How to Sound Really Clever: 600 Words You Need to Know
Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub
How to Sound Really Clever explains and illustrates over 600 words that can outfox us, such as 'condign', 'Zelig-like' and 'agitprop'. This is the sequel to the successful How to Sound Clever (2010) which taught you 600 words you really ought to know but haven't had the time to look up in the dictionary.
Each entry features an etymological description as well as useful example phrases so that readers can quickly see the correct context for each word. Anecdotes and witty illustrations appear throughout to make this an entertaining book that will help readers to boost their vocabulary.
spirit (originally used of food that has been preserved by removing the moisture from it) (pronounced ‘des-i-kay-tid’) from the Latin, desiccare: to make thoroughly dry e.g. When you watch The Godfather, you find yourself rooting for crime boss Michael Corleone; for, despite his desiccated soul, he is the best of a bad bunch détente (noun) = the easing of troubled relations (pronounced: ‘day-tonte’) from the French, détente: loosening e.g. After Kim Jong Il died suddenly, US diplomats worried
Spectator magazine, which was allegedly known as The Sextator during his reign R rackety (adj.) = making a loud noise, and therefore disreputable (pronounced ‘rak-i-tee’) from the English words, racket + - y e.g. The Chelsea Hotel in New York for many years epitomised its neighbourhood’s rackety reputation raddled (adj.) = (of a person) old- or tired-looking from the English word ‘ruddle’ (which later evolved into the word ‘raddle’), a red pigment used in make-up; an old- or tired-looking
are ‘ green in judgement’ and ‘ cold in blood’: two adjectives that may equally well be used of a nice, crunchy salad. Almost straight away, the phrase ‘salad days’ entered the mainstream, as shorthand to describe an immature phase in one’s life. The term has featured in many films and songs; for example, the band Spandau Ballet (who were massive in the 1980s) referenced the expression in their song ‘Gold’, when they extended Cleopatra’s metaphor thus: ‘These are my salad days, slowly being
politics, a ‘stalking horse’ is an individual who provides cover for another, more powerful person to attack. Specifically, in politics, a ‘stalking horse’ throws his hat into the ring, to see if there’s any demand for a change of party leader. The ‘stalking horse’ will be a minor figure, with a pretty much zero chance of being accepted as leader himself; but his leadership challenge will have ‘tested the water’ for a far more powerful player watching from the shadows. (Likewise, in business, a
revolution, to be carried out by underprivileged people, in order to topple capitalism. (Finally, ‘popinjay’ – the end of the insult levelled at Hitchens in the example above – means ‘a vain talker’, and was originally the Middle English word for that great talker of a bird, the parrot.) trove trove (noun) = a store of valuable objects from the English expression, treasure trove, which comes from the French, tresor trouvé: found treasure e.g. The US military was heartened at their discovery of