Thursday, 20 March 2008

Words of the Week #2

Gimcrack \JIM-krak\, noun:
1. A showy but useless or worthless object; a gewgaw
1. Tastelessly showy; cheap; gaudy

The origin of gimcrack is uncertain. It is perhaps an alteration of Middle English gibecrake, "a slight or flimsy ornament."

Hortatory \HOR-tuh-tor-ee\, adjective:
Marked by strong urging; serving to encourage or incite; as, "a hortatory speech".

is from Latin hortatorius, from hortari, "to exhort, to incite, to encourage."

Imbroglio \im-BROHL-yoh\, noun:
1. A complicated and embarrassing state of things.
2. A confused or complicated disagreement or misunderstanding.
3. An intricate, complicated plot, as of a drama or work of fiction.
4. A confused mass; a tangle.

Oh yeah....welcome to my imbroglioed world.

Imbroglio derives from Italian, from Old Italian imbrogliare, "to tangle, to confuse," from in-, "in" + brogliare, "to mix, to stir." It is related to embroil, "to entangle in conflict or argument."

Pulchritude \PUL-kruh-tood; -tyood\, noun:
That quality of appearance which pleases the eye; beauty; comeliness; grace; loveliness.
Pulchritude comes from Latin pulchritudo, from pulcher, "beautiful." The adjective form is pulchritudinous.

What an ugly word for such a pulchritudinous meaning!


  1. I think we call gimcrack "plumber's butt" over here!
    Sorry, it's late..

  2. *snorting at Patience*. I think that's what we call it too Patience!

  3. Those first two words are new to me, but I'm familiar with the last two.

    Does that make me a nerd?

  4. I love all those words. Don't the Italian ones just roll off the tongue? Am I too late for the hen names? Here are a few suggestions: Matilda, Hortense, and Gertrude.

  5. Sounds like I could be Lisa Imbroglio, instead of chaos. :)

  6. patience had the perfect comment Three stars to her!!

    I have to say #1 and #2 were new words.

    I've heard the other two -- I believe in one of those online quizzes.

  7. imbroglio is wonderful! i am going to use it to name some of my recipes. spaghetti imbroglio... also my life in general is a bit of an imbroglio!


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