Word of the Week Archive

Started November 2013

Absquatulate (V) – to leave hurriedly, suddenly, or secretly

Origin:  Mid 19th century: blend (simulating a Latin form) of abscond, squattle ‘squat down’, and perambulate.

1837, “Facetious U.S. coinage” [Weekley], perhaps based on a mock-Latin negation of squat “to settle.” Said to have been used by the U.S. Western character “Nimrod Wildfire” in the play “The Kentuckian,” as re-written by British author William B. Bernard and staged in London in 1833. Related: Absquatulated; absquatulating

Some overthrown dictator who had absquatulated to the USA


(N) (first use 1816)  All things tend toward ultimate good.  (as distinguished from optimism, which holds that all things are now for the best)

Stems from the Greek agathos, simply meaning ‘good’.

While optimism, by definition, is the complete nonrecognition of evil, agathism accepts evil exists; … that essentially bad things can happen to good people, but that good will come out of the evil.



(adj) 1743 -1743.   of or pertaining to puppet shows.

Computer graphics are rapidly replacing the drollic puppet-shows of years ago.


1. Government by the  worst men,

2. Government by the least qualified, most stupid members

First known use: 1820–30;  (1829), “government by the worst element of a society,” coined on analogy of aristocracy from Gk. kakistos “worst,” superl. of kakos “bad” (which is perhaps related to the general IE word for “defecate”) + -kratia “rule of,” from kratos “strength, power, rule”


(adj) forbidden or prohibited; prohibited by dictate or law

Example; The downloading, and use, of copyright material is strictly verboten even for personal use, if it is not paid for.

Origin of VERBOTEN; German, from Old High German farboten, past participle of farbioten to forbid (akin to Old English forbēodan to forbid), from far-, fur- for- + biotan to offer — more at bid

First Known Use: 1910 – 1915

Synonyms; banned, barred, forbidden, interdicted, outlawed, prohibited, proscribed, taboo (also tabu), impermissible


1. extravagance in cooking and serving

2. prodigal expenses for food

Example; Abligurition is to be expected during Christmas.

Latin, from the verb “abligurire,” meaning “to squander on delicacies,” a combination of “ab,” meaning “away,” and “ligurire,” meaning “to eat delicately, to be fond of delicacies.” One who engages in “abligurition” is quite literally “eating away” his or her money.


1. skilled writing in an unimportant subject.

2. fine writing in praise of trivial or base subjects

Example; “Elizabethan schoolboys were taught adoxography, the art of eruditely praising worthless things”;

First known use was in the late 19th century


1. : to utter maliciously false statements, charges, or imputations about.

2. : to injure the reputation of by calumny

Examples of CALUMNIATE – Those whom it is intended to oppress, it is generally found necessary to calumniate.

First known use was in 1554

Synonyms; asperse, blacken, slander, defame, libel, malign, smear, traduce, vilify


[per-snik-i-tee]   (adjective – Informal)
1. overparticular; fussy.
2. snobbish or having the aloof attitude of a snob.
3. requiring painstaking care.

1885-1890 – Scottish Origin
Synonyms; Careful – Choosy – Fastidious – Finicky – Nicest – Fussy  (Nov 7)

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