June 24th, 2016

ablate

Wear away through erosion or vaporization.

February 11th, 2012

abligurition

Excessive spending on food or drink.

November 3rd, 2015

abligurition

Excessive spending on food or drink.

November 23rd, 2012

Abracadabra

A is for ABRACADABRA

A is for aardvark, anathema, absinthe, assuage and now, as Karen Jeynes continues our Twelve Thousand Word tour, abracadabra.

What’s the magic word? No, not please, abracadabra. Abracadabra doesn’t really mean anything, being an interjection used to indicate magic is being done. It’s the verbal equivalent of sleight of hand, a trick which causes people to concentrate on what the magician chooses, rather than on what he’s actually getting up to. And it has a ritualistic quality. It’s traditional! Many magicians who choose other words, trying to be “unique”, find their audiences disappointed.

June 26th, 2015

abraxas

An ancient charm composed of Greek letters: originally believed to have magical powers and inscribed on amulets, etc.

January 18th, 2014

abreact

To automatically respond emotionally to stimuli that remind you of something traumatic.

November 2nd, 2012

Absinthe

A is for ABSINTHE

The third of our Twelve Thousand Words, by Karen Jeynes

A legendary highly intoxicating beverage, made primarily from the flowers and leaves of artemisia absinthium, or green wormwood. The height of its popularity came in late 19th century Paris, where it was the bohemians rapturously embraced it. Conservative types were horrified by it, and by 1915 it was banned in the US and much of Europe. Perhaps some of its negative effects were due to cheapskate producers using copper to add the greenish tint. These days absinthe is freely available, and you can even buy DIY absinthe kits.

The Green Fairy, portrayed above by the diminuitive diva Kylie Minogue in Moulin Rouge, is a nickname for absinthe, because, well, because. When creatives imbibed absinthe, she would appear and guide them in the creation of  inspired work. Sort of a fluttering headache inducing multitasking mini muse.

Absinthe is also a sexy burlesque circus show in Vegas, and a software for jailbreaking phones that “relies on vulnerabilites in the Racoon daemon”. Which doesn’t sound terrifying at all.

In case you missed them – A is also for AARDVARK and ANATHEMA.

November 21st, 2013

abustle

In a state of busyness.

April 17th, 2015

acciaccatura

A small grace note melodically adjacent to a principal note and played simultaneously with or immediately before it.

June 4th, 2015

accipitrine

Pertaining to hawks.