Lock up your hindbrain, it's Andy's Bucket-o-Memes
Word of the Week Archive

I get depressed at how small some people's vocabularies are, so here, in a spirit of generosity that only free web access could sustain, is an archive of my Words of the Week. Enjoy.

body liquor (n):
The fluid produced when a corpse decays without the escape of moisture. Most commonly present in sealed coffins (lead-lined coffins were popular with the Victorians and Romans). Body liquor is often highly infectious, bright orange with floating white crustadoes, and actually tastes worse than tequila.

From the Latin for ball, a ball-shaped blob, usually cohesive, often shiny and moist.

Used in medical teminology to describe a discrete quantity of food such as when swallowed, etc.

cormorant | \KOR-mur-unt; -muh-rant\ (n):
Any species of Phalacrocorax, a genus of sea birds having a sac under the beak; the shag. Cormorants devour fish voraciously, and have become the emblem of gluttony. They are generally black, and hence are called sea ravens, and coalgeese. Cormorant comes from Old French cormareng, raven of the sea, from corb, raven (from Latin corvus) + marenc, of the sea (from Latin marinus).

egregore | EG're'gor (n):
A kind of group mind which is created when people consciously come together for a common purpose. Whenever people gather together to do something an egregore is formed. Egregores are effectively constructs so large that one person cannot totally own or control them any more. There is significant crossover with the term zeitgeist. Chaos magicians place egregores thus on a the pseudoevolutionary scale: Sigil, servitor, egregore, god-form.

flense | flens' (v) :
To remove the flesh (from a bone). Examples: (1) Both acid and alkali are effective flensing agents though they may damage bone if too strong. (2) The scavengers flensed the carcass.

gosu-rori | goss'rawri (n):
(Jap) Victorian-style goth, you know, the ones with bodices and lace and topcoats. Gosu, goth; rori, Victorian.

A big eater. From the Greek huper, extreme, and phagos, to eat. Thus when I eat kedgeree and toast for breakfast, have a doughnut for elevenses with a couple of coffees, eat pie and chips for lunch, with a cake, then snack on fruit in the afternoon before an evening meal, a pile of tortilla chips, and a tub of ice-cream, I am not a fat bastard. I am hyperphagic. See? Doesn't techincal terminology erase all that pesky guilt?

labret | la'brit, la'brett (n):
An ornament that passes through a pierced upper or lower lip. The word originally referred to stone or gold ornaments worn by Northwest Coast American, African or South American natives, but today labrets are becoming popular as fashion accessories in some social groups. Labret comes from the Latin labrum (lip) with the -et ending (something worn, from Latin -ittum). The word lip is also derived from labrum, and labrum is also a modern word, meaning a liplike structure such as the outer mouth of a snail shell.

merrythought | meri'thort (n):
The wishbone, or forked clavicle in front of the breastbone of most birds; more specifically the longer, lucky, part when broken in two for good luck. Also a bookbinding tool shaped like a wishbone. The term dates to at least the 15th Century CE.

mugwump (n):
Nineteenth-century American term for a two-party voter, one who would vote both Republican and Democrat. Hence someone in both states, or between two states. In modern use, it may refer to the emoticon :/ which is neither happy :) or sad :(.

quincunx | kwINN'kungks (n):
An arrangement of five things in a rectangle with one at each corner and one in the middle; especially, such an arrangement of trees repeated indefinitely, so as to form a regular group with rows running in various directions

rebar | ree'bar (n):
Steel rod with a textured surface, used to reinforce poured concrete structures. The rusting steel you see sticking out of blasted buildings is rebar. The name, obviously, is a contraction of reinforcement bar.

squamous| sk'waymus (adj):
Relating to scales; scaly or covered with scales; flat like a scale (e.g relating to the thin, platelike part of the temporal bone, or the squamous cells of the cervix).