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Unread 04-16-2021, 11:13 AM
Allen Tice Allen Tice is online now
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Default Spelling Bee

I'm sure there have been similar threads that could or should be linked to this (please do). As we do like words, I want to start off with a tongue-roller that we all love:

sphygmomanometer
(sfĭg″mō-mə-nŏm′ĭ-tər). A nurse phlebotomist at your physicians's office uses it to measure blood pressure. A thousand rhymes.


Another is poikilotherm (poiˈkēləˌθərm; or -kil-). I hope that no one here is a scaly poikilotherm except lurkers. It means you can't control your body temperature except by basking or burrowing. The dad of one of my daughter's friends tried to one-up me in conversation with the poi word. Be prepared. Strike back with confidence. Go widdershins if you must. Gambol securely.
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Unread 04-16-2021, 11:40 AM
Roger Slater Roger Slater is online now
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I just learned this nifty word yesterday:

Steganography (/ˌstɛɡəˈnɒɡrəfi/ STEG-ə-NOG-rə-fee) is the practice of concealing a message within another message or a physical object.
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Unread 04-16-2021, 03:18 PM
James Brancheau James Brancheau is offline
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That's just crazy, Allen. Do Germans do spelling bees? You'd need at least three judges for that in case someone gets distracted.
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Unread 04-16-2021, 03:48 PM
Julie Steiner Julie Steiner is online now
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I started this thread some months ago, but it proved fugacious.
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Unread 04-16-2021, 09:57 PM
Allen Tice Allen Tice is online now
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Thanks for the link, Julie. That’s a great word Roger. It looks as if it might share the “steg” root with Stegosaurus, from Greek stegos (στέγος), which means roof, and sauros (σαῦρος), which means lizard. That’s the dinosaur with those hard looking leaves on its back and a nerve ganglion near its butt as big or bigger than its brain - if I recall right. Thanks anyway. I want to keep this to words used by English speakers.

There is, of course, the famous German Oberweserdampfschifffahrtgesellschaftskapitan, which has a jolly song that uses it. It means the “upper Weser steamboat excursion company captain.” I hope I got that one right except for the captain’s umlauts which are too much trouble at midnight in New York.

PS: just checked, one umlaut on final a. Back to English, my mother tongue.

Last edited by Allen Tice; 04-17-2021 at 10:21 AM. Reason: fahrt
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Unread 04-17-2021, 08:34 AM
Roger Slater Roger Slater is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Allen Tice View Post
I want to keep this to words used by English speakers.
You mean like Oberweserdampfschifffahrtgesellschaftskapitan and poikilotherm?
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Unread 04-17-2021, 09:34 AM
Allen Tice Allen Tice is online now
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Roger, the poikilotherm was actually dropped on me in the company of my family, the speaker’s family, and his moving vehicle when we were all at Cornell University and he was was driving to a pizza palace. As an MD I guess he assumed his awesomeness would be evident by my asking what that meant. Didn’t work. It’s a word in “the literature”, as is the word for warm-blooded wizzos like you and me. That Oberweser- item isn’t English of course. Its song can be found on pre-Vinyl-is-back!-frenzy LPs here and there. Some imported Austrian math teachers and I were joking about big words. One said that there was a common addition that ended with -mutzfabrik (hat factory). I suggested adding “parking lot reserved space.”

The words don’t have to be long, just used by speakers of our language. I like zarf.

PS Zarf is almost too easy to spell, as is “tetrapod”. All quadrupeds are tetrapods. Let’s get snavely.

Last edited by Allen Tice; 04-18-2021 at 01:38 PM.
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Unread 04-17-2021, 09:52 AM
Roger Slater Roger Slater is online now
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Steganography was used in The Sympathizer, a novel that I believe won the Pulitzer Prize a few years back. I'm just now reading it and if it keeps on being as good as it is so far, I think the prize was well deserved.
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Unread 04-17-2021, 03:31 PM
Allen Tice Allen Tice is online now
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It looks like a fascinating book on the Wikipedia summary.
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Unread 04-18-2021, 06:08 AM
E. Shaun Russell E. Shaun Russell is offline
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I've always been fond of paraskavedekatriaphobia. Everyone and his dog knows triskaidekaphobia, but paraskavedekatriaphobia is delightfully specific.

I also like borborygmi, because it's simultaneously a "big word" and pretty much an onomatopoeia. A quick check of Wikipedia says that the Greeks probably coined the word for the onomatopoeia aspect, and that's good enough for me.
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