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…]
Words Beginning with P
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.
parablepsis /PAIR-u-BLEP-sis/. noun. In which a scribe miscopies a text due to looking to one side, or away, or simply skipping lines in the original. Also, archaically-but-aptly, “false vision.” From the Greek paráleipsis (to neglect, omit or “look askance at”), from para- (beside, parallel to) + blepsis (sight).
penumbra /pə-NUM-bruh/. noun. A half-shadow caused by a partial obstruction of light. In painting, the area where light and shade blend together. Coined by Johannes Kepler from the Latin paene (almost) + umbra (shadow).
pedagogy /PED-ə-gah-jee/. noun. The principles, practices, art and science of teaching. From Greek paidos (boy), and agogos(leader).