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Flair, charm, personality, charm
to foreshadow, suggest, predict
shrewd, of keen mind
perservering and dilligent
collaborator with the enemy, traitor
spelled alike, mean different
pertaining to the underworld; describing spuernatural beings who live behlow the surface of the earth
bunch of feathers on a helmet
light, idle, good-natured banter
sine qun nun
Latin: "without which, not"
A necessary preconditon -- the "sine qua non of playing quarterback..."
not conforming to the normal, irregular, inconsistent
"the monitory note of the foghorn"
giving cautionary warning
abandonment of a cause one has believed in
with equal application to; at an equal pace; fairly
a knight in shinning armor
"He gave more of a panegyric than an objective opinion of the man."
a medicine prepared by the person selling with exaggerated claims about its efficacy
"The poor mood could be attributed to foreign hegemony."
preponderant influence or authority, esp. one nation over the other
"The declaration expressed several ideas of eternal verity -- all men are created equal, for instance."
a fact, statement of truth
"Her theory just was not tenable."
capable of being defended by reason; reasonable
"His lifestyle is anything but prosaic."
"A pedant who can make even the most interesting subject tendious."
formal, unimaginative teacher, person who shows off his/her learning
"The nascent butterfly emerged from the cacoon."
just coming into being
cri de coeur
statement from the heart, made with deepest feeling
occurance that is the cause/justification for war
Scylla and Charybdis
"They feel caught between Scylla and Charybdis."
- Greek mythology -- two monsters endangering the Straits of Messine
- Two equally dangerous alternatives
"He is not only tolerant, he is almost otiose."
idle, sterile, useless, lazy
"His first solecism was sneezing."
- From ancient city of Soloi, where inhibitants spoke poor Greek.
- grammatical mistake; blunder in etiquette or proper behavior
pour encourager les autres
(poor en-COO-rahj-ay layz oht-ruh)
(Comes from reference in Voltaire's "Candide" - execution of hapless Admiral Byrig in 1757)
"The Odyssey is coeval with parts of the Hebrew Bible."
Having the same age or lasting the same amount of time.
A linking together or being linked together in a series."
"Critics claim that Bill Clinton is the ultimate in the antimonian boomer."
heresy; Christians free of moral laws; one who denies the validity or moral laws
"Johnny Appleseed was a perpatetic soul."
Having to do with walking.
"He is too profligate for his family's own good."
recklessly wasteful, wildly extravagent
"Over the years that followed, Edward acquired his apperently well-deserved reputation as a flaneur of the first rank."
aimless idler, loafer, drifter
"His own pedagogy shows great style."
The art or profession of teaching.
"By living an abstemious life..."
Restrained, esp. in consumption of food and alcohol.
can use several languages
French for "rats!" "drat!"
gloomy, dark, hellish, unbreakable
glowing, rainbow-like play of colors - as in a bubble
labored, overdone, excessively solemn analysis
stating a general truth, like a maxim
occuring/originating in an abnormal place
"Prolonged trips in space may have a deleterious effect on the human body."
being a sign of good things to come; likely to produce good results
a performance of miracles or magic
"While pausing on Reagan's Panglossian cloud..."
From Voltaire's Candide: Dr. Panglos, an incurable optimist. "This, the best of all possible worlds."
gruesome, macabe, bloody
"The uncheerful parvenus from 'Dynasty.'"
- French: newly arrived
- Someone newly rich or powerful, but not yet accepted by the more established
"An 850-page hegira that plods on with little elegance."
Long, arduous journey; orginally a flight to a more congential place.
"Heat is a kind of local good - a genius loci."
The unique spirit or diety of a place
"ex catherdra tone" of writing
- "from the seat"
- speaking in an official capacity
"Bush favored the odd patois known as Ivy-speak."
- French: jargon
- indigenous local dialect
dramatically "I accuse!" - used as a noun
From Greek mythology - now means a scolding, nagging, bad-tempered woman
"People are following Gresham's Law with regard to Clinton."
Bad "money" drives out "good" money
A human relations study conducted at the Hawthorne works plant in 1960-65 in which reseachers noted that workers who perceived they were being observed had a temporary increase in productivity.
Let a hundred flowers bloom.
(from Mao Tse-tung)
Best face to put on an embarrassing public disagreement among members of an organization
"A Mobus strip of endless compulsive neatness - Tupperware inside of Tupperware."
After August Ferdinad Mobius - continuous strip with only one edge, alluding to never-ending segment or property
In Flagrante Delicto
caught in the act
hoise on one's own petard (pay-tar)
Caught in one's own trap - destroyed by the very weapon you were to employ against someone else
l'etat, c'est moi
(lay-TAH she MWH)
Louis XIV: "I am the state."
to use threatening, harassing, aggressive, intimidating but not physical violent behavior
Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle
the act of observing things changes them
orginally Broadway - now anything that's always on the verge of collapse but survives
a choice is Hobson's when there is no choice - Hobson makes it for you (horses)
an irresistible force - an act of God for insurance
unwilling dispersion of a community following defeat or misfortune
"Ban smoking even, mirable dictu, in the newsroom!"
- Latin: wonderful to relate
- used sarcastically - "ain't this great," "woudn't this be terrifc"
Not the devil, but with evil, devilish intentions, having an evil spirit
"Dr. Laura is Manichean!"
viewpoint that sees everything as good/bad, black/white
deus ex machina
(DEE-us eks MAK-in-uh)
From Greek plays: literary device
Improbably "device" to solve an insolvable problem
stewart, butler, etc., in charge of a great establishment
romantic sutor, bold and handsome young hero
ambiguous, obscure, sometimes double-edged
nostaligie de la Boue
(noh-stahl-gee duh la BOO)
- "To want the museum to stay the way it is can only be put down to nostalgie de la Boue - fondness for primordial mud."
- French: yearning for the mud
- Seeking degredation, depravity, esp. among those above such things
latest, most up-to-date, trendiest - the last word
French: missed or lost
A would-be, want-to-be, prentender, false
mise en Scene
(mee zahn SEN)
relationship between space, setting, lighting, placement, movement of actors in a movie or a place
From Shelly: name of a poem
something huge, grandious
fin de siecle
(FAN duh see-EH-kluh)
end of an era, esp. the 19th century
droit du seigneur
"Poverty dovetails with post-colonial droit du seigneur."
satiric - someone asserting rights or authority in grandious fashion
dark scenes of bloody murder and vengence
"Last scenes rival East Lynne."
tear-jerking display of bathos and purple prose
"The echt foreign correspondent."
German for the real thing
ne plus ultra
Latin: nothing more beyond
the acme, highest possible point attainable - sometimes an obsticle
act of impudence to pompus, self-important figure
Horatius at the Bridge
- "Playing the role of an unyielding Horatius at the Bridge, he blocked the inevitable."
- "No single Horatius could hold the bridge."
Someone who conducts a valiant defense against overwhelming odds
"The idealism of Don Quixote's idee fixe."
powerful, showdowy figure who exercises power through influence with another
sudden and involuntary ejection from high office or a prominent position
having a large, bulky body; fat
ammendment/addition to a will; appendix or supplement
decorative garden with pathways