palaver · /pəˈlɑ:və(r)/ · /pə-LAH-və(r)/. noun or verb. Tedious, pointless work. a meeting or conference. Voluminous, idle talk. Flattery. In West Africa, a dispute. From Portuguese palavra (speech, talk), from (via metathesis) Late Latin parabola (speech), from Latin parabola(comparison).[Read more…]
Words Beginning with P
pixilated · /ˈpɪksɪleɪtɪd/ · /PIK-sə-LAY-təd/. adjective. Whimsical, impish, mischievous. Intoxicated, deranged. In the 20th century, distorted by visible or enlarged pixels. From pixie + -lated (as in titillated, stimulated, elated). ¶ Popularized in the 1936 Frank Capra movie Mr. Deeds Goes to Town, in which a psychiatrist testifies, “Perhaps I can explain, Your Honor. The word pixilated is an early American expression, derived from the word ‘pixies,’ meaning elves. They would say, ‘The pixies had got him,’ as we nowadays would say a man is ‘balmy.’”[Read more…]
parergon · /pə-RƏR-gawn/ · /pəˈrə:gɒn/. noun. An ornamental accesssory; a byproduct; a piece of writing that is subsidiary to another work; work in addition to one’s primary employment. From Greek para (beside, beyond) + ergon (work). See also: opuscule.[Read more…]
perfidy /PER-fi-dee/ /ˈpə:fɪdi/. noun. A deliberate betrayal of trust or breach of faith, particularly professing friendship to deceive. More commonly seen in its adjective form perfidious (faithless, deceitful, treacherous). From Latin perfidia (falsehood, treachery), from the phrase per fidem decipere (to deceive through trustingness), from per- (forward, through) + fidem (faith).[Read more…]
palaver /puh-LAV-ər/. noun and verb. A conference, dispute or contest (originally, primarily West African). Tedious, time consuming or idle talk or other activity. Loud or confused talk. Flattery. From Portuguese palavra (talk), from Latin parabola (a parable, words, speech). See also: bunk, bunkum, hokum, cajolery, wheedling, jabbering.[Read more…]
pedigree /PED-i-gree/. noun. A line of descent, most often of a purebred animal, or the document describing it. A genealogical table. A derivation or background. From Old French pie de grue (literally “crane’s foot,” referring to the appearance of spreading lines in a genealogical chart).
aibohphobia /IY-boh-FOH-bee-yə/. noun. An irrational fear or distrust of palindromes. Etymological origin is obvious. Origin of the coinage is unclear, but the word is first found in Stan Kelly-Bootle’s Ambrose Bierce-inspired The Devil’s DP Dictionary and its successor The Computer Contradictionary. Bootle was known for his wordplay even while writing computer programming articles and textbooks…and his folk-singing career.
See also: ebohphobe and ailihphilia.
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