Thursday, February 26, 2009

Bog

Definition: (from dictionary.com)
-noun
1. wet, spongy ground with soil composed mainly of decayed vegetable matter
2. an area or stretch of such ground
-verb (used with object), verb (used without object)
3. to sink in or as if in a bog (often followed by down)

Examples:
"I spend my summer days harvesting cranberries from the bog."
"I'm so bogged down with work I decided to move into my office to save time."

Origin: (from etymonline.com)
noun: "c.1500, from Gaelic and Irish bogach 'bog,' from adjective bog 'soft, moist,' from PIE *bhugh-, from root *bheugh- 'to bend' (see bow (v.)). Bog-trotter applied to the wild Irish from 1670s."
verb: "'to sink (something or someone) in a bog,' c.1600, from bog (n.). Intransitive use from c.1800."

Awkwardness rating: 2

Did you know cranberries are grown in a bog? (pumpkinpolarbear.blogspot.com )

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Straddle

Definition: (from dictionary.com)
-verb (used without object)
1. to walk, stand, or sit with the legs wide apart; stand or sit astride
2. to stand wide apart, as the legs
3. to favor or appear to favor both sides of an issue, political division, or the like, at once; maintain an equivocal position
-verb (used with object)
4. to walk, stand, or sit with one leg on each side of; stand or sit astride of
5. to spread (the legs) wide apart
6. to favor or appear to favor both sides of (an issue, political division, etc.)
-noun
7. an act or instance of straddling
8. the distance straddled over
9. the taking of a noncommittal position

Examples:
"The politician straddled between the two sides of the issue to please all his constituents."
"The wrestler straddled his opponent and pinned him to the ground."

Origin: (from etymonline.com)
"1560s, 'spread the legs wide,' probably an alteration of striddle (mid-15c.), frequentative of striden (see stride (v.)). Transitive sense 'place one leg on one side of and the other on the other side of' is from 1670s. U.S. colloquial figurative sense of 'take up an equivocal position, appear to favor both sides' is attested from 1838. The noun is first recorded 1610s."

Awkwardness rating: 4

Straddling issues is a favorite tool of many politicians. (czarjustice.com)

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Glob

Definition: (from dictionary.com)
-noun
1.a drop or globule of a liquid
2. a usually rounded quantity or lump of some plastic or moldable substance

Examples:
"After the cook-out there were globs of ketchup everywhere."
"Be sure to flatten out that glob of paint on the wall."

Origin: (from etymonline.com)
"1900, perhaps suggested by blob, gob, etc."

Awkwardness rating: 6

Not even Monet could avoid paint globs. (flickr.com/photos/shardtor)

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Angina

Suggested by Kristen P.

Definition: (from dictionary.com)
-noun
1. pathology
a. any attack of painful spasms characterized by sensations of choking or suffocating
b. any disease of the throat or fauces

Examples:
"He had a bad case of angina."
"Her angina was acting up and she had to leave the party."

Origin: (from etymonline.com)
"1570s, from Latin angina 'infection of the throat,' from Greek ankhone 'a strangling' (see anger); probably influenced in Latin by angere 'to throttle.' Angina pectoris is from 1744, from Latin pectoris, genitive of pectus 'chest' (see pectoral (adj.))."

Awkwardness rating: 10

My angina is out of control! (mommasays.net)

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Moist

Definition: (from dictionary.com)
-adjective
1. moderately or slightly wet; damp
2. (of the eyes) tearful
3. accompanied by or connected with liquid or moisture
4. (of the air) having high humidity

Examples:
"The sheets in that cheap hotel were moist."
"The brownies were so moist and delicious."

Origin: (from etyomonline.com)
"late 14c., 'moist, wet; well-irrigated,' from Old French moiste 'damp, wet, soaked' (13c., Modern French moite), from Vulgar Latin *muscidus 'moldy,' also 'wet,' from Latin mucidus 'slimy, moldy, musty,' from mucus 'slime.' Alternative etymology [Diez] is from Latin musteus 'fresh, green, new,' literally 'like new wine,' from musteum 'new wine' (see must (n.1)). If this wasn't the source, it influenced the form of the other word in Old French."

Awkwardness rating: 8

So moist. So delicious. (pixelatedcrumb.com)

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Hoopla

Definition: (from dictionary.com)
-noun
1. bustling excitement or activity; commotion; hullabaloo; to-do
2. sensational publicity; ballyhoo
3. speech or writing intended to mislead or to obscure an issue

Examples:
"The kids thought they saw a mermaid in the ocean and there was quite a hoopla. Unfortunately, it was just a deflated raft."
"Sounds like a lot of hoopla to make over a little Krabby Patty, right?" - From "Spongebob Squarepants"

Origin: (from etymonline.com)
"1877, hoop la, American English, earlier houp-la, exclamation accompanying quick movement (1870), of unknown origin, perhaps borrowed from French houp-là 'upsy-daisy,' also a cry to dogs, horses, etc."

Awkwardness rating: 6

Well said. (weheartit.com)

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Gnome

Definition: (from dictionary.com)
-noun
1. (in folklore) one of a species of diminutive beings, usually described as shriveled little old men, that inhabit the interior of the earth and act as guardians of its treasures; troll
2. an expert in monetary or financial affairs; international banker or financier

Examples:
"Your grandpa looks like a gnome."
"I swear the gnomes in her garden are watching me."

Origin: (from etymonline.com)
"'dwarf-like earth-dwelling spirit,' 1712, from French gnome, from Modern Latin gnomus, used 16c. in a treatise by Paracelsus, who gave the name pigmaei or gnomi to elemental earth beings, possibly from Greek *genomos 'earth-dweller' (cf. thalassonomos "inhabitant of the sea"). A less-likely suggestion is that Paracelsus based it on the homonym that means 'intelligence' (preserved in gnomic). Popular in children's literature 19c. as a name for red-capped German and Swiss folklore dwarfs. Garden figurines first imported to England late 1860s from Germany."

Awkwardness rating: 3

We are always watching. (thecraftyhostess.com)

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Sasquatch

Definition: (from dictionary.com)
-noun
1. Big Foot (a very large, hairy, humanoid creature reputed to inhabit wilderness areas of the U.S. and Canada, especially the Pacific Northwest)

Examples:
"If you get any taller you'll look like a sasquatch."
"When I went camping last year a sasquatch knocked my tent over."

Origin: (from etymonline.com)
"1929, from Halkomelem (Salishan), a native language of the Pacific Northwest, sæsq'ec, one of a race of huge, hairy man-monsters supposed to inhabit the Pacific northwest woods in American Indian lore and also known as bigfoot."

Awkwardness rating: 5

It was the sasquatch who did it, Mom, I swear! (upstatebouldering.blogspot.com)

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Crevice

Definition: (from dictionary.com)
-noun
1. a crack forming an opening; cleft; rift; fissure

Examples:
"I looked into the crevice to see what lurked inside."
"The Duchess of Cambridge got her heel stuck in a crevice once so I feel better when it happens to me."

Origin: (from etymonline.com)
"mid-14c., from Old French crevace (12c., Modern French crevasse) 'gap, rift, crack' (also, vulgarly, 'the female pudenda'), from Vulgar Latin *crepacia, from Latin crepare 'to crack, creak;' meaning shifted from the sound of breaking to the resulting fissure."

Awkwardness rating: 7

Even royalty can be felled by a crevice! (itv.com)

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Platypus

By popular demand...

Definition: (from dictionary.com)
-noun
1. a small, aquatic, egg-laying monotreme, Ornithorhynchus anatinus, of Australia and Tasmania, having webbed feet, a tail like that of a beaver, a sensitive bill resembling that of a duck, and, in adult males, venom-injecting spurs on the ankles of the hind limbs, used primarily for fighting with other males during the breeding season

Examples:
"Peter picked a pretty purple platypus."
"The male platypus has venomous ankle spurs."

Origin: (from etymonline.com)
"Australian duck-mole, 1799, from Modern Latin, from Greek platypous, literally 'flat-footed,' from platys 'broad, flat' (see plaice (n.)) + pous 'foot' (see foot)."

Awkwardness rating: 5

A platypus! (edward-t-babinski.blogspot.com)

Monday, February 2, 2009

Mucilaginous

Inspired by Caitlin M.'s Suggestion

Definition: (from dictionary.com)
-adjective
1. of, pertaining to, or secreting mucilage
2. of the nature of or resembling mucilage; moist, soft, and viscid

Examples:
"Marshmallows were historically made from the mucilaginous root of a plant."
"Babies are cute until they give you a mucilaginous surprise."

Origin: (from etymonline.com)
"early 15c., 'viscous, sticky,' from Medieval Latin muscilaginosus, from Late Latin mucilaginosus, from mucillago (see mucilage)."

Awkwardness rating: 6

A marshmallow getting back to its mucilaginous roots. (dirtygourment.com)

Unguent

Suggested by Kris F.

Definition: (from dictionary.com)
-noun
1. an ointment or salve, usually liquid or semiliquid, for application to wounds, sores, etc.

Examples:
"He rubbed the unguent on her leg."
"The doctor prescribed me some unguent for my infection."

Origin: (from etymonline.com)
"'ointment, early 15c., from Latin unguentem 'ointment,' from stem of unguere 'to anoint or smear with ointment,' from PIE root *ongw- 'to salve, anoint' (cf. Sanskrit anakti 'anoints, smears,' Armenian aucanem 'I anoint,' Old Prussian anctan 'butter,' Old High German ancho, German anke 'butter,' Old Irish imb, Welsh ymenyn 'butter')."

Awkwardness rating: 8

Unguent looks about as awkward as it sounds! (frugallysustainable.com)

Eyeball

Definition: (from dictionary.com)
-noun
1. the ball or globe of the eye
2. informal. eyeballs: people who view or read something
-verb (used with object)
3. informal. to look at, check, or observe closely
-idioms
4. slang. give (someone) the hairy eyeball. to look at (someone) with eyelids partly lowered, as in hostility or distrust

Examples:
"I think there is something on my eyeball."
"Place the contact lens on the center of your eyeball."

Origin: (from etymonline.com)
"also eye-ball, 1580s, from eye (n.) + ball (n.1). As a verb, 1901, American English slang."

Awkwardness rating: 8

Some eyeballs are made to be eaten! (candyfavorites.com)