Blood libels are allegations that a person or group engages in human sacrifice, often accompanied by the claim that the blood of victims is used in various rituals and/or acts of cannibalism. Its use is nearly always with regard to sensationalized accusations and high emotions. Throughout history, these claims have been frequently made against Jews living in Europe and even resulted in lynching and persecution of whole Jewish communities.
It has recently been used by our modern Mrs Malaprop (she who coined refudiate last year) Sarah Palin. Pundits say that the reason this phrase has provoked so much anger is because Palin is using the phrase “blood libel” just to refer to verbal criticisms, implying an equivalence between both circumstances. The famous linguist Deborah Tannen has speculated that Palin and her advisors are totally unaware of blood libel’s proper meaning.
Many people will know that sulky means huffish, sullen or moody.
But did you know that a sulky was a form of one-person horse-drawn light carriage in Victorian times or a low two-wheeled cart sometimes used in harness racing. I have mentioned a few carriages in the past on this blog but I have just come across a great list for anyone who is interested on a site called phrontistery.
Prolix means tediously prolonged speech or writing; tending to speak or write at great length. I suppose I should go on at great length about prolix and make this a suitable posring. However, as I am not normally inclined to wordiness, verbosity and garrulousness I'll finish now...
This is something I suffer from a times - Lethologica is a psychological disorder that inhibits an individual's ability to articulate his or her thoughts by temporarily forgetting key words, phrases or names in conversation; the inability to remember the correct word.
Allegedly - i.e. according to one website but I cannot find it in a dictionary - matronolagnia means being attracted to older women, especially those with children. A strange word and a strange concept!
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)