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Category Archives: words
Roorback (n.) a defamatory falsehood published for political effect. I ran across roorback while researching for my play about the first election in Chicago when women could vote and run for office. Here’s the story of the etymology: In the … Continue reading
Four-flusher: (n.) One who deceives or bluffs. The phrase comes from poker, in which a “four-flush” is a meaningless hand. (One needs five, not four, cards of the same suit in order to have a flush.) You can’t believe a word that fool says—he’s a real four-flusher. Sometimes you’ll see fourflusher and that’s fine. There’s more than one spelling. I came across this researching the 1914 municipal election.
psychomachia: (n.) conflict of the soul My the things I run across online.
Monopsony (n.) a market condition in which there is only one buyer. While a monopoly is a market condition where there is only one seller, while a monopsony is when there is only one buyer, e.g. sometimes an employer may … Continue reading
Nullah (n.): gully, ravine I’m reading Dervla Murphy’s Full Tilt and as she bikes through Afghanistan and Pakistan she rides along lots of nullahs. Reference Merriam-Webster. (n.d.). Nullah. In Merriam-Webster.com dictionary. Retrieved June 16, 2021, from https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/nullah
I ran across this word while reading Dervla Murphy’s Full Tilt: Ireland to India with a Bicycle. purdah: seclusion of women from public observation among Muslims and some Hindus especially in India (Merriam-Webster). I was surprised to learn that purdah … Continue reading
rent-seeking behavior (adv.) – getting paid for doing nothing that adds value. I’ve heard this day after day in the news lately. There were several rent seeking jobs with the Census last year, i.e. people sitting around with no work … Continue reading
Stagflation (n.) slow economic growth and relatively high unemployment—or economic stagnation—which is at the same time accompanied by rising prices (i.e. inflation). Stagflation can also be alternatively defined as a period of inflation combined with a decline in gross domestic product (GDP). Often … Continue reading
The Butterfield Effect (n.) – when someone . . . makes a statement that is laughably ludicrous on its face, yet it reveals what the speaker truly believes — no matter how dumb. Origin: named in honor of ace New … Continue reading
anon (n.), conflict, especially between characters in a drama. Agon comes from the Greek word agōn, which is translated with a number of meanings, among them “contest,” “competition at games,” and “gathering.” In ancient Greece, agons (also spelled “agones”) were contests held during … Continue reading