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Interesting article…
Posted: 05 January 2019 08:37 AM   [ Ignore ]
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This is a short bit in Time Magazine:

http://time.com/5265277/learn-new-words-be-happy-translation/

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Posted: 07 January 2019 12:14 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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Eyehawk - 05 January 2019 08:37 AM

This is a short bit in Time Magazine:

http://time.com/5265277/learn-new-words-be-happy-translation/

Eyehawk thank you for the link, very interesting. Perhaps, just as interesting are the numerous English words that are quite obscure and atrophying in our dictionaries because of nonuse or ignorance. Many of these words are completely unknown to people, but it seems that there is an English word for almost everything.

For example:

Omophagist: An eater of raw flesh.
Nidor: The smell given off by meats when cooked or burnt.
Opsigamy: Marriage late in life. And Opsimathy: Learning acquired late in life.
Merkin:  A hairpiece for the pudendum; An artificial covering of hair for the female pubic region: a pubic wig.
Agelast: A person who never laughs.
Exsibilation: The collective sound of hissing made by a disappointed or offended audience.
Vagitus: The first cry of a newborn child.
Dactylonomy: Counting on one’s fingers.
Lapidate: To throw stones or stone a person to death.
Boanthropy: The delusion that one is an ox.

I understand that many of these obscure words are obsolete, but as you see there seems to be an English word for everything.

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Posted: 07 January 2019 02:46 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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there seems to be an English word for everything.

Is there one for ‘the glum expectation that no article promising ‘fascinating words you didn’t know’ can be relied on’? As far as I know (I’m not very fluent, let alone a native speaker), the Spanish verb estrenar just means to try / wear / do something for the first time, or to launch / premiere it; the reflexive entrenarse means to start, make one’s debut. I’ve never heard that it means to feel confidence because of doing this. If someone says ‘Estreno estos tacónes de aguja’ (I’m wearing these stilettos for the first time), that doesn’t necessarily imply confidence - possibly quite the reverse!

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Posted: 07 January 2019 09:29 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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but it seems that there is an English word for almost everything.

but as you see there seems to be an English word for everything.

Syntinen Laulu’s note on estrenar was a nice reply to one of the comments above,
and I’ll add the Portuguese saudade to oppose the other.  There is, to my knowledge,
no English word that expresses what saudade means.  Most useful attempts at a definition
require at least a long sentence, if not a paragraph or two.  Here is a short essay that gives some insight:
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saudade

If that isn’t convincing, try this—

“I’ve always been fascinated that there are certain words with no direct equivalents in other languages. It goes to the idea that life is so varied and complex, it will spawn words as distinctive as snowflakes.

[...]

Perhaps my favorite of these elusive words is saudade, a Portuguese and Galician term that is a common fixture in the literature and music of Brazil, Portugal, Cape Verde and beyond. The concept has many definitions, including a melancholy nostalgia for something that perhaps has not even happened. It often carries an assurance that this thing you feel nostalgic for will never happen again. My favorite definition of saudade is by Portuguese writer Manuel de Melo: “a pleasure you suffer, an ailment you enjoy."”

source: https://www.npr.org/sections/altlatino/2014/02/28/282552613/saudade-an-untranslatable-undeniably-potent-word

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Posted: 07 January 2019 10:06 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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cuchuflete - 07 January 2019 09:29 AM

but it seems that there is an English word for almost everything.

but as you see there seems to be an English word for everything.

Syntinen Laulu’s note on estrenar was a nice reply to one of the comments above,
and I’ll add the Portuguese saudade to oppose the other.  There is, to my knowledge,
no English word that expresses what saudade means.  Most useful attempts at a definition
require at least a long sentence, if not a paragraph or two.  Here is a short essay that gives some insight:
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saudade

If that isn’t convincing, try this—

“I’ve always been fascinated that there are certain words with no direct equivalents in other languages. It goes to the idea that life is so varied and complex, it will spawn words as distinctive as snowflakes.

[...]

Perhaps my favorite of these elusive words is saudade, a Portuguese and Galician term that is a common fixture in the literature and music of Brazil, Portugal, Cape Verde and beyond. The concept has many definitions, including a melancholy nostalgia for something that perhaps has not even happened. It often carries an assurance that this thing you feel nostalgic for will never happen again. My favorite definition of saudade is by Portuguese writer Manuel de Melo: “a pleasure you suffer, an ailment you enjoy."”

source: https://www.npr.org/sections/altlatino/2014/02/28/282552613/saudade-an-untranslatable-undeniably-potent-word

I agree that there are certain words with no direct equivalents in other languages. My OP related to the many English words, as the ones I listed above, that many people are not familiar with, but which define what is thought to be undefinable expressions. For this reason I wrote: “but as you see there seems to be an English word for everything.” The operative word is “seems”. because many people are unfamiliar with many English words that might define something that we assume might not have an English word for it. Boanthropy is a perfect example.

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Posted: 07 January 2019 10:15 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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Is there a word that describes the ability to dance quickly, acquired by repeatedly having people firing shots at one’s feet?

What we need more than that ox delusion is a good definition to go with potusanthropy.

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Posted: 08 January 2019 03:35 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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Logophile - 07 January 2019 12:14 AM

Eyehawk - 05 January 2019 08:37 AM
This is a short bit in Time Magazine:

http://time.com/5265277/learn-new-words-be-happy-translation/

Eyehawk thank you for the link, very interesting. Perhaps, just as interesting are the numerous English words that are quite obscure and atrophying in our dictionaries because of nonuse or ignorance. Many of these words are completely unknown to people, but it seems that there is an English word for almost everything.

For example:

Omophagist: An eater of raw flesh.
Nidor: The smell given off by meats when cooked or burnt.
Opsigamy: Marriage late in life. And Opsimathy: Learning acquired late in life.
Merkin:  A hairpiece for the pudendum; An artificial covering of hair for the female pubic region: a pubic wig.
Agelast: A person who never laughs.
Exsibilation: The collective sound of hissing made by a disappointed or offended audience.
Vagitus: The first cry of a newborn child.
Dactylonomy: Counting on one’s fingers.
Lapidate: To throw stones or stone a person to death.
Boanthropy: The delusion that one is an ox.

I understand that many of these obscure words are obsolete, but as you see there seems to be an English word for everything.

Nice list, and thanks to this I now also know the words “gelastic” and “vagient”.

I wonder whether “boanthropy” actually ever got much use.

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Posted: 08 January 2019 04:53 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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I wonder whether “boanthropy” actually ever got much use.

According to the OED, it was coined with reference to Nebuchadnezzar’s madness as described in the Book of Daniel:

1864 E. B. Pusey Daniel vii. 427 The exact form of the disease, which would be Boanthropy, I have not found any notice of.

But I suspect that many of these words were always very rare and would have only been understood, never mind used, by men (and of course it would normally have been men) with a thorough knowledge of classical languages and literature. In fact I suspect some of them may well have been coined precisely for this reason, as a kind of literary Masonic handshake: ‘I know enough Greek to coin this word, and of course you, learned reader, know enough Greek to understand it - but most people aren’t as educated as us, so they won’t’.

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Posted: 08 January 2019 06:21 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
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Here is the frequency info, according to the OED:

omophagist, 1 cite, frequency band (FB) 1
nidor, multiple cites, FB 2
opsigamy, 2 cites, FB 1
opsimathy, multiple cites, FB 2
merkin, many cites, FB 2
agelast, 4 cites, FB 2
exsibilation, 3 cites, FB 1
vagitus, 6 cites, FB 2
dactylonomy, many cites, no FB given
lapidate, 5 cites, FB 2
boanthropy, 2 cites, FB 2

FB 2: < 0.0099 per 1 million words; 45% of the words in the OED are FB 2
FB 1: no frequency given, but the pattern would be < 0.00099 per one million words, 18% of the words in the OED
The frequency bands are very wide, so a word at the top end of one band would be ten times more common than one at the low end. It’s only the grossest of comparisons.

Omophagist is the only one of these that the OED actually marks as obsolete; this may change as these entries are updated, but most have relatively recent citations.

Merkin is the only one on this list that I’ve seen in the wild. It’s probably at the top of FB 2, far more common than the others listed here.

Dactylonomy has shifted in meaning; it now refers to the study of fingerprints, and is rather common in such technical discussions.

Nidor is a borrowing from Latin, as opposed to being formed in English from classical roots, and that may account for it being used a bit more than the others.

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Posted: 08 January 2019 09:45 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]
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I have also encountered merkin in the wild; I can’t remember where or in what context, but I knew what it meant. And although I have never seen the verb lapidate I have encountered lapidation as a term for stoning to death, equivalent to decapitation - and also defenestration, come to that.

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Posted: 08 January 2019 07:20 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]
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This might be where most people first hear of merkin, even if they don’t understand it.

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Posted: 09 January 2019 03:05 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 11 ]
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Syntinen Laulu - 08 January 2019 09:45 AM

I have also encountered merkin in the wild; I can’t remember where or in what context, but I knew what it meant. And although I have never seen the verb lapidate I have encountered lapidation as a term for stoning to death, equivalent to decapitation - and also defenestration, come to that.

Of course merkin also means a fly used in permit fishing.  Dunno if this was the context in which you saw it.  It’s also a family name and the name of a US concert hall, but that would be capitalized.

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Posted: 09 January 2019 05:30 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 12 ]
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No, my first encounter with (the word) merkin was definitely in the pubic wig sense.

I had seen Dr. Strangelove before I was familiar with the word; it went right by me on first viewing. It was on a later viewing that I understood the pun in the name Merkin Muffley. I did, however, get Col. Batguano on the first go round.

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Posted: 09 January 2019 06:20 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 13 ]
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Please, that’s ‘Bat’ Guano.

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Posted: 09 January 2019 08:03 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 14 ]
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The things you learn…

I had always assumed Batguano is his last name, as Group Captain Mandrake is reading it off his name tag. But the movie contains a slight technical inaccuracy. A US Army fatigue name tag would only have the last name (which was what I assumed), but COL Guano’s reads “COL Bat Guano,” containing his rank and first name. It’s also on the wrong side (unless the attached image is reversed); the nametag should be on the wearer’s right, with “US Army” on the left. So Kubrick’s movie is internally consistent, but technically inaccurate. (Surprising, since it gets so much about the Nuclear Release Authentication System correct.)

[ Edited: 09 January 2019 08:07 AM by Dave Wilton ]
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Posted: 09 January 2019 11:29 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 15 ]
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It’s easy to see how the Merkin fly got the name. The fact that it is a crab fly only helps.

The concert hall is named for Hermann and Ursula Merkin who, sadly, did not have a daughter named Muffy.

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