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Author Topic: Strange words and their definitions
kessira
The Red and the Green Stamps


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quote:
Polyorchid: a man who has at least three testicles.
I'm lookin' for the guy who is both polyorchid and diphallic.
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The Witchfinder General
The Red and the Green Stamps


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quote:
Originally posted by Cato isSooty-BSAAC:
quote:
Originally posted by The Witchfinder General:
[QUOTE]
Wordplay. Pun. Sounds like fuck.

I've tried saying "obfuscate" with a Scottish accent, and it still doesn't sound like "fuck" to me.. I guess this is why I missed the joke. (or rather, I knew what the joke was supposed to be, but guessed the wrong intended relationship between "obfuscate" and "fuck")
Sorry pal, not only do you not have a terrible sense of humour (as I do), you appear to have none at all. There might be hope of a transplant for you one day. On second thoughts, forget it.

I used to keep a dictionary of odd words that I came across. Very few of them are actually useful, and I regard many as mere curiosities. If the vasy majority of English speakers don't understand them, then you might as well write in Chinese. Here are a few anyway... I'm reading them from my handwriting so there may be a few mistakes.

Blacklet - Speck of soot
Borborgym - The Rumble of a Stomach
Burke - (verb) Kill someone secretly (from Burke & Hare)
Dendrophilia - Sexual Attraction to trees.
Ghazi - A Muslim soldier fighting an Infidel enemy.
Goog - Flabby or ill conditioned flesh.
Haulm - (verb) tap straight stalks in thatch.
Nephalist - A teetotaller who denies it.
Patella - the knee cap
Phillipic - Speech or piece full of bitter invective.
Plumbaceous - lead like, or lead coloured.
Pogonion - The point of the chin, especially on a witch.
Rubiginous - rust coloured.
Sigil - A demon's personal symbol, used to control or conjure them up.
Wiseacre - a Smart Ass or someone pretending to be wise.

Maybe I copied them down wrong, or use the wrong dictionaries, but I couldn't find definitions for the following -

Sifflicate/Sillficate, rubow, besprent (Middle English?), nettete, stilent, quales/quails (not birds), geegaw/n

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*Astrik*
Xboxing Day


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Haha! Zarf is on that list! I love zarf!

Uhhhh....quit looking at me that way. [Razz]

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Nonny Mouse, on Santa's laptop
Once in Royal Circuit City


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Has anyone here ever owned, or seen, a zarf?

Nonny

--------------------
When there isn't anything else worth analyzing, we examine our collective navel. I found thirty-six cents in change in mine the other day. Let no one say that there is no profit in philosophy. -- Silas Sparkhammer

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anue
Markdown, the Herald Angels Sing


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I have seen a zarf in a mall. I just didn't know it was a zarf.

--------------------
om mani padme hum

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The Witchfinder General
The Red and the Green Stamps


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quote:
Originally posted by Krustree the Clown Hugger:
I have seen a zarf in a mall. I just didn't know it was a zarf.

Isn't there a lot more to be said for the self-explanatory "cup holder"?

No wait, then someone might confuse it with a sports champion...

Here's a few others from that notebook -

Aleatory - depending on the throw of a dice (die to pedants).
Crapulent - Drunk
Cynocephalus - Dog headed tribesman, as reported by imaginative medieval travellers.
Dyarchy - A govt of two rulers as opposed to MONarchy.
Nacreous - mother of pearl like
Ochlocracy - mob rule
Philargedy - love of money (One of Sir Thomas Urquhart's many coinings*)
Pre-/Postprandial - before/after a meal (used by John Buchan)
Setentia - aphorism
Ukase - edict of Tsarist Russia

* Well here's one page on Urquhart with extracts - http://www.cali.co.uk/users/freeway/courthouse/sirthom.html

"those quodomodocunquizing cluster fists"

"I could have introduced, in case of obscurity, synonymal, exargastic and palilogetic elucidations; for sweetness of phrase, antimetathetic commutations of epithets; for the vehement excitation of a matter, exclamation in the front, and epiphonemas in the rear. I could have used, for the promptlier stirring up of passion, apostrophal and prosopopoeial diversions; and, for the appeasing and settling of them, some epanorthotic revocations and aposiopetic restraints . . . But I hold it now expedient, without further ado, to stop the current of my pen . . . and write with simplicity."

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Cato isSooty-BSAAC
The Red and the Green Stamps


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quote:
Originally posted by The Witchfinder General:

Pre-/Postprandial - before/after a meal (used by John Buchan)

They're also the common terms for before and after a meal used by doctors and other medical-type folk. (ie, if you're referencing when you're measuring blood glucose or performing other assays, or describing when a patient has a certain symptom, if it has some relation to when they eat, or if you want to describe when medicine should be taken in relation to a meal, etc etc)

PS -- we have something else in common! We both think that people who don't appreciate our own sense of humour have none of their own! [Wink]

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Nonny Mouse, on Santa's laptop
Once in Royal Circuit City


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How would you pluralize zarf? Zarfs? Zarves? Would a set of zarves make a good housewarming present?

Nonny "zarf-obsessed" Mouse

--------------------
When there isn't anything else worth analyzing, we examine our collective navel. I found thirty-six cents in change in mine the other day. Let no one say that there is no profit in philosophy. -- Silas Sparkhammer

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The Witchfinder General
The Red and the Green Stamps


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quote:
Originally posted by Cato isSooty-BSAAC:
quote:
Originally posted by The Witchfinder General:

Pre-/Postprandial - before/after a meal (used by John Buchan)

They're also the common terms for before and after a meal used by doctors and other medical-type folk. (ie, if you're referencing when you're measuring blood glucose or performing other assays, or describing when a patient has a certain symptom, if it has some relation to when they eat, or if you want to describe when medicine should be taken in relation to a meal, etc etc)

PS -- we have something else in common! We both think that people who don't appreciate our own sense of humour have none of their own! [Wink]

[Smile]

I first came across the term "post-prandial cigar" in a Buchan short story competition. The d* thing didn't seem to be in half the dictionaries (like a lot of these words!) I think the kid was trying to be clever, but Buchan himself DOES use it.

p.s.Zarf, -fs, -ves... I notice that some billposters for local pantomine have "Seven Dwarfs" on them. Tolkien insists on Dwarves (even mentions this in the back of LOTR if you want to look). I actually think it would make life simpler if we stuck to -fs... after all we don't write dogs with a z normally (except if you're being trendy).

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Tarokaja
The Red and the Green Stamps


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So would you also say knifes, wolfs, scarfs and wifes ? If so, at least you're being consistent. But you'd have to change the speech habits of millions of English speakers. Difficult task, I should think.
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*Astrik*
Xboxing Day


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Wow, Nonny asks a lot of zarf questions. [Wink]

-I haven't seen a zarf beyond a drawing in the unabridged dictionary in my high school's library. I used to go in there every day and turn the dictionary to the page with zarf on it. One of the librians there said she'd get me a zarf (I think that whole thing started because I said I wanted one for my birthday) but she couldn't find one so she wrote me an IOU. [lol]
-I've been pondering what the plural form of "zarf" is as well. It's one of those things I sit and think about for no reason...

~Mazel "I want my zarf!" Tov~

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kessira
The Red and the Green Stamps


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quote:
Originally posted by Mazel Tov:
Wow, Nonny asks a lot of zarf questions. [Wink]

-I haven't seen a zarf beyond a drawing in the unabridged dictionary in my high school's library. I used to go in there every day and turn the dictionary to the page with zarf on it. One of the librians there said she'd get me a zarf (I think that whole thing started because I said I wanted one for my birthday) but she couldn't find one so she wrote me an IOU. [lol]
-I've been pondering what the plural form of "zarf" is as well. It's one of those things I sit and think about for no reason...

~Mazel "I want my zarf!" Tov~

Hey, I've actually used those, I just didn't know what they were. In lots of places in Europe, when you order a hot chocolate, it comes in a glass that sits in a holder w/a handle. Sort of like the mugs used for Irish Coffee. If anybody knows where to get them, please please please e-mail me.
Ju"gotta have my cocoa"dy

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kessira
The Red and the Green Stamps


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quote:
...I used to keep a dictionary of odd words that I came across. Very few of them are actually useful, and I regard many as mere curiosities. If the vasy majority of English speakers don't understand them, then you might as well write in Chinese. Here are a few anyway... I'm reading them from my handwriting so there may be a few mistakes.

Blacklet - Speck of soot
Borborgym - The Rumble of a Stomach
Burke - (verb) Kill someone secretly (from Burke & Hare)
Dendrophilia - Sexual Attraction to trees.
Ghazi - A Muslim soldier fighting an Infidel enemy.
Goog - Flabby or ill conditioned flesh.
Haulm - (verb) tap straight stalks in thatch.
Nephalist - A teetotaller who denies it.
Patella - the knee cap
Phillipic - Speech or piece full of bitter invective.
Plumbaceous - lead like, or lead coloured.
Pogonion - The point of the chin, especially on a witch.
Rubiginous - rust coloured.
Sigil - A demon's personal symbol, used to control or conjure them up.
Wiseacre - a Smart Ass or someone pretending to be wise.

Maybe I copied them down wrong, or use the wrong dictionaries, but I couldn't find definitions for the following -

Sifflicate/Sillficate, rubow, besprent (Middle English?), nettete, stilent, quales/quails (not birds), geegaw/n [/QB]

Hold it, hold it! Since when is sigil a useless word? I use it every weekend! It's a spell component, along with a blacklet from the fire. Usually comes in handy right after I bash in the patellas of several ogres and watch the party's locksmith burke a few trolls while our friendly neighborhood druid engages in dendrophilia....Too bad our fighter has a plumbaceous butt and rubiginous armor...Thought I heard a borborgym coming from that rust monster...We cleric/Mus can be such wiseacres, can't we?
Ju"okay, save versus pun damage"dy

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the Virgin Marrya
Let There Be PCs on Earth


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quote:
Originally posted by Nonny Mouse, Rodent Cannonball:
Has anyone here ever owned, or seen, a zarf?

Nonny

doesn't anyone watch Pinky and the Brain anymore?

Oh, wait..that was Narf...not zarf.

Anyhoo, moving right along - we used to have teh most fantastic (fake) dictionary, which had taken a zillion weird-but-true placenames and given them legit.-sounding definitions.
Due to popular usage, in this part of the world, an Ozark is someone who offers to help just as you finish the job.

Of course, someone borrowed it and it's still missing.

Was it you?
Could you return it?

--------------------
Windows cannot open this file. To open this file correctly, defenestrate, then try running the file again...

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gulliver
The Red and the Green Stamps


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quote:
Hey, I've actually used those, I just didn't know what they were. In lots of places in Europe, when you order a hot chocolate, it comes in a glass that sits in a holder w/a handle. Sort of like the mugs used for Irish Coffee. If anybody knows where to get them, please please please e-mail me.

I've used 'em, too. They're common in Poland, because people there drink tea from a glass... 'zarf' is definitely not a Polish word, though. Come to think of it, I can't for the life of me remember the Polish word for 'zarf.'
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Pinatamonkey
The Red and the Green Stamps


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Reading this page, it appears that the plural of zarf is...'zarf'.
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Woapalanne
The Red and the Green Stamps


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Doing a multidictionary search for zarf, I found that it's Turkish in origin, also meaning "envelope" or "sleeve" - in this case, it's a metal sleeve holding a coffee cup.
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*Astrik*
Xboxing Day


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Ohhhhh, those zarf are so pretty. I must have a zarf!

~Mazel "Even though I hate coffee" Tov~

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The Witchfinder General
The Red and the Green Stamps


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quote:
Originally posted by Tarokaja:
So would you also say knifes, wolfs, scarfs and wifes ? If so, at least you're being consistent. But you'd have to change the speech habits of millions of English speakers. Difficult task, I should think.

Yes I suppose I would. People would still pronounce them with "v"s just as they pronounce dogs, windows etc as if they have a z on the end. It would certainly make things a little bit simpler, and I don't think that's too much of a crime!

"Since when is sigil a useless word? I use it every weekend! It's a spell component, along with a blacklet from the fire."

Unusual might be a better term. Actually haulm is useful to thatchers, and Ghazi is what Bin Laden's terrorists probably see themselves as...

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Tarokaja
The Red and the Green Stamps


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Knifes, scarfs, etc.?

quote:
Yes I suppose I would. People would still pronounce them with "v"s just as they pronounce dogs, windows etc as if they have a z on the end. It would certainly make things a little bit simpler, and I don't think that's too much of a crime!

Good reasoning, in theory. The problems would be in the practical application... imagine the cost or "re-training" everyone who'd ever been taught to write knives, scarves etc.
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The Witchfinder General
The Red and the Green Stamps


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Not at all Tarokaja... many people do it all ready. -fs could be the preferred version, but -ves would be phased out. They've done this in German enough times... with some dodgy recent changes e.g. schifffahrt with three 'f's for ship journey... -ves to -fs is one more irregular plural down... but I wouldn't have mans and oxs though!

After all English is hardly ever truly phonetic... and think of the word standard-eyes itself... it can be ended with -ise or -ize, and neither is really wrong (maybe in the USA, not too sure!!!).

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Mosherette
Deck the Malls


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quote:
Anyhoo, moving right along - we used to have teh most fantastic (fake) dictionary, which had taken a zillion weird-but-true placenames and given them legit.-sounding definitions.
Due to popular usage, in this part of the world, an Ozark is someone who offers to help just as you finish the job.

Of course, someone borrowed it and it's still missing.

Was it you?
Could you return it?

'Tweren't me guvnor, but that sounds like The Meaning of Liff by Douglas Adams and John Lloyd...?

--------------------
Silence should never under any circumstances be construed as agreement. A lot of the time, it's simply a reflection that someone just said something so stupid that no response could possibly do it justice. - Ramblin' Dave

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The Witchfinder General
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Hey the rude placename thing is yet another thread!

I actually came across the use of 'burke' in a poem today!

JK Will's 'Symbiotic Simulacrum'

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Arts Myth
The First USA Noel


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quote:
Originally posted by The Witchfinder General:
Borborgym - The Rumble of a Stomach

George Carlin did a funny bit about borborygm. Forget which album it was on, though...

quote:
Dendrophilia - Sexual Attraction to trees.
Ouch! Reminds me of an S. Gross cartoon (could have been P.C. Vey... One of the "regular" National Lampoon contributors, anyway), with Pinnochio telling his partner (can't recall their gender) that all they had to worry about was splinters.

quote:
Wiseacre - a Smart Ass or someone pretending to be wise.
Seen this one around; doesn't seem too unusual.

quote:
Maybe I copied them down wrong, or use the wrong dictionaries, but I couldn't find definitions for the following -

Sifflicate/Sillficate, rubow, besprent (Middle English?), nettete, stilent, quales/quails (not birds), geegaw/n

Not sure about most of those, but there is gewgaw, which is an alternate of geegaw, which my Gage Canadian Dictionary says is "a showy trifle; gaudy, useless ornament or toy; bauble."

--------------------
Stupid, stupid rat creatures! - Bone
"The missionaries told us not to cut ourselves. It displeases Jesus." - Elsie Clews Parsons, Kiowa Tales, quoted in The Mourner's Dance, Katherine Ashenburg

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kessira
The Red and the Green Stamps


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quote:
I've used 'em, too. They're common in Poland, because people there drink tea from a glass... 'zarf' is definitely not a Polish word, though. Come to think of it, I can't for the life of me remember the Polish word for 'zarf.' [/QB]
Well, I think the American word for zarf is "umm..cupholder thingamajig."
Judy

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the Virgin Marrya
Let There Be PCs on Earth


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quote:
Originally posted by Mosherette:

'Tweren't me guvnor, but that sounds like The Meaning of Liff by Douglas Adams and John Lloyd...? [/QB][/QUOTE]


aha! and armed with that extra piece of info (author names), a hunting I shall go.
(Gotta stop collecting dictionaries. Right after I get just one more!)

Returning you to your ACTUAL thread....

--------------------
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Tootsie Plunkette
Buy a Torch, Jeanette, Isabella


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Ha! I need to dig out my (autographed) copy of that book. I believe there was a volume 2, but I could be wrong on that.

Edit: Yes, there was!

Woonsocket... [lol]

--------------------
--Tootsie

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kessira
The Red and the Green Stamps


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quote:
Originally posted by Toot-Toot-Tootsie:
Ha! I need to dig out my (autographed) copy of that book. I believe there was a volume 2, but I could be wrong on that.

Edit: Yes, there was!

Woonsocket... [lol]

AUTOGRAPHED? You lucky dog! That book had me falling off the chair laughing from the moment I opened the cover. [lol]
Ju'Liff, the Universe and Everything"dy

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Elkhound
It Came Upon a Midnight Clearance


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quote:
Originally posted by The Witchfinder General:
quote:
Originally posted by Tarokaja:
So would you also say knifes, wolfs, scarfs and wifes ? If so, at least you're being consistent. But you'd have to change the speech habits of millions of English speakers. Difficult task, I should think.

Yes I suppose I would. People would still pronounce them with "v"s just as they pronounce dogs, windows etc as if they have a z on the end. It would certainly make things a little bit simpler, and I don't think that's too much of a crime!


J.R.R. Tolkein used 'dwarves' instead of 'dwarfs.' (And 'dwarvish' rather than 'dwarfish'.) He later said several times that he did this to distinguish the race in his stories from humans with androplasia (sp.?), but in the Letters he admitted that regularizing plurals (f/v) was a spelling error that he consistantly made, and that one just got through all the proofreadings of The Hobbit.

--------------------
"The bicycle is the most civilized conveyance known to man. Other forms of transport grow daily more nightmarish. Only the bicycle remains pure in heart."--Iris Murdoch

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Fusca 1976
Angels Wii Have Heard on High


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Most of the OP aren't funny for people who speak a neolatin language.

I would add:

autoonphaloscope: an instrument for contemplating one's own bellybutton.

And then there is the following story:

[looking at the badly mangled corpse of a young woman]- Gosh, what did happen to her?

- Oh, boy, that was terrible! Mind you, she was defenestrated!

- The poor girl...! and they threw her through the window after?!

Luís Henrique

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The Witchfinder General
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quote:
Originally posted by Elkhound:
quote:
Originally posted by The Witchfinder General:


J.R.R. Tolkein used 'dwarves' instead of 'dwarfs.' (And 'dwarvish' rather than 'dwarfish'.) He later said several times that he did this to distinguish the race in his stories from humans with androplasia (sp.?), but in the Letters he admitted that regularizing plurals (f/v) was a spelling error that he consistantly made, and that one just got through all the proofreadings of The Hobbit. [/QB]
Elkhound, I mention Tolkien earlier in the thread.

Oh and we're supposed to call them vertically challenged now too! [Smile]

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The Spider in the Ointment
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Aa - some kind of lava.

I was watching a Scrabble tv show, and you ought to have seen some of the words they produced.

JK "A Gnu too" Will

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Doc J.
It Came Upon a Midnight Clearance


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My favourite . . .

hoyden
n.
A high-spirited, boisterous, or saucy girl. [Wink]

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Mosherette
Deck the Malls


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Aa is lava that solidifies into big blocky lumps that are very difficult to walk on, as opposed to the even-better named pahoehoe lava, which is nice and smooth with a wrinkly or rope-like textured surface. I think they're both Hawaiian words (which isn't terribly surprising).

--------------------
Silence should never under any circumstances be construed as agreement. A lot of the time, it's simply a reflection that someone just said something so stupid that no response could possibly do it justice. - Ramblin' Dave

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The Spider in the Ointment
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quote:
Originally posted by SpiderMosh:
Aa is lava that solidifies into big blocky lumps that are very difficult to walk on, as opposed to the even-better named pahoehoe* lava, which is nice and smooth with a wrinkly or rope-like textured surface. I think they're both Hawaiian words (which isn't terribly surprising).

I think I know what they're talking about. Well since we're on Hawaiian, here's something equally exotic, Icelandic words in English -

Hraun - a plain of solidified lava

Jo:kulhlaup - a massive flood caused by a volcano melting an ice cap or glacier.

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