Word of the day

NonP

Hall of Fame
Sextant - astronomical measurement tools sized to 1/6th of a circle
Septuplets - seven kids from same birth event
Octopus - marine animal with 8 arms
Novena - prayers repeated for 9 days
Decathlete - olympian who competes in an individual competition with 10 different events
I might have come across this term while browsing the Catholic Encyclopedia but can't recall it being used elsewhere. Great choice. (y)

If you come to this thread, then you are interested in language an words.
Another person interested in their uses and abuses was George Orwell.

I came across this while looking up something else, and found it interesting.

"Politics and the English Language" (1946) is an essay by George Orwell that criticised the "ugly and inaccurate" written English of his time and examines the connection between political orthodoxies and the debasement of language.

The essay focuses on political language, which, according to Orwell, "is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable, and to give an appearance of solidity to pure wind". Orwell believed that the language used was necessarily vague or meaningless because it was intended to hide the truth rather than express it. This unclear prose was a "contagion" which had spread to those who did not intend to hide the truth, and it concealed a writer's thoughts from himself and others.[1] Orwell encourages concreteness and clarity instead of vagueness, and individuality over political conformity.
Orwell's essay is a classic and I personally found it far more instructive than The Elements of Style, but it's marred by his obsessive focus on politics and, as Merriam-Webster has pointed out, Orwell himself does not always heed his admonition to avoid the passive voice where possible. His rules are better treated as shorthands than as infallible gospel for all modes of writing.

So, what is the difference between...

Androgynous and epicene

I have seen the terms used interchangeably, but are they really the same thing?
Perhaps, in a sense they are opposites.

Androgynous means having characteristics of both sexes, both masculine and feminine.
Think Johnny Depp's Willy Wonka, Stargate's Jaye Davidson (Ra), Tilda Swinton...

Epicene means displaying characteristics of neither sex.
Think the SNL character, it's Pat.

Unisex, a neologism of the 1960s usually refers to clothing or hair styles that are suitable for
either sex
That's not quite accurate about "epicene" which is more generally used to mean having characteristics of the opposite sex. Or at least that's the definition that would make the most sense in Sontag's famous Notes on "Camp" and in pretty much every other instance I've come across (including my own where I compared the Robert Taylor and Paul Newman types of epicenism).

Amuck (or amok)
As in "gone amuck" or "run amuck"-
Out of control, raging, wild, disruptive.
Compare to "berserk" as in Viking days.
The mother let her children run amuck in the supermarket.

Pretty sure "amok" has been the more common variant at least since the mid-20th century. Not sure I've ever seen "amuck" in any recent publication.
 

stringertom

Bionic Poster
Wet blanket
The term originally came from the practice of putting out a fire by throwing a wet blanket over the blaze-
so you might think the term would be a positive one, something like " Yes, old Billings, the best sort, he is a real wet blanket". But that is not how it is used. Not that the term is all that frequently used nowadays. We are more likely to say, Grinch, party-pooper, downer, poor sport or spoil-sport.
We think of a wet blanket as some one who takes the fun our of everything, complains, sulks, disapproves.

Stuffed shirt
A stuffed shirt might be a wet blanket, but the term as a bit more specific to describe someone who is pretentious, smug, self important, usually conservative and reactionary. The word comes from someone who dresses in formal attire, but the clothes are just a front for someone who, behind the clothes is an empty bag of wind.
More modern terms might be phony, snob, pompous blimp.
Gleneth's grandfather, although promising to "schmooze and amuse" more often came across as a stuffed shirt.
Invitation sent to the wet blanket:

“Every party has a pooper, that’s why we invited you!”

Certainly not quite as derogatory is the term Goody Two-Shoes. This appellation derives from the children’s literature giant John Newberry (yes, the guy the award is named for), who wrote The History Of Goody Two-Shoes short story in 1765.
 
Invitation sent to the wet blanket:

“Every party has a pooper, that’s why we invited you!”

Certainly not quite as derogatory is the term Goody Two-Shoes. This appellation derives from the children’s literature giant John Newberry (yes, the guy the award is named for), who wrote The History Of Goody Two-Shoes short story in 1765.
I know that goody two-shoes is derogatory, but I have never read the book and didn't think it was extremely derogatory,
If you can supply more information it will save me from having to think, or look something up.
 

stringertom

Bionic Poster
I know that goody two-shoes is derogatory, but I have never read the book and didn't think it was extremely derogatory,
If you can supply more information it will save me from having to think, or look something up.
It really isn’t that derogatory but if you want a lively party you might not invite many a G 2-S, a wet blanket, a stick in the mud, a stuffed shirt or a nerd.

I have erred in naming Newberry as the author instead of publisher of the short story. While there is no author specifically named as the author, it is thought the style of the writing matches most similarly to Oliver Goldsmith.

The term you request research on has been mostly used to describe someone more interested in performing good deeds than fitting in with “the crowd” and having a good time. Basically a well-intentioned nerd with sensible and complete footwear.

Newberry published the tale of a character who was a young orphaned girl named Margery Meanwell. The young lass had only received her first pair of shoes as a reward from a wealthy man for exhibiting a happy temperament while suffering through her days wearing only one shoe. She then went on to live a long productive life, becoming a teacher and marrying into wealth. In other words, a good attitude and perseverance will be rewarded in the long run.

Nerd itself has a hazy origin. It was already slang in the early 50s as a synonym for a square or a drip and the antonym for someone cool or hip or with it. Then, and still before the real era of the nerd, the early 70s TV giant Happy Days about teenage life in the 50s, basically added the term in indelible ink to the margins of your Merriam Webster’s dictionary. Pocket protectors and taped-up nosepieces for horn-rimmed glasses got ushered in by the end of the decade and the stereotype was fully furnished and wardrobed.

Stick in the mud is now used as a term to describe a person unwilling to adapt his or her ways to match current trends or styles. Its origin however goes back a few centuries and derives from the plight of being stuck in the mud during inclement weather while traveling on unpaved surfaces.
 
Sporadically
Occasionally, ar random intervals, periodically, intermittently, from time to time, not constant or regular.
He worked intermittently at odd jobs.

 
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It really isn’t that derogatory but if you want a lively party you might not invite many a G 2-S, a wet blanket, a stick in the mud, a stuffed shirt or a nerd.

I have erred in naming Newberry as the author instead of publisher of the short story. While there is no author specifically named as the author, it is thought the style of the writing matches most similarly to Oliver Goldsmith.

The term you request research on has been mostly used to describe someone more interested in performing good deeds than fitting in with “the crowd” and having a good time. Basically a well-intentioned nerd with sensible and complete footwear.

Newberry published the tale of a character who was a young orphaned girl named Margery Meanwell. The young lass had only received her first pair of shoes as a reward from a wealthy man for exhibiting a happy temperament while suffering through her days wearing only one shoe. She then went on to live a long productive life, becoming a teacher and marrying into wealth. In other words, a good attitude and perseverance will be rewarded in the long run.

Nerd itself has a hazy origin. It was already slang in the early 50s as a synonym for a square or a drip and the antonym for someone cool or hip or with it. Then, and still before the real era of the nerd, the early 70s TV giant Happy Days about teenage life in the 50s, basically added the term in indelible ink to the margins of your Merriam Webster’s dictionary. Pocket protectors and taped-up nosepieces for horn-rimmed glasses got ushered in by the end of the decade and the stereotype was fully furnished and wardrobed.

Stick in the mud is now used as a term to describe a person unwilling to adapt his or her ways to match current trends or styles. Its origin however goes back a few centuries and derives from the plight of being stuck in the mud during inclement weather while traveling on unpaved surfaces.
Exceptional. Did you ever consider trying out for Jeopardy (one of my favorite shows)? Seriously.
 

stringertom

Bionic Poster
Instead of synapses, I have phlegm.
Have you tried main lining Mucinex??? :-D

geezertom has thought of trying one of the grey matter supplements but my theory about the inverse ratio of effectiveness to advertising budget has eliminated the Prevagen brand from my consideration.

The other nootropic I have seen advertised is Neuriva and I would hope that my squeeze Blossom/Amy Farrah Fowler-Cooper isn’t shilling for a different snake oil source in between stints as a Jeopardy host. Looking at the ingredients though, I suspect shady goings-on. I might just stick to my 1-a-day vitamin supplement (one e-mail I get regularly is from a company that sells a “Dynamic Brain” supplement that’s basically a decent dosage multivitamin with a little caffeine), a healthy diet and loads of exercise. It’s gotten me this far without any bouts of “where’s my car, where are my keys, where are my glasses.” That and a cheap red wine purely for the French resveratrol therapy. :-D

BTW, MissMayim has ended the latest 2-month stint as guest host with Ken Jennings signed on to finish the season before a permanent replacement is named. I don’t get to watch right now, thanks to our community satellite provider blocking the local ABC station in some random contract snafu, (lost the local CBS signal for 6 months first but they’re back on). If I get back in the loop for 2022, I wouldn’t mind seeing Bialik permanently behind the podium.
 
Ken Jennings is doing better, this time around- was kind of stiff before. Actually, I kind of liked Buzz Cohen as host.
He had a good balance of personality and smarts. Plodding, that's me, never was quick- so I don't miss a supple clarity I never had. Mainly I do crosswords for "exercise". If they asked for my name on Jeopardy, I would "time out" before stammering one syllable. My wife, something of a hypochondriac, gives me 10 to 15 capsules a day. I don' ask what they are.
 

stringertom

Bionic Poster
Ken Jennings is doing better, this time around- was kind of stiff before. Actually, I kind of liked Buzz Cohen as host.
He had a good balance of personality and smarts. Plodding, that's me, never was quick- so I don't miss a supple clarity I never had. Mainly I do crosswords for "exercise". If they asked for my name on Jeopardy, I would "time out" before stammering one syllable. My wife, something of a hypochondriac, gives me 10 to 15 capsules a day. I don' ask what they are.
Randle, will you volunteer an honest answer to this question: was your wife’s maiden name Ratched? :-D
 

stringertom

Bionic Poster
You live in a room without mirrors, am I right or wrong?
Wrong, sir. My very wide closet has full length sliding mirror doors so when I get bored I can do shadow tennis strokes side by side. Trust me, the results are more aesthetically pleasing than watching the full length 23-minute YT classic from sureshs.
 
Spindrift

...Not for the proud man apart
From the raging moon I write
On these spindrift pages
Nor for the towering dead
With their nightingales and psalms
But for the lovers, their arms
Round the griefs of the ages,
Who pay no praise or wages
Nor heed my craft or art.

Spindrift is the wind-blown spray whipped away from
the creat of a wave. It can also refer to fine-blown sand or snow.
So, it refers to something fine, delicate, ephemeral.
 
Spendthrift

With "thrift" part of the word, you might think
that a spendthrift is a person would be careful with his/her money.
But that is not the case.
A spendthrift is a person who is wasteful with money, who
spends lavishly and carelessly, who is foolishly free with funds.
 

stringertom

Bionic Poster
Spendthrift

With "thrift" part of the word, you might think
that a spendthrift is a person would be careful with his/her money.
But that is not the case.
A spendthrift is a person who is wasteful with money, who
spends lavishly and carelessly, who is foolishly free with funds.
Synonym: wastrel or profligate. Again, the latter’s root sounds like it involves a positive (profit) but the Latin root is profligare which mean to ruin or overthrow. Those tricky Romans made two opposites sound so similar because profit derives from proficere which means “to advance.”
 
Foolscap

If you read Dickens or maybe Doyle's Sherlock Holmes stories, you will find someone
Jotting a note or opening a letter written on foolscap.
Foolscap was just the common term for ordinary writing paper of a common size.
Most likely it was called foolscap because it had a watermark of a jester with a fool's cap.
 
Ivory tower
A term that seems to originate in France to describe a certain writer out of touch with the real world.
And that is, basically, what it means. Someone in their "ivory tower" is tbought to be escapist, isolated, impractical, aloof, concerned with abstract, philosophical, aesthetic concerns rather than practical, real-life problems.
While squalor and disease spread through the streets, the poet scribbled sonnets in his ivory tower.
 

happyandbob

Hall of Fame
Spendthrift

With "thrift" part of the word, you might think
that a spendthrift is a person would be careful with his/her money.
But that is not the case.
A spendthrift is a person who is wasteful with money, who
spends lavishly and carelessly, who is foolishly free with funds.
Bemused
seems like it should be similar to amused, but actually means to be puzzled or confused. Most people think it means amused.
 
Haymaker
Is a kind of punch (like in boxing).
It's like a "hook", but the elbow is not as bent-
a sort of "roundhouse" punch- more often used
in a street brawl than the boxing ring.
It can, however result in a knockout blow.
The term comes from the long, powerful
swing used in harvesting hay.

Haymaker is also the name for a cocktail drink
with bourbon, vermouth, Cointreau and lime-
recipes vary.

Make hay while the sun shines
Is derived from a folk adage about, well, yes, hay.
Basically, it means to make best use of an opportunity
or favorable situation
 

stringertom

Bionic Poster
Ivory tower
A term that seems to originate in France to describe a certain writer out of touch with the real world.
And that is, basically, what it means. Someone in their "ivory tower" is tbought to be escapist, isolated, impractical, aloof, concerned with abstract, philosophical, aesthetic concerns rather than practical, real-life problems.
While squalor and disease spread through the streets, the poet scribbled sonnets in his ivory tower.
That scribbling poet was probably wearing glasses equipped with rose tinted lenses.
 
Bland
Well, we know what bland means. We are surrounded by bland.
Everything that is prepackaged and homogenized to appeal to nobody and everybody.
Bland is dull, tedious, dreary, flavorless, tasteless, uninteresting and blah.

Blandish
Does that just mean sort-of bland?
No. It's an older word, not used much these days.
It means to coax, flatter or cajole someone with flattery
to persuade them to do something you want.

Brandish
Well, then what does baradish mean?
It means to wave something around or about
in excitement or as a threat-
Usually a weapon like a sword or gun of some sort.
The bank robbers brandished their guns and instructed the customers to
Lay on the floor.
 
Penetralium
Came across an interesting sentence with an interesting word
in one of NonP's favorite books. It goes,

"I had no desire to aggravate
his impatience, previous to inspecting the penetralium".

What does that mean? What is a penetralium?
A penetralium is the innermost, most secret part of a building.
In effect, the "inner sanctum" or most private place.

First chapter, Wuthering Heights.
 
Bark
It's a word- so why not?

1. It can mean to make a sharp animal noise like a dog or a seal.
2. It is the outer, protective layer of a tree.
3. It can mean to give orders or gain attention by speaking in a loud, sharp manner. Bark a command.
4. It can mean a ship with several masts (usually 3 or more), often spelled barque.
5 bark as in- bark ones shins, means to scrape off the skin ( like peeling off tree bark).
6. Bark can mean to "hawk" merchandise or gain the attention of a crowd at a circus or sideshow- a carnival barker.

More?
 

stringertom

Bionic Poster
Penetralium
Came across an interesting sentence with an interesting word
in one of NonP's favorite books. It goes,

"I had no desire to aggravate
his impatience, previous to inspecting the penetralium".

What does that mean? What is a penetralium?
A penetralium is the innermost, most secret part of a building.
In effect, the "inner sanctum" or most private place.

First chapter, Wuthering Heights.
This made me think of the true meaning of the word penitentiary. The word has become most familiar in our language through its use in law enforcement vernacular (The Big House in movies) but the word can also be used in religion (very heavily so in Roman Catholicism) to mean a place of refuge for those seeking forgiveness for wrongs or sins committed. I’m thinking a much higher percentage of those trying to find forgiveness from God are penitent about their transgressions than those incarcerated by the state.
 

stringertom

Bionic Poster
Bark
It's a word- so why not?

1. It can mean to make a sharp animal noise like a dog or a seal.
2. It is the outer, protective layer of a tree.
3. It can mean to give orders or gain attention by speaking in a loud, sharp manner. Bark a command.
4. It can mean a ship with several masts (usually 3 or more), often spelled barque.
5 bark as in- bark ones shins, means to scrape off the skin ( like peeling off tree bark).
6. Bark can mean to "hawk" merchandise or gain the attention of a crowd at a circus or sideshow- a carnival barker.

More?
Bob Barker reminds you: please spay or neuter your pets.
 
This made me think of the true meaning of the word penitentiary. The word has become most familiar in our language through its use in law enforcement vernacular (The Big House in movies) but the word can also be used in religion (very heavily so in Roman Catholicism) to mean a place of refuge for those seeking forgiveness for wrongs or sins committed. I’m thinking a much higher percentage of those trying to find forgiveness from God are penitent about their transgressions than those incarcerated by the state.
Nice observation.
 
Sorry Sad Sorrow
Yes, they are very similar, but not the same. What's the difference?

I leave it up to you. If no one accepts the task.
I will do my best to make the distinction.
As inspiration, I leave these songs-



 
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Eugenics
eu·gen·ics
/yo͞oˈjeniks/

noun
  1. the study of how to arrange reproduction within a human population to increase the occurrence of heritable characteristics regarded as desirable. Developed largely by Sir Francis Galton as a method of improving the human irace, eugenics was increasingly discredited as unscientific and racially biased during the 20th century, especially after the adoption of its doctrines by the Nazis in order to justify their treatment of Jews, disabled people, and other minority groups.
  2. Note- even in California, where I live, eugenics was part of governmental law since the early 1900s, permitting the state to administer forced sterilization- a concept later adopted by the Germans, but carried even a "bit" further.
 
Savant
Words can be used for good or bad. Words are dangerous and powerful things in the wrong hands.

But let's start here.

Savant is a word from French that refers to a learned person, a sage, a thinker, intellectual, philosopher.
But times change, and meanings shift.

If someone uses the word "savant", today, there is a tendency to think- "autistic savant" or "savant syndrome",
"Genius savant", or the highly unacceptable, "idiot" savant.
Those terms generally mean someone with low intelligence that excels in some special area such as music, math or memory. One example is Kim Peek, who inspired the movie Rainman.
Many (or at least some) of the most famous geniuses in history may have something like Asperger's syndrome.

Genius
Is one of those elusive words that can mean different things in different situations.
Generally, it refers to someone with exceptional mental, intellectual, creative power (or ability).
Oddly, or perhaps not so oddly, people tend to excel in one area more than another.
A literary genius may not do so well in math or music, or art (and vice-versa).
When I was in school, "they" tested for IQ, now testing is out of favor, even discredited. Still,
an IQ of140 or higher is (according to those tests) considered genius.

Idiot
Comes from a the Greek and referred to a common, unskilled person of the uneducated, lower class.
Now it gets sketchy and sad. Eugenicists (mentioned above) people like Galton and Henry H Goddard
began to sort people into intellectual categories through "testing" and the concept of eugenics emerged.
People were classified as idiots, feeble minded, imbeciles, morons, and "unfit". In California over 20,00 people were
Sterilized, throughout the U S, many more.
 
Serendipity
Refers to happy accidents
Lucky flukes
Fortunate developments-
You reach into your pocket an realize you forgot your wallet
just as the bell goes of indicating you are the customer
of the week and your groceries are free.
 
Naive
Can have both positive and negative connotations.
1. It means natural, ingenious, unpretentious, unaffected.
2. But it can also mean simple, unsophisticated, easily duped, gullible.
 
Random short definitions

Wabi-sabi, in Japanese aesthetics, an appreciation of the beauty in imperfection, transcience, incompleteness.

Spume, froth or foam- especially from a wave.

Spoor, in tracking of an animal, spoor is animal droppings that act as a trail. By extension any trail left behind.

Haole, in Hawaii, what some natives call foreigners- especially those of European descent (derogatory).

Genuflect, to bend the knee, bow with the knee to the floor to show respect, subservience, reverence.
 
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stringertom

Bionic Poster
Random short definitions

Wabi-sabi, in Japanese aesthetics, an appreciation of the beauty in imperfection, transcience, incompleteness.

Spume, froth or foam- especially from a wave.

Spoor, in tracking of an animal, spoor is animal droppings that act as a trail. By extension any trail left behind.

Haole, in Hawaii, what some natives call foreigners- especially those of European descent (derogatory).

Jenuflect, to bend the knee, bow with the knee to the floor to show respect, subservience, reverence.
Wasabi makes my sinuses burn!

I have always seen it spelled genuflect.
 
Wasabi makes my sinuses burn!

I have always seen it spelled genuflect.
Whoops, thanks. Normally I do too.
Yes, my brain is out of control.
But I have a new invention that my help.
Seems I think more clearly in the shower,
so I have invented a walker (the kind with
tennis balls on the bottom) with a shower
attachment, so that when I begin to get brain-fade
I just turn on the spritzer.
Does not work very well in the kitchen.
 
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Montage

The editing "splicing" of pieces of film- different shots, angles, distances, locations and so on, to
create a continuous "whole" or effect or story through visual associations, juxtaposition, time sense-
sort of like in this clip-

 

stringertom

Bionic Poster
Montage

The editing "splicing" of pieces of film- different shots, angles, distances, locations and so on, to
create a continuous "whole" or effect or story through visual associations, juxtaposition, time sense-
sort of like in this clip-

I would not mind a montage of Yves Montand clips from the six films he appeared in directed by the great Greek-French auteur Costa-Gavras. The Italian-French crooner turned consummate actor never met a genre he couldn’t contribute to, from musicals to romcoms to politically oriented thrillers.
 
Stymie
Means to hinder, inhibit, prevent progress through a lack of cooperation.
The board members are trying to stymie our project.
Also it is the name of one of the Our Gang kids.
 

stringertom

Bionic Poster
Couldn't find a Montand montage, let alone one of Costa-Garvas clips.

Instead found this "slideshow".


I will replace this if I can find something more montagesque.
Here’s a French trailer for Z, their most commercially successful film. If you watch to the end you may recognize the chased actor (Marcel Bozzuffi) from The French Connection that Popeye Doyle (Gene Hackman) shoots as he’s climbing the stairs to an elevated Brooklyn subway platform:


The film won Best Foreign Film and Best Editing at the Oscars. The film was nominated for Best Picture and Costa-Gavras for Best Director but there were a couple of deep fields to compete with (John Schlesinger was best director for Best Picture winner Midnight Cowboy).
 
Eclectic
Generally means a combining of ideas, styles, and modes of thought-
Broad ranging, rather than singular.
Gordon explained his decorating style as hand-me-down eclectic.

Eclectic can also refer to certain (ancient) philosophers who, rather than siding with
one particular mode of thought, selected/accepted idea from various schools.

Amalgam
Is, also, a sort of combining of different things. An amalgam is a mixture, blend, combination or fusion of
things or ideas. The stuff a dentist sometimes uses to fill cavities is an amalgam of different metals.
Some music might be an amalgam of traditional and modern styles.

Other words that mean a combining or blending...
 
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stringertom

Bionic Poster
Eclectic
Generally means a combining of ideas, styles, and modes of thought-
Broad ranging, rather than singular.
Gordon explained his decorating style as hand-me-down eclectic.

Eclectic can also refer to certain (ancient) philosophers who, rather than siding with
one particular mode of thought, selected/accepted idea from various schools.

Amalgam
Is, also, a sort of combining of different things. An amalgam is a mixture, blend, combination or fusion of
things or ideas. The stuff a dentist sometimes uses to fill cavities is an amalgam of different metals.
Some music might be an amalgam of traditional and modern styles.

Other words that mean a combining or blending...
Fusion is the current “hot” adjective to describe eclectic, amalgams and/or blend of styles, particularly in cuisine.
 
Lee- the side of something that is sheltered from the wind.
On a ship you have a windward side and a leeward side.
Birds collected on the leeward side of the barn.

Lea- an open area of flat land often pasture or land prepared for crops.

Leeway- is the amount of freedom of action, responsibility or choice open to somebody.
It can also refer to a margin for error.
Teachers have little leeway in choosing what they teach. There is no leeway for error in plotting the course of a spacecraft.

Lees- is the sediment of wine in a barrel. Residue, remains, dregs, the worthless, left-over part
of something.

Leia- Princess Leia Organa, Rebel Alliance leader.
 

stringertom

Bionic Poster
Lee- the side of something that is sheltered from the wind.
On a ship you have a windward side and a leeward side.
Birds collected on the leeward side of the barn.

Lea- an open area of flat land often pasture or land prepared for crops.

Leeway- is the amount of freedom of action, responsibility or choice open to somebody.
It can also refer to a margin for error.
Teachers have little leeway in choosing what they teach. There is no leeway for error in plotting the course of a spacecraft.

Lees- is the sediment of wine in a barrel. Residue, remains, dregs, the worthless, left-over part
of something.

Leia- Princess Leia Organa, Rebel Alliance leader.
LeeDF…a forum member with some colorful stories and claims. The legendary stories rival Uncle Rico’s tales in Napoleon Dynamite but the real life results are a bit lacking.
 
Pungent
Having a stone, sharp, possibly irritating smell or taste- like onions, garlic, peppers.

Pundit
An expert in some area or fields, called upon to pontificate on som subject matter- technology, politics, medicine, science, and so on. It it derived from a Hindi word (pandit) for a sage-like person.
 
Humdinger
An older term for something, or some person, that is especially striking or extraordinary.
Crackerjack, knockout, lulu, Doozy, corker, lollapalooza.
 
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