Need a few new words to impress all your friends and family during all the holiday parties this year? Look no further! Here is your weekly WOOF compendium.
Monday: Google (1975 Dictionary of American Slang) — the Adam’s apple, the throat
Tuesday: Calf-Kneed (1994 Happy Trails: A Dictionary of Western Expressions) — knock-kneed, like an awkward calf
Wednesday: Richmond Lattimore (1995 Dictionary of American Authors) — (b. 1906 – d. 1984) Poet, translator, classical scholar, & prof. of Greek. Renowned for his disciplined yet poetic translations of classical Greek poetry, esp. Homer’s Iliad. His own poetry touched on Greek, Anglo-Saxon, and Norse traditions, and lyric poetry.
Thursday: Tintinnabulation (1951 Webster’s New Vest Pocket Dictionary) — the tinkling sound a bell makes, specifically after it has been struck
Friday: Lissome (1990 Webster’s New World Dictionary) — lithe, supple, limber, agile
Tintinnabulation has its origins in Latin, from the verb tinnire, to ring / clang / jangle, which is somewhat onomatopoeic (go ahead and say it out loud), and from there, tintinnabulum, a bell. However, the actual English noun, tintinnabulation, isn’t attested until c. 1845, when Edgar Allan Poe used it in his “The Bells.”
Keeping time, time, time / In a sort of Runic rhyme / To the tintinnabulation that so musically wells / From the bells, bells, bells, bells.
Here is a fun article from Flavorwire that talks about words that were invented in literature, like tintinnabulation. Shakespeare, that good and stalwart paragon of the English language, coined quite a few words, like mountaineer, and skim milk, apparently.
Do you have any favorite words that come poetry? There must be some great Seuss-isms out there!