Archive for the ‘Definition’ Category

Sticks and Stones . . . !

April 25, 2018

For police officers, the rules are a bit different.  As a public servant, they often times must endure every form of abuse from the public they serve (from verbal to physical) all while remaining calm, polite, and in control of the situation.  The police officer’s “peace” cannot be disturbed, they cannot be “offended” by anything said to, or about them, and they must remain professional at all times . . . even as the public they serve scream imprecations at the officers who are just attempting to do their jobs.


\ im-pri-key-shuh n \, noun;

1.  the act of imprecating; cursing.
2.  a curse; malediction.
Source: The Highly Selective Dictionary for the Extraordinarily Literate by Eugene Ehrlich.


January 21, 2018

According to, the very first definition of preserve is: “to   keep  alive   or in existence; make lasting.”  When I was going through my mom’s old recipe boxes last summer, I ran across an index card that was not a recipe, but rather, it provided direction on “How to Preserve a Husband” (courtesy of Mrs. Alice Harker).  It definitely brought a smile to my face and will hopefully do the same for you.  Enjoy!

“Be careful in your selections.  Take only those varieties as have been reared in a good moral atmosphere.  When once decided upon and selected, let that part remain forever  settled.  Give your entire thoughts to preparations for domestic use; some insist on keeping them in a pickle, while others are constantly getting them into hot water.  All varieties may be kept sweet and good by garnishing with smiles and kisses.  Wrap well in a mantle of charity; keep warm with a steady fire of domestic devotion, and serve with peaches and cream.  When thus prepared they will keep for years.”


Fun Fact Friday, Number Fifty-Six!

December 29, 2017

Thank goodness for the might cacao bean!  According to the Oxford English Dictionary, the cacao bean is the “seed of a tree native to tropical America, Theobroma cacao (family Sterculiaceae), from which cocoa and chocolate are prepared.”  Did you know that . . .

  • the original recipe for chocolate contained chili powder instead of sugar? (Real Fact #259).
  • vanilla is used to make chocolate? (Real Fact #842).
  • National Chocolate Covered Cherry Day is in six days [January 3rd]?  (Real Fact #1298).
  • chocolate bars and blue denim both originated in Guatemala? (Real Fact #1310).


The Joys of “Getting Away!”

August 10, 2017

Vacations are wonderful . . . the process of “getting away” from the day to day drudge is ever so important for one’s mental health and well-being.  But how many of us are guilty of not taking advantage of our vacations to relax and recharge our physical and emotional batteries?  I know that I’ve been guilty of not taking appropriate vacations or travel (from time to time), but I’m certainly striving to do better in this department lately. Speaking of travel, here are some humorous definitions (by way of quotations) on the topic of “travel” and “tourist.”

“The process of journeying thousands of miles away from people to avoid them, and then sending them a card saying, ‘Wish you were here.'”  (E.C. McKenzie)

“What’s only glamorous in retrospect.”   (Paul Theroux)

And, regarding a “tourist,”

“A man who travels hundreds of miles just to get a photograph of himself standing beside his car.”  (Hal Roach)

Source: The Cynic’s Dictionary by Aubrey Dillon-Malone.

A Shrewish Wife!

May 3, 2017

When one thinks of a quarrelsome or nagging wife, one name (word) immediately comes to mind . . . Shakespeare was wise to use the word “shrew” instead (The Taming of the Shrew).

Xanthippe or Xantippe

\ zan-tip-ee \, noun;

  1. the wife of Socrates
  2. a scolding or ill-tempered wife; a shrewish woman

Source: The Highly Selective Dicationary for the Extraordinarily Literate by Eugene Ehrlich.

Amazing Adjectives, Number Fifteen!

April 18, 2017

I have never actually run across this word in any book I have read to date, but you just never know when you will encounter a new word or two.  As exemplified in The Highly Selective Dictionary of Golden Adjectives for the Extraordinarily Literate,

“Even in complex societies, matters of everyday life are often subject to regulation by consuetudinary law.”


\ kon-swi-tood-n-er-ee, –tyood \, adjective;

 1.  customary; traditional

Source: The Highly Selective Dictionary of Golden Adjectives for the Extraordinarily Literate by Eugene Ehrlich.


March 21, 2017

I can think of many examples of voices that could be described as orotund.  Military, police, actors (stage especially), radio announcers, politicians, etc. (to name just a few). “He pitched his orotund voice upon me as if he were giving a command in gale at sea.”  From: A Republic Without a President and Other Stories by Herbert Ward.


\ awruh-tuhnd, ohr– \, adjective;

1. (of the voice or speech) characterized by strength, fullness, richness,and clearness.
2. (of a style of speaking) pompous or bombastic.

Beware of Censorship!

November 16, 2016

No one likes to be censored.  By definition, a censor is “an official who examines books, plays, news reports, motion pictures, radio and television programs, letters, cablegrams, etc., for the purpose of suppressing parts deemed objectionable on moral, political, military, or other grounds.” (Source

So, I thought I would consult my copy of The Cynic’s Dictionary (by Aubrey Dillon-Malone) to see what definitions I could find . . .

“A man who knows more that he thinks you ought to.”  (Laurence Peter)

“People who are paid to have dirty minds.”  (John Trevelyan)

“A more depraving and corrupting practice than anything pornography can produce.”  (Tony Smythe)

“A legal corollary of public modesty.”  (Jonathan Miller)

“An excuse to talk about sex.”  (Fran Lebowitz)

“A practice as indefensible as infanticide.”  (Rebecca West)

Source: The Cynic’s Dictionary by Aubrey Dillon-Malone.

The Urban Lifestyle!

May 25, 2016

I can’t explain it, but despite having grown up on a farm (a vineyard with winery, actually) in rural northern lower Michigan, I have always been drawn to the city.  I’m apparently much more comfortable with the hustle and bustle that accompanies an urban environment.  So here are some definitions of the word “city” that I found in my copy of The Cynic’s Dictionary by Aubrey Dillon-Malone.

“A place where you are least likely  to get a bite from a wild sheep.” (Brendan Behan)

“Not a concrete jungle, but a human zoo.”  (Desmond Morris)

“Millions of people being lonely together.”  (Henry Thoreau)

“The only desert still available to us.”  (Albert Camus)

An Oddity for Sure!

October 28, 2015

Odd can be defined in a number of ways . . . But despite all of the oddities in life (especially the 6th definition below), this is what makes each of us truly unique.  Following these definitions, I have rounded up a few of my favorite quotations on the subject.  Let’s go forth and be unique!

1. a :  being without a corresponding mate <an odd shoe>
    b (1) :  left over after others are paired or grouped (2) :  separated from a set or series
2. a :  somewhat more than the indicated approximate quantity, extent, or degree —usually used in combination <300-odd pages>
    b (1) :  left over as a remainder <had a few odd dollars left after paying his bills> (2) :  constituting a small amount <had some odd change in her pocket>
3. a :  being any of the integers (as −3, −1, +1, and +3) that are not divisible by two without leaving a remainder
    b :  marked by an odd number of units
    c :  being a function such that f(−x) = −f(x) where the sign is reversed but the absolute value remains the same if the sign of the independent variable is reversed
4. a :  not regular, expected, or planned <worked at odd jobs>
    b :  encountered or experienced from time to time :  occasional
5. :  having an out-of-the-way location :  remote
6  :  differing markedly from the usual or ordinary or accepted :  peculiar

“You have to be odd to be number one.”  (Dr. Seuss)

“You say freak, I say unique.”  (Christian Baloga)

“I am an artist you know … it is my right to be odd.” (E. A. Bucchianeri)