FOB: a small, decorative item hung on the same chain as a pocket watch

I just read the definition printed above and realized that there are probably more than a handful of people reading this who have no idea in the world what I’m talking about.  It’s a generational thing. In former days men wore suits to work.  Not only bankers and lawyers, but line workers in industry, store […]

UBER: something or someone deemed “excessive”

Sometimes a word is transported into English language usage directly from another language without being ‘anglicized.” A good example is the word uber which comes to us from the German language where it means “above and beyond.” For instance, a very bright and scholarly person might be called an “uber intellectual.“  Use of the term […]

PAUCITY: a condition of scarcity

Paucity is one of those words that easily could be exaggerated by misunderstanding the true meaning.   If someone says that their refrigerator is absolutely empty and their cupboards are bare, it is inappropriate to say they have a paucity of food.  The truth is that they are food-less.  If there was a paucity of food […]

OMINOUS: threatening

My head says that this hurricane is not going to turn out to be as dangerous to us here in New England as it was originally thought.  I’ve been following the reports as they become available and at this posting (7:30 a.m, Sunday) the storm has been reduced to a Category I and should diminish […]

LATTE: coffee made with steamed milk

Sometimes I’m a little slow on picking up on trends.   Some in my family would say that is an understatement. So, when all the coffee talk began I was somewhat less than interested.   My favorite statement (which drives my wife crazy) is that I’m a purist. I love coffee.  But for many years my taste […]

IDIOPATHIC: a medical condition with no discovered source

Twice in the past month I have heard a doctor identify a medical condition to be of an idiopathic nature.   At first I recoiled a little bit, wondering if the physician was telling me that the symptoms were psychosomatic, created in my mind.  I was confusing the preface idio with the term idiot.  The preface […]