of the Week
word or phrase to add to your army.
A neologism (knee-all-uh-jih-zum) is a fun way of saying "a new word or phrase." Certain words are created, especially with new technology. For instance, 100 years ago, the word microchip was not in the dictionary. It came along with the advent (beginning) of the computer. In fact, if you used the word computer 100 years ago, it would have meant someone who adds figures, like an accountant.
When new words enter our vocabularies and our dictionaries, they are neologistic, or neo- (new) + -logistic (thinking). New words are added yearly to most dictionaries, depending on the advances made in technology, science, math, and other fields of study. However, neologisms enter our personal vocabularies much more frequently through new slang.
The cat's pajamas is a fun phrase that means the best. This phrase began in the 1920s, along with the "cat's whiskers" and the "cat's meow." Another silly phrase that means the same thing would be "the bee's knees." If you mother buys you a pair of shoes you've always wanted, you might say to her, "Wow, mom, those shoes are the cat's pajamas! Thanks!" That does not mean they were made from a nightgown that a cat would wear to bed. Although . . . a cat in a nightgown might be the cat's pajamas because it would be hilarious.
There is a funny story that the phrase was based on a high-society woman walking down 5th Avenue in New York City in 1922 in a pair of bright yellow silk pajamas, walking four cats in matching outfits.
Ostentation (os-tin-ta-shun) is opulence showing off. People or things who are ostentatious display their wealth in a vulgar, unpleasing, show-off-y kind of way. They put it in your face like a clown would put a cream pie in your face. The result is usually the same. A feeling of discomfort and a desire to get away. Have you ever been in a place that made you very afraid you might accidentally break something valuable. You were probably in an ostentatious place, possibly even with ostentatious
Here's an interesting side note of trivia. Peacocks are very, very ostentatious, because they love to show off their beautiful feathers. Can you guess what a group of peacocks is called? It is called an ostentation of peacocks. Cool, eh?
Opulence (op-you-lints) describes things or people that are glitzy, fine, glamorous, wealthy, or luxurious. When you walk into a fine jewelry store, you are surrounded by opulence. If you were having tea with the Queen of England in one of her grand parlors, you would be with someone opulent in an opulent place. If you would happen to be wearing a tiara and jewels as you sipped your tea and munched your scones, you would exude (display) opulence. Of course, you would then have to wake up from your dream and go to school.
Deciduous (di-sid-joo-us) describes two different things. Most commonly, it refers to trees that shed their leaves yearly. The opposite or antonym of deciduous is evergreen. Maple trees are deciduous because in the autumn, their leaves turn colors and then fall off, leaving the tree naked until spring when they bud out and leaf again. Christmas trees are evergreen. This means that they keep their leaves or needles year round.
The other things that can be described as deciduous are milk teeth, or baby teeth, which fall out in preparation for permanent teeth. Baby teeth are deciduous.
I am Becky Lyn Rickman. I am a writer because I love words almost as much as I love the people in my life. I want to fill the world with magnificent words and then jump in and splash around in them. I live with Mr. Bingley and Mr. Darcy, my cats, but the only words they really love are "meat" and "gravy."