Monday, 24 August 2009

An Amazing Abecedenarian Alphabet - A's Part 1

The First of my Amazing A's: Abecedarian (adj): pertaining to the ABC; rudimentary; arranged like an acrostic; (n) a learner/teacher of ABC; member of Anabaptist sect which rejects learning.

aberdevine (n): a twitcher's name for the siskin, which is a yellowish-green finch (Ety. uncertain). 'How divine to spot an aberdevine, dahling!' Can't wait to throw that one into a conversation...

aboulia (n): loss of willpower, inability to make decisions. [Gr. a-, priv., boulë, will]. What a useful word for a procrastinating author. To editor: "Due to a bad bout of aboulia, I will be slightly late in delivering my novel. Do hope you will understand. Yours etc..."

abraxas (n). a mystic word, or gem engraved with mystical half-human/animal figure, used as a charm. [said to have been coined by the 2nd-cent Gnostic Basilides to express 365 by addition of the numerical values of the Greek letters]. Strangely, this is also the name of my local cookery equipment shop. Or is that simply a cover for a new mystical sect involving ritual bowing to pots and pans while dressed as a goat?

accipitrine (adj). pertaining to hawks. I wonder what word pertains to doves. If I knew, I could make a fascinating political sentence involving the two.

acronychal (adj): at nightfall (of the rising and setting of stars). [Gr. akron, point; nychos, -eos, night). A good word, but harder to fit into a sentence than you might think...

ad aperturam libri (Lat); as the book opens. Cheating a bit, on the A alphabet front, but a useful Latin phrase for a writer, I feel.

adminicle (n): anything that aids or supports. I could do with an adminicle, which I envision as being a small personage somewhat like a house elf, but of a more secretarial nature.

adversaria; a commonplace book. See title.

aeolipyle (n); a hollow ball turned by the tangential escape of steam. A useful object, and addition to vocabulary, I am sure. But where would you use it? [L. Aeolus, god of winds, pila, ball; Gr. Aiolou pylai, Gates of Aeolus)
affy (v, obs); to trust, to confide, to assure. ‘I affy that I defy you,’ in short.

agathodaimon (Gr. n);one's good genius, the one that gives you tremendous ideas for your novel at 3am. Not the one that says you're crap.

aggri, aggry (adj.); a word applied to ancient West African glass beads. So now you know what that one is, lovely Twitterers.

agraffe (n); a hooked clasp [from Old High German chrapfo, hook]. As in 'I hang my coat (which has an agraffe) from a chrapfo on the wall'.

agryze (adj); terrify, horrify, disfigure.Well, if it was good enough for Spenser (Faerie Queen), it's good enough for me.[OE agrasan=dread]

akinesia (n); the lack, loss or impairment of the power of voluntary movement [path]. Anyone else's teenagers suffer from this? Mine do!

alalagmos, n, [Gr]; a war cry. Perhaps shall use an alalagmos when I next have to deal with recalcitrant traffic wardens!

Albigensian (adj); of bloody c13th crusade which stamped out Catharist sect. Book blog on 800th anniversary at

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