Friday, February 26, 2010

Dictionary Highlights: Day 56

clay eater - a poor, uneducated person from a rural area.

clem - to starve

Clintonomics - the economic policies set forth by President Bill Clinton.

and another portmanteau makes it into the dictionary!

Clotho - the Fate who spins the thread of life.

Coca-colonize - to bring (a foreign country) under the influence of U.S. trade, popular culture, and attitudes.

My kind of colonization

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Dictionary Highlights: Day 55

chyme - the semifluid mass into which food is converted by gastric secretion and which passes from the stomach into the small intestine.

circular file - a wastebasket.

Crice -
1.Also, Kirke. Also called Aeaea. Classical Mythology. the enchantress represented by Homer as turning the companions of Odysseus into swine by means of a magic drink.
2.a dangerously or irresistibly fascinating woman.

cisco - any of several whitefishes of the genus Coregonus, of the Great Lakes and smaller lakes of eastern North America.

circle jerk - mutual masturbation among three or more persons. Also applied analogically as stated by Urban Dictionary: When a bunch of blowhards - usually politicians - get together for a debate but usually end up agreeing with each other's viewpoints to the point of redundancy, stroking each other's egos. Basically, it's what happens when the choir preaches to itself.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Dictionary Highlights: Day 54

chlorosis - an abnormally yellow color of plant tissues, resulting from partial failure to develop chlorophyll, caused by a nutrient deficiencyor the activities of a pathogen.
2. Also called greensickness. Pathology. a benign type of iron-deficiency anemia in adolescent girls, marked by a pale yellow-green complexion.

Two completely unrelated definitions for the same word.

chocolate soldier -a nonfighting soldier; a serviceman not assigned to combat duty.

cholent - a stewed or baked dish, esp. of meat and beans, served on the Sabbath but cooked the day before or overnight over a slow fire.

I like to make mine with bacon, for irony.

chow-chow -1. a Chinese mixed fruit preserve.
2. a relish of chopped mixed pickles in mustard sauce.

christcross-row - The alphabet

and for one that isn't in the dictionary, but should be:

Chocolate Rain - A horrible and annoying song that became an internet meme because the artist looks like a teenager and has a deep voice. Get over it.

Dictionary Highlights: Day 51

cheese - (slang) to stop; desist.

chilblain - an inflammation of the hands and feet caused by exposure to cold and moisture.

chiller-diller - a frightening or suspenseful story or film; melodrama.

Chinese Chess - a Chinese game, resembling chess, played on a board consisting of two halves, each eight squares by four, with a strip separating them: pieces representing the military of ancient China are placed on the intersections of the lines and the game is won when a general is checkmated

Chinese copy - an exact copy, including all errors.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Genesis and the Big Bang

How old is the universe? Six thousand years? Fourteen billion years? Neither? Both?

Those of you who know my theology know that I hold to Old Earth or Progressive Creationism. I take the creation days to be eras, since the sun does not appear until Day 4, and since Genesis 1 does not give an ending to Day 7.

Dr. Gerald Schroeder has a different idea, however. As an Orthodox Jew, he is committed to the authority of the Talmud, whose authors unanimously agree that "day" means "24 hour period." So he has to either discount Scripture or discount science, right? In an article harmonizing the literal reading of Genesis 1 with the observed age of the universe, he uses time dilation to show how one observer can measure an event as taking 144 hours, while another can measure the same event as taking 14 billion years.

The issue I hold with this interpretation was brought up by the Karaite Jewish scholar Shawn Lichaa. The 3500 year old dialect of Hebrew in which the Pentateuch was written is a lost language. We don't know for sure the exact meaning of every word or its usage, except in the context of other areas of the Bible in which it is used. In the Biblical contexts in which it is used, "yom" always means day, but we don't really know if it had any secondary meanings, or what those meanings were.

The following 50 minute video gives a detailed account of Schroeder's case. It gives a lot of insight into both the nature of relativity and the history of the Talmudists' interpretation of Genesis 1.

Dictionary Highlights: Day 50

cess - luck (usually used in the expression bad cess to): Bad cess to them!

chai - (French) a shed or other aboveground building where a winemaker stores wine in casks.

chairbed - a chair that can be opened out to form a bed.

champagne - (initial capital letter) the sparkling, dry, white table wine from the region of Champagne in France.

champaign - level, open country; plain.

champers - British slang for Champagne

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Dictionary Highlights: Day 48

centillion - a cardinal number represented in the U.S. by 1 followed by 303 zeros, and in Great Britain by 1 followed by 600 zeros.

This would lead to confusion if this number was ever actually used

ceratoid - hornlike; horny.

I can only imagine an English professor using this. "Honey, I'm feeling very ceratoid right now"

cerebrate - to use the mind; think or think about.

Dance to the music. Oh, yeah.

Cerenkov Radiation - radiation produced by a particle passing through a medium at a speed greater than that of light through the medium.

I guessed that this effect was impossible for a particle with mass to accomplish. I guessed wrong.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Dictionary Highlights: Day 47

Catholic Apostolic Church - a nearly extinct English Protestant church established between 1832 and 1835, stressing the imminent coming of the millennium and the reestablishment of the primitive church's ministries.

When your main dogma is that your organization will soon be obsolete, that tends to come true.

cat's pajamas - someone or something wonderful or remarkable. (also cat's meow)

This expression is the bee's knees!

Caucasus - A region between the Black and Caspian seas that includes southwest Russia, Georgia, Azerbaijan, and Armenia, and that forms part of the traditional boundary between Europe and Asia. Inhabited before 2000 B.C., it was the scene of countless invasions over the millennia. Conquered by Russia during the 18th and 19th centuries, the region has vast oil resources, which were a major German objective in World War II. Following the collapse of the USSR in 1991, the region became the site of various secessionist movements.

Where the term "caucasian" comes from. So I guess I'll visit the mother land in Azerbaijan.

cave canem - Latin for beware of the dog

If I ever get a dog, I will put this on the sign in front of my house.

Monday, February 8, 2010


Dictionary Highlights: Day 39

bush bean - a variety of the common edible bean, Phaseolus vulgaris humilis, characterized by its bushy growth.

butter-and-egg-man - a prosperous businessman from a small town or a farmer who spends his money ostentatiously on visits to a big city.

butterscotch -
1. a flavor produced in puddings, frostings, ice cream, etc., by combining brown sugar, vanilla extract, and butter with other ingredients.
2. a hard, brittle taffy made with butter, brown sugar, etc.
3. a golden brown color.

butts and bounds - the boundary lines of a piece of land, as used in deeds, titles, etc.

butt weld - a weld between two pieces of metal butted together with the abutted ends shortened and thickened and fused together under heat.

Buys-Baller's law - the law stating that if one stands with one's back to the wind, in the Northern Hemisphere the atmospheric pressure will be lower on one's left and in the Southern Hemisphere it will be lower on one's right: descriptive of the relationship of horizontal winds to atmospheric pressure.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Dictionary Highlights: Day 34

brevicaudate - having a short tail.

brisance - the shattering effect of a high explosive.

Brittany - a region in NW France, on a peninsula between the English Channel and the Bay of Biscay: a former duchy and province.

Broadview Heights - a town in N Ohio. 10,920.

brolly - an umbrella

brood parasitism - a form of social parasitism practiced by certain birds, as cuckoos and cowbirds, in which eggs are laid in the nests of other birds, causing them to be hatched and the young reared by the hosts, often at the cost of the hosts' own young.

broomrape - any of various parasitic plants, esp. of the genus Orobanche, living on the roots of broom and other plants.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Dictionary Highlights: Day 33

brain drain - a loss of trained professional personnel to another company, nation, etc., that offers greater opportunity.

brandy mint - peppermint

But I much prefer asking for a brandy mint patty. It makes me sound like an alcoholic

brass-collar - unwaveringly faithful to a political party; voting the straight ticket: a brass-collar Republican.

bread-and-butter pickle - an unpeeled slice of cucumber marinated in salt water and boiled with vinegar, celery seed, spices, and brown sugar.

breastwork - a defensive work, usually breast high.

This is the problem with having mixed gender units. "I'm impressed, Private. This is your breast...I mean best work"

Brecksville - a town in N Ohio. 10,132.

Yay for being in the dictionary

break -
–verb (used with object)
1. to smash, split, or divide into parts violently; reduce to pieces or fragments: He broke a vase.
2. to infringe, ignore, or act contrary to (a law, rule, promise, etc.): She broke her promise.
3. to dissolve or annul (often fol. by off): to break off friendly relations with another country.
4. to fracture a bone of (some part of the body): He broke his leg.
5. to lacerate; wound: to break the skin.
6. to destroy or interrupt the regularity, uniformity, continuity, or arrangement of; interrupt: The bleating of a foghorn broke the silence. The troops broke formation.
7. to put an end to; overcome; stop: His touchdown run broke the tie. She found it hard to break the cigarette habit.
8. to discover the system, key, method, etc., for decoding or deciphering (a cryptogram), esp. by the methods of cryptanalysis.
9. to remove a part from (a set or collection): She had to break the set to sell me the two red ones I wanted.
10. to exchange for or divide into smaller units or components: She broke a dollar bill into change. The prism broke the light into all the colors of the rainbow.
11. to make a way through; penetrate: The stone broke the surface of the water.
12. Law.
a. to open or force one's way into (a dwelling, store, etc.).
b. to contest (a will) successfully by judicial action.
13. to make one's way out of, esp. by force: to break jail.
14. to better (a given score or record): He never broke 200 in bowling or 80 in golf.
15. to disclose or divulge personally in speech or writing: He broke the good news to her at dinner.
16. to solve: The police needed only a week to break that case.
17. to rupture (a blood vessel): She almost broke a blood vessel from laughing so hard.
18. to disable or destroy by or as if by shattering or crushing: to break a watch.
19. to cause (a blister, boil, or the like) to burst, as by puncturing: She broke the blister with a needle.
20. to ruin financially; make bankrupt: They threatened to break him if he didn't stop discounting their products.
21. to overcome or wear down the spirit, strength, or resistance of; to cause to yield, esp. under pressure, torture, or the like: They broke him by the threat of blackmail.
22. to dismiss or reduce in rank.
23. to impair or weaken the power, effect, or intensity of: His arm broke the blow.
24. to train to obedience; tame: to break a horse.
25. to train away from a habit or practice (usually fol. by of).
26. Electricity. to render (a circuit) incomplete; stop the flow of (a current).
27. Journalism.
a. to release (a story) for publication or airing on radio or television: They will break the story tomorrow.
b. to continue (a story or article) on another page, esp. when the page is not the following one.
28. Pool. to cause (racked billiard balls) to scatter by striking with the cue ball.
29. Sports.
a. (of a pitcher, bowler, etc.) to hurl (a ball) in such a way as to cause it to change direction after leaving the hand: He broke a curve over the plate for a strike.
b. (in tennis and other racket games) to score frequently or win against (an opponent's serve).
30. Nautical. to unfurl (a flag) suddenly by an easily released knot.
31. to prove the falsity or show the lack of logic of: The FBI broke his alibi by proving he knew how to shoot a pistol.
32. to begin or initiate (a plan or campaign), esp. with much publicity: They were going to break the sales campaign with a parade in April.
33. to open the breech or action of (a shotgun, rifle, or revolver), as by snapping open the hinge between the barrel and the butt.
–verb (used without object)
34. to shatter, burst, or become broken; separate into parts or fragments, esp. suddenly and violently: The glass broke on the floor.
35. to become suddenly discontinuous or interrupted; stop abruptly: She pulled too hard and the string broke.
36. to become detached, separated, or disassociated (usually fol. by away, off, or from): The knob broke off in his hand.
37. to become inoperative or to malfunction, as through wear or damage: The television set broke this afternoon.
38. to begin suddenly or violently or change abruptly into something else: War broke over Europe.
39. to begin uttering a sound or series of sounds or to be uttered suddenly: She broke into song. When they entered, a cheer broke from the audience.
40. to express or start to express an emotion or mood: His face broke into a smile.
41. to free oneself or escape suddenly, as from restraint or dependency (often fol. by away): He broke away from the arresting officer. She finally broke away from her parents and got an apartment of her own.
42. to run or dash toward something suddenly (usually fol. by for): The pass receiver broke for the goal line.
43. to force a way (usually fol. by in, into, or through): The hunters broke through the underbrush.
44. to burst or rupture: A blood vessel broke in his nose. The blister broke when he pricked it.
45. to interrupt or halt an activity (usually fol. by in, into, forth, or from): Don't break in on the conversation. Let's break for lunch.
46. to appear or arrive suddenly (usually fol. by in, into, or out): A deer broke into the clearing. A rash broke out on her arm.
47. to dawn: The day broke hot and sultry.
48. to begin violently and suddenly: The storm broke.
49. (of a storm, foul weather, etc.) to cease: The weather broke after a week, and we were able to sail for home.
50. to part the surface of water, as a jumping fish or surfacing submarine.
51. to give way or fail, as health, strength, or spirit; collapse: After years of hardship and worry, his health broke.
52. to yield or submit to pressure, torture, or the like: He broke under questioning.
53. (of the heart) to be overwhelmed with sorrow: Her heart broke when he told her that he no longer loved her.
54. (of the voice or a musical instrument) to change harshly from one register or pitch to another: After his voice broke, he could no longer sing soprano parts.
55. (of the voice) to cease, waver, or change tone abruptly, esp. from emotional strain: His voice broke when he mentioned her name.
56. (of value or prices) to drop sharply and considerably.
57. to disperse or collapse by colliding with something: The waves broke on the shore.
58. to break dance.
59. (of a horse in a harness race) to fail to keep to a trot or pace, as by starting to gallop.
60. Botany. to mutate; sport.
61. Linguistics. to undergo breaking.
62. Billiards, Pool. to make a break; take the first turn in a game.
63. Sports. (of a pitched or bowled ball) to change direction: The ball broke over the plate.
64. Horse Racing, Track. to leave the starting point: The horses broke fast from the gate.
65. Boxing. to step back or separate from a clinch: The fighters fell into a clinch and broke on the referee's order.
66. to take place; occur.
67. Journalism. to become known, published, or aired: The story broke in the morning papers.
68. Horticulture. to produce flowers or leaves.
69. an act or instance of breaking; disruption or separation of parts; fracture; rupture: There was a break in the window.
70. an opening made by breaking; gap: The break in the wall had not been repaired.
71. a rush away from a place; an attempt to escape: a break for freedom.
72. a sudden dash or rush, as toward something: When the rain lessened, I made a break for home.
73. a suspension of or sudden rupture in friendly relations.
74. an interruption of continuity; departure from or rupture with: Abstract painters made a break with the traditions of the past.
75. an abrupt or marked change, as in sound or direction, or a brief pause: They noticed a curious break in his voice.
76. Informal.
a. an opportunity or stroke of fortune, esp. a lucky one.
b. a chance to improve one's lot, esp. one unlooked for or undeserved.
77. the breaks, Informal. the way things happen; fate: Sorry to hear about your bad luck, but I guess those are the breaks.
78. a brief rest, as from work: The actors took a ten-minute break from rehearsal.
79. Radio, Television. a brief, scheduled interruption of a program or broadcasting period for the announcement of advertising or station identification.
80. Prosody. a pause or caesura.
81. Jazz. a solo passage, usually of from 2 to 12 bars, during which the rest of the instruments are silent.
82. Music. the point in the scale where the quality of voice of one register changes to that of another, as from chest to head.
83. break dancing.
84. a sharp and considerable drop in the prices of stock issues.
85. Electricity. an opening or discontinuity in a circuit.
86. Printing.
a. one or more blank lines between two paragraphs.
b. breaks. suspension points.
87. the place, after a letter, where a word is or may be divided at the end of a line.
88. a collapse of health, strength, or spirit; breakdown.
89. Informal. an indiscreet or awkward remark or action; social blunder; faux pas.
90. Billiards, Pool. a series of successful strokes; run.
91. Pool. the opening play, in which the cue ball is shot to scatter the balls.
92. Sports. a change in direction of a pitched or bowled ball.
93. Horse Racing, Track. the start of a race.
94. (in harness racing) an act or instance of a horse's changing from a trot or pace into a gallop or other step.
95. Bowling. a failure to knock down all ten pins in a single frame.
96. Boxing. an act or instance of stepping back or separating from a clinch: a clean break.
97. any of several stages in the grinding of grain in which the bran is separated from the kernel.
98. Botany. a sport.
99. Journalism. the point at the bottom of a column where a printed story is carried over to another column or page.
100. Nautical. the place at which a superstructure, deckhouse, or the like, rises from the main deck of a vessel.
101. breaks, Physical Geography. an area dissected by small ravines and gullies.
102. Mining. a fault or offset, as in a vein or bed of ore.
103. break away,
a. to leave or escape, esp. suddenly or hurriedly.
b. to sever connections or allegiance, as to tradition or a political group.
c. to start prematurely: The horse broke away from the starting gate.
104. break back, Tennis. to win a game served by an opponent immediately after the opponent has done so against one's own serve.
105. break down,
a. to become ineffective.
b. to lose control; weaken: He broke down and wept at the sad news.
c. to have a physical or mental collapse.
d. to cease to function: The car broke down.
e. to itemize: to break down a hotel bill into daily charges.
f. Chemistry. to separate (a compound) into its constituent molecules.
g. Electricity. (of an insulator) to fail, as when subjected to excessively high voltage, permitting a current to pass.
h. to decompose.
i. to analyze.
j. to classify.
k. to separate into constituent parts: to break down a beef carcass into basic cuts.
106. break in,
a. to enter by force or craft: Someone broke in and made off with all the furniture.
b. to train or instruct; initiate: The boss is breaking in a new assistant.
c. to begin to wear or use in order to make comfortable: These shoes haven't been broken in.
d. to interrupt: He broke in with a ridiculous objection.
e. to run (new machinery) initially under reduced load and speed, until any stiffness of motion has departed and all parts are ready to operate under normal service conditions; run in; wear in.
107. break in on or upon, to enter with force upon or accidentally interrupt; intrude upon: The visitor opened the wrong door and broke in on a private conference.
108. break into,
a. to interpose; interrupt: He broke into the conversation at a crucial moment.
b. to begin some activity.
c. to be admitted into; enter, as a business or profession: It is difficult to break into the theater.
d. to enter by force: They broke into the store and stole the safe.
109. break off,
a. to sever by breaking.
b. to stop suddenly; discontinue: to break off a conversation; to break off relations with one's neighbors.
110. break out,
a. to begin abruptly; arise: An epidemic broke out.
b. Pathology. (of certain diseases) to appear in eruptions.
c. (of a person) to manifest a skin eruption.
d. to prepare for use: to break out the parachutes.
e. to take out of (storage, concealment, etc.) for consumption: to break out one's best wine.
f. Nautical. to dislodge (the anchor) from the bottom.
g. to escape; flee: He spent three years in prison before he broke out.
h. to separate into categories or list specific items: to break out gift ideas according to price range; The report breaks out quarterly profits and losses.
111. break up,
a. to separate; scatter.
b. to put an end to; discontinue.
c. to divide or become divided into pieces.
d. to dissolve.
e. to disrupt; upset: Television commercials during a dramatic presentation break up the continuity of effect.
f. (of a personal relationship) to end: to break up a friendship; Their marriage broke up last year.
g. to end a personal relationship: Bob and Mary broke up last month.
h. to be or cause to be overcome with laughter: The comedian told several jokes that broke up the audience.
112. break with,
a. to sever relations with; separate from: to break with one's family.
b. to depart from; repudiate: to break with tradition.
113. break bulk, Nautical. to remove a cargo wholly or in part.
114. break camp, to pack up tents and equipment and resume a journey or march: They broke camp at dawn and proceeded toward the mountains.
115. break even, to finish a business transaction, period of gambling, series of games, etc., with no loss or gain: He played poker all night and broke even.
116. break ground,
a. to begin construction, esp. of a building or group of buildings: to break ground for a new housing development.
b. Nautical. to free an anchor from the bottom; break out.
117. break it down, Australian Slang.
a. stop it; calm down.
b. (used as an exclamation of disbelief) that can't be true!
118. break one's heart. heart (def. 20).
119. break service, Tennis. to win a game served by one's opponent.
120. break sheer, Nautical. (of an anchored vessel) to drift into such a position as to risk fouling the anchor or anchor cable. Compare sheer 2 (def. 6).
121. break step. step (def. 37).
122. break wind. wind 1 (def. 26).

Funny thing is, most of these definitions are just figurative usages of the primary definition.