Friday, August 12, 2011

baroque



baroque [bəˈroʊk] a.

1.) Irregularly shaped; whimsical, grotesque, odd. ('Originally a jeweller's term, soon much extended in sense.' Brachet.) Applied specifically to a florid style of architectural decoration which arose in Italy in the late Renaissance and became prevalent in Europe during the 18th century. Also in transferred sense in reference to other arts. This term and "rococo" are not infrequently used without distinction for styles of ornament characterized by profusion, oddity of combinations, or abnormal features generally.

baroque n.

1.) Grotesque or whimsical ornamentation (O.E.D. 2nd Ed.).

Etymology: French, from Portuguese barroco, imperfect pearl.

"The Advanced Basics chairperson looks like a perfect cross between pictures of Dick Cavett and Truman Capote except this guy's also like totally, almost flamboyantly bald, and to top it off he's wearing a bright-black country-western shirt with baroque curlicues of white Nodie-piping across the chest and shoulders, and a string tie, plus sharp-toed boots of some sort of weirdly imbricate reptile skin, and overall he's riveting to look at, grotesque in that riveting way that flaunts its grotesquerie" (Infinite Jest, David Foster Wallace, 1997).

(Madonna del Popolo, Federico Barocci, 1579)
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Today's word in honor of Diego Sousa, the well-informed survivalist who wanted me to feature a word of Portuguese origin. Also, if anyone knows any words of Finnish origin (besides "sauna"), let me know, because I promised akissfromthepast that I'd feature one. Thanks for reading!

32 comments:

Thoon said...

Grotesque and whimsical? Very handy word for a tabletop gamer.

JayJay said...

I read this and was instantly transported back to my fifth form music class.

Fiona not Bruce said...

now this one i knew.

Ana said...

i like baroque churches :)
and I haven't heard the term rococó since history classes; it was a laugh while kids because 'cocó' is feces in portuguese!

meandmythinkingcap said...

Where the hell were you when I was preparing for my GRE? Yours is my kind of blog. Keep up the good work dude.
The morons are making up new words like "guesstimate" without even realising that they are many wonderful words in English already.

Michael Westside said...

I already knew this one ^^

Debra She Who Seeks said...

Oh, now I understand the relationship between the ornamentation of baroque music and its name!

Zombie said...

I am totally using this word to describe my friends noggin. lol.

Diego Sousa said...

i'm brazillian, and didn't knew what this means

shari said...

I've used that word many times... especially due to the fact that I studied interior design in my youth, and was a decorator for a few years. We used to say, "Louis the Fifteenth went baroque furnishing his estate..." It was a lot of gilt (ormolu) and curly carvings and sumptuous fabrics, reflective surfaces, etc... all in one salon.

For a Finnish word, how about "Uff da" lol... I'm half Finnish, but my grandmother passed away... I don't have anyone to ask who might know.

Shutterbug said...

I've actually heard of this word! :D

D4 said...

I think I've used this without knowing what it really meant.

nowaysj said...

Pretty serious tome you're quoting from there boss.

nowaysj said...

A baroque time I might add.

Hey, I'm starting up a new, more hopefully entertaining blog. You can find the address at my music production blog. Don't want to spam your comments!

Hydriotaphia said...

A word often used to describe Sir Thomas Browne's prose, that and idiosyncratic, hint, hint.

jos xx said...

thanks for highlighting my mistake.

this word reminds me the art/literature class we had to attend some years ago at college. we used to apply this word with churches...

jos xx

GMSoccerPicks said...

I've used this one a few times. Ok it was in spanish (barroco) but still counts. I would like you to feature spanish words too if you want. Sadly i dont have any finnish origin words to contribute with.

Rob said...

I really dig this blog, cant wait to learn more, following!

Chris Hashemi said...

Very cool artwork today!

MRanthrope said...

my 10th grade world history & geography teacher forever ingrained this world into my psyche.

A Beer for the Shower said...

An excellent word, my man. And my most favorite branch of classical music.

Cheers to Ralphie.

Bree said...

So interesting! :]
Wow!

Btw, follow my blog if you haven't yet and if you can my twitter too! (Viva_La_Breee)

xoxo, Bree

http://vivalabreee.blogspot.com/

Henry said...

Hey, my favorite classical music period!

*^_^* said...

Nice post! Insightful!
Keep it coming!!

Mai Yang said...

hmm..Irregularly shaped ^_^

soooo artistic :)

cheshire said...

I was going to say something dirty, but couldn't bring myself to do it. Turned out for the best, I think.

Jennifer Fabulous said...

This is a great word but my heart belongs to rococo.

Lemons Don't Make Lemonade said...

Portuguese origin? I so did not know that.

Interestingly, I just got back from Macau, which use to be colonized by the Portuguese.

And regarding your last comment, you don't have to be jealous, honey. Your lovely words beat Dictionary.com's any time. And...Dictionary.com doesn't have a cute profile picture.

^And there's the mandatory slutty comment for the week.

Inverse said...

Feeling smarter after reading this :)

Endless said...

portuguese? didn't know that

Sick by Trend said...

I love baroque... I think is extremely beautiful and not easy to share and show the vision you have! :D

xx

www.sickbytrend.com

Jenny Woolf said...

Isn't Nokia in Finland? Perhaps the mobile phones come from there. And perhaps that doesn't count, since the brand name of a mobile phone isn't a pukka word. (What about pukka? Sounds Finnish - though I think it's Hindustani).

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