cranky

cranky

/ˈkraŋki/
adjective
crankier, crankiest
1 British informal Eccentric or strange.
2 North American Bad-tempered; irritable.
3 (of a machine) working erratically.

Origin
Late 18th century (in the sense ‘sickly, in poor health’): perhaps from obsolete (counterfeit) crank ‘a rogue feigning sickness’, from Dutch or German krank ‘sick’.

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Relax. There is no need to be cranky about it, You have a recent backup, right?

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Weed/Wildflower Wednesday

Bird’s-foot trefoil Lotus corniculatus is not a native of New England. It has been widely introduced in most US states. Trefoil refers to the three leaflets (ignoring the two smaller bracts at the base of the leaf stalk). That makes it seem like a clover at a quick glance, and it actually belongs to the same family, Fabaceae (legumes).

This example is in some crummy soil along the top of a two-level parking lot wall.

This example is in some crummy soil along the top of a two-level parking lot wall.

birdsfoot-trefoil-6birdsfoot-trefoil-closeup

Definition Source

For several years, I have made the enjoyable effort to deliver a daily definition, an irreverent usage in sentence or rhyme format along with an illustration developed with the free software vector drawing program, Inkscape.

I have generally used the convenient random word provided by en.oxforddictionaries.com as my source. When that word has been used before, I’ve sought a replacement by way of wordnik.com which is a wonderful tool.

Yesterday, I had a bit of a shock. My browser link to the random word did not work as I expected!

As of June 10, 2019, the oxforddictionaries.com link automatically redirects to https://www.lexico.com. Oxford University Press continues to provide the lexical content (dictionary information), but has entered a partnership with dictionary.com to distribute it on the new site. There is a FAQ available from the main Oxford University Press Languages site https://languages.oup.com.

 

bosky

bosky

/ˈbɒski/
adjective
literary
Covered by trees or bushes; wooded.

Origin
Late 16th century from Middle English bosk, variant of bush.

A swale is swell
If it’s tended well,
But nature does its best,
Well beyond our behest
To block the sun to merely dapling
With bosky bits of shrub and sapling.

You might wish to grump and grouse
As you wander, aimless, through your house.
I’ll attempt to reassure a bit
You’ll need not have a literate fit.
I tried to avoid well known “bosky Dell”
And, of course, swell HP just as well.

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cameleer

cameleer

/ˌkaməˈlɪə/
noun
A person who controls or rides a camel.

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Sam strode steadily across the hard-packed sand, leading his camel. He was proud to be both a pedestrian and a cameleer.

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[What was known as ODO in these posts https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/ now redirects to https://www.lexico.com/en with a new color scheme, but sourced from Oxford, apparently. I have hopes the quality of definitions will remain the same or improve. Stay tuned.]

chunder

chunder

/ˈtʃʌndə/
verb
[no object]NZ, Australian
informal
Vomit.
noun
mass noun
NZ, Australian
informal
Vomit.

Origin
1950s: probably from rhyming slang Chunder Loo ‘spew’, from the name of a cartoon character Chunder Loo of Akim Foo, who appeared in advertisements for Cobra boot polish in the Sydney Bulletin in the early 20th century.

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After a bender on Saturday night, there is sometimes a bit of chunder to deal with.

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cortina

cortina

/kɔːˈtiːnə//kɔːˈtʌɪnə/
noun
Botany
(in some toadstools) a thin weblike veil extending from the edge of the cap to the stalk.

Origin
Mid 19th century: from late Latin, literally ‘curtain’.

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Toadstool or mushroom,
Seen in the forest gloom
Often has as a little ring
Left by that cortina thing.

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neoteric

neoteric

/ˌniːə(ʊ)ˈtɛrɪk/
adjective
formal
New or modern; recent.
noun
A modern person; a person who advocates new ideas.

Origin
Late 16th century: via late Latin from Greek neōterikos, from neōteros ‘newer’, comparative of neos.

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After a thorough and formal examination, it has been determined that today’s word is neoteric…and is “neoteric”…ahem.

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disaster

catastrophe

/kəˈtastrəfi/
noun
1 An event causing great and usually sudden damage or suffering; a disaster.
1.1 Something very unfortunate or unsuccessful.
2 The denouement of a drama, especially a classical tragedy.

Origin
Mid 16th century (in the sense ‘denouement’): from Latin catastropha, from Greek katastrophē ‘overturning, sudden turn’, from kata- ‘down’ + strophē ‘turning’ (from strephein ‘to turn’).

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A minor catastrophe struck my computer early yesterday, failure to boot. Two days of work with a new disk drive has mitigated the issue, but delayed this word.

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Weed/Wildflower Wednesday

Though leaves are full out in southern New England, at the top of Vermont it is still spring and there are wild woodland or alpine strawberries Fragaria vesca with small white flowers growing on the grass beside the hard-dirt parking lot. No fruit yet.

A key to the ID was that these strawberries are around during the peak of dandelion bloom.

Smooth Bedstraw, Wild Madder, Gallium mollugo before bloom. Square branching stem and eight whorled simple, sessile leaves in each whorl. Invasive plant with four white petals in bloom later. Found in the lawn where the wild strawberries were. The count of simple whorled leaves and the square stem make identification relatively safe before the flowers come out. If you can, always go back to check the plants in bloom.