dotard /DOH-tərd/. noun or adjective. A stupid, foolish, possibly senile person.
drumlin /DRUM-lin/ noun. A ridge, or a low hill, often oval (think of a half-buried egg), formed by—and in the direction of—glacial movement. Originally applied to landforms in Ireland and Scotland, such as Dromore (Droim Mór, or Large Ridge) and Drumoak (Druim M’Aodhaig, or the ridge of St Aodhag). From the Irish & Scottish Gaelic druim (a ridge or the back of a person or animal), from Old Irish druimm (same meaning), origins unknown.
diacope /diy-AK-ə-pee/. noun. A literary device in which the repetition of a word or phrase is separated by a word or two. From Ancient Greek diakopē (gash, cleft) > dia (through) + kopē (cutting). See also: next week’s WORD.
“Company, villainous company, hath been the spoil of me.” (William Shakespeare)
Kill, Baby, Kill (American release title of Mario Bava’s 1966 horror film Operazione paura)
“Drill, baby, drill!” (2008 Republican campaign slogan used by Michael Steele, later immortalized by Sarah Palin)
“(burn, baby, burn) disco inferno! (burn baby burn) burn that mother down!” (Leroy Green & Ron Kersey)
“My name’s Felix Leiter,” said the American. “Glad to meet you.” ¶ “Mine’s Bond – James Bond.” (Ian Fleming)
dakhma (dokhma) /DOK-ma/. noun. A raised circular structure, or tower, upon which Zoroastrians place the bodies of their dead to be consumed by vultures. AKA a “Tower of Silence.” From Persian dakhmak (funeral place).
dehiscent /də-HISS-ənt/. adjective. Gaping. Rupturing. Ripe to bursting. From Latin dēhiscĕre (gape, yawn).
dicker /DIK-ər/. verb or noun. To bargain or haggle. More generally to vacillate. As a noun, in an obsolete usage: a quantity of 10, usually furs or hides. Occasionally simply many or a lot. From Latin decuria (a bundle of 10) and Middle English dyker and Middle Low German dēker(quantity of 10).
“Behold, said Pas, a whole dicker of wit…” (Sir Philip Sidney)
“He did not believe in giving the dealer a large profit. In the midst of a dicker he would turn his terrific eyes full upon his visitor and exclaim: I have heard enough. I’ll take this at the price you paid plus fifteen per cent.” (Virginia Woolf)
“Do you really think you can go down there and dicker with some greaser pimp that buys and sells people outright like you was goin down to the courthouse lawn to trade knives?” (Cormac McCarthy)
“My word on’t, Bertrand, I struck no bargain with Lord Baltimore, nor dickered and haggled any quid pro quos, I’m no more Papist this morning than I was last week…” (John Barth)
“I revolt from, I am like, these savage foresters
whose passionless dicker in the shade, whose glance
impassive & scant, belie their murderous cries
when quarry seems to show.