Tag Archives: De Quincey

parvanimity

    MEANING   smallness of mind, meanness     ORIGIN   This noun is composed of Latin parv(i)-, combining form of parvus, meaning small, animus, meaning mind, and the suffix -ity, forming abstract nouns. The combining form parv(i)- was found in a few Latin words such as parvicollis, meaning short-necked. In English, it is found for […]

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imbecile

imbecile

  Orphan Man with Cap and Walking Stick (1882), by Vincent van Gogh (1853-90) image: Van Gogh Gallery     The English adjective imbecile is, via French, from the Latin imbecillus, or imbecillis, meaning weak, feeble, in body or mind. In his etymological encyclopaedia Originum sive Etymologiarum (The Origins or Etymologies), the Spanish archbishop and Doctor of the Church St Isidore of Seville (circa […]

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cheese – fromage

cheese – fromage

  “Comment voulez-vous gouverner un pays qui a deux-cent quarante-six variétés de fromage ?” (“How can you govern a country which has two hundred and forty-six varieties of cheese?”) attributed to Charles de Gaulle (1890-1970), French general and statesman, in Les mots du général de Gaulle (1962), by Ernest Mignon photograph: fémivin.com   The word cheese is from Old English cēse, cȳse, […]

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