Philoprogenitiveness, from the Greek, means, 'love of offspring'. It is one of the mental faculties of phrenology, developed by Franz Joseph Gall. Philoprogenitiveness, classified phrenologically as an affective propensity, is determined by the formation of the very back of the head.
(Phrenology was the science, now generally discredited, which studied the relationships between a person's character and the morphology (structure) of the skull.)
A winze is an opening in an underground mine that is sunk downward (as opposed to a raise, which is mined upward) from inside to connect lower levels. The top of a winze is located underground, in contrast to a shaft where the top of the excavation is located on the surface.
A ziggurat is a type of step-pyramid temple first built by the Sumerians 5,000 years ago in southern Mesopotamia, made of sun-dried mud bricks. The peoples of Mesopotamia – the Assyrians and Babylonians continued building ziggurats for thousands of years.
An arhat is one who has attained enlightenment; a worthy one; a Buddhist saint; one of the stages of the ascetic's spiritual evolution, when all passions (anger, ego, deception, greed, attachement, hatred and ignorance) are destroyed. It is also pronounced and written Arahat, Arhan, and Rahat.
A coif is a close fitting cap that covers the top, back, and sides of the head; a skullcap worn by nuns under a veil or by soldiers under a hood of mail or formerly by British sergeants-at-law; or even, quite simply, a hair-do.
Subfusc comes from the Latin for "of a dark/dusky colour", and refers to clothing acceptable, by regulation at certain universities, for an examination or official event; the clothes worn with full academic dress in Oxford. Generally, this means, for men:
* Dark suit.
* Black socks and shoes.
* White shirt and collar.
* White bow tie.
* White blouse.
* Black tie.
* Black skirt or trousers.
* Black stockings or tights.
* Black shoes.
* Dark coat (if desired).
A eukaryote is an organism whose cells contain complex structures inside the membranes. Any member of a group of organisms that contains all plants and animals apart form bacteria and blue-green algae. Their cells possess a membrane-bound nucleus containing the genetic material. Both animals and plants are eukaryotes (meaning their cells have nuclei to hold their DNA instead of letting it just float around anywhere).
A sexton is a church, congregation or synagogue officer charged with the maintenance of its buildings and/or the surrounding graveyard. Sextons may also be responsible for bell-ringing and grave digging.
I seldom say a harsh word to any one, but I was not master of myself then, and I spoke right out and called him an anisodactylous plesiosaurian conchyliaceous Ornithorhyneus, and rotten to the heart with holophotal subterranean extemporaneousness. Mark Twain
Buxom means having a full, voluptuous figure, especially possessing large breasts; plump and comely. According to the Oxford English dictionary it used to mean meek, obliging, kindly, and understanding. Other meanings were blithe, lively and gay, full of health, vigour and good temper.
A shibboleth is a manner of speaking that is distinctive of a particular group of people; any distinguishing practice which is indicative of one's social or regional origin. It usually refers to features of language, and particularly to a word whose pronunciation identifies its speaker as being a member or not a member of a particular group.
Phynnodderee is sometimes used as a proper name and sometimes as the name of a class of beings. The phynnodderee is like a brownie, hob, or sprite in folklore, particular around the Isle of Man.
Other spellings include fenodyree, phynodderee, fynnoderee or fenoderee or even yn foldyr gastey, which means 'the nimble mower'. He is small and hairy, particularly around the legs, almost like a small satyr. Fenodyree is in fact the term used for 'satyr' in the 1819 Manx version of the Bible (Isaiah 34:14)
The phynnodderee worked very hard from dusk to dawn at agricultural tasks, such as herding, mowing, reaping and threshing.
Fenodyree is also a character in "The Weirdstone of Brisingamen", a wonderful young-adult fantasy set in Alderley Edge in Cheshire by Alan Garner.
Necrosis is the premature death of cells and living tissue. Necrosis is caused by external factors, such as infection, toxins or trauma. This is in contrast to apoptosis, which is a naturally occurring cause of cellular death.
A word to rival yesterday's for a place at the end of the dictionary is zyxt. The Oxford English Dictionary ends on this nonword, being a long-obsolete Kentish spelling of the second person singular present tense of see!
I would not normally include scientific genera because there are too many and they are not something that most people would be intersted in as words in themselves. But zyzzyva was one I had to put it. Zyzzyva is a genus of tropical South American weevils particularly fond of palm trees.
A rubric is a title or heading written or printed in red or otherwise distinguished from the rest of the text.
It can also be the direction for the conduct of divine service.
And a third meanng is any established mode of conduct or procedure.
Whole books have been written about collective nouns for animals. Many of them are words commonly used but some are more unusual.
Among these are:-
A fesnying of ferrets (which also be a busyness of ferrets)
A bob of seals (also plum, pod, rookery, team)
A badling of Ducks (also paddling, team (in the air), flock, plump, sord (on land), sute (on water).
A cete of badgers
A dole of doves (also flight, flock)
An exaltation of larks (also bevy)
A gam of whales (also pod, school)
A husk of hares (also down)
An ostentation of peafowl (also muster, pride)
A nye of pheasants (also nide, bevy)
A rout of wolves (also pack)
A shrewdness of apes
A sedge of herons (also siege)
A singular of boars (also sounder)
My daughter Helen commented in November 2008 in her Blog that she was now keeping a notebook of new words that she came across during her reading. "This week I bought a lovely little leather bound book to write new words in as I read them . I've added a few from "1984", but my favourite has to be persiflage (from the French persifler) which means banter." I later discovered that my older daughter, Bryony, also kept a similar notebook.
This inspired me to create a Word blog. This will include both new words, favourite words and the origins of phrases that we commonly use. A definition and some comment, perhaps even a relevant quotation, will acompany the word or phrase.
“I am a Bear of Very Little Brain, and long words bother me.” - Winnie the Pooh
I'm a blogger - nowadays that seems to be my main occupation and Rambles from My Chair is my main blog. I’m a retired local government executive - now studying how to survive a neurological disorder that gives me various problems but, hopefully, a whole new outlook on life and an increased sense of humour and perspective. I enjoy all manner of communication apart from the telephone and am constantly e-mailing, texting, writing postcards and letters and commenting on other people's blogs.
Scriptor Senex is Latin for Old Writer and my real name is John but I've almost forgotten that nowadays...
“He’s not so old. He’s just the age that he is, that’s all.” (Gerald Hammond)