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(used as an intensive after gee or golly gee to express astonishment, delight, etc.)
Whillikers and its variant whillikens are used only in the exclamatory phrase (golly) gee whillikers (whillikens). There is no satisfactory etymology for whillikers or whillikens. Gee whillikens first appeared in print in 1851.
“Why,” she gasped, “It’s money!” “Gee whillikers—ten bucks!” Jason echoed.
We’re all going to look at the things that are thrilling and exciting for him and say, ‘But that music sucks!’ Gee whillikers, guess who else said that? Every generation ever.
verb (used without object)
to laugh loudly or immoderately.
Cachinnate, “to laugh loudly or immoderately,” comes straight from Latin cachinnātus, the past participle of the verb cachinnāre “to laugh boisterously, guffaw.” Cachinnāre is a verb of imitative origin that even has its own Proto-Indo-European root: khakha– (who knew that primitive Indo-Europeans laughed?). The root khakha– yields Greek kakházein, kakkházein, and kankházein, Old Church Slavonic xoxotati, Old High German kachazzwen, and Sanskrit kákhati “he laughs.” Cachinnate entered English in the first half of the 19th century.
She does not laugh so much as cachinnate, finding at least one thing hysterical in every episode.
Just don’t expect to guffaw or cachinnate, and forget all about busting a gut. It’s not that kind of comedy.
of the nature of, resembling, or containing butter.
The adjective butyraceous is an expensive word for buttery. Butyraceous comes from Latin butyrum (both the first u and the y may be long or short), from Greek boúty?ron “butter,” literally “cow cheese,” according to the traditional (and ancient) etymology, from Greek bo?s (inflectional stem boo-, bou-) “cow” and ty?rós “cheese.” Both bo?s and ty?rós are very ancient: both occur on Late Bronze Age Linear B clay tablets from Pylos (in the southwest Peloponnesus), and both words are of Proto-Indo-European origin. The closest non-Greek relative to ty?rós is in the ancient Iranian languages: in Avestan (the language of the Zoroastrian scriptures), tūiri– means “whey, cheeselike milk” and tūiriia– means “curdled (milk).” Herodotus states that butter was used by the Scythians, ancient Iranian nomads of the Russian steppes. Latin butyrum (with its variant būtūrum) becomes burre in Old French (beurre in French) and burro in Italian. Latin butyrum was borrowed by the West Germanic languages (as usual, the details and date of the borrowing are disputed): Old English has butere (English butter); German has Butter, Dutch boter. Butyraceous entered English in the 17th century.
All good butter seems to have disappeared as if by magic, and there remains only a butyraceous compound of hair, butter, chips and rock salt, which is as striped as a zebra and smells as rancid as a goat or a bundle of foul linens.
fine food, lots of the best wine, had given his jowls a butyraceous sheen.
dropping off very early, as leaves.
The adjective caducous “(of leaves) falling early or too early” comes straight from Latin cadūcus “tending to fall, tottery, unsteady; transitory,” a derivative of the verb cadere “to fall, fall over, collapse.” Cadere is also the source of the Latin compound verb dēcidere “to fall down, fall over,” which forms the derivative adjective dēciduus “falling, tending to fall or be dropped” (English deciduous). The botanical difference between caducous and deciduous is that caducous leaves fall too easily or too early, and deciduous leaves fall at the end of the growing season. Caducous entered English in the 18th century.
After the flowering period, the ground under the oak, poplar, and other trees, is strewn with their male catkins; these are caducous, falling off soon after they have shed their pollen …
So is it with this calamity: it does not touch me: something which I fancied was a part of me, which could not be torn away without tearing me, nor enlarged without enriching me, falls off from me, and leaves no scar. It was caducous.
quick; agile; lively.
Yare is an uncommon adjective meaning “ready, prepared.” As is usual for short words, Middle English shows more than two dozen spellings; Old English is more restrained, gearu and gearo being the most common (before the inflections are added). The Old English forms derive from the verb gearwian “to prepare, equip.” Gearwian is the Old English development of the Germanic verb garwian “to prepare, equip, make.” The noun garwi– “equipment, adornment,” a derivative of garwian, is the source for the Old Norse noun gervi, g?rvi “apparel, equipment,” source of English gear. The English noun garb comes via Middle French garbe “grace, graceful figure, elegance,” from Italian garbo “form, grace, elegance (of dress),” a derivative of the verb garbare “to be pleasant,” from Old High German garawi?“dress, equipment,” ultimately from Germanic garwian.
dismount thy tuck, be yare in thy preparation; for thy assailant is quick, skilfull, and deadly.
Bear up, gentle laddie, for we must be yare, Or of Bruin the bear else we may be ware.
Alimentation, “nourishment, food,” comes via Medieval Latin alimentātiō (inflectional stem alimentātiōn-), ultimately a derivative of the Latin verb alere “to nourish.” The many English derivatives from alere include alumnus and alumna “nursling, foster son, foster daughter,” aliment (from alimentum “food, nourishment, provisions”), alimentary (from alimentārius “pertaining to nutrition;” the alimentary canal runs from the mouth to the anus), alimony (from alimōnia “food, support, nourishment”), and alma māter, literally “nourishing mother” (from the adjective almus “nourishing”). Latin alere comes from the Proto-Indo-European root al– “to grow, make grow, nourish,” source of Old Irish alim “I nourish,” Welsh al “litter (of animals),” Gothic alan “to grow up,” Old Norse ala “to nourish, raise.” Finally, the suffixed Proto-Indo-European form alto– “grown, grown up” becomes ald– in Germanic, the source of English old; the Germanic compound noun wer-ald, literally “man age, life on earth,” becomes weorold in Old English, world in English. Alimentation entered English in the late 16th century.
In mid-March, in the tense week before the British government announced its belated coronavirus-induced lockdown, certain everyday products became extraordinarily hard to find. Panicked buyers swept up fundamentals of alimentation and elimination: yeast, flour, bathroom tissue.
The effect and value of alimentation was a question for the philosopher as well as for the physiologist, and the gourmand gave utterance to a truism when he said that the destiny of nations depended upon the manner in which they were fed.
integrity and uprightness; honesty.
Probity, “integrity and uprightness, honesty,” comes via Old French probité from Latin probitās (inflectional stem probitāt-) “moral integrity, uprightness, honesty; sexual purity,” a derivative of the adjective probus. Probus is composed of pro– “forward” and –bhwo– “growing,” the entire word meaning “going forward, growing well.” The element –bhwo– comes from the very complicated Proto-Indo-European root bheu?-, bheu-, bhou-, bhwo-, bhū– (with still more variants) “to be, exist, become, grow.” The root appears in Latin fuisse “to have been,” futūrus “what is going to be, future,” and fīerī “to become,” English be and been, Lithuanian bū?ti “to be,” Greek phyesthai “to grow, arise, become,” and its derivatives physis “nature” and physikós “pertaining to nature, natural.” Probity entered English in the first half of the 15th century.
For an instant he had been tempted to accept the carriage as a gift, but probity never deserted him for very long, not to mention an unrelenting awareness of the importance of the appearance of things.
Coolidge ended up serving twice as long as Harding in the White House, sanitizing the place with his dignified, even endearing probity.