oed is getting weirded.
Saraesque: haha
mentaltoaster: *weirder
Saraesque: i like weirded
mentaltoaster: doodle: a noodle or a doodle-bug
mentaltoaster: these are the worst definitions ever
Saraesque: uh
mentaltoaster: doodle: a midget racing car
Saraesque: what?
mentaltoaster: that's what it says
mentaltoaster: i cannot argue with the oed
mentaltoaster: A Doodle Bug doodled its way around the track one day last week... Occupant of the car was none other than..Fay Taylour... Fay wants to drive midgets.
Saraesque: weird
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[14 Apr 2005|06:46pm]


A mechanical model of the solar system.

After Charles Boyle, Fourth Earl of Orrery (1676-1731), for whom one was made.

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pentimento [04 Apr 2005|07:58pm]

An underlying image in a painting, as an earlier painting, part of a painting, or original draft, that shows through, usually when the top layer of paint has become transparent with age.

Italian, correction, pentimento, from pentire, to repent, from Latin paenitre.

The bathysphere, resting on two pieces of lumber, was a little bigger than a wrecking ball, with three steel-rimmed portholes. Matsen gasped softly and ran his hand over its peeling, mottled surface. “Oh, man, it gets me every time,” he said. “It’s like some marvellous pentimento.

(although really, you would have thought it'd be used in this article, which is so cool. math, art, unicorns!)
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let's parturiate "parturiate"...eh [02 Apr 2005|04:44pm]

parturiate: To bring forth young. [Obs.]
About to bring forth young; being in labor.
Of or relating to giving birth.
About to produce or come forth with something, such as an idea or a discover
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new member :p [31 Mar 2005|01:00am]
To twitch; to cause to twitch convulsively.
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[22 Mar 2005|08:29pm]

surf and turf?

not, in fact, a word.

1967 is the first usage oed mentions though. still, not a word.
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what day is it? [14 Mar 2005|07:19am]


n : the ratio of the circumference to the diameter of a circle [syn: pi]
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[12 Mar 2005|09:32pm]

webcam? people, this is atrocious. this is not a real word. at least the oed gives both the british and american pronouciations. a travesty, really. an atrocious travesty. and i had all this goodwill because "immediately" was yesterday's word, and although it's sort of...obvious, they had good examples. but webcam is just...not appropriate for a wotd. there. i've said it.
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7 [11 Mar 2005|06:38pm]

1. Idle chatter.
2. Talk intended to charm or beguile.
3. Obsolete. A parley between European explorers and representatives of local populations, especially in Africa.

intransitive verb:
To use palaver; to talk idly.

transitive verb:
To use palaver to; to flatter; to cajole.

Palaver derives from Late Latin parabola, a proverb, a parable, from Greek parabole, from paraballein, to compare, from para-, beside + ballein, to throw. In Medieval Latin, parabola acquired the further senses 'word' and 'tale, story', whence Portuguese palavra (compare Spanish palabra, word), whence palaver, with its own new, naturally derivative senses.

T]he spaceship crew settles down for a long bout of philosophical discourse that sounds suspiciously like teatime palaver in an Oxford University common room: "Time is a construct of thought too. In High Space this is all more nakedly obvious, is it not? Space isn't a thing. As Kant said. . . ."
--Gerald Jonas, "Science Fiction," New York Times, July 8, 1990

or; there is much palaver among college students, be they drunk or sober.
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6 [11 Mar 2005|12:48am]

ataraxy, ataraxia
calmness untroubled by mental or emotional disquiet
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OED says "o'clock" [11 Mar 2005|12:37am]

Saraesque (12:36:03 AM): what o'clock it is: to know (or discover) the real state of things (obs.).

Saraesque (12:36:10 AM): I did not know this!!!!
Saraesque (12:36:16 AM): too bad its OBSOLETE
mentaltoaster (12:36:18 AM): huh
mentaltoaster (12:36:21 AM): you should post that
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[10 Mar 2005|01:23am]

wait, DICTIONARY is the oed word of the day? that's, like, soooooo meta.
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5, I think... [09 Mar 2005|11:42pm]

These babies had enormous heads the size of spoiling watermelons and whispered obscene remarks in sibilant Levantine waterfront pidgin.

Of, characterized by, or producing a hissing sound like that of (s) or (sh): the sibilant consonants; a sibilant bird call.

A sibilant speech sound, such as English (s), (sh), (z), or (zh).
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4 [07 Mar 2005|09:11pm]

adj. Greek Mythology

Of or relating to the underworld.


adj : of the underworld; "nether regions" [syn: chthonic, lower, nether]

[From Greek khthonios, of the earth, from khthn, earth. See dhghem- in Indo-European Roots.]

"You enter and are stunned by a conspiracy in which the sublime universe of heavenly ogives and the chthonian world of gas guzzlers are juxtaposed."- Foucault's Pendulum, Eco
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roofing [07 Mar 2005|02:01pm]

Everyone knows what roofing means. This is worse than dualling. At least then, as my roommate pointed out, I sort of learned something. It dates from at least 1440 though. I suppose that's something. Still, this is disappointment upon disappointment. Can one traipse upon roofing?

c1440 Pallad. on Husb. I. 383 (Bodl. MS.), And lete hem drie er..rovyng [be] sette uppon, lest all be shent.
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