Making an assault on the overflowing e-mail “in” box. Some past OED WOTDs of note. (This is why projects like clearing the in-box never get completed. Because I get distracted.)

accubation, n. 1.  The action or practice of reclining, esp. at a table when dining; a reclining posture. Now rare.

(the “hundred words for snow” shibboleth has been oft debunked, but way better, the Inuit have this word): piblokto, n.   A condition affecting the Inuit peoples in winter, characterized by an episode of wild excitement and irrational behaviour followed by a period of stupor or unconsciousness, sometimes with apparent seizures; also called Arctic hysteria. Also: a condition characterized by aggressive behaviour and seizures affecting dogs or other animals in the Arctic.

(interesting etymology): gung ho, n. (Forms: Also  kung-hou.  Etymology: Chinese kung work + ho together.)   A slogan adopted in the war of 1939–1945 by the United States Marines under General E. Carlson (1896–1947); hence as adj.: enthusiastic, eager, zealous.

emacity, n. Fondness for buying. rare.

vegetably, adj.  Of or relating to plants or plant matter, esp. vegetables; characteristic or reminiscent of vegetables; containing vegetables. 

(and having nothing to do with vegetables): vegete, adj. (Etymology: classical Latin vegetus vigorous, active, energetic, making active, invigorating, use as adjective of past participle of vegēre to enliven Now rare.1.  Healthy, active.
a.  Of a person, his or her body, etc.: fit and healthy, full of life and vigour, blooming.

hotchi-witchi, n.woods  Among Gypsies: the hedgehog, Erinaceus europaeus.

(I’ve seen this one before, but what a great thing to have a word for): Grimthorpe, v.(Etymology: < the name of Sir Edmund Beckett, first Lord Grimthorpe (1816–1905), whose restoration of St. Albans Cathedral, completed in 1904, aroused fierce criticism and controversy.)  trans. To restore (an ancient building) with lavish expenditure rather than skill and fine taste.

gasconade, n. and adj.  Extravagant boasting or exaggeration; boastful or bombastic language; (also) an instance of this.

MORE TO COME! (Sigh. Never going to get thru the in-box at this rate.)


“A slight amount of insanity might be a good thing for the practice of lexicography.”

Katherine Connor Martin of the OED, in a New Yorker article on a lexicographical mystery and the OED‘s long tradition of “crowdsourcing since before there was a word for crowdsourcing.”

And, on the mystery in question, a mid-19th-century book cited multiple times as an early source for words in the OED, but which the OED has been “unable to trace … in library catalogues or text databases,” Martin says, “Here is a book that everyone has forgotten, but it is immortal. It is in the O.E.D.”