ostracize · /ˈɒstrəsʌɪz/ · /OSS-trə-size/. verb. To exclude or banish someone from society or a group. In Ancient Greece, to punish someone through temporary exile. Latinized form of Greek ostrakizein (to banish), literally “to banish with potshards,” reflecting the ancient Athenian practice of holding a public vote, scratching names onto a potshard or piece of tile, on the fate of dangerous or embarrassing people. If a majority voted so, the person would be banished for 10 years. Ultimately, ostracize is derived from the PIE root ost- (bone), which is the root of words such as ossuary and oyster.[Read more…]
/ɒnəˈmastɪks/ noun. Relating to names and naming.[Read more…]
oppilate /OP-i-layt/. verb. To block, obstruct, stop up. Most of often pores or bowels. Noun: oppilation; adjective: oppilation. To remove such an obstruction is to deoppilate. From Latin ob (in the way, against) + pīlāre (to ram down, pack closely).[Read more…]
obmutescent /ob-myuew-TESS-ənt/. adjective. Willfully silent. Obstinately mute. From Latin obmutescere (grow mute), from ob- (to, toward) + mutescere (to become mute).[Read more…]
omphalos /AWM-fə-ləs/. noun. A sacred object, often a stone. The central point. The navel. Greek omphalos (navel).
oronym /OR-uh-nim/. noun. A sequence of words or which sounds like a different sequence of words because of ambiguous word boundaries in speech. “I scream” and “ice cream” are perhaps the most common examples. An oronym is essentially an extended version of the homophone, which usually refers to single words that sound alike. Many puns are oronymic, such as “visualize whirled peas.” Mondegreens, or misheard song lyrics (“excuse me while I kiss this guy”) are musical oronyms and many mistakes in popular sayings result from this kind of confusion such as “it’s a doggy dog world.” Coined by Gyles Brandreth in his 1980 book The Joy of Lex.
ondinnonk. noun. An Iroquoian word for the soul’s deepest desires as expressed in dreams; special dreams. Or, as quoted by multiple sources but without attribution, “the innermost desires of someones’ soul and its angelic nature.”
“To extirpate these repressive desires, or to communicate the supernatural interpretation of an omen, the Iroquois relied on a host of rituals that sought to alleviate what they called Ondinnonk, the secret desire of the subconscious or the soul revealed in a dream.” (Edna Kenton)
“The Iroquois believed that the soul revealed hidden desires through dreams; these desires were referred to as Ondinnonk. If the Ondinnonk was not satisﬁed the soul would take revenge on the physical body through illness or death.” (Art Rogers)
“The yearly festival of this traveling dream theater was known as the Onoharoia; it allowed many Ondinnonk (special dreams) to be acted out very dramatically.” (Denise Linn)