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The New Words Thread: Things you ran across, remembered, or had to look up

As the title implies, this is a thread to add the new words you come across from time to time, or words that you had to look up, or words you found intersting and wanted to share.


I'll start with these five, which I've recently learned:


This word has been running around in my head for a week, but I didn't know the definition or where I picked it up.




1. ineffective; incompetent; futile: feckless attempts to repair the plumbing.
2. having no sense of responsibility; indifferent; lazy.

One I haven't come across in a long time. Just read it in a book. I recognized it, but had to look the meaning up.




a person who has recently or suddenly acquired wealth, importance, position, or the like, but has not yet developed the conventionally appropriate manners, dress, surroundings, etc.




Ran across this in a short story by Washington Irving.




1.  a violent, turbulent, or brawling woman.
2. ( initial capital letter ) a mythical deity popularly believed in the Middle Ages to be worshiped by the Muslims and introduced into the morality play as a violent, overbearing personage in long robes.





causing or tending to cause happiness.





adjective Chiefly British Informal .

lacking in vitality or intelligence; stupid, dull, or clumsy.

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Replies to This Discussion

The last English word I had to look up is svengali.

Oh, you found me out!

Svengali isn't in Robert &  Collins dictionnary but if I could haward a guess I think it's a tribe in either Sout Africa or in Africa,  Please, please, what does it mean ?????

A link not clicked is a link wasted ;-)

The last English word I had to look up is >>>> svengali.


How did you FATHOM that I didn't click (which is true) !!!!

I thought svengali was an african language...  Please enlighten me if possible...!!!

I think you mean Swahili 


Swahili or Kiswahili[3] (known in Swahili itself as Kiswahili) is a Bantu language spoken by various ethnic groups that inhabit several large stretches of theIndian Ocean coastline from northern Kenya to northern Mozambique, including the Comoros Islands.[4] It is also spoken by ethnic minority groups inMauritiusOman, the Seychelles and Somalia. Although only five million people speak Swahili as their native language,[5] the total number of speakers exceeds 100 million.[6] It serves as a national, or official language, of four nations: Tanzania, Kenya, Uganda and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Within much of East Africa, it is often used as a lingua franca.

I think you mean Swahili

Half Swahili, half Bengali. :-)

Please enlighten me if possible...!!!

Well, if you read the Wiktionary article I linked to, you'll be just as enlightened as I am.

Svengali is a fictional character of George du Maurier's 1894 novel Trilby. Svengali "would either fawn or bully and could be grossly impertinent. He had a kind of cynical humour that was more offensive than amusing and always laughed at the wrong thing, at the wrong time, in the wrong place. And his laughter was always derisive and full of malice"


svengali (plural svengalis)

  1. One who manipulates or controls another as by some mesmeric or sinister influence; especially a coach, mentor or industry mogul.

From the Wiktionary. 


Yakka -Australian Aboriginal word taken up by the white settlers meaning WORK.

EG. "Got some hard yakka in front of us mate" he said to Charlie as he  looked at the large pile of wood blocks to be split. 


 Australian Aboriginal Noun

gibber (plural gibbers )  Large stone


- adjective

intended to ward off evil.

Wow. Never heard that word in my life.


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