Good morning readers! After a long dark haul, it's finally, finally spring. Well, actually, it's not. Spring technically doesn't start until March 20. But with the sun shining and the temps hitting 60 degrees, it certainly feels like it. And I'll take whatever I can get.
Let's jump right into Words Nobody Uses or Knows in this week's issue. I found three in Rick Pender's critique of August: Osage County, which is running at the Clifton Performance Theatre until March 14. (Three? What's he trying to do?!)
My favorite word of the issue is donnybrook — it sounds a bit made up, doesn't it?
donnybrook: a scene of uproar and disorder; a heated argument (n.)
Fun fact: The word originates from the historical Donnybrook Fair in Donnybrook, a district of Dublin, Ireland. The Fair, according to The Google, began in 1204 (whoa ... it always blows my mind a bit when I realize how much more history other countries have) and ran annually until 1866. Apparently the "fun fair" was infamous for its drunken brawls. Hence, the use of the word donnybrook.
In this issue: "The ultimate result is a family donnybrook, with Barbara forcing her mother into rehab."
Next best word in Pender's piece is miasma.
miasma: a vaporous exhalation formerly believed to cause disease; an influence or atmosphere that tends to deplete or corrupt (n.)
Appropriate, I think, because there was something about the word that reminded me of disease before I even looked up the definition. It's from the Greek word miainein, which literally means "to pollute."
In this issue: "Ivy has been the dutiful daughter, keeping her life on hold for years while tending to her battling parents and their ills and idiosyncrasies and being badgered for not marrying; she’s sick of the miasma of bad behavior and more than eager to escape."
The third (but not last) word from Pender is vituperative, pronounced "vahy-too-per-uh-tiv."
vituperative: bitter and abusive (adj.)
In this issue: "Hodges captures Violet’s vituperative nature, but allows a few cracks in her cantankerous façade to reveal the once vulnerable woman inside."
Of course, our lesson wouldn't be complete without an unusual word from Kathy Y. Wilson's piece "Mother and Child Reunion." It's actually one of my favorite stories in this week's issue. (Which I hope you've picked up already.) The word is mellifluous. It's a from the late Latin word mellifluus (15th century), where mel translates to "honey" and fluere translates to "flow".
mellifluous: (of a voice or words) sweet or musical; pleasant to hear (adj.)
Makes sense, right?
In this issue: "The very first time I heard the plaintive and mellifluous baritone of Luther Vandross I was riding with my mom through a cold rain through the intersection of Kemper Road and Springfield Pike in Springdale coming from the old Thriftway grocery store."
Good morning readers. I hope you're all surviving the bleak, cold, dark days of February better than I am. I can't stop myself from browsing the "Getaways" section of Groupon — five night, all-inclusive stay in Punta Cana? Sign me up! I'll go anywhere the sun is shining and the heat is brimming.
Good morning readers! I'm a day late, but let's review the Words Nobody Uses or Knows in this week's issue — which, by the way, has to be one of my favorites to date. It's The Beer Issue, if you haven't already noticed, and we did so much reporting on local beer and Beer Week festivities that we created an entirely new webpage for it. It's a great place to start if you're looking for a calendar of events, want to learn more about Cincinnati's rich brewing history or what today's local breweries are all about.
But let's get started. Two high-brow words that caught my eye are in Steven Rosen's piece on the Cincinnati Art Museum's forgotten Japanese art collection. The first is cloisonné, a French word pronounced KLOIS-ZE-NAY. (I found the actual phonetic spelling of it, klȯi-zə-ˈnā, a bit confusing.)
cloisonné: of, relating to, or being a style of enamel decoration in which the enamel is applied and fired in raised cells (as of soldered wires) on a usually metal background (n.)
Here's an example of a beauteous Chinese cloisonné incense burner, via the Google:
In the issue: "Those objects include paintings, screens, prints, ceramics, lacquer and metal wares, ivory carvings, arms and armor, cloisonné, dolls, masks, costumes and textiles."
The next word is accessioned. It looks like a word I ought to know, like an SAT word, but nope.
accession: to record the addition of (a new item) to a library, museum, or other collection (v.)
In this issue: “I didn’t even know we had a Japanese art collection because most of it had never been published or displayed or organized, and some were not even accessioned,” she says.
Tippling, another obscure word, is found in Garin Pirnia's piece on lesser-known taprooms and breweries that are brand-spanking new or slated to open in the Tristate area in the next few months.
tipple: to drink (alcoholic liquor) or engage in such drinking, especially habitually or to excess (v.)
What a great word. I should start using that all of the time and really confuse people. "Hey! I'm out tippling!"
In this issue: "Needless to say, now would not be a good time to curtail your tippling."
Moving on. Perhaps my favorite word of the entire issue is found in Worst Week Ever: hoosegow. It's bizarre and antiquated and contains no hint whatsoever of its meaning.
hoosegow: slang for jail (n.)
Fun fact: According to thefreedictionary.com, the term was born from a mixture of Spanish and English spoken in the Western part of the United States at the beginning of the 20th century. In other words, it's Old West slang.
It comes from the Spanish word juzgado, meaning "court of justice, tribunal." If that's confusing, here's an explanation:
"In many varieties of Spanish, the ending ado is usually pronounced as ao in everybody speech, with no d at all or only a very lightly articulated one. The spelling hoosegow thus is a pretty good representation of the American Spanish pronunciation of the word juzgado as it might sound to the ears of an English-speaking American, even though hoosegow looks nothing like the actual written form of juzgado."
In this issue: "Remus’s life story is a fascinating and complicated one, which culminated in him killing his wife in Eden Park for betraying him while he was in the hoosegow."
Have a great weekend, readers!
Good morning readers! Let's get right to it: I rounded up four words in this week's issue of Words Nobody Uses or Knows. (Side Note: If you haven't already, check out this year's Love List. We've profiled 12 of Cincinnati's hottest locals, and each one offers bits of wisdom on love, work and passion, just in time for Valentine's Day.)
But moving on. My favorite word of the issue is vittles, found in Garin Pirnia's review of Marid Gras on Madison, a new Creole cafe in East Walnut Hills.
vittles: food; edible provisions (n.)
The singular version of vittles, vittle, is archaic, and for whatever reason it's no longer used in today's vernacular. In fact, Microsoft Word doesn't even recognize vittle as a real word unless you add an S to it.
In the issue: "In January, Latoya “Toya” Foster of New Orleans to Go food truck fame opened a brick-and-mortar version of her Cajun/Creole vittles called Mardi Gras on Madison in East Walnut Hills."The next two words, halcyon and zelig, are found in this week's Sound Advice on Dave Mason, a dude in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame that I've never heard of. (But, let's be real, I've never heard of anybody in Sound Advice. I am not anyone's version of cool.)
An awesome sketch of the halcyon, the legendary ostrich/hawk/dinosaur hybrid that controls the seas.
In this issue: "Life is a circle and it’s come back
around full force for Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Dave Mason, who began
his legendary career nearly 50 years ago as co-founder of Traffic and
now revisits those halcyon days with his latest touring concept/project,
Traffic Jam. "
Good morning readers! After a break last week, I'm back at it. I know you've all been waiting anxiously for your next vocabulary lesson. (And by that I mean not at all.)
This week, Kathy Wilson's editorial on the infamous letter the mayor of Norwood penned to Norwood's police department is full of Words Nobody Uses or Knows. Well, just four, but that's a lot for one article. I'll start with my favorite: bon mot. In French, bon mot literally translates to good word. (Woo! All my years of French classes finally paid off!)
In the states, though, bon mot is defined as an apt, clever, or witty remark (n.)
In this issue: "In a letter dated Dec. 22 that has now come to light, Norwood Mayor Thomas F. Williams penned a bon mot to the Norwood Police Department slamming black civil rights leaders and do-nothing politicians, warning officers — like a roll call from a long-ago episode of Hill Street Blues — to 'be careful out there,' ending that he, for one, will always have their backs."
Next best word in Kathy's piece is flummoxed, which is pronounced flum-eks. (I kept thinking it was pronounced flu-mox.)
flummox: to confuse or perplex someone (trans. verb)
In this issue: "People are talking about you in these streets and they’re mainly flummoxed by your letter and how it and you can go unnoticed."The third word in Kathy's editorial that caught my eye is kowtowing.
The other pretentious word in this week's issue, polymath, was found in Anne Arenstein's piece on Opera Fusion. It sounds very much like an algebra word (anybody remember polynomials? *shudder*) but it means a person of great and diversified learning (n.) Poly is Greek is for multiple or more than one. Makes sense!
That's all I've got, readers, enjoy the weekend!
Good late morning readers! Let's jump right into Words Nobody Uses or Knows in this week's issue. (But first, you know I have to say it: Pick up a copy! We feature Cincinnati's Best New Bands of 2015. It's a great way to discover new groups and pretend that you're hip.)
Alright, best word of the issue is zeitgeist, found in Reyan Ali's piece on Motion City Soundtrack. It's a word that reminds me of Rhinegeist brewery, in Over-the-Rhine.
zeitgeist: the spirit of the time; the taste and outlook characteristic of a period or generation (n.)
OH MAN, connection. Rhinegeist: probably derived from the word zeitgeist. According to the Rhinegeist webpage, the name translates to "ghost of the Rhine". (So THAT'S why their logo is a skull.) I've never understood the meaning of their funky name or logo until now.
I'm really not with it, am I.
In this issue: "It’s a short but telling story that isn’t so much a criticism of Motion City as it is a reflection on contemporary culture — lives have been lived, fans have moved on from onetime passions (or at least not kept up their sites) and certain scenes don’t stimulate the zeitgeist as they once did."
Moving on. Next best word is shoehorning, found in Sound Advice. (It's always the music writers, isn't it?) OK, this may be an obvious word, but honestly, I've never heard of it.
shoehorn: to force or squeeze into a narrow space (v.); an implement of metal, horn, plastic, etc. with a troughlike blade, inserted at the back of a shoe to aid in slipping the heel in (n.)
In this issue, used as a verb: "Adam Schatz and his merry band of Rock provocateurs kick up a sonic maelstrom that operates under the broad umbrella of Art Rock, with subtle hints of Afrobeat, Funk, Jazz, Reggae, Doo Wop, New Wave and anything else the musicians feel like shoehorning into the proceedings as long as it effectively serves the song at hand."
I've never used a shorhorn to put on shoes in my life. If you've gotten to that point, put the shoes down. They're too uncomfortable.
Last word is amalgam, found in Brian Baker's piece on Punk/Pop trio Leggy. It's a word I probably learned many moons ago, in a high school chemistry class, but have since forgotten.
amlgam: a combination or mixture; blend; any alloy of mercury with another metal or other metals: silver amalgam is used as a dental filling (n.)
In this issue: "Leggy’s sound — as evidenced in its live presentation, on Cavity Castle,
its digital/physical cassette release, and on its latest digital track,
“Grrls Like Us” — is an amalgam of Allaer’s seminal love of the
Vines’/Strokes’ simple power chord/garage reverb equation, Bladh and
Allaer’s early affection for Joanna Newsom’s Avant Psych Folk and their
mutual love of Lana Del Rey and St. Vincent."
Whew. If you're like me and know nothing about local music (or, just, music in general), that sentence makes little to no sense.
Enjoy the weekend, readers!
So, there weren't many Words Nobody Uses or Knows in this week's issue. Our writers must not have been feeling so pretentious. Honestly, I found two, and one word was defined by the author IN the article. But it's just too great of a word to pass up in, so I'm going to expand upon it a bit in our vocab lesson.
flibbertigibbet (pronounced flibber-TEE-gibbit): a silly, scatterbrained, or garrulous person (n.)
It's a Middle English word, meaning it's from the dialect of the Middle Ages, the 12th to 15th century. Today it's mostly used as a slang term in Yorkshire. (The English use all sorts of fabulous words, don't they?)
Fun flibbertigibbet facts, according to the Google: The word has also been historically used as a name for a devil, spirit or fiend. In the book Charlotte's Web, the Goose says, "I am no Flibberty-ibberty-gibbet." Flibbertigibbet is also is the password used in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban to access Gryffindor's dormitory.
In this issue: "Late last year, veteran multi-instrumentalist/singer/songwriter Chris Arduser released the latest addition to his stellar discography, a new solo album titled Flibbertigibbet (yes, it’s a real word, meaning 'a flighty or excessively talkative person')."
OK, the next and last word on my list is churlish. Again, this is a word I see a lot, but I don't actually know what it means. It's found in TT Stern-Enzi's piece: "The Future Is Now: A Sneak Peek at the Year".
churlish: a rude, selfish or mean person (n.); boorish or vulgar (adj.)
In this issue: "It would be churlish to focus on their misfires (Van Sant’s shot-for-shot remake of Hitchcock’s Psycho and Malick’s far-too-interior fever dream To the Wonder), even when such efforts, while frustrating, prove to be more inspired and riskier bets than the working hacks could ever imagine in a thousand years with all the riches of the world at their disposal."
That's all I've got, readers. Try and stay warm this weekend (although when it's 0 degrees out, literally ZERO, this may be futile).
Good morning readers! I hope ya'll had a very happy New Year. It feels very futuristic to say that it's 2015, doesn't it? Maybe that's because 2015 is the year the awesome movie Back to the Future II was set in, and it predicted that we'd have all sorts of crazy things (like flying cars and hoverboards) by now. Alas, we're not even close to flying cars, but we ARE close to hoverboards: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/142464853/hendo-hoverboards-worlds-first-real-hoverboard. I can only dream that one day hoverboards will replace cars.
Anyway, our latest issue looked back on the best movies, TV shows and music of 2014; a lot of it is compiled into easy-to-read Top 10 lists. So no excuse, pick it up!
Now onto Words Nobody Uses or Knows in this week's issue. Best word of the issue was obstreperous, found in Kathy Y. Wilson's editorial. (I'm noticing a trend here.)
obstreperous: noisy, boisterous, or unruly, esp. in resisting or opposing (adj.)
In this issue: "I’d love to amass all the obstreperous
black drug dealers I know, converge on Hyde Park Square, blast Gucci
Mane after midnight, spark blunts and then leave in a blaze of profane
Brilliant. I can only imagine the horrified reactions of Hyde Park folks to this scenario.
Next best word of the issue was conviviality, in the piece "Dubbing the New Year" on electronic artist Ott.
conviviality: having to do with a feast or festive activity; fond of eating, drinking, and good company; sociable; jovial (n.)
January and February are the worst months of the year, I think. Short days, slow, cold months, and holiday conviviality is over.
In this issue: " 'Loud music, positive energy, polite, friendly, welcoming people, bright clothes, good art, conviviality,' he says, 'and the occasional telltale smell of mothballs.' "
Moving on. Malfeasance, which reminds me so much of the sub par Disney movie Maleficent, is next. It's in Brian Baker's piece on Jade (the random local '70s band, not the ornamental rock).
malfeasance: wrongdoing or misconduct, esp. by a public official; commission of an act that is positively unlawful (n.)
In this issue: "Their strongest connection is Jade, a Cincinnati band from the early ’70s with great potential but which had its big break undermined by bad luck and malfeasance."
Next is a word that I see all over the place, but I don't actually know what it means and I've never bothered to look it up. When I saw quixotic it in this week's issue, I figured I should learn it, even if most of you already know it. It's found in our super handy list of the Top 10 Films of 2014.
quixotic: extravagantly chivalrous or foolishly idealistic; visionary; impractical or impracticable (adj.)
In this issue: "One of two films on this list I caught at last year’s Toronto International Film Festival (see Ida below), I was over the moon when this tale about cult filmmaker Alejandro Jodorowsky’s quixotic attempt to bring Dune to life reached area screens."
OK, that's all I've got. Take your arsenal of new words out into the world and have a happy weekend, readers.
Good late morning readers! It's time to take another look at the Words Nobody Uses or Knows in this week's issue and the general absurdities of the English language.
I once spent a lot of time in Columbus teaching largely illiterate adults how to read and write English. (Most were recent immigrants from India.) And let me tell you, trying to explain a sentence like: "Since there is no time like the present, he thought it was time to present the present" to a person with little or no English skills is tough. Or how about "The bandage was wound around the wound" or "She was close to the door so she closed it."
It's a complicated language, riddled with nuances and mysterious rules. The adults I taught, many of whom had never taken a formal English course in their lives, astounded me with their sheer enthusiasm to take it on.
It's hard, ya'll. Even I mess it up on a daily basis, and reading and writing is, like, my job. Reading CityBeat has expanded my arsenal of adult words, though, and it will expand yours, too. Pick up this week's issue! Read it! Learn!
OK, onto the best word in this week's issue: bifurcated, in Kathy Y. Wilson's fatigued editorial regarding the criminal justice system.
bifurcated: having two branches or peaks; forked (adj.)
In this issue: "In those hands, blackness morphs into rage, disappointment, property damage, protests, shame, splintered loyalties and proof, once and for all, that we are indeed living in Two Americas, a bifurcated landscape where, after all these generations together, we steadfastly still refuse to accept and/or respect the complexities of race."
Next best word is nadir, found in our cover story, a really interesting and well written piece on the litany of issues facing the county morgue and crime lab.
nadir: that point of the celestial sphere directly opposite to the zenith and directly below the observer; the lowest point (adj.)
In this issue: "Sales tax receipts in the county have grown $9 million since their recession nadir in 2009."
Next word is idyll. I can't figure out where this word actually appeared in the issue, but I know it's in there somewhere. I'll give you the definition anyway, because two words just isn't enough:
idyll (can always be spelled idyl): a short poem or prose work describing a simple, peaceful scene of rural or pastoral life; a scene or incident suitable for such a work (n.)
And here's a random sentence with it, via the Almighty Google: "But the appearance of a pastoral idyll conceals a poverty trap."
Happy holidays, readers.
Good morning readers.
Well, we're in the thick of the holiday season. There's Christmas decor and Christmas music in every store and the expectation to attend holiday office parties, secret Santa games and family get-togethers. For those of you who find this terrifying, exhausting or nerve wracking, check out our latest issue: "In Defense of Everything You Think You Hate About the Holidays." It'll remind you that not everything this special time of year is awful. That scaring children into good behavior for toys has its benefits. That mother-in-laws aren't all pestering shrews, and eggnog, when made just right, is fluffy and delicious. Pick one up!
Now onto the matter at hand: vocab. There were plenty of Words Nobody Knows of Uses in this week's issue. Three of them were found in the review of The Mercer OTR, by Anne Mitchell. The first pretentious word (though not the issue's best) is scenester, which sounds very close to sinister.
scenester: one who associates with a prominent, usually fashionable, group of people (n.)
I can safely say that I am not a scenester.
In this issue: "Many of the newest places appeal to a scenester crowd, happy to hang out and wait for a table in the crunch of friends."
Next up is allay.
allay: to lessen, relieve, or alleviate pain, grief, etc. (transitive v.) For those of you who haven't had a grammar lesson in years and don't remember what transitive means (like myself), a transitive verb with is an action verb with a direct object. The more you know the more you grow.
In this issue: "They were perfectly seared with brown butter and served over parsnip puree flavored with shiitake mushrooms — one of those dishes where you have to close your eyes when you take a bite to allay the sensory overload." She's talking about scallops here. The entire article did a damn good job at making me hungry well before lunch.
If you're a decent cook you may already know this third word: lardons. Alas, my cooking skills are limited to basic chicken dishes and soup, so I had no idea.
In this issue: "My friend loved her mix of wild bitter greens ($9) with crispy lardons and a poached egg — 'the breakfast salad,' we were advised."
GAH, GIVE ME THAT LARDOON SALAD.
Last on the list of Words Nobody Knows or Uses is hibernal, found in Maija Zummo's delightful essay, "In Defense of Scaring Children into Good Behavior."
hibernal: of, relating to, or occurring in winter
In this issue: "The afterlife mythos that guides the moral compass of adults doesn’t apply to children, only the hibernal horror of a costumed and obese adult male waiting on the roof for them to close their eyes scares them into the black-and-white behavior model of being 'good.' "
Enjoy the weekend, readers!