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45 Cards in this Set

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woebegone (WO-bi-gon) adjective
Affected with, or exhibiting, woe.

[From Middle English woe + begon (beset).]
From Middle English
undecimal (UHN-des-uh-muhl) adjective
Based on the number eleven.

[From Latin undecim (eleven).]
From Latin
sufferance (SUF-uhr-uhns, SUF-ruhns) noun
1. Passive tolerance: by the absence of objection rather than by express permission.

2. Capacity to endure pain, misery, etc.

[Via French from Latin sufferentia, from sufferre (to suffer), from sub- + ferre (to bear).]
From Latin
apian (AY-pee-uhn) adjective
Of or relating to bees.

[From Latin apis (bee).]
From Latin
hors d'oeuvre (ohr DERV) noun
An extra little dish outside of and smaller than the main course, usually served first.

[From French hors (outside of), oeuvre (job or work).]
From French
amuse-bouche (uh-MYUZ-boosh) noun
Similar to but not hors d'oeuvre. This is a tidbit, served as a free extra while you are waiting for your first course.

[From French, literally, "mouth amuser", from amuser (to amuse) + bouche (mouth). Its more informal twin, amuse-gueule, is sometimes considered vulgar. Gueule is an animal's mouth, bouche a human's.]
From French
macedoine (mas-i-DWAN) noun
A mixed dish, usually of fruit and/or vegetables, in which several different varieties are combined into a colorful tableau.

[From French macédoine, from Macédoine (Macedonia). The reference is to the Balkan area of many different territories and ethnic groups that Alexander the Great welded into a single unit.]
From French
vinaigrette (vin-uh-GRET) noun
A sour, savory sauce of which there are a hundred variations. Its base ingredients are almost always oil and vinegar.

[A nice double fillip here. The French word vinaigre (vinegar) literally means "sour wine": vin (wine) + aigre (sour). Add the diminutive -ette and you get "little vinegar".]
From French
saute or sauté (so-TAY) verb tr.
To cook in a hot pan with little oil, frequently turning or tossing.

[From French sauter (to jump) as the cook vigorously jerks the pan to keep the ingredients from burning.]
From French
tropism (TRO-piz-uhm) noun
The turning or bending (typically by growth instead of movement) of an organism in response to an external stimulus.

[From Greek tropos (turning).]
From Greek
ecesis (i-SEE-sis) noun
The entry or establishment of a plant in a new habitat.

[From Greek oikesis (inhabitation), from oikein (to inhabit).]
From Greek
dendrochronology (den-dro-kruh-NOL-uh-jee) noun
Tree-ring dating.

[From Greek dendro- (tree) + chronology (the science of determining dates of past events).]
From Greek
palmy (PAH-mee) adjective
1. Abounding in palm trees.

2. Flourishing; prosperous.

[From Latin palma (palm tree).]
From Latin
indehiscent (in-di-HIS-uhnt) adjective
Not bursting open at maturity.

[When a peapod is ripe after a long wait and bursts open, it's yawning, etymologically speaking. The term indehiscent comes from Latin dehiscere (to split open), from hiscere (to gape, yawn), from Latin hiare (to yawn).
Another term that derives from the same root is hiatus.]
From Latin
bight (byt) noun
1. A bend in a coastline; also the body of water along such a curve.
Example: The Bight of Benin in W. Africa.

2. The curved part or the middle of a rope (as contrasted with the ends).

[From Old English byht (bend).]
From Old English
copse (kops) noun
A thicket of small trees, bushes, shrubs, etc. especially one grown for periodic cutting.

[Alteration of coppice. Via Middle English and French from Latin colpare
(to cut).]
From Latin
succor also succour (SUK-uhr) noun
1. Help or relief in time of distress.

2. One who gives help.

[Via Middle English and French from Latin succurrere (to run to help).]
Via Middle English
succor also succour (SUK-uhr) verb tr.
To help someone in a difficult situation.

[Via Middle English and French from Latin succurrere (to run to help).]
Via Middle English
auricle (OR-i-kuhl) noun
1. The outer projecting part of the ear; also known as pinna.

2. An ear-shaped part of each atrium of the heart.

[From Latin auricula (little ear), from auris (ear).]
From Latin
bourn (born) noun
1. A destination or goal.

2. A boundary or limit.

[From Middle French bourne, from Old French bodne (boundary).]
From Old French
shenanigan (shuh-NAN-i-guhn) noun, usually plural
A deceitful trick or mischievous act; a prank.

[Of unknown origin.]
velitation (vel-i-TAY-shuhn) noun
A minor dispute or skirmish.

[From Latin velitation-, from velitatus, past participle of velitari (to skirmish), from veles (light-armed foot soldier).]
From Latin
anathema (uh-NATH-uh-muh) noun
1. Something or someone intensely disliked.

2. A ban, curse, or vigorous denunciation.

[From Late Latin, from Greek anathema (something devoted to evil).]
From Greek
nival (NY-vuhl) adjective
Of, growing in, or relating to, snow.

[From Latin nivalis (snowy), niv- (snow).]
From Latin
somnific (som-NIF-ik) adjective
Causing sleep.

[From Latin somnificus (causing sleep), from somnus (sleep) + facere (to make).]
From Latin
Prufrockian (pru-FROK-i-uhn) adjective
Marked by timidity and indecisiveness, and beset by unfulfilled aspirations.

[After the title character in T.S. Eliot's poem "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock".]
T.S. Eliot
dryasdust (DRY-az-dust) adjective
Extremely dull, dry, or boring.

[After Jonas Dryasdust, a fictitious person to whom Sir Walter Scott (1771-1832) dedicated some of his novels.]
Sir Walter Scott
Cringeworthy (KRINJ-wur-thee) adjective
Causing extreme embarrassment.

[From Old English cringan (to yield or shrink). So someone cringeworthy makes you feeling crinkled, etymologically speaking.]
From Old English
schmendrik (SHMEN-drik) noun, also shmendrik, schmendrick, shmendrick
A foolish, clueless, and naive person.

[After the name of the title character in an operetta by Abraham Goldfaden (1840-1908).]
Abraham Goldfaden
poindexter (POIN-dek-stuhr) noun
An extremely intelligent but socially inept person.

[After Poindexter, a character in the animated series Felix the Cat.]
Felix the Cat
degringolade (day-grang-guh-LAYD) noun
A rapid decline, deterioration, or collapse (of a situation).

[From French, from dégringoler (to tumble down, fall sharply), from Middle French desgringueler, from des- (de-) + gringueler (to tumble), from Middle Dutch crinkelen (to curl).]
From French
carte blanche (kart blanch, kart blansh) noun
Unrestricted authority.

[From French carte blanche (blank card or blank document).]
From French
frisson (free-SON) noun
A sudden, brief moment of excitement or fear; thrill, shudder.

[From French frisson (shiver), from Old French friçon, from Late Latin friction-, from Latin frictio (friction), from Latin frigere (to be cold).]
From French
lese majesty or lèse majesté (leez MAJ-uh-stee) noun
1. An offense against a sovereign power.

2. An attack against someone's dignity or against a custom or institution held sacred.

[From French lèse-majesté, from Latin crimen laesae maiestatis (the crime of
injured majesty).]
From French
qui vive (kee VEEV) noun
Alert, lookout. (Used in the phrase "on the qui vive").

[From French qui vive, literally "(Long) live who?" It was used by a sentry to challenge someone approaching the gate. A proper response might be
"Vive le roi!" or "La France!"]
From French
mogigraphia (moj-i-GRAF-ee-uh) noun
Writer's cramp.

[From Greek mogis (with difficulty) + graph (writing).]
From Greek
Sprachgefuhl (SHPRAKH-guh-fyool) noun
A feeling for language or a sensitivity for what is correct language.

[From German Sprachgefühl, from Sprache (language) and Gefühl (feeling).]
From German
verso (VUR-so) noun
1. A left-hand page.

2. The back of a page.

[Short for Latin verso folio, from verso (turned) and folio (leaf). From versus (turning), from vertere (to turn).]
From Latin
epos (EP-os) noun
1. An epic.

2. A number of poems, not formally united or transmitted orally, that treat an epic theme.

[From Latin, from Greek epos (speech, word).]
From Latin
curlicue or curlycue (KUR-li-kyoo) noun
A decorative curl or twist, in a signature, calligraphy, etc.

[From curly, from curl, from crul (yes, that's how it was spelled earlier) + cue, from Old French cue (tail).]
From Old French
moulin (MOO-lan) noun
A nearly vertical, cylindrical shaft or cavity worn in a glacier, carved by melted surface water falling through a crack in the ice.

[From French moulin (mill), from Latin molinum. The name refers to the swirling motion of water falling down the hole and the accompanying noise.]
From French
fumarole (FYOO-muh-rol) noun
A hole or vent in a volcanic region from which hot gases and steam are emitted.

[Via Italian or French from Latin fumariolum (smoke hole), diminutive of Latin fumarium (smoke chamber), from fumus (smoke).]
From Latin
couloir (KOOL-wahr) noun
A steep mountainside gorge or gully.

[From French couloir (passage), from couler (to flow), from Latin colare (to filter), from colum (sieve).]
From French
lithosphere (LITH-uh-sfeer) noun
The solid outer portion of the Earth consisting of the crust and upper mantle, approximately 100 km (62 miles) thick.

[From litho- (stone) + -sphere.]
peneplain (PEE-nuh-playn, pee-nuh-PLAYN) noun
An area of nearly flat, featureless land formed by a long period of erosion.

[From pene- (almost), from Latin paene + plain, from Latin planus.]
From Latin