Feature Word: Waste of Air Space

Definition:

Utterly useless existence

Description:

Originated from Nietzsche, the Superman (Essay)

Source:

Nietzsche

Zaftig

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Definition:

Alluringly plump, curvaceous, buxom… Literally, “juicy”

Description:

1937, from Yiddish zaftik, literally “juicy,” from zaft “juice,” from Middle High German, saft “juice”

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Cruft

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Definition:

Cruft (occasionally kruft) is computing jargon for “code, data, or software of poor quality”. The term may also refer to debris that accumulates on computer equipment. It has been generalized to mean any accumulation of obsolete, redundant, irrelevant, or unnecessary information, especially code. An alternative usage is becoming more generalized to refer to any unneeded or unwanted computer hardware or obsolete equipment.

Description:

The origin of the term is uncertain, but it may be derived from Harvard University Cruft Laboratory, which was the Harvard Physics Department’s radar lab during World War II. As late as the early 1990s, unused technical equipment could be seen stacked in front of Cruft Hall’s windows. According to students, if the place filled with useless machinery is called Cruft Hall, the machinery itself must be cruft. This image of “discarded technical clutter” quickly migrated from hardware to software.

Cruft may also be a play on the old typeface form of the letter “s”, rendering “crust” as “cruſt”.

Another possible origin is that the word evokes the words crust, fluff and scruffy. The latter word is the source of similar words in Jamaican English such as cruff, meaning scurfy, coarse or uncouth.

From Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cruft

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Skullduggery

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Definition:

Noun.
1. Unscrupulous, deceptive behavior 2. A device used to trick
Alt Spelling: skulduggery
scullduggery, sculduggery
Plural: Skullduggaries

Description:

Skullduggery (spelled with either a “k” or “c” and/or two “l”s) comes from the Scottish word for adultry:  “sculdudrie”.  The word is used in modern parlance as a term for underhanded dealings or trickery, often political in nature.  Ex. The skullduggery that was Watergate.

The word Skullduggery has been used to title various things from a 1970s Burt Reynolds film to the University of Adelaide orientation week, established in 1896.  

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Cold Turkey

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Definition:

1) Immediate, complete withdrawal from something on which one has become dependent, as with an addictive drug.
2) blunt / plain language; getting down to business (American)

Description:

This refers to an addict’s skin reaction to heroin withdrawal. As an addict stops using the drug, blood is drawn toward the internal organs, thereby leaving the skin to resemble a cold, plucked turkey.

The origin dates back to 1910 and originally meant “without preparation,” referring to the ease of making a dish of cold turkey. In 1922, the expression acquired its darker connotation related to drug withdrawal.

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Doozy (Doozie)

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Definition:

Noun.
Something that is remarkable, either for it’s level of difficulty or it’s exceptional superiority.

Description:

There is no definitive origin for the word “doozy” but there are at least three main theories, the oldest of which is that it is an adaptation of “daisy,” which was used in 18th century England as a synonym for something or someone of high caliber.

Example: “That horse is a real daisy.  She’s well worth the price!”

Other etymological sources suggest it derives form the nickname for the Dusenberg, a luxury automobile introduced in the US in the 1920s.

A third possibility is that it come from the nickname given to Italian actress Eleanor Duse, who made headlines as beautiful and talented import to the New York theater world in the 1890s.

The definition has expanded in modern parlance from indicating something or someone superior to also including something that is extraordinary in its negative qualities.

Example:  “That test was a real doozy.  I sure hope I passed.”

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