wɒnhəʊp Wanhope: hopelessness, despair Now comth wanhope þat is dispeire of the mercy of god þat comth somtyme of to moch outrageous sorow and som tyme of to moch drede Geoffrey Chaucer The Parson’s Tale (c.1400) I’ve fallen into the habit, recently, of picking words from current affairs for my posts about etymology and usage. … Continue reading Wanhope
ˈlæbɪrɪnθ Labyrinth: 1) A structure consisting of a number of intercommunicating passages arranged in bewildering complexity, through which it is difficult or impossible to find one’s way without guidance. 2) A structure consisting of a single passageway winding compactly through a tortuous route between an entrance and a central point. When Minos reached Cretan soil … Continue reading Labyrinth
In my previous post about this word, I described how the Scottish Gaelic name for Scotland, Alba, originated in the reconstructed Proto-Indo-European albho-, meaning “white”. In Proto-Celtic, this evolved into another word something like albiyu. This word seems to have meant something like “bright place” or “high place”, and in the later Celtic languages Brittonic and Goidelic (spoken on the islands of Britain and Ireland, respectively) it produced place-names that ended up as Alba, Albion and Albany. Likewise in the Germanic languages, albho- gave rise to a “high place” word that gives us the name of the Alps mountain range.
How did “Alba” come to be a name for Scotland?
ɪˈnɒkjʊleɪt inoculate: (horticulture) to insert a plant bud as a graft into another plant; (medicine) to insert a disease organism into the body by puncturing the skin, or into a culture medium using a needle; (medicine) to inject a vaccine In May 1796, Edward Jenner found a young dairymaid, Sarah Nelms, who had fresh cowpox … Continue reading Inoculate
dɪˈmɒkrəsɪ Democracy: that form of government in which the sovereign power resides in the people as a whole […] we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain—that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom—and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall … Continue reading Democracy
nəˈtɪvɪtɪ nativity: Birth, in particular the birth of Jesus Christ This is the month, and this the happy morn, Wherein the Son of Heav’n’s eternal King, Of wedded Maid, and Virgin Mother born, Our great redemption from above did bring; For so the holy sages once did sing, That he our deadly forfeit should release, … Continue reading Nativity
ʌnˈplɛd Unpled: (legal) not used as an argument; undefended by evidence This Court has been unable to find any case in which a plaintiff has sought such a drastic remedy in the contest of an election, in terms of the sheer volume of votes asked to be invalidated. One might expect that when seeking such … Continue reading Unpled
The office of Rep. Neal Dunn, R-Fla., announced April 9 he had a positive test for the coronavirus after visiting the emergency room “out of an abundance of caution” the evening of April 6.[…]“Congresswoman Fletcher sought professional medical treatment out of an abundance of caution. At the determination of her physician, she was tested for … Continue reading Out Of An Abundance Of Caution
ɪˈmjuːnɪtɪ Immunity: Exemption from a service, obligation, or duty; the condition of being insusceptible to the contagion of a specific disease Our aim is to try and reduce the peak, broaden the peak, not suppress it completely; also, because the vast majority of people get a mild illness, to build up some kind of herd … Continue reading Immunity