Tuesday, October 30, 2012


quotidian [kwoʊˈtɪdiən] a.

1.) Everyday; commonplace.
2.) Recurring daily. Used especially of attacks of malaria (The American Heritage Dictionary of English).

Etymology: Middle English cotidien, from Old French, from Latin quotidianus, from quotidia, each day: quot, how many, as many as + dia, ablative of dias, day.

"Tonight on The Report: death, sadness, despair, and disease; the myriad miseries of our quotidian existence; life as suffering; the world as sorrow; history as a nightmare from which no man can awake; and time as the dolorous thread doomed to perpetually circumnavigate—in ever wider circles—the pool of fate. Jon?" (The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, Steve Bodow (Head Writer), March 29 2007).

(L'Absinthe, Edgar Degas, 1876)

Monday, October 29, 2012


avoirdupois [ˌævərdəˈpɔɪz] n.

1.) (More fully avoirdupois weight) The standard system of weights used, in Great Britain, for all goods except the precious metals, precious stones, and medicines.
2.) Weight; degree of heaviness. (Common in U.S.) (O.E.D. 2nd Ed.).

Etymology: Middle English avoir de pois, commodities sold by weight, alteration of Old French aveir de peis, goods of weight: aveir, avoir, to have (from Latin habre) + de, of + peis, pois, weight (from Vulgar Latin pesum, from Latin pensum, past participle of pendere, to hang).

"For nonperishable goods bought of Moses Herzog, of 13 Saint Kevin's parade, Wood quay ward, merchant, hereinafter called the vendor, and sold and delivered to Michael E. Geraghty, Esquire, of 29 Arbour Hill in the city of Dublin, Arran quay ward, gentleman, hereinafter called the purchaser, videlicet, five pounds avoirdupois of first choice tea at three shillings per pound avoirdupois and three stone avoirdupois of sugar, crushed crystal, at three pence per pound avoirdupois, the said purchaser debtor to the said vendor of one pound five shillings and six pence sterling for value received which amount shall be paid by said purchaser to said vendor in weekly instalments every seven calendar days of three shillings and no pence sterling: and the said nonperishable goods shall not be pawned or pledged or sold or otherwise alienated by the said purchaser but shall be and remain and be held to be the sole and exclusive property of the said vendor to be disposed of at his good will and pleasure until the said amount shall have been duly paid by the said purchaser to the said vendor in the manner herein set forth as this day hereby agreed between the said vendor his heirs, successors, trustees and assigns of the one part and the said purchaser, his heirs, successors, trustees, and assigns of the other part" (Ulysses, James Joyce, 1922).

(Le Cyclope, Odilon Redon, 1898)

This hurricane is annoying!

Tuesday, October 9, 2012


marmoreal [mɑrˈmɔriəl] a.

1.) Resembling marble or a marble statue; cold, smooth, white, etc., like marble.
2.) Made or composed of marble.

Etymology: from Latin marmoreus (from marmor, marble) + -al.

"Is it a young and comely peasant-nurse
That poseth? (be the phrase accorded me!)
Each feminine delight of florid lip,
Eyes brimming o'er and brow bowed down with live,
Marmoreal neck and bosom uberous,—
Glad on the paper in a trice they go
To help this notion of the Mother-maid:
Methinks I see it, chalk a little stumped!"
(The Ring and the Book, Robert Browning, 1869).

(Madame X, John Singer Sargent, 1884)