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word (ex. nubivagant), language (ex. Portuguese), topic (ex. love),
part of speech (ex. noun), origin (ex. origin: Latin), first letter (ex. A)


Anonymous asked: What is Zealous? help!

"As she looked, aghast, at the pony that was tethered in her front lawn and munching comfortably on her flowers, she realized how just how alarmingly she’d underestimated his zeal to impress her. She’d also underestimated the size of his bank account and his brain: impossibly vast and impossibly tiny, respectively.

'I did not mean it when I said I wanted a pony,' she explained to him later through gritted teeth.

He looked surprised. ‘You didn’t?’”

Zeal is the noun form. Usually, you’re zealous for a cause or purpose. It means you’re super-eager and super-committed to making something happen, and you’ll go to great lengths for it. It can have a bit of a negative connotation, and it’s more often seen in the form overzealous, which is being excessively eager, to the point of being a fanatic.

Anonymous asked: Hi there! I recently stumbled upon your blog and absolutely fell in love with you wordsmithery! I'd like to ask you a favour; I am planning my wedding for mid-2014 (yay) and have an idea to add small cards to each guest's seat - each with a definition that matches his/her personality. I'd like to ask your for your permission to take some of these definitions from your site. I'll make sure to keep your address on them and credit you in some way :) Regards, Krystal

That sounds like a brilliant idea! Absolutely, go for it. I appreciate the credit. Congratulations and best wishes to both of you!

Anonymous asked: make a facebook page for these? Please please please

You’re welcome! Otherwordly on Facebook

I have Twitter and Pinterest too, if those are more your thing. I’m also going to start an Instagram, but two someones I don’t know have registered both “otherwordly” and “otherwordly_” and started posting things from my blog without me, so… I’ll have to think about that one a little longer. But come check out Otherwordly at these other neat places.

If you registered either of those Instagram accounts, I’d love to speak to you, so send me an ask or an email—thanks!

anonymous asked:

What are some books you suggest? Have you read The Book Thief before?”

Click for feelings about The Book Thief and some other book recs. And ask me about fantasy/sci-fi recs!

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Anonymous asked: What's the word for a hard-won battle that has lost too many men, only to gain very little land?

I don’t know a single word for it, unfortunately. But what came to mind was “Pyrrhic victory”—a victory won with little gain and at tremendous cost. I hope that helped a little?

(rebloggable by request)

(rebloggable by request)

Anonymous asked: I don't know if this has been asked before but what is the word for the smell of ice or snow, the smell of rain is petrichor; is there one for crystallized water (it has a particular smell I'm not crazy right? lol)

I’ve had a number of people ask me about a word for this smell, so you’re definitely not alone. I know that smell too—it's a high, sharp scent. I want to say that it smells like metal looks, but then I sound crazy.

The thing is that English has very few words for specific scents. I don’t mean words for smells that are related to the things that produce them—it of course has words like fishy or tang or pine—but words like petrichor. (Petrichor is actually not just the smell of rain, but the smell of dry earth after rain. We lack a word for the smell of rain, too.) To my knowledge, there’s only one other, and it’s nidor, which is, um, the smell of burning animals. Or burning fat. Gross, I know. Ozone might count too.

Anyways, I’ve been searching for this word for a long time, without results. It definitely doesn’t exist (yet) in English. But, if you speak another language and know a word for it, please let me know

Anonymous asked: Hello. Do you have a word for a person who has ALOT of ambition and goals ?


Also aspirant, an ambitious person (usually young) with several dreams or goals. You can also try altitudinarian—someone who sets lofty goals and aspires to great heights.

Anonymous asked: the swedish word "fika" (drinking coffee along with eating something sweet), that you tagged as delicious and your personal favorite, means snot in hungarian. :D

Still delicious!

Okay no I’m kidding about that one, please don’t take me seriously. But that’s the fun thing about languages—a little confusing, but definitely fun. Input from even more languages:

anonymous said: "Fika" in swahili means to reach or to arrive.

melanie-baker said: A fika in Sweden can also be a date, fyi.

dragonflytehanu said: “Fika” (infinitive: “fikać”) is also a synonym to jump or hop in polish.

gatamiau said: Fica means stay in portuguese.

icanbakeyeah said: Fika in Hindi means “not sweet enough”. Referring to the taste.

lucky13astard said: “fica” in italian means “pussy.”

Meaning, of course, the cat.

Anonymous asked: asterismos sounds like a cool word.. it is a noun right? could you expound through an example of its usage? does it imply an effect like, say, onomatopoeia?

“Behold, I have arrived!”

“You’re late. Can you come here and help us with this?”

“Truly I tell you, I will not.”

“Cut it out. You’re not important enough to preface all your sentences with asterismos.

“Ow! Hey, you can’t hit me!”

“Behold, I just did.”

Beholdtruly I tell you, and hey are all examples of asterismos. Asterismos, more broadly, is any word or phrase at the beginning of a phrase or sentence that doesn’t add to the meaning, but that tells the audience, “Hey, listen up”. It can also be pretty poetic, if you use the “marking with stars” meaning. So it is pretty neat!

Anonymous asked: What is your most favorite word, if not, your most favorite list of words?

I only post words on this blog that I like, of course, but I do tag my special favorites! Running Otherwordly has taught me a lot.

I’m fond of unceremoniously, I quite like quite, and I’ve secretly wanted a tattoo of sehnsucht ever since I posted it here. I love the sounds of silver, desert, resonance, rush, oceans, arrogance, riot, passion—and a hundred more, because words are about sound as well as meaning. There are so many lovely words in the world.

asdf;klj sorry I just have lots of word feels

Anonymous asked: The sanskrit phrase शुभ कामनाएँ really means something like blessings and 'I wish you well' etc. Its usually said when greeting someone for a festival and things like that. So it could sort of mean good luck. And its pronounced as shubh- kaam-na-yein (the last 'n' being only the nasal sound - sorry im a pronunciation nazi!)

Thank you, that was super helpful!

This means that I still don’t precisely know what “good luck” is in Sanskrit. So if you were hoping to—oh, I don’t know, get a tattoo or something—I would definitely double-check with a source that is not this blog, which is run by a person who unfortunately but definitely does not know Sanskrit.

(see this ask)

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