Gambrinus

gambrinus \gam-BRAHY-nuhs\, noun:

A mythical Flemish king, the reputed inventor of beer.

Gambrinus is a folkoric name that has uncertain grounding in history.

All hail King Gambrinus for liquid bread.

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Eschatological

eschatological \es-kuh-tl-OJ-i-kuhl\, adjective:

1. Regarding last, or final, matters, often of a theological nature.
2. Regarding any system of doctrines concerning theological endings, such as death, the Judgment, the future state, etc.

Eschatological is built from the Greek roots eschatos, “last, furthest, remote,” and logia, “a speaking” (in a certain manner). In theology, the study of the four last things: death, judgment, heaven, hell.

Sometimes I wonder: if Fyodor Dostoevsky was to have an eschatological-themed party, who would he invite?

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Powwow

powwow \POU-wou\, verb:

1. To confer.

noun:
1. A ceremony, esp. one accompanied by magic, feasting, and dancing, performed for the cure of disease, success in a hunt, etc.
2. A council or conference of or with Native Americans.

Powwow derives from the Narragansett tribal word for a spiritual leader who receives guidance from dreams.

If all men powwowed to the base desires of their hearts, would anything ever get accomplished?

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Eleemosynary

eleemosynary \el-uh-MOS-uh-ner-ee\, adjective:

1. Of or for charity; charitable; as, “an eleemosynary institution.”
2. Given in charity; having the nature of alms; as, “eleemosynary assistance.”
3. Supported by or dependent on charity; as, “the eleemosynary poor.”

The source of eleemosynary is Medieval Latin eleemosynarius, from Late Latin eleemosyna, “alms,” from Greek eleemosyne, from eleemon, “pitiful,” from eleos, “pity.”

James Lafontaine, an English professor-turned-homeless man, was fond of using unnecessarily long and complicated words in everyday speech. He thought that it set him apart when he said things like, “Oh, woe be my lot! To beg for alms one more day at this eleemosynary organization,” while standing in line at the local soup kitchen.

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Chaffer

chaffer \CHAF-er\, verb:

1. To bargain; haggle.

noun:
1. Bargaining; haggling.

verb:
1. To bandy words; chatter.

Chaffer is an alteration of the Middle English chapfare, “a trading journey.” The archaic chap maintains a modern presence in the common term related to shopping, cheap.

Teddy loved chaffing at the organic farmers market every Sunday.

“Why would I pay market price for an eggplant just because it’s organic?” he grumbled.
“So true,” said his friend Beth.

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Zenith

zenith \ZEE-nith\, noun:

1. A highest point or state; culmination.
2. The point on the celestial sphere vertically above a given position or observer. Opposite of nadir.

The source of zenith is an error in transcription by ancient scribes. The M in the Arabic samt, “road,” was mistaken for an N, resulting in a Middle Latin senit.

Andrew Parsons ate a slightly overripe persimmon that sent his taste buds to the zenith of pleasure. It was subtly sweet, juicy, and slightly erotic.

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Lagniappe

lagniappe \LAN-yap\, noun:

1. A small gift given with a purchase to a customer, for good measure.
2. A gratuity or tip.
3. An unexpected or indirect benefit.

Lagniappe originates chiefly in Southern Louisiana and Southeast Texas and ultimately comes from a variant of the Quechua yapa, “that which is added.”

Last week, despite all of the frustrations of her day, Veronica decided to put aside all of her personal problems and continue doing the best she could. She finished her garment on time, and ended up being the winner of Project Runway. Both Michael Kors and Nina Garcia said that the garment was “extremely wearable” and “sexy.”

Note: I didn’t use the word “lagianappe” directly in this entry, but used it as a writing prompt.

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