Monday, December 17, 2012

Flocculent

Suggested by Chris H.

Definition: (from dictionary.com)
-adjective
1. like a clump or tuft of wool
2. covered with a soft, woolly substance
3. consisting of or containing loose woolly masses
4. flocky
5. chemistry. consisting of flocs and floccules

Examples:
"Santa's beard is quite flocculent - perhaps he should use more conditioner."
"Looking out the window, Rudolph thought the snow looked flocculent in its consistency."

Origin: (from etymonline.com)
"'resembling wool,' 1800, from Latin floccus 'lock of hair, flock of wool' + -ulent."

Awkwardness rating: 6

Santa's flocculent beard needs all those cookie crumbs cleaned out of it! (parentsware.com)

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Snooker

Definition: (from dictionary.com)
-noun
1. a variety of pool played with 15 red balls and 6 balls of colors other than red, in which a player must shoot one of the red balls, each with a point value of 1, into a pocket before shooting at one of the other balls, with point values of from 2 to 7
-verb, used with object
2. to deceive, cheat, or dupe

Examples:
"Every Thanksgiving my family has a rousing snooker tournament and the winner gets the wishbone from the turkey at dinner."
"The farmers were not snookered by the turkey in a chicken suit, but were so impressed by him that they decided to keep him as a pet."

Origin: (from etymonline.com)
"1889, the game and the word said to have been invented in India by British officers as a diversion from billiards. The name is perhaps a reference (with reference to the rawness of play by a fellow officer) to British slang snooker 'newly joined cadet' (1872). Tradition ascribes the coinage to Col. Sir Neville Chamberlain (not the later prime minister of the same name), at the time subaltern in the Devonshire Regiment in Jubbulpore. The verb meaning 'to cheat' is from early 1900s, probably because novices can be easily tricked in the game."

Awkwardness rating: 6
Hi my name is Tom and I'm a pilgrim - NOT a turkey. Fancy a game of snooker? (zazzle.com)

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Boondoggle

Suggested by Ben Landers

Definition: (from dictionary.com)
-noun
1. a product of simple manual skill, as a plaited leather cord for the neck or a knife sheath, made typically by a camper or a scout
2. work of little or no value done merely to keep or look busy
3. a project funded by the federal government out of political favoritism that is of no real value to the community or the nation
-verb (used with object)
4. to deceive or attempt to deceive
-verb (used without object)
5. to do work of little or no practical value merely to keep or look busy

Examples:
"The vampire asked me to join him for dinner but I was not boondoggled and told him to visit a blood bank."
"The witch stirred her cauldron for hours - a boondoggle to avoid collecting more eye of newt for her sisters."

Origin: (from etymonline.com)
"1935, American English, of uncertain origin, popularized during the New Deal as a contemptuous word for make-work projects for the unemployed. Said to have been a pioneer word for 'gadget;' it also was by 1932 a Boy Scout term for a kind of woven braid."

Awkwardness rating: 7

You can't boondoggle me, Mr. Vampire. (e-uhs.efxinternet.com)

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Obnubilate

Definition: (from dictionary.com)
-verb, used with object
1. to cloud over; becloud; obscure

Examples:
"The sky began to obnubilate and the rain soon followed."
"It seemed like he was trying to obnubilate the facts to confuse me."

Origin: (from etymonline.com)
"1580s, from L. obnibulatus, pp. of obnubilare 'to cover with clouds or fog,' from ob- (see ob-) + verb from L. nubes 'cloud' (see nuance)."

Awkwardness rating: 6

A cloud's favorite activity is to obnubilate. (etsy.com)

Friday, September 14, 2012

Chum

Definition: (from dictionary.com)
-noun
1. a close or intimate companion
2. a roommate, as at college

Examples:
"A glass of milk is like an Oreo's best chum - you can't have one without the other!"
"I never thought a sponge and a starfish could be chums, but Spongebob and Patrick have proved me wrong!"

Origin: (from etymonline.com)
"'friend,' 1680s, university slang, alternative spelling of cham, short for chamber(mate), typical of the late-17c. fondness for clipped words. Among derived forms used 19c. were chumship; chummery 'shared bachelor quarters,' chummage 'system of quartering more than one to a room.'"

Awkwardness rating: 5

Although Spongebob and Patrick are chums, they spend very
little time at the Chum Bucket. (monstersandcritics.com)

Friday, August 31, 2012

Hootenanny

Suggested by Chelsea L.

Definition: (from merriam-webster.com)
-noun
1. a gathering at which folk singers entertain often with the audience joining in

Examples:
"Dad, if Bob Dylan is considered an American folk singer, doesn't that mean you went to a hootenanny - not a concert?
"The wedding band was so lively the whole event turned into more of a hootenanny - the bride and groom loved it."

Origin: (from etymonline.com)
"'informal session of folk musicians,' 1940, American English, earlier 'a gadget' (1927), of unknown origin, perhaps a nonsense word."

Awkwardness rating: 9

Ever since I was a little girl, I dreamed of my wedding being a hootenanny. (littlechurchlv.com)

Monday, July 30, 2012

Brouhaha

Definition: (from dictionary.com)
-noun
1. excited public interest, discussion, or the like, as the clamor attending some sensational event; hullabaloo
2. an episode involving excitement, confusion, turmoil, etc., especially a broil over a minor or ridiculous cause

Examples:
"Michael Phelps not winning a medal in the 400-meter relay caused quite a brouhaha across the country."
"There was a great brouhaha in the stadium when the Olympic Flame was lit."

Origin: (from etymonline.com)
"1890, from French brouhaha (1550s), said by Gamillscheg to have been, in medieval theater, 'the cry of the devil disguised as clergy.' Perhaps from Hebrew barukh habba' 'blessed be the one who comes,' used on public occasions (cf. Psalm 118)."

Awkwardness rating: 8

I didn't win? Well, that might cause a brouhaha. (londoner2012.blogspot.com)

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Hoity-toity

Suggested by Adriana S.

Definition: (from dictionary.com)
-adjective
1. assuming airs; pretentious; haughty
2. giddy; flighty

Examples:
"The hoity-toity dog refused to eat anything except for filet mignon."
"Let's go to a hoity-toity restaurant for our anniversary and act like we have money."

Origin: (from etymonline.com)
"1660s, 'riotous behavior,' from earlier highty tighty 'frolicsome, flighty,' perhaps an alteration and reduplication of dialetcal hoyting 'acting the hoyden, romping' (1590s) see hoyden. Sense of 'haughty' first recorded late 1800s, probably on similarity of sound."

Awkwardness rating: 8

If you think I'm hoity-toity, you should see my owner. (boloji.com)

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Debridement

Suggested by Nick Massa

Definition: (from dictionary.com)
-noun
1. surgical removal of foreign matter and dead tissue from a wound

Examples:
"Breaking up with you was like debridement - I am much better off without you."
"After the candy store exploded, debridement of the employees turned up jelly beans, Sno Caps, and chocolate-covered raisins."

Origin: (from etymonline.com)
"'removal of damaged tissue from a wound,' 1839, from French débridement, literally 'an unbridling,' from dé- (see de-) + bride 'bridle,' from a Germanic source akin to Middle High German bridel."

Awkwardness Rating: 6

It was a rather interesting debridement procedure for the new
hospital intern. (zeitguised.wordpress.com)

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Swashbuckler

Definition: (from dictionary.com)
-noun
1. a swaggering swordsman, soldier, or adventurer; daredevil

Examples:
"I had a dream I was a swashbuckler and my sword was a giant Twizzler."
"When I was younger I wanted to be a swashbuckler but then I realized being a pirate isn't socially acceptable anymore."

Origin: (from etymonline.com)
"1550s, 'blustering, swaggering fighting man' (earlier simply swash, 1540s), from swash 'fall of a blow' (see swash) + buckler 'shield.' The original sense seems to have been 'one who makes menacing noises by striking his or an opponent's shield.'"

Awkwardness rating: 4
Essential tools for any swashbuckler: Twizzlers. (triloquist.net)

Monday, April 30, 2012

Masticate

Suggested by Chris H.

Definition: (from dictionary.com)
-verb
1. to chew
2. to reduce to a pulp by crushing or kneading, as rubber

Examples:
"On our dinner date he said I was very good at masticating."
"I told him if he used that language at the dinner table he could go masticate by himself."

Origin: (from etymonline.com)
"1640s, back-formation from mastication, or else from Late Latin masticatus, past participle of masticare 'to chew.'"

Awkwardness rating: 8

It's hard to masticate politely when eating a cheesesteak. (cbsnews.com)

Monday, April 16, 2012

Discharge

Suggested by Mark E.

Definition: (from dictionary.com)
-verb (used with object)
1. to relieve of a charge or load; unload
2. to remove or send forth
3. to fire or shoot (a firearm or missile)
4. to pour forth; emit
5. to relieve oneself of (an obligation, burden, etc.)
-noun
6. the act of discharging a ship, load, etc.
7. the act of firing a weapon, as an arrow by drawing and releasing the string of the bow, or a gun by exploding the charge of powder
8. a sending or coming forth, as of water from a pipe; ejection; emission.
9. the rate or amount of such issue
10. something sent forth or emitted

Examples:
"Bridget was discharged from the hospital shortly after they removed the marble from her nostril."
"Wait. So the yellow discharge coming from the milk box didn't give you a hint it was bad?"

Origin: (from etymonline.com)
"early 14c., 'to exempt, exonerate, release,' from Old French deschargier (12c., Modern French. décharger) 'to unload, discharge,' from Late Latin discarricare, from dis- 'do the opposite of' + carricare 'load'. Meaning 'to unload, to free from' is late 14c. Of weapons, from 1550s. The electrical sense is first attested 1748. Meaning 'to fulfill, to perform one's duties' is from c.1400."

Awkwardness rating: 4

Okay, I won't stick them up my nose again. Can I be discharged now? (kardsunlimited.com)

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Squirt

Definition: (from dictionary.com)
-verb (used without object)
1. to eject liquid in a jet from a narrow orifice
2. to eject a spurt of liquid

Examples:
"He squirted his water gun at me and totally, like, ruined my hair."
"Someone shook my soda and it squirted all over me when I opened it."

Origin: (from etymonline.com)
"late 15c., squyrten 'to spit' (intransitive), of uncertain origin, probably imitative. Transitive sense 'cause to issue in a sudden jet or stream' is from 1580s. Squirt-gun attested from 1803."

Awkwardness rating: 8

Squirt gun fun! (calwatchdog.com)

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Gaping

Definition: (from dictionary.com)
-verb (used without object)
1. to stare with open mouth, as in wonder
2. to open the mouth wide involuntarily, as the result of hunger, sleepiness, or absorbed attention
3. to open as a gap; split or become open wide
-noun
4. a wide opening; gap; breach
5. an act or instance of gaping
6. a stare, as in astonishment or with the mouth wide open
7. a yawn

Examples:
"All the penguins stood gaping as Eduardo claimed he would be the first penguin to fly."
"There was a gaping sinkhole in the middle of the road! Of course I was late to work!"

Origin: (from etymonline.com)
"early 13c., from an unrecorded Old English word or else from Old Norse gapa 'to open the mouth, gape,' common West Germanic (cf. Middle Dutch, Dutch gapen, German gaffen 'to gape, stare,' Swedish gapa, Danish gabe), from PIE *ghai- (see gap). As a noun, from 1530s."

Awkwardness rating: 5

I told you guys I could fly! (worth1000.com)

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Malarkey

Definition: (from dictionary.com)
-noun
1. informal. speech or writing designed to obscure, mislead, or impress

Examples:
"Don't tell me you love me after I catch you cheating - that's total malarkey."
"She told me the argument in my paper was malarkey. I told her I wasn't hungry."

Origin: (from etymonline.com)
"also malarky, 'lies and exaggerations,' 1924, American English, of unknown origin. It also is a surname."

Awkwardness rating: 6

A jar of malarkey. (rain.org)

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Spotted Dick

Definition: (from dictionary.com)
-noun
1. (Brit) a steamed or boiled suet pudding containing dried fruit

Examples:
"I have to go to the store to pick up some spotted dick for the party."
"The spotted dick actually tasted better than I expected."

Origin: (from dictionary.com)
"Perhaps from the man's name Dick (short for Richard), or from dialect dick pudding. The dried fruit gives it a speckled appearance."

Awkwardness rating: 10

This spotted dick showed up at my parent's white elephant party.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Plop

Definition: (from dictionary.com)
-verb (used without object)
1. to make a sound like that of something falling or dropping into water
2. to fall with such a sound
3. to drop or fall with full force or direct impact
-noun
6. a plopping sound or fall
7. the act of plopping

Examples:
"The dolphin flipped in the air and returned to the water with a plop."
"I got home from work and plopped on the couch until dinner was ready."

Origin: (from etymonline.com)
"1821, imitative of the sound of a smooth object dropping into water."

Awkwardness rating: 5

Best to plop at home instead of the office. (imageshack.us)

Monday, January 16, 2012

Dinky

Definition: (from dictionary.com)
-adjective
1. informal. small, unimportant, unimpressive, or shabby

Examples:
"The engagement ring was so dinky that I refused him."
"I can't eat just this dinky salad; I need real food!"

Origin: (from etymonline.com)
"1788 'neat, trim, dainty, small,' from Scottish dialectal dink "finely dressed, trim" (c.1500), of unknown origin. Modern sense is 1850s."

Awkwardness rating: 4

The diamond was so dinky I had to squint to see it. (weheartit.com)

Monday, January 9, 2012

Gewgaw

Definition: (from dictionary.com)
-noun
1. something gaudy and useless; trinket; bauble

Examples:
"Many of the collectors on 'American Pickers' have a big collection of gewgaws."
"Yard sales are always full of interesting gewgaws."

Origin: (from etymonline.com)
"early 13c., giuegaue, contemptuous reduplication, possibly connected with Old French gogue 'rejoicing, jubilation; joke, prank, mockery, game;' or jou-jou 'toy,' baby-talk word, from jouer 'to play,' from Latin jocare (see joke)."

Awkwardness rating: 8

What gewgaws will I find today? (channelvation.com)