Word of the Week: absquatulate (ăb-SKWŎCH-ə-lāt) Definition (Verb) To abscond, make off. In Context "Residents of the Gulf States coined the term 'absquatulate' to describe men who left the state to avoid their debts in order to 'squat' in the new republic." Scott Reynolds Nelson, A Nation of Deadbeats: An Uncommon History of America's Financial Disasters, 2012.
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Word of the Week: vatic (VĂT-ĭk) Definition (Adjective) Of or pertaining to, characteristic of, a prophet or seer; prophetic, inspired. In Context "In 1990, Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn emerged from his isolation in Cavendish, Vermont, and issued a vatic manifesto entitled 'How to Revitalize Russia.'" David Remnick, "Putin's Pique," The New Yorker, March 17, 2014.
Word of the Week: crèche (krĕsh) Definition (Noun) A representation of the infant Jesus in the manger, with attending figures, often displayed at Christmas. In Context “Later that evening we pulled up to my brother’s house, which demonstrated its sincere commitment to the Christmas season with a tornado of twinkle lights and a crèche on the lawn.” Rhoda Janzen, Mennonite in a Little Black Dress: A Memoir of Going Home, 2009.
Word of the Week: flâneur (flä-NÛR) Definition (Noun) A lounger or saunterer, an idle "man about town." In Context "All in all, and with his days as a dilettante and a flâneur far behind him, he looked set upon pursuing a professional career as a responsible married man." Patrick Gardiner, Kierkegaard: A Very Short Introduction, 2002.
Word of the Week: gallivant (GĂL-ə-vănt) Definition (Verb) To gad about in a showy fashion, especially with persons of the other sex. In Context "I thought it a bit weird that people wanted to gallivant around hunting a fox, but having read my Trollope I understood it is a part of our history." Tony Blair, A Journey: My Political Life, 2010.
Word of the Week: trundle (TRŬN-dl) Definition (Verb) To draw or push along on a wheel or wheels, as a wheelbarrow, vehicle, etc. In Context “On more than one such hopeless night we had to load him into a wheelbarrow and trundle him down the hill to his bed, dumping him onto it like a load of bricks, him all the while snarling and snoring and muttering about bad things sure to happen.” Kim Stanley Robinson, Galileo’s Dream, 2009.
Word of the Week: cornucopia (kôr-nə-KŌ-pē-ə) Definition (Noun) The horn of plenty; a goat’s horn represented in art as overflowing with flowers, fruit, and corn. In Context “The rim of each plate hosted a cornucopia of fall vegetables and in the center there was a proud colorful turkey in a country setting.” Suzanne Beecher, Muffins and Mayhem: Recipes for a Happy (If Disorderly) Life, 2010.
Word of the Week: innuendo (ĭn-yōō-ĔN-dō) Definition (Noun) An oblique hint, indirect suggestion; an allusive remark concerning a person or thing, especially one of a depreciatory kind. In Context "The Grimms' transformation of a tale replete with sexual innuendo into a prim and proper nursery story with a dutiful daughter is almost as striking as the folkloric metamorphosis of frog into prince." Maria Tatar, The Hard Facts of the Grimms' Fairy Tales, Second Edition, 2003.
Word of the Week: pergola (PÛR-gə-lə) Definition (Noun) An arbour; a covered walk or shelter (usually in a garden), especially one formed of growing plants trained over a (usually wooden or metal) framework; this framework itself. Also: a small open-sided shelter or sunshade usually consisting of a roof supported on columns. In Context "At the end of the garden there was a place – a pergola dense with briar rose, and behind it a fir where there would be shade from the hot yellow light." Paul Scott, The Day of the Scorpion, 1968.
Word of the Week: prescient (PRĔSH-ənt) Definition (Adjective) Having foreknowledge or foresight; foreseeing. In Context “In 1984, written in 1948, George Orwell left a prescient description of the sort of totalitarian architecture that would soon dominate the Communist bloc, imposing and hideous: the Ministry of Truth, an ‘enormous, pyramidal structure of white concrete, soaring up terrace after terrace, three hundred metres into the air . . .’” Ben Macintyre, “Look on Those Monuments to Megalomania, and Despair,” The Times, March 30, 2007.