Posted in April 2012


I don’t know what you think of when you hear the word simulacrum, but I had some ideas (would love to hear yours in the comments). I was surprised to learn that it’s an image or representation of something; a slight, unreal, or vague semblance of something; superficial likeness. Why would you want to know … Continue reading

By Your Leave

The phrase, by your leave or “with permission”, is often used with the companion phrase, “Without so much as a…” as in “Without so much as a by your leave.”  When used in that way, it refers to something done without the expected permission. I came across it today while reading “Cutting for Stone” by … Continue reading


Before I tell you about today’s bon mot, let me tell you where I found it. Yesterday we had a nice, relaxing lunch at a local restaurant, Urban Table, that we hadn’t been to before. The bill came in not the usual black faux leather padded folder, but in a slim, brown, old book. The particular one … Continue reading


“The neighbor’s children oologized the nest in the tree in our front yard.” Do you think that means the children spoke kind words about the recently departed birds? Think again. To oologize is to hunt or take the eggs from a nest. Those children don’t seem so sweet now, do they? I’d like to thank … Continue reading


Did you know there’s a specific word for throwing or ejecting something from a ship, aircraft, or vehicle? Yes, that word is jettison. Okay, it doesn’t always mean that. It can mean simply to cast aside or abandon. But really, you could just say “cast aside” or “abandon” in those situations. Let’s reserve jettison for … Continue reading


In researching skullduggery, I came across so many other wonderful words I could hardly contain my glee. One site ( suggested, see also: hanky panky, hocus-pocus, jiggery-pokery.  And another site, (The Word Detective) suggested one meaning as “clandestine machinations.” That’s like a bonus round of words. Clandestine? Machinations? This is good stuff. As for where skullduggery comes … Continue reading