Don’t try and hoodwink me

Put on your deerstalker hat because I have a poser for you. Where in the world did the word hornswoggle originate from? According to Dictionary.com, it’s a slang word that means “to swindle, cheat, hoodwink, or hoax.” Dating from 1815-1825, its origin is unknown. Source: http://www.dictionary.com/browse/hornswoggle

 

 

Another source, A Way With Words, tells us “the word hornswoggle, meaning “to embarrass” or “to swindle,” is of unclear origin, but definitely seems of a piece with U.S. frontier slang from the 1830s and 1840s.” Source: https://www.waywordradio.org/?s=hornswoggle&submit=search

 

 

Determined to root out the origin, I found this inventive etymology for the word: Unknown, 1829 United States. Presumably horns + waggle with humorous faux ablaut or combination with wobble (compare later woggle, 1923), perhaps inspired by lassoed steers trying to escape by moving or waggling their head. Source: https://www.yourdictionary.com/hornswoggle

not your usual insect!

A gadfly is not ONLY an irritating pest hovering around your poor horse! Sure, it’s a noun: a fly that bites livestock, especially a horsefly, warble fly, or botfly. But its other meaning is: an annoying person, especially one who provokes others into action by criticism.

 

 

Hailing from the late 16th century: from gad, or obsolete gad ‘goad, spike,’ from Old Norse gaddr, of Germanic origin.

Bad Word! You Bad, Bad Word….

I found the word “cacology” on the cool website A.Word.A.Day, here she is! Cacology is a noun that means: 1. A poor choice of words or 2. The incorrect pronunciation of a word. Source: http://wordsmith.org/words/cacology.html

 

 

The etymology breaks down like this: from Greek kakologia: Gr. kako`s bad + -logy,: cf. F. cacologie, , from French cacologie, from cac- + -logie –logy. Its first known use was in 1615. Source: https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/cacology

 

 

 

Here’s a wordy quote to show the usage of cacology…

“The phenomena described in 1985 by Amos Joel, computer controlled digital switching system pioneer, are present realities: ‘The trade press, which should know better, is party to the curtain of mysticism, clichés, and cacology around which they shroud the true technology of new products.”-John Buckley; Telecommunications Regulation; Institution of Electrical Engineers; 2003.

Party Like a President

On my last birthday, my brother gave me a book about the US President’s drinking, gambling and carousing habits through the years. In it I found a recipe for syllabub, an olde English dessert, which was popular during James Monroe’s presidency.

Here’s the recipe: 2/3 c. white wine, 1/3 c. sherry, 2 T. grated lemon zest, ¼ c. lemon juice, 2/3 c. sugar, 2 c. heavy cream, fresh mint sprigs and berries. Mix the wine, sherry, lemon zest and lemon juice in a bowl. Stir in the sugar until dissolved.

 

 

In a separate bowl, whip the cream until the mixture forms into medium-size stiff peaks. Then, combine and stir with the wine mixture. Scoop the mixture into wineglasses. Cover the glasses and chill in the refrigerator for at least 12 hours. When ready to serve, top with the mint and berries.

 

 

Source: Party Like a President: True Tales of Inebriation, Lechery and Mischief from the Oval Office, By Brian Abrams. Workman Publishing. 2015

Another word that just popped into my crazy brain!

A lollapalooza (n.) means “a remarkable or wonderful person or thing”, which is a term that originated in either 1896 or 1901 from American English, also meaning “a fanciful formation”.  Other spellings include: lallapaloosa and lallapalootza.

http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?allowed_in_frame=0&search=lollapalooza

 

 

Google tells us “Lollapalooza is the annual North American alternative pop music concert which started around 1991. It’s a music festival featuring alternative rock, heavy metal, punk rock, hip hop, Electric Dance Music bands, artists, dance and comedy performances and craft booths. It happens in Grant Park, Chicago, IL on Aug 3 – 6, 2017 and has been active for 20 years!”

My ideal…insect

This is a strange word, it has two completely unrelated meanings…which I find fascinating! Let me know if you agree….

Imago is a noun, meaning:
1. The final or adult stage of an insect.

 

 

2. An idealized image of someone, formed in childhood and persisting in later life.

Etymology: From Latin imago (image). Ultimately from the Indo-European root aim- (copy), which also gave us emulate, imitate, image, imagine, and emulous. Earliest documented use: 1787. Source: http://wordsmith.org/words/imago.html

 

 

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You Pick Two

I chose today’s word, not because it is exotic or rare, but because it has two meanings that are wildly different from each other. I find that fascinating!

Solvent is both a noun and an adjective: As a noun, it means: 1. something that dissolves another thing, and 2. something that solves a problem.

 

 

As an adjective, it means: 1. able to pay one’s debts, and 2. able to dissolve another substance.

ETYMOLOGY: From Latin solvere (to loosen, to dissolve, to pay). Ultimately from the Indo-European root pleu- (to flow), that is also the source of flow, float, flit, fly, flutter, pulmonary, pneumonic, pluvial, fluvial, effluvium, fletcher, and plutocracy. Earliest documented use: 1653.

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