March 31, 2005

Words and phrases that sound gross but aren't

Words and phrases that sound gross but aren't

EDIT: The link doesn't work anymore since I posted this about 74 years ago, but thanks to the magic of the google I found the list in a memory hole. Here it is, as posted by someone with the suspiciously unconventional name of Sea Horse.


Sea Horse, if that is her real name, said these are real definitions found in either Merriam-Webster Online or the Oxford English Dictionary:


A quartet of an hour's relaxation allowed to the boys in the middle of the afternoon school in summer to give them an opportunity of disposing of beevers, a portion of bread and allowance of beer laid out in Winchester School Hall.

Brown Creeper
A small, thin, nearly camouflaged bird with white belly, long stiff tail, and thin curved bill. Obvious white line above dark eye.

Canonical Erection
The rite by which the house of a religious order is sanctified and officially recognized by the [Catholic] Church.

1. orig. Apparently a nursery term, applied to anything a child rides astride upon, as a stick with a horse's head, a hobby-horse, any one's leg or knee. Hence ride on a (or a-) cockhorse.

A small upper loft; a small apartment under the very ridge of the roof to which the access is usually by a ladder; ‘the room over the garret’.

One who rears game-cocks

1. An obsolete medical preparation: see quot.

2. ‘A stream of water brought in a trough, through a long pole, in order to wash out the sand of the tin-ore into the launder, while it is bruising in the coffer of a stamping mill’ (Chambers Cycl. Supp. 1753).

: a common migratory black-throated finch (Spiza americana) of the central U.S.

Dick test
: a test to determine susceptibility or immunity to scarlet fever by an injection of scarlet fever toxin

A vote manufactured for party purposes, by the transfer to persons, not otherwise legally qualified, of sufficient property to qualify them as electors.

Some kind of net for fishing.

A performer on the bassoon, bassoonist.

: any of a genus (Scrophularia) of chiefly herbaceous plants of the snapdragon family with leaves having no stipules, an irregular bilabiate corolla, and a 2-celled ovary.

Pertaining to the fornix (an anatomical arch or fold, esp. an arched formation of the brain)

Etymology: Latin, seaweed, archil, dye obtained from archil, from Greek phykos
1 obsolete : a face paint
2 [New Latin, genus name, from Latin] : any of a genus (Fucus) of cartilaginous brown algae used in the kelp industry; broadly : any of various brown algae

Etymology: Middle English votek, futtek
: one of the curved timbers scarfed together to form the lower part of the compound rib of a ship

Gay Deceiver
Bust pads, usually of foam rubber, inserted into a bra to give a fuller appearance.

obs. ff. JAIL, JAILER.

A place for rubbish or odds and ends, as a housemaid's cupboard, or a lumber room.

: a covering of minute ice crystals on a cold surface; also : ice particles formed from a gas

1 : gray or white with or as if with age
2 : extremely old : ANCIENT
- hoar·i·ness noun

One that never was away from home; a fondling or wanton.

Nude Contract
Without consideration given, where no action can arise.

A frenzy occasioned by seeing one of the nymphs; from Greek lambano, I take.

Rarely used term for a morbid desire to eat.

Lacking courage and resolution : marked by contemptible timidity.

A flurry, temper. Also in the form pussivent.

1. (More fully shittim wood.) The wood of the shittah-tree, acacia wood.
Sometimes erroneously used for SHITTAH tree.

A scatological figure of speech

: a lightweight conical object with a rounded often rubber-covered nose that is used in badminton

Spooning, in rowing, is dipping the oars so little in the water as merely to skim the surface. The resistance being very small, much water is thrown up and more disturbed.

Grating through the hearth in which the ashes fall, leaving the cinders.

Special bastard
A child born of parents before marriage, the parties afterwards intermarrying.

An evergreen shrub or tree

A bird of the subfamily Parinae (Swainson)

: a thin layer of ectoderm that forms the wall of many mammalian blastulas and functions in the nutrition and implantation of the embryo

A seaweed of the genus Ulva, which includes sea lettuce, U. lactuca

Of an organism or group of organisms: having the ability to disperse or be dispersed in a given environment. Hence vagility (also fig.).

A little sheath or vagina; esp. in Bot. the capsule or theca enclosing the base of the seta in certain mosses.

A door of a large building by which the crowd is let out.

White-Breasted Nuthatch
Slate gray bird with white belly and black cap and neck. Long thin bill slightly upturned. Chestnut colored under tail.

1.) Name for the kestrel [species of Hawk].
2.) fig. as a term of opprobrium.

Inflected Form(s): plural woodcocks
1 or plural woodcock : a widespread Old World woodland bird (Scolopax rusticola) that is related to the sandpipers and snipes; also : a smaller related game bird (Scolopax minor syn. Philohela minor) of eastern No. America
2 [from the ease with which the woodcock is snared] archaic : SIMPLETON

Interjection expressive of wonderment or surprise.