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messageRe: Learned a new word today
Posted by silverfox 12 August, 2011 17:46


The difference in the reflection of light between the face of a planet facing its sun and the face turned away from that sun

As in:

"...They measured the amount of light coming from the planet's "night side" - when it is directly in front of its star. They compared that to the light coming from its "day side", just before it passes behind its star and Kepler sees it bathed in light.

The difference between the two gives a measure of how much light the planet reflects - or its albedo

In our Solar System, clouds on Jupiter give it an albedo of 52%; Earth's is about 37%. But it appears that TrES-2b reflects less than 1% of its star's light.

"This albedo is darker than that of black acrylic paint or coal - it's weird," Dr Kipping told BBC News..."

(Darkest exoplanet spotted by astronomers [www.bbc.co.uk])

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit was 2011:08:12:17:54:19 by silverfox.

messageRe: Learned a new word today
Posted by silverfox 16 January, 2012 03:08


As in:

"...Interestingly, though, Carr’s* book never mentions the fact that the internet material itself, the very ideas that we are skimming, are mostly puerile crap and bloviating nonsense..."

blo·vi·ate verb

blo·vi·at·ed, blo·vi·at·ing, blo·vi·ates

Definition of Bloviate

intransitive verb
: to speak or write verbosely and windily/to discourse at length in a pompous or boastful manner/ to speak loudly, verbosely, and at great length, without saying much

— blo·vi·a·tion \ˌblô-vç-ˈâ-shən\ noun

Origin of BLOVIATE

US Slang Mock-Latinate formation, from blow.

First Known Use: circa 1879

Cited by Kevin Maher in The Times today (The internet will produce nothing less than a new generation of surface-skimming morons - Times2)

(*The Shallows: What the Internet is Doing to our Brains. Nicholas Carr 2011)

messageRe: Learned a new word today
Posted by silverfox 13 March, 2012 11:57


As in:

"...Dedicated trained staff are employed as salt testers and flavour attendants. These people organoleptically assess the product on an hourly basis to determine the acceptability of the flavour level..." *

or·gan·o·lep·tic - adjective

Definition of Organoleptic

1 being, affecting, or relating to qualities (including taste, sight, smell, and touch) of a substance (as a food or drug) that stimulate the sense organs
2 involving use of the sense organs

or·gan·o·lep·ti·cal·ly - adverb

Origin of Organoleptic

French organoleptique, from organ- + Greek lēptikos receptive (from lēptos, taken, seized, from lambanein, to take)
First Known Use: 1852

(* Cited by United Biscuits regarding the production process for KP Dry Roasted Nuts)

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit was 2012:03:13:12:01:41 by silverfox.

messageRe: Learned a new word today
Posted by silverfox 27 March, 2012 17:37

SUSURRUS (soo-sur-uhs) noun

As in "a soft susurrus of conversation"

plural -rus·es.

Definition of SU-SUR-RUS (also su·sur·ra·tion - noun)

- A soft, whispering or rustling sound; a murmur.

su·sur-rous, su·sur·rant adjectives

Origin of SUSURRUS

Middle English susurracioun, from Late Latin susurrti, susurrtin-, from Latin susurrtus, past participle of susurrre, to whisper, from susurrus, whisper, ultimately of imitative origin.

First Known Use: 1826

Cited today by Brendan, as below

Re: £45,000 a year not enough for truck drivers new
Posted by: Brendan Today, 04:27PM

I want to be a susurrus.

messageRe: Learned a new word today
Posted by silverfox 06 October, 2012 13:31


spur·tle noun \ˈspər-təl\

Definition of SPURTLE

(chiefly Scottish): a wooden stick for stirring porridge

Origin of SPURTLE

origin unknown
First Known Use: 1756

Cited On BBC website in article about World Porridge Making Championships

messageRe: Learned a new word today
Posted by silverfox 11 October, 2012 14:33




Definition of PLEONASM
1: the use of more words than those necessary to denote mere sense (as in the man he said): redundancy
2: an instance or example of pleonasm

— ple·o·nas·tic adjective
— ple·o·nas·ti·cal·ly adverb

Origin of PLEONASM
Late Latin pleonasmus, from Greek pleonasmos, from pleonazein to be excessive, from pleiōn, pleōn more

First Known Use: 1610

Cited by RosieH today on the Unnecessary Words thread

messageRe: Learned a new word today
Posted by silverfox 19 October, 2012 10:59

Interesting addition to Comport, the first word on this thread.

The use of Comport as a noun, which I haven't come across in the dictionaries:

Comport (noun)
A large, covered glass bowl on a stem, which can be used as a serving piece for compotes

Cited by Replacements, Ltd. Dean's Corner

"Most tableware glossaries define “compote” as a large, covered glass bowl on a stem, which can be used as a serving piece. These items were commonly found on tables from the mid-1800s until well into the 20th century. However, at a conference several years ago, we learned from glassware expert Frank Fenton that all compotes are actually comports!

Fenton explained that “compote” was a type of food, and that comports were the pieces used to serve this tasty dish. He then showed us a number of period catalog illustrations [www.replacements.com] indeed, the glass objects were listed as comports in every instance.


See also LuLu Too's mention of Comportment above

- personal bearing or conduct; demeanor; behaviour.

Edited 2 time(s). Last edit was 2012:10:19:11:03:41 by silverfox.

messageRe: Learned a new word today
Posted by Siduhe 20 October, 2012 21:49

Tautonym: zoological name of species consisting of two identical words (the generic name and the specific name have the same spelling - eg rattus rattus)

messageRe: Learned a new word today
Posted by silverfox 31 January, 2013 12:30


As in: "... it is not impossible that one or two of these objects may, as research goes on, prove to have come from collections which were the subject of spoliation during the Nazi period ..."

(Cited by curator Tim Wilson, 'Oxford's Ashmolean Museum unveils silver treasure trove' [www.bbc.co.uk] )



1. the act or an instance of plundering or despoiling.
2. authorized plundering of neutrals at sea in time of war.
3. Law. the destruction or material alteration of a bill of exchange, will, or the like.
4. the act of spoiling or damaging something.

Verb - to spoliate

1350–1400; Middle English, from Anglo-French spoliacion, < Latin spoliātiōn- (stem of spoliātiō ), equivalent to spoliāt(us) (past participle of spoliāre to spoil/plunder; see -ate ) + -iōn- -ion

messageRe: Learned a new word today
Posted by david_carnell 31 January, 2013 15:27

As in the "spoils of war".... cool.

messageRe: Learned a new word today
Posted by El Pibe 19 March, 2013 08:54

ter·giv·er·sate (tr-jvr-st, tûrj-vr-)
intr.v. ter·giv·er·sat·ed, ter·giv·er·sat·ing, ter·giv·er·sates
1. To use evasions or ambiguities; equivocate.
2. To change sides; apostatize.

The context was the second meaning "Count Robert of Alençon triggered further tergiversations with his change of alleigance to Phillip"

total false friend in Spanish

f. Interpretación errónea de una palabra o de un suceso.

All from Latin: tergiversor - To turn one's back, from Tergum, hind part.

So figuratively it's to do a moonie?

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit was 2013:03:19:09:02:31 by El Pibe.

messageRe: Learned a new word today
Posted by Peckhamgatecrasher 20 March, 2013 21:30

Did Count Robert get married with 20,000 other couples?

messageRe: Learned a new word today
Posted by El Pibe 21 March, 2013 09:09

Has tergiversado?

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