Recently in Wonderful Words Category

Sorn

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wonderfulwords.gifI stumbled across this while looking something else in the online dictionary. It seems to me a few of my friends already know this one. Not that I ever mind--everyone's welcome at Chez McQuillin.

sorn
v. i. [See Sorehon.] To obtrude one's self on another for bed and board. [Scot.] --Sir W. Scott.

And looking up Sorehon, I found:

sorehon
noun [Corrupted from sojourn, Scot. soirne, sorn.] Formerly, in Ireland, a kind of servile tenure which subjected the tenant to maintain his chieftain gratuitously whenever he wished to indulge in a revel. --Spenser.

Blog as a verb

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A friend online asked me what I was doing.

"Blogging for yesterday," I replied.

"Blogging. as a verb. NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO"

"Yes, sometimes."

"Noooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo, say it ain't so."

"Not always. Usually 'posting an entry' or 'writing'."

"Writing is good."

"But 'blogging' is succinct. Besides, today I'm not writing. I'm posting a drawing."

Several friends have complained that 'blog' is ugly (and it is). But it's a losing battle for the "the word's weblog, not blog" crowd. Google has 155 million instances of weblog; and 488 million of blog.

Blog as a verb is a useful summation of a variety of actions - writing, proofreading, image creation/editing, file uploading and pressing submit buttons--in a particular context, the weblog environment. I can't think of another single verb that does the same.

Until someone comes up with one, I will use "blog" as a verb and make my friends cringe.

Flâneur

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wonderfulwords.gifMany thanks to lil for teaching me this one. It suits me nicely! There is even a website dedicated to the world's flâneurs: Flâneur and they accept submissions, in case you want to turn your strolling into something literary.

The original French means "to lounge, saunter idly." The Shorter OED defines flâneur unflatteringly:

flâneur
noun: An idler.

and attributes it to R. Holmes: "Paris...celebrated the idea of the flâneur, the man who drifts around the streets, gang at everything."

But a better definition is found at Dictionary.com's Word of the Day: One who strolls about aimlessly; a lounger; a loafer.

Tew

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wonderfulwords.gifHere's an old Scottish word (late 18th - early 19th century) from the OED that I think at least a few of my friends and colleagues had better add into their vocabularies this week.

tew
verb: 1. Work hard, exert oneself, bustle about; 2. fatigue or tire (oneself) with hard work
noun: 1. Constant work and bustling; a state of worry or excitement.

Flannel

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wonderfulwords.gifWelcome to the start of a new (likely irregular) feature--wonderful words. I've been having so much fun flipping through the OED I received for Christmas that I want to share some of surprises I've come across.

There are many words that I think deserve to be resurrected into our vocabularies. I will present common words with unfamiliar meanings or old words that have fallen into disuse. Expect to see these in my writing and hear them in my conversations.

flannel
verb: To bluff or mislead with flattery.

The OED cites J. Braine in the mid-20th century as the first use. "I managed to flannel him into the belief that I approved of his particular brand of efficiency."

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