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A Presidential Word-a-Day
October 24, 2008 10:00 PM   Subscribe

The wonderful wordsmith, Anu Garg, at Wordsmith.org has posted five words this week: "To barrack"."Bidentate"."Meeken". "Palinode". "Obambulate". Definitions inside.

"Obambulate", verb intr.: To walk about. "Palinode", noun: A poem in which the author retracts something said in an earlier poem. "To barrack", verb tr., intr.: 1. To shout in support: to cheer. 2. To shout against: to jeer. noun: A building used to house soldiers. "Bidentate", adjective: Having two teeth or toothlike parts. "Meeken", verb tr., intr.: To make or become meek or submissive.
posted by Tarn (26 comments total) 9 users marked this as a favorite

 
Wow. Words!
Words I know!
(I don't get it.)
posted by heyho at 10:11 PM on October 24, 2008


"Palinode", noun: A poem in which the author retracts something said in an earlier poem.

Now that is just perfect.

Also, apparently "palin" is a Greek root word meaning "backwards" (for example, "palindrome" is literally "backwards" + "path"). It's like we're living in a Harry Potter book.
posted by Rhaomi at 10:13 PM on October 24, 2008 [12 favorites]


Happily, none of these words are bush-league.
posted by twoleftfeet at 10:17 PM on October 24, 2008


Needs more "Obamalicious."

Best used in the context of Homer Simpson-style drooling (e.g. "Mmmm, Obamalicious....")

Yes, I'm guilty of doing that... often...
posted by Yoshi Ayarane at 10:18 PM on October 24, 2008 [1 favorite]


Also, for those who did not RTFA, these are all actual dictionary words, not just neologisms people have made up for the election.
posted by Rhaomi at 10:20 PM on October 24, 2008


mccainate - to identify a scot who is not abel
posted by pyramid termite at 10:34 PM on October 24, 2008


I would have went with "enmeekenate".

It's a perfectly cromulent word.
posted by blue_beetle at 10:54 PM on October 24, 2008 [1 favorite]


Bushless \Bush'less\, a. Free from bushes; bare. "O'er the long backs of the bushless downs." --Tennyson.
posted by weapons-grade pandemonium at 10:58 PM on October 24, 2008 [1 favorite]



"Obambulate", verb intr.: To walk about.

posted by louche mustachio at 11:17 PM on October 24, 2008 [1 favorite]


Nadir nadir nadir.
posted by dhartung at 11:33 PM on October 24, 2008 [2 favorites]


I took an enourmous Bush this morning. Better out than in, I say.
posted by strawberryviagra at 12:22 AM on October 25, 2008 [1 favorite]


Obambulance: the vehicle that will take McCain home on November 4th.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 12:25 AM on October 25, 2008 [5 favorites]


Dan Savage does this, too: Santorum

(aside: I can't wait to watch Palin's downward spiral after the dust settles. It's going to be schadenfreudetastic (see, I can make words, too)).
posted by chuckdarwin at 2:33 AM on October 25, 2008 [1 favorite]


"To barrack" is a perfectly cromulent word in Australia. People will ask something like "which team do you barrack for", i.e., which team do you support. My understanding is that it comes from Ireland and originally meant shouting or jeering.
posted by Joe in Australia at 3:14 AM on October 25, 2008


Those are really clever. What's that annual competition where peeps are allowed to change one syllable of a word and give it a new definition? They come up with a pretty darn big list every year and they are all quality. Wordsmiths can come up with some funny clever stuff I wish I was a wordsmith.

Word.


I don't like the example of a palindromic web address. Needs more forward slashies.

http://wordsmith.org/words/sdrow/gro.htimsdrow//:ptth

posted by uncanny hengeman at 4:16 AM on October 25, 2008


Palindrome is given as a root word example for palinode. Why not give the most obvious one for obambulate - ambulate? Is it because it has the same meaning, so Anu Garg chose other examples?
posted by uncanny hengeman at 4:26 AM on October 25, 2008


Good gravy, they are real words. The first one I read was palinode and I was sure it was a piss take. Eyes must have glazed over by the time I got to the "usage" section.
posted by uncanny hengeman at 4:37 AM on October 25, 2008


Heh heh, so John McCain was obambulating all over the place in that last debate.
posted by tushfestival at 5:54 AM on October 25, 2008 [1 favorite]


Also, apparently "palin" is a Greek root word meaning "backwards" (for example, "palindrome" is literally "backwards" + "path"). It's like we're living in a Harry Potter book.

You'll be thrilled to know that "pali", the newer form of "palin", was also the name of the major surrealist magazine in Greece. Foreign policy by proximity is a surrealist idea, indeed.
posted by ersatz at 6:56 AM on October 25, 2008


I'm liking "Embarracuda" used by Joe Klein here.
posted by maggieb at 7:24 AM on October 25, 2008


No, Santorum is not the same as these.
posted by flibbertigibbet at 8:48 AM on October 25, 2008


Oh, yes, I wrote 'The Purple Cow,'
I'm sorry now I wrote it!
But I can tell you anyhow,
I'll kill you if you quote it.


Awesome.
posted by djeo at 5:35 PM on October 25, 2008


The Washington Post's Style Invitational, uncanny hengeman?

Here are last year's results for that contest.
posted by hippugeek at 6:30 PM on October 25, 2008


This year's results (login req)
posted by hippugeek at 6:50 PM on October 25, 2008


Thankyou Hippugeek, that looks like it.

Further to what Joe in Australia said. Barrack is what you Americans call root. But root in Australia means f*ck. Normally a casual f*ck as in "I went to the pub and scored a root." But when we hear an American asking who we root for we understand and generally don't snigger we are a worldly lot.
posted by uncanny hengeman at 9:09 PM on October 25, 2008


bushu-suru
posted by Joseph Gurl at 10:46 PM on October 25, 2008


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