adjective: 1. Lecherous. 2. Salacious. 3. Shifty or tricky. 4. Smooth and slippery.
From Latin lubricus (slippery, smooth). Ultimately from the Indo-European root sleubh- (to slide or slip), which also gave us slip, slop, sloop, sleeve, and lubricate. Earliest documented use: 1584.
"The lubricious, often drooling Claudius himself, I reflect, would have been into full-body massage."
Clive Irving; Ye Olde Dolce Vita; Condé Nast’s Traveler (New York); Apr 2011. "Ella Fitzgerald’s rendition of ‘Santa Claus Got Stuck in My Chimney’ was so lubricious and dripping in double entendres that her record label feared to release it." Gerry Bowler; Santa Claus: A Biography; McClelland & Stewart; 2005. Oct 8
adjective: Lacking in self-confidence.
From Latin diffidere (to mistrust), from dis- (not) + fidere (to trust). Ultimately from the Indo-European root bheidh- (to trust), which also gave us abide, abode, fiancé, affidavit, confide, confident, defiance, fidelity, defy, and infidel. Earliest documented use: 1598.
"In contrast with Albert’s
, Philippe seems shy and diffident.”
Sire, There are No Belgians;
(London, UK); Jul 27, 2013.
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noun: An onlooker who offers unwanted advice or criticism, for example at a card game.
From Yiddish kibitsen, from German kiebitzen (to look on at cards), from Kiebitz (busybody, literally pewit or lapwing, a shorebird with a bad reputation as a meddler). Earliest documented use: 1927.
"Don’t listen to the Internet kibitzers. Arthur Chu is playing the game right."
Ken Jennings; Arthur Chu Is Playing Jeopardy! the Right Way; Slate (New York); Feb 10, 2014. Oct 5
noun: 1. A person of influence, one who gets things done. 2. A self-important overbearing person.
From Yiddish makher, from German macher (maker or doer). Earliest documented use: 1911.
"They weren’t all his ideas, but he — he, Andrew Cuomo — was the macher who’d do it."
Scott Raab; The Perfect Prince of Cool; Esquire (New York); Nov 2000. Oct 5
noun: An impractical dreamer.
From Yiddish, from luft (air) + mensch (man, person), from German. Earliest documented use: 1907.
A luftmensch is, literally, an airman, someone with his head in the clouds. A luftmensch is unconcerned with such practical matters as earning a living. Read about a luftmensch (“Dentist and Restaurateur”) in this
by Israel Zangwill.
"Shavit thinks himself a hardened realist, but maybe he’s another kind of luftmensch."
Geoffrey Wheatcroft; A Romantic Dream; The Spectator (London, UK); Feb 22, 2014. Sep 28
noun: An obsession with money or wealth.
From Greek pluto- (wealth) + -mania (excessive enthusiasm or craze). Earliest documented use: 1652.
"Plutomania became rare and almost extinct in the days of the Commonwealth. People lost the habit of valuing possessions over personal relationships."
W. Warren Wagar; A Short History of the Future; University of Chicago Press; 1989. Sep 27
noun The analysis of fingerprints for identification of individuals.
From Greek dactylo- (finger or toe) + -scopy (observation). Earliest documented use: 1908.
"Doctor Oloriz, from Madrid, tried to introduce dactyloscopy into the police force, with prints from those arrested carefully classified."
Marc Pastor; Barcelona Shadows; Pushkin Press; 2014. Sep 27