Imbroglio

im·bro·glio [im-brohl-yoh]

noun

1. A misunderstanding, disagreement, etc. of a complicated or bitter nature, as between persons or nations.

2. An intricate and perplexing state of affairs.

3. A confused heap.

Origin: 1740–50;  < Italian,  derivative of imbrogliare  to embroil

Sentence: The attempt at diplomacy quickly became an imbroglio of epic proportions.

Note: May also be spelled embroglio.

Inveigle

in·vei·gle [in-vey-guhl]

verb (transitive)

1. To entice, lure, or snare by flattery or artful talk or inducements (usually followed by “into”)

2. To acquire, win, or obtain by beguiling talk or methods.

Origin: 1485–95;  variant of envegle  < Anglo-French enveogler,  equivalent to en- en-1  + Old French  ( a vogler  toblind, derivative of avogle  blind < Vulgar Latin *aboculus  eyeless, adj. derivative of phrase *ab oculīs  withouteyes. See ab-ocular

Sentence: 

1. Professor Hill inveigled the town into buying band instruments.

2. She plans to inveigle the keys from her jailor.

Queue Troubles

Apparently the queue has not been posting. I apologize. A word for today will be posted shortly.

Legerdemain

leg·er·de·main [lej-er-duh-meyn]

noun

1. sleight of hand

2. trickery; deception

3. any artful trick

Origin: 1400–50; late Middle English legerdemeyn, lygarde de mayne  < Middle French:  literally, light of hand

Sentence: We watched the magician perform remarkable feats of legerdemain.

Funambulist

fu·nam·bu·list [fyoo-nam-byuh-list]

noun

A tightrope walker.

Origin: 1785–95;  < Latin fūnambul us ropedancer + -ist

Sentence: Our favorite part of the circus was the funambulist.

Bruit

bruit [broot]

verb (transitive)

To voice abroad, to rumor (usually used in the passive voice and followed by “about”).

Origin: 1400–50; late Middle English  (noun) < Anglo-French, Old French,  noun use of past participle of bruire  toroar < Vulgar Latin *brūgere,  a conflation of Latin rūgīre  to bellow and Vulgar Latin *bragere;  see bray1

Sentence: In no time at all, the tale was bruited about the town. 

Terpsichorean

terp·si·cho·re·an [turp-si-kuh-ree-uhn]

adjective

Pertaining to dancing.

noun

A dancer.

Origin: Terpsichore + -an

Sentence: She was a runner and amateur terpsichorean.

Alimentary

al·i·men·ta·ry [al-uh-men-tuh-ree]

adjective

1. Concerned with the function of nutrition.

2. Pertaining to food.

3. Providing sustenance or maintenance. 

Origin: 1605–15;  < Latin alimentārius.  See aliment-ary

Sentence: “What was the cause of death, Holmes? Respiratory failure?”

Alimentary, my dear Watson.”

Stop! Grammar Time I: History, Cases, and Word Order

This is the first installment of our weekly Wednesday grammar discussion. I’ll be using this segment to go over grammar points that many people seem confused on or that I think are not taught very clearly (or at all) in school. This week, we’ll be talking about why the English language is such a bastard and taking some grammatical constructs usually applied to other languages to better make sense of English. 

Read More

Embonpoint

em·bon·point [ahn-bawn-pwan]

noun

excessive plumpness or stoutness

Origin: 1655–65;  < French,  literally, in good condition

Sentence: The new mayor is possessed of a certain embonpoint.

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