Berlin Metro – Photo: Greville Edwards
Here we think with and about WORDS – their power and their place in our interaction with almost everything.
Slang, idioms, abused words, lost words, phrases common across different languages, peculiar accents in literature, including many ongoing revelations in the big wide word world.
… and of course examining those ‘new’ and trending words gaining ground, those that make it to the Oxford Dictionary, and words and phrases that are particular to certain communities, cultures and even individuals (teens, techies, scientists, explorers, etc, etc).
Some Weird Words
Have you ever worn winklepickers or salopettes? Is the saying about French women and their oxters true? Do your friends complain that you bibble too much? Have you ever experienced zoanthropy and been convinced you were an elephant?
If you’re confused as to how to answer any – or all – of these questions, never fear! We’ve created this confusion, and we’re here to clear it up with this alphabetical list of 26 weird English words and their meanings.
Do you have a favorite weird word in English or any other language? Drop us the word and definition in the comments section below!
n. – admiration of a particular part of someone’s body
v. – to drink often; to eat and/or drink noisily
n. – coastal navigation; the exclusive right of a country to control the air traffic within its borders
NOT: v. – to sabotage with cabbage and/or Vermont Cabot Cheese
n. – old English word for bagpipe
adj. – of, pertaining to, or resembling a hedgehog
Although she won’t know what it means, never, ever tell your date Erin that she is “looking quite erinaceous this evening.”
n. – in Turkey and some other Oriental countries, a decree or mandate issued by the sovereign
n. – a tax on salt
n. – a platform of a staircase where the stair turns back in exactly the reverse direction of the lower flight
v. – to pawn or mortgage something
NOT: v. – to impregnate a pig
adj. – pertaining to breakfast
n. – fear of failure
This is the last word that someone with kakorrhaphiophobia would want to encounter in a spelling bee.
n. – loudness and clarity of enunciation
adj. – having a good sense of smell
n. – the day before yesterday
NOT: n. – a martian nudist
n. – outdated word meaning “armpit”
NOT: n. – a creature that is half ox, half otter
adj. – uttering few words; brief in speech
If you had to figure out how to use this word in context, you probably wouldn’t say much either.
n. – two dozen sheets of paper
n. – small shoot growing from the root of a plant
NOT: n. – the offspring of interbreeding rats and raccoons
n. – high-waisted skiing pants with shoulder straps
n. – a small quantity of something left over
Undoubtedly the biggest eyebrow-raiser on this list!
adj. – having wooly or crispy hair
First time you’ve heard this word? It’s probably a good indication that you don’t have wooly or crispy hair. Or that you do, and nobody uses this word anymore.
n. – a sickly or weak person, especially one who is constantly and morbidly concerned with his or her health
Think – “the valedictorian of hypochondriacs”
n. – style of shoe or boot in the 1950s with a sharp and long pointed toe
A close second to “tittynope” in the eyebrow-raiser category
v. – to gulp down quickly and greedily
n. – hand of cards containing no card above a nine
n. – delusion of a person who believes himself changed into an animal
This is a section about words commonly used that have been damaged and changed in use over history, and have become negative, judgmental or humiliating. Including those words with 'un...' or 'dis...' or i...'
Source of Negative Words begining with 'i' - http://positivewordsresearch.com/list-of-negative-words/
idiocies, idiocy, idiot, idiotic, idiotically, idiots, idle, ignoble, ignominious, ignominiously, ignominy, ignorance, ignorant, ignore, ill-advised, ill-conceived, ill-defined, ill-designed, ill-fated, ill-favored, ill-formed, ill-mannered, ill-natured, ill-sorted, ill-tempered, ill-treated, ill-treatment, ill-usage, ill-used, illegal, illegally, illegitimate, illicit, illiterate, illness, illogical, illogically, illusion, illusions, illusory, imaginary, imbalance, imbecile, imbroglio, immaterial, immature, imminence, imminently, immobilized, immoderate, immoderately, immodest, immoral, immorality, immorally, immovable, impair, impaired, impasse, impatience, impatient, impatiently, impeach, impedance, impede, impediment, impending, impenitent, imperfect, imperfection, imperfections, imperfectly, imperialist, imperil, imperious, imperiously, impermissible, impersonal, impertinent, impetuous, impetuously, impiety, impinge, impious, implacable, implausible, implausibly, implicate, implication, implode, impolite, impolitely, impolitic, importunate, importune, impose, imposers, imposing, imposition, impossible, impossibly, impotent, impoverish, impoverished, impractical, imprecate, imprecise, imprecisely, imprecision, imprison, imprisonment, improbability, improbable, improbably, improper, improperly, impropriety, imprudence, imprudent, impudence, impudent, impudently, impugn, impulsive, impulsively, impunity, impure, impurity, inability, inaccuracies, inaccuracy, inaccurate, inaccurately, inaction, inactive, inadequacy, inadequate, inadequately, inadvisable, inane, inanely, inappropriate, inappropriately, inapt, inarticulate, inattentive, inaudible, incapable, incapably, incautious, incendiary, incense, incessant, incessantly, incite, incitement, incivility, inclement, incoherence, incoherent, incoherently, incommensurate, incomparable, incomparably, incompatibility, incompatible, incompetence, incompetent, incompetently, incomplete, incomprehensible, incomprehension, inconceivable, inconceivably, incongruous, incongruously, inconsequential, inconsequentially, inconsiderate, inconsiderately, inconsistencies, inconsistency, inconsistent, inconsolable, inconsolably, inconstant, inconvenience, inconveniently, incorrect, incorrectly, incorrigible, incorrigibly, incredulous, incredulously, inculcate, indecency, indecent, indecently, indecision, indecisive, indecisively, indefensible, indelicate, indeterminable, indeterminably, indeterminate, indifference, indifferent, indigent, indignant, indignantly, indignation, indignity, indiscernible, indiscreet, indiscreetly, indiscretion, indiscriminate, indiscriminately, indistinguishable, indoctrinate, indoctrination, indolent, indulge, ineffective, ineffectively, ineffectiveness, ineffectual, ineffectually, inefficacy, inefficiency, inefficient, inefficiently, inelegance, inelegant, ineligible, inept, ineptitude, ineptly, inequalities, inequality, inequitable, inequitably, inequities, inescapable, inescapably, inessential, inevitable, inevitably, inexcusable, inexcusably, inexorable, inexorably, inexperience, inexperienced, inexpert, inexpertly, inexpiable, inextricable, inextricably, infamous, infamously, infamy, infected, infection, infections, inferior, inferiority, infernal, infest, infested, infidel, infidels, infiltrator, infiltrators, infirm, inflame, inflammation, inflammatory, inflated, inflationary, inflexible, inflict, infraction, infringe, infringement, infringements, infuriate, infuriated, infuriating, infuriatingly, inglorious, ingrate, ingratitude, inhibit, inhibition, inhospitable, inhuman, inhumane, inhumanity, inimical, inimically, iniquitous, iniquity, injudicious, injure, injurious, injury, injustice, injustices, innuendo, inoperable, inopportune, inordinate, inordinately, insane, insanely, insanity, insatiable, insecure, insecurity, insensible, insensitive, insensitively, insensitivity, insidious, insidiously, insignificance, insignificant, insignificantly, insincere, insincerely, insincerity, insinuate, insinuating, insinuation, insolence, insolent, insolently, insolvent, insouciance, instability, instigate, instigator, instigators, insubordinate, insubstantial, insubstantially, insufferable, insufferably, insufficiency, insufficient, insufficiently, insular, insult, insulted, insulting, insultingly, insults, insupportable, insurmountable, insurmountably, insurrection, intense, interfere, interference, interferes, intermittent, interrupt, interruption, interruptions, intimidate, intimidating, intimidatingly, intimidation, intolerable, intolerance, intoxicate, intractable, intransigence, intransigent, intrude, intrusion, intrusive, inundate, inundated, invader, invalid, invalidate, invalidity, invasive, invective, inveigle, invidious, invidiously, invidiousness, invisible, involuntarily, involuntary, irascible, irate, irately, ire, irk, irked, irking, irks, irksome, irksomely, irksomeness, ironic, ironical, ironically, ironies, irony, irrational, irrationality, irrationally, irrationals, irreconcilable, irrecoverable, irrecoverably, irredeemable, irredeemably, irregular, irregularity, irrelevance, irrelevant, irreparable, irrepressible, irresolute, irresponsible, irresponsibly, irretrievable, irreversible, irritable, irritably, irritant, irritate, irritated, irritating, irritation, irritations, isolate, isolated, isolation, issue, issues, itch, itching, itchy
Keywords to Life
awareness |əˈwɛːnəs| noun [ mass noun ] knowledge or perception of a situation or fact: we need to raise public awareness of the issue. there is a lack of awareness of the risks.• concern about and well-informed interest in a particular situation or development: a growing environmental awareness. his political awareness developed.
acceptance |əkˈsɛpt(ə)ns| noun [ mass noun ] 1 the action of consenting to receive or undertake something offered: charges involving the acceptance of bribes.• [ count noun ] a draft or bill of exchange that is accepted by being signed: a banker's acceptance.2 the process or fact of being received as adequate, valid, or suitable: you must wait for acceptance into the village.3 agreement with or belief in an idea or explanation: acceptance of the teaching of the Church.• willingness to tolerate a difficult situation: a mood of resigned acceptance.
mid 16th cent.: from Old French, from accepter (see accept) .
principle |ˈprɪnsɪp(ə)l| noun1 a fundamental truth or proposition that serves as the foundation for a system of belief or behaviour or for a chain of reasoning: the basic principles of justice.• (usually principles) a rule or belief governing one's behaviour:struggling to be true to their own principles | [mass noun] : she resigned over a matter of principle.• [mass noun] morally correct behaviour and attitudes: a man of principle.2 a general scientific theorem or law that has numerous special applications across a wide field.• a natural law forming the basis for the construction or working of a machine: these machines all operate on the same general principle.3 a fundamental source or basis of something: the first principle of all things was water.• a fundamental quality determining the nature of something: the combination of male and female principles.• [with adjective] Chemistry an active or characteristic constituent of a substance, obtained by simple analysis or separation: the active principle of Spanish fly.in principle as a general idea or plan, although the details are not yet established:the government agreed in principle to a peace plan that included a ceasefire.• used to indicate that although something is theoretically possible, in reality it may not actually happen: in principle, the banks are entitled to withdraw these loans when necessary.on principle because of or in order to demonstrate one's adherence to a particular belief: he refused, on principle, to pay the fine.late Middle English: from Old French, from Latin principium ‘source’, principia (plural) ‘foundations’, from princeps, princip- ‘first, chief’.usage: The words principle and principal are pronounced in the sameway but they do not have the same meaning. Principle is normally usedas a noun meaning ‘a fundamental basis of a system of thought or belief’, as in this is one of the basic principles of democracy. Principal, on the other hand, is normally an adjective meaning ‘main or most important’, as in one of the country's principal cities. Principal can also be a noun, where it is used to refer to the most senior or most important person in an organization or other group: the deputy principal.
discipline |ˈdɪsɪplɪn| noun1 [mass noun] the practice of training people to obey rules or a code of behaviour, using punishment to correct disobedience: a lack of proper parental and school discipline.• the controlled behaviour resulting from such training: he was able to maintain discipline among his men.• activity that provides mental or physical training: the tariqa offered spiritual discipline | [count noun] : Kung fu is a discipline open to old and young.• [count noun] a system of rules of conduct: he doesn't have to submit to normal disciplines.2 a branch of knowledge, typically one studied in higher education:sociology is a fairly new discipline.verb [with object] train (someone) to obey rules or a code of behaviour, using punishment to correct disobedience: many parents have been afraid to discipline their children.• punish or rebuke formally for an offence: a member of staff was to be disciplined by management.• (discipline oneself to do something) train oneself to do something in a controlled and habitual way: every month discipline yourself to go through the file.disciplinable |ˌdɪsɪˈplɪnəb(ə)l| adjective,disciplinal |ˌdɪsɪˈplʌɪn(ə)l, ˈdɪsɪˌplɪn(ə)l| adjectiveMiddle English (in the sense ‘mortification by scourging oneself’): via Old French from Latin disciplina ‘instruction, knowledge’, from discipulus (see disciple) .
appreciate |əˈpriːʃɪeɪt, əˈpriːsɪeɪt| verb [ with obj. ] 1 recognize the full worth of: she feels that he does not appreciate her.• be grateful for (something): I'd appreciate any information you could give me.2 understand (a situation) fully; grasp the full implications of: they failed to appreciate the pressure he was under | [ with clause ] : I appreciate that you cannot be held totally responsible.3 [ no obj. ] rise in value or price: the dollar appreciated against the euro by 15 per cent.appreciator noun,appreciatory |əˈpriːʃ(ɪ)ət(ə)ri| adjectivemid 16th cent.: from late Latin appretiat- ‘set at a price, appraised’, from the verb appretiare, from ad- ‘to’ + pretium ‘price’.
share 1 |ʃɛː| noun1 a part or portion of a larger amount which is divided among a number of people, or to which a number of people contribute: under the proposals, investors would pay a greater share of the annual fees required | we gave them all the chance to have a share in the profits.• each of the notional parts into which property held by joint owners is divided: Jake had a share in a large, seagoing vessel.• [ in sing. ] the allotted or due amount of something that a person expects to have or to do, or that is expected to be accepted or done by them: she's done more than her fair share of globetrotting.• [ in sing. ] a person's part in or contribution to something: she can't take a share in childcare — she's a nervous wreck.2 one of the equal parts into which a company's capital is divided, entitling the holder to a proportion of the profits: he's selling his shares in BT.3 an instance of posting or reposting something on a social media website or application: there have been 25,000 shares on Twitter and 117 likes on Facebook as of 7:30 p.m.
verb [ with obj. ] have a portion of (something) with another or others: he shared the pie withher | all members of the band equally share the band's profits.• [ with obj. and adverbial ] give a portion of (something) to another or others:they shared out the peanuts.• use, occupy, or enjoy (something) jointly with another or others: they once shared a flat in Chelsea | [ no obj. ] : there weren't enough plates so we had to share | (as adj.shared) : a shared bottle of wine.• possess (a view or quality) in common with others: other countries don't share our reluctance to eat goat meat.• [ no obj. ] (share in) (of a number of people or organizations) have a part in (something, especially an activity): UK companies would share in the development of three oil platforms.• tell someone about (something, especially something personal): she had never shared the secret with anyone before.• post or repost (something) on a social media website or application: the app lets you share your photos on Facebook, Twitter, and Tumblr.
enjoy |ɪnˈdʒɔɪ, ɛnˈdʒɔɪ| verb [ with obj. ] 1 take delight or pleasure in (an activity or occasion): I enjoy watching good films.• (enjoy oneself) have a pleasant time: I could never enjoy myself, knowing you were in your room alone.
• [ no obj., in imperative ] informal, chiefly N. Amer. used to urge someone to take pleasure in what is being offered or is about to happen: Bake until the filling starts to bubble and the crust turns golden brown. Enjoy!2 possess and benefit from: the security forces enjoy legal immunity from prosecution.enjoyer noun
late Middle English: from Old French enjoier ‘give joy to’ or enjoïr ‘enjoy’, both based on Latin gaudere ‘rejoice’.
joy |dʒɔɪ| noun [ mass noun ] a feeling of great pleasure and happiness: tears of joy | the joy of being alive.• [ count noun ] a thing that causes joy: the joys of country living.• [ usu. with negative ] Brit. informal success or satisfaction: you'll get no joy out of her.verb [ no obj. ] literary rejoice: I felt shame that I had ever joyed in his discomfiture or pain.be full of the joys of spring be lively and cheerful.wish someone joy Brit., chiefly ironic congratulate someone. I wish you joy of your marriage.
language |ˈlaŋɡwɪdʒ| noun1 [mass noun] the method of human communication, either spoken or written, consisting of the use of words in a structured and conventional way: a study of the way children learn language | [as modifier] : language development.• a non-verbal method of expression or communication: body language.2 a system of communication used by a particular country or community: the book was translated into twenty-five languages.• Computing a system of symbols and rules for writing programs or algorithms: the systems were developed using languages such as Fortran and Basic.3 [mass noun] the style of a piece of writing or speech: he explained the procedure in simple, everyday language.• the phraseology and vocabulary of a particular profession, domain, or group: legal language.• (usually as bad/foul/strong language) coarse or offensive language: the film contains some violence and bad language.speak the same language understand one another as a result of shared opinions or values: when it comes to business, we both speak the same language.Middle English: from Old French langage, based on Latin lingua ‘tongue’.
race 1 |reɪs| noun1 a competition between runners, horses, vehicles, etc. to see which is the fastest in covering a set course: Hill started from pole position and won the race.• (the races) a series of races for horses or dogs, held at a fixed time on a set course.• [in singular] a situation in which individuals or groups compete to be first to achieve a particular objective: the race fornuclear power.• archaic the course of the sun or moon through the heavens: the industrious sun already half his race hath run.2 a strong or rapid current flowing through a narrow channel in the sea or a river: angling for tuna in turbulent tidal races.3 a groove, channel, or passage, in particular:• a water channel, especially one built to lead water to or from a point where its energy is utilized, as in a mill or mine.• a smooth ring-shaped groove or guide in which a ball bearing or roller bearing runs.• a fenced passageway in a stockyard through which animals pass singly for branding, loading, washing, etc.• (in weaving) the channel along which the shuttle moves.verb1 [no object] compete with another or others to see who is fastest at covering a set course or achieving an objective: the vet took blood samples from the horses before they raced | [with object] : two drivers raced each other through a housing estate.• compete regularly in races as a sport or leisure activity: next year, he raced again for the team.• [with object] prepare and enter (an animal or vehicle) for races: he raced his three horses simply for the fun of it.2 [no object, with adverbial] move or progress swiftly or at full speed: I raced into the house | figurative : she spoke automatically, while her mind raced ahead.• operate or cause to operate at excessive speed: [no object] : the truck came to rest against a tree with its engine racing.• [no object] (of a person's heart or pulse) beat faster than usual because of fear or excitement.be at the races (or Australian/NZ in the race) [usually with negative] British informal competing with a chance of success: they were never quite at the races against Rangers | with you dressed up, none of us others will be in the race.a race against time a situation in which something must be done before a particular point in time: it was a race against time to reach shore before the dinghy sank.a race to (or for) the bottom a situation characterized by a progressive lowering or deterioration of standards, especially (in a business context) as a result of the pressure of competition: unsustainable tendering practices had created a race to the bottom among contractors.late Old English, from Old Norse rás ‘current’. It was originally a northern English word with the sense ‘rapid forward movement’, which gave rise to the senses ‘contest of speed’ (early 16th century) and ‘channel, path’ (i.e. the space traversed). The verb dates from the late 15th century.
race 2 |reɪs| nouneach of the major divisions of humankind, having distinct physical characteristics: people of all races, colours, and creeds.• [mass noun] the fact or condition of belonging to a racial division or group; the qualities or characteristics associated with this.• a group of people sharing the same culture, history, language, etc.; an ethnic group: we Scots were a bloodthirsty race then.• a group or set of people or things with a common feature or features: some male firefighters still regarded women as a race apart.• Biology a population within a species that is distinct in some way, especially a subspecies: people have killed so many tigers that two races are probably extinct.• (in non-technical use) each of the major divisions of living creatures: a member of the human race | the race of birds.• literary a group of people descended from a common ancestor: a prince of the race of Solomon.• [mass noun] archaic ancestry: two coursers of ethereal race.Although ideas of race are centuries old, it was not until the 19th century that attempts to systematize racial divisions were made. Ideas of supposed racial superiority and social Darwinism reached their culmination in Nazi ideology of the 1930s and gave pseudoscientific justification to policies and attitudes of discrimination, exploitation, slavery, and extermination. Theories of race asserting a link between racial type and intelligence are now discredited. Scientifically it is accepted as obvious that there are subdivisions of the human species, but it is also clear that genetic variation between individuals of the same race can be as great as that between members of different races.early 16th century (denoting a group with common features): via French from Italian razza, of unknown ultimate origin.usage: In recent years, the associations of race with the ideologies and theories that grew out of the work of 19th-century anthropologists and physiologists has led to the use of the word race itself becoming problematic. Although still used in general contexts, it is now often replaced by other words which are less emotionally charged, such as people(s) or community.race 3 |reɪs| noun dated a ginger root.late Middle English: from Old French rais, from Latin radix, radic- ‘root’.
effusive |ɪˈfjuːsɪv| adjective1 showing or expressing gratitude, pleasure, or approval in an unrestrained or heartfelt manner: an effusive welcome.2 Geology (of igneous rock) poured out when molten and later solidified.• relating to the eruption of large volumes of molten rock: effusive volcanism.effusively |ɪˈfjuːsɪvli| adverb,effusiveness |ɪˈfjuːsɪvnəs| noun
conscience |ˈkɒnʃ(ə)ns| nouna person's moral sense of right and wrong, viewed as acting as a guide to one's behaviour: he had a guilty conscienceabout his desires | [mass noun] : Ben was suffering a pang of conscience.in (all) conscience given the fact that this is probably wrong; in fairness: how can we in all conscience justify the charging of fees for such a service?on one's conscience weighing heavily and guiltily on one's mind: an act of providence had prevented him from having a death on his conscience.conscienceless |ˈkɒnʃ(ə)nsləs| adjectiveMiddle English (also in the sense ‘inner thoughts or knowledge’): via Old French from Latin conscientia, from conscient- ‘being privy to’, from the verb conscire, from con- ‘with’ + scire ‘know’.
ignorance |ˈɪɡn(ə)r(ə)ns| noun [mass noun] lack of knowledge or information: he acted in ignorance of basic procedures.ignorance is bliss proverb if one is unaware of an unpleasant fact or situation one cannot be troubled by it: I don't want to hear about them: ignorance is bliss in this case.Middle English: via Old French from Latin ignorantia, from ignorant- ‘not knowing’ (see ignorant) .
misinformation |ˌmɪsɪnfəˈmeɪʃ(ə)n| noun [mass noun] false or inaccurate information, especially that which is deliberately intended to deceive: nuclear matters are often entangled in a web of secrecy and misinformation.
vacillation |vasɪˈleɪʃ(ə)n| noun [mass noun] the inability to decide between different opinions or actions; indecision: the First Minister's vacillation over the affair.
a decision is always easier to defend than vacillation: dithering, indecision, indecisiveness, irresoluteness, uncertainty, unsureness, doubt, wavering, teetering, temporization, hesitation, oscillation, fluctuation, inconstancy; British havering, humming and hawing; Scottish swither; informal dilly-dallying, shilly-shallying, blowing hot and cold.
familiar |fəˈmɪlɪə| adjective1 well known from long or close association: their faces will be familiar to many of you | a familiar voice.• often encountered or experienced; common: the situation was all too familiar.• (familiar with) having a good knowledge of: ensure that you are familiar with the heating controls.2 in close friendship; intimate: she had not realized they were on such familiar terms.• informal or intimate to an inappropriate degree: he was being overly familiar with Gloria.noun1 (also familiar spirit) a demon supposedly attending and obeying a witch, oftensaid to assume the form of an animal: her familiars were her two little griffons that nested in her skirts.2 a close friend or associate.3 (in the Roman Catholic Church) a person rendering certain services in a pope's or bishop's household.familiarly adverbMiddle English (in the sense ‘intimate’, ‘on a family footing’): from Old Frenchfamilier, from Latin familiaris, from familia ‘household servants, family’, from famulus ‘servant’.
martyr |ˈmɑːtə| nouna person who is killed because of their religious or other beliefs: the firstChristian martyr.• a person who displays or exaggerates their discomfort or distress in order to obtain sympathy: she wanted to play the martyr.• (martyr to) a constant sufferer from (an ailment): I'm a martyr to migraine!verb [with object] kill (someone) because of their beliefs: she was martyred for her faith.• cause great pain or distress to: there was no need to martyr themselves again.martyrization (also martyrisation) noun,martyrize |ˈmɑːtərʌɪz| (also martyrise) verbOld English martir, via ecclesiastical Latin from Greek martur ‘witness’ (in Christian use, ‘martyr’).
physical |ˈfɪzɪk(ə)l| adjective1 relating to the body as opposed to the mind: a range of physical and mental challenges.• involving bodily contact or activity: less physical sports such as bowls | a physical relationship.2 relating to things perceived through the senses as opposed to the mind; tangible or concrete: the physical world.3 relating to physics or the operation of natural forces generally: physical laws.noun1 (also physical examination) a medical examination to determine a person's bodily fitness: at fifty-something, each year's physical was a kind of lottery.2 (physicals) Stock Market stocks held in actual commodities for immediate exchange, for example as opposed to futures: the exchange of futures for physicals.get physical 1 informal become aggressive or violent: now the players are even gettingphysical with the refs.2 become sexually intimate with someone: I had a strong feeling that, by the end of the day, she and I would get physical.physicalness nounlate Middle English (in the sense ‘relating to medicine’): from medieval Latinphysicalis, from Latin physica ‘things relating to nature’ (see physic). Sense 2 dates from the late 16th century and sense 1 from the late 18th century.
epoch |ˈiːpɒk, ˈɛpɒk| nouna particular period of time in history or a person's life: the Victorian epoch.• the beginning of a period in the history of someone or something: these events marked an epoch in their history.• Geology a division of time that is a subdivision of a period and is itself subdivided into ages, corresponding to a series in chronostratigraphy: the Pliocene epoch.• Astronomy an arbitrarily fixed date relative to which planetary or stellar measurements are expressed.early 17th century (in the Latin form epocha; originally in the general sense of a date from which succeeding years are numbered): from modern Latin epocha, from Greek epokhē ‘stoppage, fixed point of time’, from epekhein ‘stop, take up a position’, from epi ‘upon, near to’ + ekhein ‘stay, be in a certain state’.
reconnaissance |rɪˈkɒnɪs(ə)ns| noun [mass noun] military observation of a region to locate an enemy or ascertain strategic features: an excellent aircraft for low-level reconnaissance | [count noun] : after a reconnaissance British forces took the island.• preliminary surveying or research: conducting client reconnaissance.early 19th century: from French, from reconnaître ‘recognize’ (see reconnoitre) .
hoodwink |ˈhʊdwɪŋk| verb [with object] deceive or trick: staff were hoodwinked into thinking the cucumber was a sawn-off shotgun.mid 16th century (originally in the sense ‘to blindfold’): from the noun hood1 + an obsolete sense of wink ‘close the eyes’.
hoodwinkverbhe kept on the lookout for the young man who had hoodwinked him: deceive, trick, dupe, outwit, fool, delude, cheat, take in, bluff, hoax, mislead, misguide, lead on, defraud, double-cross, swindle, gull, finagle, get the better of; informal con, bamboozle, do, have, sting, gyp, diddle, fiddle, swizzle, shaft, bilk, rook, rip off, lead up the garden path, pull a fast one on, put one over on, take for a ride, pull the wool over someone's eyes, throw dust in someone's eyes, sell a pup to, take to the cleaners; North American informal sucker, snooker, stiff, euchre, bunco, hornswoggle, make a sucker of; Australian informal pull a swifty on; archaic cozen, sharp, befool; rare mulct.