Showing posts with label Word of the Day. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Word of the Day. Show all posts

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Word of the Day: Solipsogism

sol·ip·so·gism  [sol-ip-uh-jiz-uhm]
1. Logic. an argument based on the theory that only one conclusion can exist in reality, allowing for no contradictory evidence or viewpoints, of which conclusion is entirely irrelevant to two premises, of which one (major premise) contains the term (major term) that is the predicate of the conclusion, and the other (minor premise) contains the term (minor term) that is the subject of the conclusion; common to both premises is a term (middle term) that is excluded from the conclusion, which is entirely unsupported by the major and minor premises. A typical form is “All A is C; all B is A; therefore all B is C.”
2. self-absorbed, emotionally reductive reasoning, where the speaker has unchangeable conclusions and uses a distorted form of logic to defend them.
3. an extremely obtuse and deceptive argument allowing for no dissent.
4. Alternative version, sometimes offensive: solipsogasm* (implying sexual release associated with making a solipsogistic argument).

Example: Voting for conservatives is a wrong; fraud is a wrong; Therefore, voting for conservatives is fraud.
1880–85; sol(i)  + Latin ips ( e ) self+ Greek -ismos -ism.

* Variant popularly attributed to Robert Clayton Dean.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Word of the Day: Statist Quo

stat·ist quo [stey-tist kwoh]

1. the existing state or condition of advocating the concentration of extensive economic, political, and related controls in the state at the cost of individual liberty.
1600–10; state + -ist + 1825–35;  Latin status quō  literally, state in which.

Friday, May 4, 2012

Word of the Day: Catch-Fuck-You-Too

Catch-Fuck-You-Too [kach-fuhk-yoo-too]

1. a frustrating situation in which a citizen is trapped by contradictory regulations or conditions that each result in the government screwing or "fucking" the citizen over.
2. any illogical or paradoxical situation where you lose and the government wins; dilemma.
3. a condition, regulation, etc., preventing the resolution of a problem or situation in a citizen's favor.
4. fuck you, you lose.


Modern, connected to increasing unaccountability and lack of limits on American government.  Obscure; used primarily by libertarian super-minority.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Word of the Day: Plausible Delegability

plau·si·ble del·e·ga·bil·i·ty [plaw-zuh-buhl del-i-guh-bil-uh-tee]

1.  having an appearance of designating someone to act for or represent another or others in order to have the ability to deny responsibility for something, as knowledge of or connection with an illegal activity: Congress had plausible delegability when it let the president bomb a country without permission.
2. associated with or characterized by elusiveness in regards to taking responsibility.

1535–45;  [Latin plausibilis deserving applause, equivalent to plaus (us) (past participle of plaudere to applaud) + -ibilis -ible + Latin dēlēgāre to send on a mission, from lēgāre to send, depute; see legate + -ibilitāt-]

Friday, December 2, 2011

Word of the Day: Drone Process

Have some double jeopardy, bitches!

drone proc·ess [drohn pros-es]
1. a course of formal bombardments (instead of judicial proceedings) carried out regularly, fairly, and in accordance with established rules and principles for operating hunter-killer drones; also called procedural drone process.
2. a requirement that drone-based assassinations must be related to a legitimate government interest (e.g., crime prevention) and may not result in the unfair or arbitrary treatment of the individual ordering the bombings or in any limitations or consequences whatsoever; also called substantive due process.
Drone (1490–1500); see drone and compare Middle English droun  to roar, Icelandic drynja  to bellow, Gothic drunjus  noise + process (1275–1325); Middle English proces  (noun) (< Old French ) < Latin prōcessus  a going forward, equivalent to prō- pro-1  + ced-,  variant stem of cēdere  to yield (see cede) + -tus  suffix of v. action; see cession.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Word of the Day: Mantagonist

man·tag·o·nist [man-tag-uh-nist]

1. a woman who is opposed to, struggles against, or competes with all males; opponent to the patriarchy; adversary to all things stinking of maleness.
2. the male adversary of the heroine or protagonist of a drama or other literary work featuring a woman.
3. a female object of an offending male gaze.

c.1600, from L. mantagonista, from Gk. mantagonistes "woman who views all men as competitors, opponents, rivals," from antagonizesthai "to struggle against the patriarchy," from anti- "against" + agonizesthai "to contend for removing the penis as a prize," from agon "contest" (see agony). Originally in battle or sex, extended 1620s to any sphere of human activity. Related: Mantagonistic (1630s).

Friday, October 21, 2011

Frauds Perpetrated by the Academy: It's All Academic

In our latest installment of "Frauds Perpetrated by the Academy", we go straight to the source.  Universities constantly use terms like "academy" and "academic" to describe their institutions.  To the point that most people think these terms refer to education, educational institutions, etc.  Yet it's all a damned lie.

The words "academy" and "academic" come to us straight from the Greek Ἀκαδημία (Akademeia) and refer not to a school, or education, or anything remotely like that.  Instead, the Ἀκαδημία was a grove of olive trees located outside of Athens.

So, when someone in higher learning speaks of something being academic, what they really mean is "of or relating to olive trees."

Let's review some topical examples:

From the SciGuy blog:
  • Quote: "Texas on the verge of limiting academic freedom of climate scientists."
  • Meaning: The Texas government apparently will be restricting in some way the right of climatologists to grow or otherwise handle olive trees.
From DOTmed News:
  • Quote: Accuray Incorporated (Nasdaq: ARAY), the premier radiation oncology company, announced today installation of the CyberKnife® Robotic Radiosurgery System at five renowned academic oncology centers in Europe and the United States.
  • Meaning: Accuray is installing robot surgeons to operate on olive trees with olive tree cancer.
  • Quote: Charter schools were intended to offer innovative education models to help students who haven't succeeded in traditional public schools. As a group they have faced criticism for poor academic performance. As a group, traditional public schools outperform them.
  • Meaning: Traditional public school students are better than charter school students at picking olives.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Word of the Day: Bellirrhea

bel·lir·rhe·a [bel-ir-ree-uh]

1. pathologically incoherent, repetitious war.
2. incessant or compulsive warlikeness; wearisome hostility.
3. [In Canada] the tendency of a government or head of government to use the military in any given situation (var. especially when talking out of his ass).*

2010 -2010; late Modern English  <latin bellicōsus,  equivalent to bellic (us) pertaining to war (bell (um) war +  rhein  to flow.
* Via Dr. Aresen, of the Reason Commenter Foundation.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Frauds Perpetrated by the Academy: The Symposium

This week, for our Frauds Perpetrated by the Academy feature, we explore one of the more common deceptions employed by scholars: the symposium.  

As presented to non-academics, symposia are gatherings of learned scholars, students, and other experts in a particular field of study to discuss some profound topic of academic interest.  Literally thousands of symposia are hosted by organizations, universities, and government bodies all over the world, with hundreds of millions spent annually to host the symposia and to cover travel expenses to and from these august events.
An alleged symposium
Sounds legitimate, right?  Wrong!  As most classical scholars are already aware, the word symposium has a specific meaning: a drinking party.  Yes, that's right, when you drank directly from a keg at that party in college that you barely remember, you and your friends and those slutty girls you met at the laundromat were engaged in a symposium.

Symposium comes to us from the Greek word symposion/συμπόσιον ("drinking party"), derived from sympinein/συμπίνειν ("to drink together").  The most famous symposium of them all, of course, was the one related by Plato in his famous dialogue, The Symposium, which involved a party hosted by the poet, Agathon, where a bunch of guys got trashed and extolled the virtues of love.  In other words, despite the philosophical overlay that history has given the dialogue, a typical party with a bunch of drunk, horny guys.

A symposium accurately portrayed in film
So when you hear about the Fusion Power Associates Thirty-Second Annual Meeting and Symposium and think, "Wow, I bet that's going to involve a fascinating discussion of current trends and research in fusion power", think again.  It's really just a bunch of academics getting together to get smashed, funded by grant money and your taxes.  In this specific case, it's also why practical fusion is always twenty years away--physicists keep having symposia instead of conferences or other scholarly meetings.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Word of the Day: Shaftment Doesn't Mean What You Think it Means

From Wikipedia, via BuzzFeed's "The Funniest Old English Measurements": "Shaftment - Width of the hand with outstretched thumb, 6 1/2 inches before the year 1066, 6 inches thereafter."

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Word of the Day: Mammorable

mamm·o·ra·ble [mam-er-uh-buhl]

mammary glands worth remembering; titable: a mammorable rack.
2. easily remembered boobs.

1400–50; late Middle English <Latin mamma "breast," probably from the child's word for "mother", Latin memorābilis worth mentioning, equivalent to memorā (re) to mention + -bilis -ble

Monday, July 11, 2011

Word of the Day: Crepuscular Ray

cre·pus·cu·lar ray [kri-puhs-kyuh-ler rey]
1. a twilight ray of sunlight shining through breaks in high clouds and illuminating dust particles in the air.
I like this because (1) crepuscular rays are awesome to behold and (2) "crepuscular" sounds like craptacular.

Ran across this while reading BuzzFeed's "25 Everyday Things You Never Knew Had Names."

Monday, March 14, 2011

Word of the Day: Kadavergehorsam


1. blind obedience, servility, extreme submissiveness, subservience, slavish quality.

Origin: [From the German Kadavergehorsam (corpse-like obedience); derived from the Latin Perinde ac cadaver (like a corpse).]
I always use this word when people ask what it's like to work for the Urkobold, so I thought it might be a good idea to tell everyone what the term actually means.

Monday, February 28, 2011

Word of the Day: Mark Twain Edition - Supposititious

sup·pos·i·ti·tious [suh-poz-i-tish-uhs]

1. fraudulently substituted or pretended; spurious; not genuine.
2. hypothetical.

Origin: 1605–15;  [Latin suppositīcius,  equivalent to supposit(us) (past participle of suppōnere; see supposition) + -īcius -itious.]
Twain used this word a number of times, but the inspiration for today's Word of the Day came from a review of the most recent publication of Autobiography of Mark Twain (which I'm reading right now).  Here's an example of Twain's usage of the word from the book (via the review): "They set several traps for her in a tentative form; that is to say, they placed supposititious propositions before her and cunningly tried to commit her to one end of the propositions. . . ."

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Word of the Day: Presumption of Gilt

pre·sump·tion of gilt [pri-zuhmp-shuhn uhv gilt]
-noun (Law)

1. the rebuttable (in theory) presumption of the corruption of a politician, placing upon the politician the burden of proving that the politician has not accepted bribes or  otherwise experienced bribe-like phenomena.

[1175–1225;  ME: effrontery, supposition < L praesūmptiōn-  (s. of praesūmptiō) anticipation, supposition, LL: presumptuousness, equiv. to praesūmpt (us) (ptp. of praesūmere, to undertake beforehand; see presume) + -iōn- -ion and 1300–50;  ME gilte  < ON gylta]

Friday, January 7, 2011

Word of the Day: Kwittheshitz Hadenough

Artistic impression of the Kwittheshitz Hadenough
Kwit·the·shitz Had·e·nough [kwit-thuh-shits had-ih-nuhf]

1. one who can be offended many ways at once.
2. [mythology] the "Shortening of the Temper."  Believed by some to be one who has passed the Gon Tufar, a rite of adulthood in some cultures.
3. [politics] please, God, make them stop.
[Derivation unknown, possibly related to Hebrew: קפיצת הדרך (K'fitzat ha-Derekh), the leaping way.]

Friday, August 27, 2010

Word of the Day: Eleutherophobia

e·leu·ther·o·pho·bi·a [ih-loo-ther-oh-foh-bee-uh]


1. a fear of freedom.
Via Old Mexican, an old Mexican commenter over at Hit & Run. Nice word.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Words of the Day: The First English Dictionary of Slang (1699)

Regular readers of Urkobold may recall a posting earlier this year on The Art of Manliness: Classic Skills and Manners for the Modern Man, which highlighted the book's "Dictionary of Manly 19th Century Vernacular." Today, we spin the dial a little harder in the Wayback Machine and take a look at slang from the 17th century:

Anglers, c. Cheats, petty Thieves, who have a Stick with a hook at the end, with which they pluck things out of Windows, Grates, &c. also those that draw in People to be cheated.

Arsworm, a little diminutive Fellow.

Buffenapper, c. a Dog-stealer, that Trades in Setters, Hounds, Spaniels, Lap, and all sorts of Dogs, Selling them at a round Rate, and himself or Partner Stealing them away the first opportunity.

Bumfodder, what serves to wipe the Tail.

Bundletail, a short Fat or squat Lass.

Cackling-farts, c. Eggs.

Dandyprat, a little puny Fellow.

Farting-crackers, c. Breeches.

Fizzle, a little or low-sounding Fart.

Humptey-dumptey, Ale boild with Brandy.

Grumbletonians, Malecontents, out of Humour with the Government, for want of a Place, or having lost one.

Keeping Cully, one that Maintains a Mistress, and parts with his Money very generously to her.

Knock down, very strong Ale or Beer.

Lantern-jaw’d, a very lean, thin faced Fellow.

Mawdlin, weepingly Drunk.

Mopsie, a Dowdy, or Homely Woman

Muddled, half Drunk.

Mutton-in-long-coats, Women. A Leg of Mutton in a Silk-Stocking, a Woman’s Leg.

One of my Cosens, a Wench

Pharoah, very strong Mault-Drink.

Princock, a pert, forward Fellow

Provender, c. he from whom any Money is taken on the Highway.

Strum, c. a Periwig. Rum-Strum, c. a long Wig; also a handsom Wench, or Strumpet.

Urchin, a little sorry Fellow; also a Hedgehog.

Willing-Tit, a little Horse that Travels chearfully.

From the University of Oxford's Bodleian Library, via Neatorama. This book is a modern printing, but earlier editions are available on-line under the original title: "A new dictionary of the terms ancient and modern of the canting crew, in its several tribes, of Gypsies, beggers, thieves, cheats, &c., with an addition of some proverbs, phrases, figurative speeches, &c."

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Word of the Day: Bailjob

bail·job [beyl-job]


1. an instance of claiming to be coming to the rescue, esp. financially (usu. with sexual undertones), while in fact just paying off preferred constituencies: a government bailjob of a large company.


1. of, pertaining to, or consisting of means for not really relieving an emergency situation while claiming otherwise: bailjob measures for hard-pressed small businesses.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Word of the Day: Zodomy



1. copulation while kneeling before a member of the opposite sex. Also, copulation with Zod, usu. while kneeling.

Zodomy: Bringing people closer together