Unusual words and expressions

  1. secundum legem
  2. according to law

  3. praeter legem
  4. an item that is not regulated by law and therefore is not illegal (contra legem)

  5. Ceteris Paribus
  6. τσέτερις πάριμπους, other things been equal

  7. Post hoc ergo propter hoc
  8. an informal fallacy that states: 'Since event Y followed event X, event Y must have been caused by event X.'

  9. lato sensu
  10. Εν ευρεία εννοία

  11. skeuomorph
  12. An object or feature which imitates the design of a similar artifact made from another material.

  13. Ars longa, vita brevis
  14. Verbum sapienti satis est
  15. Latin phrase that's the orign of the 'a word to the wise (is sufficient)'

  16. distributary
  17. a branch of a river that does not return to the main stream after leaving it (as in a delta) — παρακλάδι

  18. tributary
  19. a river or stream flowing into a larger river or lake — παραπόταμος

  20. adobe
  21. uh-doh-bee

  22. publican
    1. a person who owns or manages a pub
    2. (in ancient Rome and biblical times) a collector of taxes
  23. pastiche
  24. pah-steech

    1. a literary, musical, or artistic piece consisting wholly or chiefly of motifs or techniques borrowed from one or more sources
    2. an incongruous combination of materials, forms, motifs, etc., taken from different sources; hodgepodge: this system is a pastiche.

  25. motif
  26. moh-teef

    a recurring subject, theme, idea, etc., especially in a literary, artistic, or musical work.

  27. opposite of "as the crow flies"
  28. "By road", "by car", "by bike", etc. are all acceptable. A nicely balanced and easily understood alternative (albeit a bit elaborate) is "as the road winds"
  29. tirade, diatribe, vehement
  30. tahy-reyd — a prolonged outburst of bitter, outspoken denunciation, a vehement [vee-uh-muh nt] speech. A diatribe [dahy-uh-trahyb].
  31. amalgam
  32. uh-mal-guh m — an alloy of mercury with other metal(s)
  33. salacious
  34. adjective (of writing, pictures, or talk) treating sexual matters in an indecent way and typically conveying undue interest in or enjoyment of the subject.
    synonyms: pornographic, obscene, indecent, crude, lewd, vulgar, dirty, filthy.
  35. esemplastic
  36. \es-em-PLAS-tik, -uh m-\
    adjective
    1. having the ability to shape diverse elements or concepts into a unified whole:
    the esemplastic power of a great mind to simplify the difficult.
  37. howbeit
  38. \hou-BEE-it\ conjunction: nevertheless
  39. albeit
  40. \awl-BEE-it\ conjunction: even though, even if
  41. palliate
  42. \PAL-ee-eyt\ verb
    1. to relieve or lessen without curing; mitigate; alleviate.
    2. to try to mitigate or conceal the gravity of (an offense) by excuses, apologies, etc.; extenuate.
    He was a strong man with an austere command of himself, and when he had to face death he divested himself of all that could palliate the suffering, and stood up to it with a stark resolution which was more Roman than Christian.
  43. saturnine
  44. 1. sluggish in temperament; gloomy; taciturn.
    2. suffering from lead poisoning, as a person.
  45. nice way of responding to praise
  46. - thank you for being so generous with your praise (makes "thank you very much for your kind words" sound trite and cliche by comparison).
  47. taciturn
  48. inclined to silence; reserved in speech; reluctant to join in conversation.
  49. Jeremiad
  50. Or maybe [he] has actually come to believe his own Jeremiads abou Tehran's supposed suicidal "mad mullahs."
  51. triad
  52. Israel knows that Iran has no intention of launching a nuclear attack on the Jewish state, which is a major world nuclear power with an invulnerable triad of land, sea and air-launched nuclear weapons.
  53. to have a tiger by the tail
  54. to find oneself in a situation that has turned out to be much more difficult to control than one had expected The United States has the Iranian tiger by the tail. Washington doesn't know whether to hold on or let the big beast go.
  55. public convenience
  56. When Titus found fault with him for contriving a tax upon public conveniences, he held a piece of money from the first payment to his son's nose, asking whether its odour was offensive to him. When Titus said "No," he replied, "Yet it comes from urine."
    - Suetonius, 12 Caesars, "Vespasian"
  57. unnerve
  58. to deprive of courage, strength, determination, or confidence; upset.

    The development has unnerved America's autocratic allies in the region, which see Iran as their main regional rival.
  59. rapprochement
  60. The deal comes amid a period of rapprochement between the US and its long-time Middle Eastern foe Iran.
  61. likeness
    1. a representation, picture, or image, especially a portrait: to draw a good likeness of Churchill
    2. the state or fact of being liked: I can't get over your likeness to my friend
    3. the semblance or appearance of something:to assume the likeness of a swan

    According to Chapman, whose likeness accompanying his column shows him smiling the smile of the self-satisfied bourgeois, this is all so much balderdash, [...]
  62. balderdash
  63. senseless, stupid, or exaggerated talk or writing; nonsense
  64. nexus
  65. We should be careful about what we recognize as contributing factors to social problems at the macro level, especially where those influences affect the macro-level society only by way of willful human behavior. Everything might be rightly construed as a potential influence on human behavior, and anything taken to excess might inspire dangerous or irresponsible behavior; but it's very dangerous to treat human beings as fungible stimulus-response machines, and locate the nexus of responsibility for outcomes in the complex of external behavioral influences rather than in human agency itself. People should be held accountable for the actual, quantifiable harm they do to others, with consideration of what external influences contributed to their actions having only a role to play in deciding how to respond to people who actually are harming others.

Idiomatic English

  1. jump the gun: act before the proper time; synonyms: act prematurely, act too soon, be overhasty, be precipitate.
  2. we're going that road …
  3. I don't have a great story as to why <insert arbitrary question someone asked>
  4. In addition to that, please talk to Mr. X who can get this going for us
  5. gave him a heads-up that an investigation was pending
  6. let me spend some time nosing around and see what I can find
  7. "hold off (on someone or something)"; to delay doing something concerning someone or something. "Please hold off on Tom until we interview the other candidates". "Hold off on dropping the database till I back it up"
  8. "You're all caught up!"; used in the sense that one no longer has any pending tasks or required things to perform
  9. as I have stuck my head above the parapet, I think that I should probably comment on this as well…
  10. can we do that on the cheap without all this testing?
  11. Some boxes are better left unopened
  12. Don't go overboard with this
  13. we spent most of that time beefing up the back-end. beef up to strengthen, reinforce, make more effective
  14. We'll have to mull it over a little bit. Ponder, consider, think over/about, reflect on, contemplate, turn over in one's mind, chew over, give some thought to
  15. There's no mucking around. Phrasal verb. If you muck around or muck about, you behave in a childish or silly way, often so that you waste your time and fail to achieve anything
  16. dyed in the wool: "she's a dyed-in-the-wool conservative" (inveterate, confirmed, entrenched, established, long-standing, deep-rooted, diehard)
  17. it's starting to get nippy (for the weather)
  18. is it turnkey and he'll just do it or are we hitting new ground with these guys?
  19. we just need to go into this with our eyes open
  20. we'll punt on that one for now and re-visit it when you come back …
  21. bumf
    Useless printed instuctions and manuals. Originated in England during World War II when English soldiers were overwelmed with unnecessary printed materials and used them as toilet tissue or "bum fodder".
  22. I'll be making stuff up if you want me to answer now
  23. I'm just getting the rule straight
  24. I think I have the story straight now
  25. and we all know how that played out
  26. something went off the rails at that point
  27. it avoids having to change gears
  28. this is a homegrown, cludgy solution
  29. we haven't sized it yet
  30. ever before going down that road
  31. this is on Peter's plate at this point
  32. Granted, that concept is hand-wavey and poorly defined
  33. at the end of a presentation: "and I'm gonna leave you with that"
  34. Not to pile onto Walter but my experience and general opinion is similar to Peter's
  35. after you're done I'll be checking bases with George and Mary
  36. don't hold me to it
  37. well! I dumped that on your plate
  38. there's a lot that has calcified here
  39. it's getting hairy (for a problem)
  40. the nitty-gritty details
  41. the schedule is already slipping
  42. we have to stay up — it's not a stagnant world
  43. there's plenty of challenges and I'm going to skim through them
  44. performance and portability pull in different directions
  45. all that effort now pays off
  46. that was out of the radar
  47. that was before I came onboard
  48. You get the short end of the stick
  49. I'm just trying to get that out of the way
  50. just wanted to close the loop
  51. I will now bow out
    (= I will quit doing something). I heard that used in the sense of gracefully withdrawing from an activity when one's work is done.
  52. It's not all it's cracked up to be
  53. It dawned on me
  54. fender-bender
  55. out of my face you creep
  56. he's on the mend
    ( = he's healing / getting better)
  57. beat it
    ( = hit the road)
  58. 101 ("one oh one")
    ( = basic, elementary)
  59. no harm, no foul
    ( = nobody got hurt, let's move on)
  60. catty
    ( = usu. for a woman: always rancorous, gossiping about others)
  61. bestiality is frowned upon
  62. he went back for seconds