Word-built world


clearly established or beyond dispute.Origin
mid 17th century: via Latin from Greek , from  ‘show off, demonstrate’.


Middle English: from Old French regarder‘to look at fully, from re- ‘back’ (also expressing intensive force) + garder ‘to guard’.


the sound of wind whispering through the trees


origin from dia ‘across’ + ballein ‘to throw’


MEANING:noun: Otherness: the state or quality of being other or different.
ETYMOLOGY:From French altérité, from Latin alteritas (otherness), from alter (other), from Greek heteros (other). Earliest documented use: 1500.

Scarborough warning

PRONUNCIATION:(SKAR-buh-ruh war-ning) 
MEANING:noun: A very short notice or no notice.
ETYMOLOGY:After Scarborough, a town on the northeast coast of the UK. It’s unclear how Scarborough became associated with this idea though one conjecture is about robbers being given summary punishment. Earliest documented use: 1546.


PRONUNCIATION:(mis-oh-KY-nee-uh, mi-soh-) 
MEANING:noun: A hatred of new ideas.
ETYMOLOGY:From Greek miso- (hate) + -cainea (new). Earliest documented use: 1938.


Origin:  late 17th century (denoting well-being produced in a sick person by the use of drugs): modern Latin, from Greek, from euphoros ‘borne well, healthy’, from eu ‘well’ + pherein ‘to bear’.


MEANING:adjective: Originating in the mind (having a psychological rather than a physiological cause).
ETYMOLOGY:From Greek psycho- (mind) + -genic (producing). Earliest documented use: 1897.



MEANING:: The love of money; greed.noun
ETYMOLOGY:From Greek phil- (love) + argyros (silver). Ultimately from the Indo-European root arg- (to shine; white) that is also the source of argue (from Latin arguere, to make clear),  (clayey), and French argent (money). The word also appears in the chemical symbol for silver (Ag) and in the name of the country Argentina (where flows Rio de la Plata, Spanish for “river of silver”). Earliest documented use: 1529.



MEANING:: A figure of speech in which someone or something is referred to by the name of something associated.For example, the use of the word  to refer to. noun crown monarchy

ETYMOLOGY:From Latin metonymia, from Greek metonymia (change of name), from meta- (after, beyond) + onama (name). Ultimately from the Indo-European root no-men- (name) which also gave us name, anonymous, noun, synonym, eponym, renown, nominate, misnomer, moniker, and ignominy. Earliest documented use: 1553.


lôɡəˈrēə/Learn to pronouncenoun: logorrhoea; noun: logorrhea

  1. a tendency to extreme loquacity (aka “diarrhea of the mouth”).

Origin:  early 20th century: from Greek logos ‘word’ + rhoia ‘flow’.



  1. having characteristics of both sexes or no characteristics of either sex; of indeterminate sex.”the sort of epicene beauty peculiar to boys of a certain age”Similar:sexlessasexualneuterunsexedandrogynoushermaphroditeandrogynemonoclinousgynandrousgynandromorphicparthenogenetic
    • effeminate; effete.”the actor infused the role with an epicene languor”Similar:effeminatewomanishunmanlyunmasculinegirlisheffeteweaknamby-pambysissygirlycamplimp-wristednancypansifiedqueenyOpposite:masculinemacho

nounnoun: epicene; plural noun: epicenes

  1. an epicene person.                                                                                   

Origin:  late Middle English (as a grammatical term): via late Latin from Greek epikoinos (based on koinos ‘common’).


1. An officer on a merchant ship who is in charge of the cargo.
2. A superintendent or an agent.
ETYMOLOGY:By alteration of supracargo, from Spanish sobrecargo, from sobre (over), from Latin super (super) + cargo. Earliest documented use: 1667.


1. Lewd or salacious.
2. Having an erect phallus.
ETYMOLOGY:From Latin ithyphallicus, from Greek ithyphallikos, from ithyphallos, from ithys (straight) + phallos (phallus). Earliest documented use: 1795.

epigenetics is the study of heritable phenotype changes that do not involve alterations in the DNA sequence. The Greek prefix epi- (ἐπι- “over, outside of, around”) in epigenetics implies features that are “on top of” or “in addition to” the traditional genetic basis for inheritance.

Simon Legree

MEANING:noun: A harsh taskmaster.
ETYMOLOGY:After Simon Legree, a brutal slaveholder in the novel Uncle Tom’s Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe (1811-1896). Simon Legree has Uncle Tom, an enslaved man, whipped to death for refusing to divulge the whereabouts of two enslaved women who had escaped to freedom. Earliest documented use: 1857.


 noun: syzygy; plural noun: syzygies

  1. a conjunction or opposition, especially of the moon with the sun. “the planets were aligned in syzygy.

a pair of connected or corresponding things.”animus and anima represent a supreme pair of opposites, the syzygy”Origin:  early 17th century: via late Latin from Greek suzugia, from suzugos ‘yoked, paired’, from sun- ‘with, together’ + the stem of zeugnunai ‘to yoke’.


In Christian theologykenosis (Greek: κένωσις, kénōsis, lit. [the act of emptying]) is the ‘self-emptying’ of Jesus’ own will and becoming entirely receptive to God’s divine will.



MEANING:noun: A contract or agreement, especially about a betrothal or marriage.
verb tr.: To engage to be married or to bind in wedlock.
ETYMOLOGY:From Old English handfæsten (to pledge or betroth), from hand + fæstan (to fasten). Earliest documented use: 1275.



MEANING:noun: Rule by the wealthy.
ETYMOLOGY:From Greek chryso- (gold) + -cracy (rule). Earliest documented use: 1828. A synonym is plutocracy.


PHYSIOLOGY noun: zeitgeber; plural noun: zeitgebers

  1. a rhythmically occurring natural phenomenon which acts as a cue in the regulation of the body’s circadian rhythms.                     

Origin: 1950s: from German Zeitgeber, from Zeit ‘time’ + Geber ‘giver’.


In the name of Allah (an invocation used by Muslims at the beginning of any undertaking).



MEANING:: Release from slavery, servitude, or restraint.noun
ETYMOLOGY:From Latin manumittere (to free), from manus (hand) + mittere (to let go). Ultimately from the Indo-European root man- (hand), which also gave us manual, manage, maintain, manicure, maneuver, manufacture, manuscript, command, manure, , , and . Earliest documented use: 1452.manquelegerdemainmortmain


noun: The feeling or the belief that everyone around is out to get you.
From Latin prodere (to betray). Earliest documented use: 1898.


noun: homophily
  1. the tendency for people to seek out or be attracted to those who are similar to themselves.
    “homophily by gender was common in most groups”
Origin: 1950s: from homo- (sense 1) + -phily.


noun: cadre; plural noun: cadres
  1. a small group of people specially trained for a particular purpose or profession.
    “a small cadre of scientists”
    Similar:  small group, body, team, corps, core, nucleus, key group
    • a group of activists in a communist or other revolutionary organization.
    • a member of an activist group.
Origin:  mid 19th century: from French, from Italian quadro, from Latin quadrus ‘square’.


noun: A positive, beneficial form of stress.
Coined by the endocrinologist Hans Selye (1907-1982). From Greek eu- (good) + stress, from shortening of distress or from Old French estressei (narrowness or oppression), from Latin strictus, from stringere (to bind tight). Earliest documented use: 1950s.
Eustress is happy stress. Some examples of eustress are excitement at starting a new job, an upcoming wedding, etc. In general, mild stress works as eustress, bringing motivation and spurring action. Too much stress results in distress.
Apocalypse:  noun
  1. 1.
    the complete final destruction of the world, as described in the biblical book of Revelation.
    • (especially in the Vulgate Bible) the book of Revelation.
      singular proper noun: Apocalypse
  2. 2.
    an event involving destruction or damage on an awesome or catastrophic scale.
    “a stock market apocalypse”
Etymology:  Old English, via Old French and ecclesiastical Latin from Greek apokalupsis, from apokaluptein ‘uncover, reveal’, from apo- ‘un-’ + kaluptein ‘to cover’.


adjective /lɔɪəl/ always liking and supporting someone or something: a loyal supporter. She’s very loyal to her friends. (Definition of “loyal” from the CambridgeEssential Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)  Etymology:  mid 16th century: from French, via Old French loial from Latin legalis (see legal).


PRONUNCIATION:  (suh-TYAH-gruh-uh, sut-YAH-gru-ha) 

MEANING: The policy of passive nonviolent resistance as a protest against injustice.noun

ETYMOLOGY:  Coined by Mahatma Gandhi (1869-1948) in India’s freedom struggle, from Sanskrit satyagraha, from satyam (truth) + agraha (determination, insistence), ultimately from the Indo-European root ghrebh- (to seize or reach), which also gave us grasp and grab. Earliest documented use: 1920.



MEANING:   Characterized by an excessive, narrow adherence to rules without practical judgment.adjective

ETYMOLOGY:  From French pédant or Italian pedante, perhaps from Latin paedagogare (to teach). Earliest documented use: 1607.

Godwin’s law

(GOD-winz law) 
noun: The idea that as a debate progresses, it becomes inevitable that someone would compare another to Hitler or the Nazis.

Coined by Mike Godwin (b. 1956). Earliest documented use: 1991.

Evanescence:  After you lose a loved one, often you’re gripped with a fear of evanescence, or the rapid fading from sight or memory of that person. Evanescence comes from the Latin evanescere meaning “disappear, vanish.” Something that possesses qualities of evanescence, has a quality of disappearing or vanishing.Nostalgia is a sentimentality for the past, typically for a period or place with happy personal associations.[1] The word nostalgia is learned formation of a Greek compound, consisting of νόστος (nóstos), meaning “homecoming”, a Homeric word, and ἄλγος(álgos), meaning “pain” or “ache”, and was coined by a 17th-century medical student to describe the anxieties displayed by Swiss mercenaries fighting away from home.[2]  (Wikipedia.org)

Socratic irony

(suh-KRAT-ik EYE-ruh-nee) 
noun: A profession of ignorance in a discussion in order to elicit clarity on a topic and expose misconception held by another.
After Greek philosopher Socrates (470?-399 BCE) who employed this method. Earliest documented use: 1721.
“On two occasions, two former members of our federal government resorted to Socratic irony in dealing with me regarding the Electric Map. Our former US Representative ‘simulated ignorance’ when confronted with the issue.”
John Longanecker; Electric Map Impressive; Gettysburg Times (Pennsylvania); Jun 10, 2016.

Socratic method

(suh-KRAT-ik meth-uhd) 
noun: A method of teaching in which, instead of giving the answer, the teacher guides students to it by asking them a series of questions.
After Greek philosopher Socrates (c. 470-399 BCE) who employed this method in his teaching. Earliest documented use: 1741. Socrates’s wife Xanthippe has also given us an eponym.


bristling of the hair on the skin from cold, fear, etc.; goose bumps.(contributed by Michael Kelly)


sensitivity to stimuli originating outside of the body. sensitivity, sensitiveness, sensibility – (physiology) responsiveness to external stimuli; the faculty of sensation; “sensitivity to pain” visual modality, visual sense, vision, sight – the ability to see; the visual faculty.


1.   relating to stimuli produced within an organism, especially in the gut and other internal organs.


noun:  (as practiced by the Mafia) a code of silence about criminal activity and a refusal to give evidence to authorities.


noun:  cabal; plural noun: cabals
      1. a secret political clique or faction 
      2. “a cabal of dissidents”

    Origin late 16th century (denoting the Kabbalah): from French cabale, from medieval Latin cabala (see Kabbalah).



MEANING:  1. Contemplation of one’s navel; 2. Complacent self-indulgent introspection.
ETYMOLOGY:  From Greek omphalos (navel) + skepsis (act of looking, examination). Ultimately from the Indo-European root spek- (to observe), which also gave us suspect, spectrum, bishop (literally, overseer), despise, espionage, telescope, spectator, and spectacles. Earliest documented use: 1925.


noun: boudoir; plural noun: boudoirs
  1. a woman’s bedroom or private room.

Origin:  late 18th century: French, literally ‘sulking-place’, from bouder ‘pout, sulk’.

Mindfield:  Richard Branam’s coined word for the sometimes minefield of the construct field (C-field as taught in Prosperos classes).

Postmodernism:  Postmodernism does not say there is no truth, only that there is no relative truth.  And that our relative truths need to be deconstructed, much like we do in Translation, much like Socrates did.

Anarchy:  It does not mean without rules.  It means without rulers, masters.  Where everyone is equally responsible for the functioning of the whole.  Much like a group-centered group as opposed to a leader-centered group.  Anarchy would be the former.

  • The sympathetic nervous system (SNS) is part of the autonomic nervous system (ANS), which also includes the parasympathetic nervous system (PNS). The sympathetic nervous system activates what is often termed the fight or flight response.
  • The parasympathetic nervous system is one of three divisions of the autonomic nervous system. Sometimes called the rest and digest system, the parasympathetic system conserves energy as it slows the heart rate, increases intestinal and gland activity, and relaxes sphincter muscles in the gastrointestinal tract.


noun:  homeostasis; plural noun: homeostases; noun: homoeostasis; plural noun: homoeostases
  1. the tendency toward a relatively stable equilibrium between interdependent elements, especially as maintained by physiological processes.
Origin 1920s: modern Latin, from Greek homoios ‘like’ + -stasis.


noun: nocebo; plural noun: nocebos
  1. a detrimental effect on health produced by psychological or psychosomatic factors such as negative expectations of treatment or prognosis.

Origin1960s: from Latin, literally ‘I shall cause harm,’ from nocere, ‘to harm,’ on the pattern of placebo .


Etymology:  late 17th century: from French, or via modern Latin from Greek anekdota ‘things unpublished,’ from an-‘not’ + ekdotos, from ekdidōnai ‘publish.’

doctor:  The root of the word doctor is docile (according to Parkinson’s Origins: A Short Etymological Dictionary of Modern English)



verb: dox; 3rd person present: doxes; past tense: doxed; past participle: doxed; gerund or present participle: doxing; verb: doxx; 3rd person present: doxxes; past tense: doxxed; past participle: doxxed; gerund or present participle: doxxing
  1. search for and publish private or identifying information about (a particular individual) on the Internet, typically with malicious intent.
    “hackers and online vigilantes routinely dox both public and private figures”
Originearly 21st century: alteration of docs, plural of doc (short for document).


MEANING:  noun: A happy ending, especially one in which, instead of an impending disaster, a sudden turn leads to a favorable resolution of the story.
ETYMOLOGY:  Coined by J.R.R. Tolkien in a letter in 1944, from Greek eu- (good) + catastrophe, from kata- (down) + strophe (turning). Earliest documented use 1944.

rompe l’oeil:      

(tromp loi) 
1. A style of painting in which objects are rendered in extremely realistic detail, giving an illusion of reality.
2. A painting, mural, etc., made in this style.

ETYMOLOGY:   From French, literally “fools the eye”, from tromper (to deceive) + le (the) + oeil (eye). Earliest documented use: 1889.

Pascal’s Wager 

…is an argument in philosophy presented by the seventeenth-century French philosopher, mathematician and physicist BlaisePascal (1623–62). It posits that humans bet with their lives that God either exists or does not.

Mens rea:  

Mens rea is the mental element of a person’s intention to commit a crime; or knowledge that one’s action or lack of action would cause a crime to be committed. It is a necessary element of many crimes. Wikipedia

mindful fucking

Having sex with the whole person rather than just a body.



Origin1990s; earliest use found in Usenet (newsgroups). From arti- + -lect (artificial + intellect).


nounephebe; plural noun: ephebes
  1. (in ancient Greece) a young man of 18–20 years undergoing military training.
Origin:  via Latin from Greek ephēbos ‘adolescent boy,’ from epi ‘near to’ + hēbē ‘early manhood.’



adjective:  louche; comparative adjective: loucher; superlative adjective: louchest

  1. disreputable or sordid in a rakish or appealing way.
    “the louche world of the theater”

Origin:  early 19th century: from French, literally ‘squinting.’

age derives from the word always (Partridge’s “Origins”)

witch derives from the word victim (Partridge’s “Origins”)


qualia; noun: quale:  the internal and subjective component of sense perceptions, arising from stimulation of the senses by phenomena.



adjective:  nescient

  1. lacking knowledge; ignorant.
    “I ventured into the new Korean restaurant with some equally nescient companions”


late Middle English: from Latin nescient- ‘not knowing,’ from the verb nescire, from ne- ‘not’ + scire‘know.’

PRONUNCIATION:  (par-uh-GNO-sis) 

MEANING:  noun: Knowledge that cannot be obtained by normal means.

ETYMOLOGY:  From Greek para- (beyond) + gnosis (knowledge). Earliest documented use: 1933.

chin music

  1. 1.
    idle chatter.
  2. 2.
    used to refer to a pitched ball that passes very close to the batter’s chin.
    “Clemens delivered some wicked chin music to Hernandez”


Pronunciation RealAudio

anagnorisis (an-ag-NOR-uh-sis) noun
The moment of recognition or discovery (in a play, etc.)
[From Latin, from Greek anagnorizein (to recognize or discover). Ultimately from Indo-European root gno- (to know) that is the ancestor of such words as know, can, notorious, notice, connoisseur, recognize, diagnosis, ignore, annotate, noble, and narrate.]
NOTES: If you’ve ever been to a movie involving two brothers separated at birth, one of whom ends up as a criminal and the other a police officer, you already know about today’s word. Anagnorisis is the point near the end of the movie where the brothers face each other, notice similar lockets in other’s necks (that their mother gave them at their birth) and discover that they are twins, drop their guns, and hug each other tightly.
Anagnorisis was originally the critical moment in a Greek tragedy, usually accompanied by a peripeteia (reversal), leading to the denouement of a story. An example is when Oedipus recognizes that the woman he is married to (Jocasta) is really his mother. Aristotle discussed it at length in his Poetics. He talked about many different kinds of such recognitions, e.g. by memory, by reasoning, etc. The worst, according to him, is recognition by signs, such as scars, birthmarks, tokens, etc. (including lockets!)
“A shame, though, that the anagnorisis of the movie, literally, the recognition scene, falls so short of the novel’s heartstopping pathos.”
Anthony Quinn; Film: Puddle Deep, Mountain High; The Independent(London, UK); Dec 26, 2003.
“… his latest book, ‘Blinded by the Right,’ in which he (David Brock) confesses that everything he wrote earlier in his career as a conservative — before his anagnorisis as a born-again liberal — was a lie.”
Kathleen Parker; Let’s Put Right-wing Conspiracy Issue to Rest; The Grand Rapids Press (Michigan); Mar 21, 2002.


(noun: OB-vuhrs, adjective: ob-VUHRS) 
noun: 1. The side of a coin, medal, etc. that has the main design.
2. The front or the principal side of anything.
3. A counterpart to something.
adjective: 1. Facing the observer.
2. Serving as a counterpart to something.


From Latin obvertere (to turn toward), from ob- (toward) + vertere (to turn). Ultimately from the Indo-European root wer- (to turn or bend), which is also the source of words such as wring, weird, writhe, worth, revert, and universe. Earliest documented use: 1656.


The front of a coin is called the obverse, the other side is the reverse. The obverse is also termed as the head because the front typically portrays the head of someone famous. The reverse side is known as the tail even though it doesn’t show the tail of that famous person.


“But the conviction that the truth must be mathematically elegant can easily lead to a false obverse: that what is mathematically elegant must be true.”
–No GUTs, No Glory; The Economist (London, UK); Jan 13, 2018.





noun: A profound transformation in one’s outlook.


From Greek metanoia (a change of mind), from metanoein (to change one’s mind). Earliest documented use: 1577.
nice:  from Latin nescius meaning ignorant, unaware, literally not-knowing.
allow:  from the Latin ad + laudare meaning “to praise.”

heretic:  from the Greek hairetikos meaning “able to choose.”

pattern:  is from the Latin pater, meaning father.

carcinoma:  a malignant tumor of epithelial origin.

epithelium and feminine derive from the Greek thele, meaning nipple.

masturbation:  disturbing male seed.

orthodoxy:  straight thinking.

philanthropy:  lover of mankind.

apocalypse:  from Greek, meaning an unveiling, a moment in which something is revealed that changes our perception of everything (definition via Nathan Schneider)

idiot:  comes from Greek idios  which means “one’s own, peculiar to oneself.” We see it in our English word idiosyncrasy and idiomatic—and it is where we get the word idiot, or a person who is consumed with himself.

approve:  from prove which comes from pro- meaning in favor and bus meaning to be.  So approve means to be in favor of being.

diagnosis:  from Greek dia- meaning through and Greek gnosis meaning knowing.

peripatetic:  disciple of Aristotle from Greek  peripatetikos “given to walking about” (especially while teaching), from peripatein, from peri “around” + patein“to walk.” Aristotle’s custom was to teach while strolling through the Lyceum in Athens.

gullible:  from Middle English cull meaning to pluck or gather.

reify:  to regard (something abstract) as a material or concrete thing.

debt:  from Latin debere meaning to to owe, originally, to keep something away from someone.

experience:  from Latin periculum meaning to attempt or to fail, also fear.  An expert is one who has experienced.

restaurant:  from French restaurer meaning to restore

infant:  comes from Latin infans meaning without speech

axiom: comes from Greek axios meaning worthy

atom:  comes from the Latin atomus meaning indivisible

bad:  comes from the Old English baeddel meaning effeminate man

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