Monday, April 28, 2008

Inexplicably interesting words IV


Here's another installment of "inexplicably interesting words."

I am not claiming this post to be very significant or even worth reading, so feel free to stop reading and "click on" somewhere else. You'll never get back the 15-25 seconds it takes you to read and think about this.

There are several English words that I find intriguing . I always enjoy seeing how, when, and why they are used. Here are a few of those:

panoply- it's in a hymn I just sang recently, can't remember which one. The word means a full suit of armor; something forming a protective covering; or a magnificent or impressive array.

shellack- A purified lac in the form of thin yellow or orange flakes, often bleached white and widely used in varnishes, paints, inks, sealants, and formerly in phonograph records; or, the way I use it- the word used in reference to one sports team drubbing another- To strike repeatedly and severely; batter. To defeat decisively.

draconian- The word comes from the ancient Athenian politician who codified the laws of Athens (c. 621). Lauded for its impartiality, his code was unpopular for its severity. So the word now is used to mean rigorous; unusually severe or cruel; exceedingly harsh; very severe.

vitriolic-Bitterly scathing; caustic; harsh or corrosive in tone; an acerbic tone piercing otherwise flowery prose; "a barrage of acid comments"; blistering criticism; a sulfurous denunciation.

ghastly- terrifyingly horrible to the senses; intensely unpleasant, disagreeable, or objectionable.

hijinks- Playful, often noisy and rowdy activity, usually involving mischievous pranks; boisterous celebration or merrymaking; unrestrained fun.

5 comments:

DP said...

You may remember "panoply" from Redeemer's recent Men's Retreat. We sang a few verses from "Soldiers of Christ, Arise." We used the verses from the Trinity Hymnal, along with the tune it uses (same as "Crown Him with Many Crowns"). Cyberhymnal has the full text and the original(?) tune.

Frontier Forest said...

Should have heard Bob Reymond’s outstanding session on Galatians this past Lord’s Day. Brother Mitch was really throwing around some big ones! Even Bob Reymond was throne a curve on some of them-thar bign’s.

Reepicheep said...

Ah yes, DP, you are right!

Qayaq said...

I remember the "Buck Rogers"series back in the '80's the bad guys were called the "Draconian Guard."

Wayne said...

My favorite word is "priggish," which means something like exercising excessive precision over the meaning of words to the annoyance of everyone around them.