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Old 05-24-2020, 07:07 AM
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There was (verum dico) some annoying activist on Lesbos who insisted only genuine residents could be Lesbians, not foreign "sexual deviants"--- lost a court case and everything.
  #52  
Old 05-24-2020, 07:16 AM
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I always thought plumbago definitely sounds like an occupational illness that a plumber would get from having to bend down so much when fixing pipes.
  #53  
Old 05-24-2020, 07:19 AM
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A pergola is clearly a leafy plant.
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Old 05-24-2020, 07:28 AM
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Originally Posted by Just Asking Questions View Post
Palimpsest is the title of an oddball L&O: Criminal Intent episode. I've never heard it used other than that, so that's what it means to me. A made up word.
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Originally Posted by Little Nemo View Post
In a strange coincidence, two different science fiction authors independently used Palimpsest as the title of a work in 2009; Charles Stross, for a novella and Catherynne Valente, for a novel.
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Originally Posted by Treppenwitz View Post
In other news, who would have thought that you could have a whole thread on Where I came across the word Palimpsest?

My contribution is this: I first saw the word in an interview with David Bowie, where he used it to describe the song The Bewlay Brothers:



j
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Originally Posted by nearwildheaven View Post
"Palimpsest" was the name of a literary magazine featuring Iowa-only authors that was published for many years.

One of James Michener's books, that was set in the present day (IIRC it was "Space") featured a phony TV preacher named Leopold Strabismus; he chose that surname because few people would know what that really meant.
I believe I first encountered “palimpsest” as the title of Gore Vidal’s memoir. It’s defined on the first page, so I spent very little time wondering what it means.
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  #55  
Old 05-24-2020, 08:05 AM
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Quote:
Quoth UltraVires:

And I'm not trying to bring up Trump's statement, but:

Testing positive for a disease should meant you don't have it. "I tested positive for cancer. That's a very positive thing."

Testing negative should be the other one because it is bad.
I dunno, the last time I tested positive for a disease, I was very happy about it. All of the other possible explanations for the symptoms I was having would have been much, much worse. And knowing for sure meant it was possible to move forward with treatment.
  #56  
Old 05-24-2020, 08:13 AM
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"Sued" and "Impeached" should mean you successfully did the thing. And NOT tried to do the thing.
"Impeached" should mean "punished with a pelting of peaches."
  #57  
Old 05-24-2020, 08:29 AM
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The word "plebiscite" should refer to something medical, most likely some component of your blood.

It certainly shouldn't have anything to do with voting.
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Old 05-24-2020, 01:16 PM
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“Melanoma” sounds like the name of a a beautiful island in the Caribbean that’s a lovely vacation destination.
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Old 05-24-2020, 01:23 PM
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"Glad you had a nice tropical vacation; by the way, do you have any idea where you got that melanoma?"

"Melanoma."
  #60  
Old 05-24-2020, 01:47 PM
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I took my car in to get attired. A few years later I got it retired.
  #61  
Old 05-24-2020, 01:57 PM
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And I'm not trying to bring up Trump's statement, but:

Testing positive for a disease should meant you don't have it. "I tested positive for cancer. That's a very positive thing."

Testing negative should be the other one because it is bad.
My brother and his wife had a friend (who has since died from something unrelated) who was very happy to find out she had cancer. She was having difficulty walking, and the preliminary diagnosis was ALS, but another test revealed that she had lymphoma in her spinal column, which was successfully treated although it did leave her chronically ill for the rest of her life, which I know is not uncommon. Anyway, that cancer could be treated; ALS still can't.
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Old 05-25-2020, 03:23 PM
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Not to Be Pulchitrudinous, But...


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Originally Posted by Treppenwitz View Post
You know what I mean? There are certain words that just have no business meaning what they actually mean. OK, let me explain.

For some reason I was musing on the word pulchritudinous. Now, whoever came up with that word clearly meant for it to be used to convey “Angry and looking for trouble” or “Spoiling for a fight”. But then something went horribly wrong at Team English Language headquarters. An intern on their first morning on the job made a disastrous clerical error, which led to it being defined as “Beautiful”. What?? Oh, come on – that should have been picked up and corrected by a line manager – but no, it wasn’t. It still means beautiful.

There are others. Palimpsest – as in the title – is the sort of rash in the moist nether regions that you absolutely wouldn’t want to get – except it isn’t. A palimpsest is



Again, it’s a word that clearly means the wrong thing. There must be many more examples out there, and I would like to be introduced to them. I need you to tell me what these words ought to mean, and what they actually mean; and if you wish, an example of how the word should be used, like:

That’s Davey over there, watch out for him - if he’s had a couple of drinks he can be a proper pulchritudinous bastard.

See what I mean – that just sounds right.

What have you got?

j

PS: examples from other languages also welcome!
I get your drift, but I think your conviction about what "pulchritudinous" should mean arises from its slight resemblance to "pugnacious".

I always thought that the somewhat obscure word "dimity" was a pleasantly poetic term for crepuscular, also mentioned in this thread. But then, I always thought that "crepuscular" referred to a certain type of loose, wrinkled skin or complexion, e.g. the permanently dimpled or mottled texture caused by severe teenage acne or pox that resembles crepe fabric.

To bring it full circle, it turns out that "dimity" is actually a type of fabric; I still think it ought to refer to the twilight surrounding dawn and dusk.
  #63  
Old 05-25-2020, 03:47 PM
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Heteroscedasticity - The number of persons of the opposite gender who can simultaneously fit into the same pair of boxer briefs before the elastic snaps.

Frenema - OK this one's not a real word. Like frenemy but a bit worse.

Eidetic - Fluffy, as in goosedown pillows

Apophallation - The chorus sung at the end of Greek tragedies to a really good lookin' but sadly dead hero
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  #64  
Old 05-25-2020, 03:54 PM
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  #65  
Old 05-25-2020, 04:46 PM
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Are we forgetting the dread Gazebo ?

I mean, it is self-evident that a Gazebo ought to be some kind of monster that eats you whole without even applying a dab of mustard! (How uncouth!)
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  #66  
Old 05-25-2020, 04:50 PM
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I get your drift, but I think your conviction about what "pulchritudinous" should mean arises from its slight resemblance to "pugnacious".

Nah, "pulchritudinous" has always been on my list of words that don't mean what they sound like, as to me it resembles "putrification".
  #67  
Old 05-25-2020, 04:52 PM
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  #68  
Old 05-26-2020, 12:04 AM
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Sublime, taken literally, refers to a layer of strata in the earth's crust.

Of course, most folks use it metaphorically to connote something of bad quality or poor standing. You know, as in lower than dirt. "Oh, you don't want to go to that restaurant. Trust me, it's practically sublime, among the worst in town."

Why the dictionary insists upon the opposite meaning, I've never figured out.
  #69  
Old 05-26-2020, 12:13 AM
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Someone pulchritudinous is likely to also be callipygian.

I think that refers to a highly ornate style of Egyptian hieroglyphics.
  #70  
Old 05-26-2020, 07:36 AM
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[Moderating]

I'm sure that when I saw this thread before, there was some reason it made sense as a CS thread to me. But I'm not sure what that reason was. MPSIMS, maybe?
  #71  
Old 05-26-2020, 12:03 PM
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A mangosteen is clearly a Jewish mango. The weird spelling comes from the immigration clerk who got the fruit's name wrong at Ellis Island.

"Faucet" is a woman's name, taken from the French "Faucette". It's one of those classic names that's fallen out of favor, like "Hortense" or "Honoria". She might have sisters named "Crustacea" or "Urticaria". Women with these names often have horses, trust funds, and Grandmama's pearls.

"Chlorine" and "Fluorine" are also women's names. In the same way that "Faucet" or "Urticaria" evoke images of fine wine, the country club, and the family estate, "Chlorine" and "Fluorine" bring to mind cheap beer, monster truck rallies, and trailer parks. I can see their mother standing in the back of their double-wide yelling, "Chlo-REEEEN!! Flo-REEEEN!! Git back here an' hang this washin' on the lahn!" (The woman who inspired the Dolly Parton song "Jolene" was actually named "Chlorine." Chlorine, Chlorine, Chlorine, Chloreeee-eeeen! I'm beggin' of ya please don't take my man!)

Last edited by Scribble; 05-26-2020 at 12:07 PM.
  #72  
Old 05-26-2020, 12:21 PM
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Originally Posted by Scribble View Post
A mangosteen is clearly a Jewish mango. The weird spelling comes from the immigration clerk who got the fruit's name wrong at Ellis Island.

"Faucet" is a woman's name, taken from the French "Faucette". It's one of those classic names that's fallen out of favor, like "Hortense" or "Honoria". She might have sisters named "Crustacea" or "Urticaria". Women with these names often have horses, trust funds, and Grandmama's pearls.

"Chlorine" and "Fluorine" are also women's names. In the same way that "Faucet" or "Urticaria" evoke images of fine wine, the country club, and the family estate, "Chlorine" and "Fluorine" bring to mind cheap beer, monster truck rallies, and trailer parks. I can see their mother standing in the back of their double-wide yelling, "Chlo-REEEEN!! Flo-REEEEN!! Git back here an' hang this washin' on the lahn!" (The woman who inspired the Dolly Parton song "Jolene" was actually named "Chlorine." Chlorine, Chlorine, Chlorine, Chloreeee-eeeen! I'm beggin' of ya please don't take my man!)
I realize that my definitions are very USA-centric, but I don't know how else to describe them. My first definition alludes to a commonly believed myth about immigration during part of the 19th and early 20th centuries.
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Old 05-26-2020, 12:34 PM
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Originally Posted by Scribble View Post
A mangosteen is clearly a Jewish mango. The weird spelling comes from the immigration clerk who got the fruit's name wrong at Ellis Island.

"Faucet" is a woman's name, taken from the French "Faucette". It's one of those classic names that's fallen out of favor, like "Hortense" or "Honoria". She might have sisters named "Crustacea" or "Urticaria". Women with these names often have horses, trust funds, and Grandmama's pearls.

"Chlorine" and "Fluorine" are also women's names. In the same way that "Faucet" or "Urticaria" evoke images of fine wine, the country club, and the family estate, "Chlorine" and "Fluorine" bring to mind cheap beer, monster truck rallies, and trailer parks. I can see their mother standing in the back of their double-wide yelling, "Chlo-REEEEN!! Flo-REEEEN!! Git back here an' hang this washin' on the lahn!" (The woman who inspired the Dolly Parton song "Jolene" was actually named "Chlorine." Chlorine, Chlorine, Chlorine, Chloreeee-eeeen! I'm beggin' of ya please don't take my man!)
Don't forget their low-class cousin Trampoline.
  #74  
Old 05-26-2020, 01:32 PM
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picaresque should clearly mean something done in the style of Pikemen, or maybe those bullfighting picadors. It should not be an adjective describing stories about rogues.
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Old 05-26-2020, 02:06 PM
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"Languish" should mean something delightful, relaxing, and luxurious. One should not languish in poverty; one should languish in the Maldives or Palau while being served daiquiris and posting insufferable hot dog legs pictures to Instagram.
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Old 05-26-2020, 03:09 PM
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Dragging in two terms from Astronomy:

Quadrature: Should refer to the configuration of landing gear or wheels on a vehicle.

Syzygy: Should refer to an art style involving spiky protuberances.
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Old 05-26-2020, 04:25 PM
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Syzygy: Should refer to an art style involving spiky protuberances.
I always thought it should be the sound of a pair of scissors opening and closing in the air.

Last edited by Scribble; 05-26-2020 at 04:25 PM.
  #78  
Old 05-26-2020, 04:33 PM
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A Bildungsroman should be a book about a building. I mean, that's just obvious.
  #79  
Old 05-26-2020, 04:35 PM
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Emphasize: A form of strenuous group fitness activity in which people do a lot of huffing, puffing, and grunting.

Last edited by Scribble; 05-26-2020 at 04:36 PM.
  #80  
Old 05-26-2020, 07:16 PM
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A Bildungsroman should be a book about a building. I mean, that's just obvious.
Especially if they're buildings in ancient Rome...
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Old 05-26-2020, 07:52 PM
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I dunno, I always think of "wainscotting" as being some fortunately bygone aspect of uncomfortable women's fashion. Something like those elaborate sculpted dresses that make it impossible to sit down.
No, no, "wainscotting" is a late-medieval sport, where peasants would compete to see how far away they could recognize wagon drivers. This was of some utility until reliable firearms were developed.
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Old 05-26-2020, 07:58 PM
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And "callipygian" refers to "powerful, dark writing". Originally this was literal, in the sense of black ink on dark paper, but then it was used metaphorically to describe things we would now use the word "noir" for.
  #83  
Old 05-27-2020, 12:41 PM
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Hoi polloi sounds like it should be society's pompous elites, not the rabble.
But it's something that only elites say, so it balances out.
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Old 05-27-2020, 09:41 PM
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A bassoon is a largish hairy primate living in equatorial jungles.

A bassinet is a musical instrument often found in classical music.
  #85  
Old 05-27-2020, 10:49 PM
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Don't forget their low-class cousin Trampoline.
She's just doing the best she can, trying to get by, like the rest of us.
  #86  
Old 05-29-2020, 11:44 AM
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Balaclava should be a lively Romanian folk dance.
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  #87  
Old 05-29-2020, 03:11 PM
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Balaclava should be a lively Romanian folk dance.
And baklava is the Greek version, danced by men with pompoms on their shoes. Badass men with pompoms on their shoes.
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Last edited by Sunspace; 05-29-2020 at 03:12 PM.
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