eclat \ ey-KLAH \ noun – Brilliance of success, reputation, etc. Showy or elaborate display. Acclamation; acclaim. Origin: Eclat comes from the French eclat , “fragment, burst, splinter, flash,” which relates to esclater , “to burst, break violently.”
jobbery \ JOB-uh-ree \ noun – The conduct of public or official business for the sake of improper private gain. Origin: Jobbery combines the sense of job and robbery and reflects the historically negative connotation of job, whose definition may derive from gob, as in “a mass or lump.”
totemic \ toh-TEM-ik \ adjective – Pertaining to an object or natural phenomenon with which a family or group considers itself closely related. Relating to a representation of such an object serving as the distinctive mark of the clan or group. Origin: Totemic derives from the Algonquian (probably Ojibwa) odoodeman , “his sibling kin, his [...]
offal \ AW-fuhl \ noun – The edible internal parts of an animal. Dead or decomposing organic matter. Refuse; rubbish. Origin: Offal is a combination of off and fall, referring to parts fallen or cut off.
exculpate \ EK-skuhl-payt; ek-SKUHL-payt transitive verb – To clear from alleged fault or guilt. To prove to be guiltless. To relieve of blame. To acquit. Origin: Exculpate is ultimately derived from Latin ex-, “without” + culpare, “to blame,” from culpa, “blame, fault.”
ferret \ FER-it \ verb – To search out, discover or bring to light. To harry, worry or torment. noun – Domesticated, usually red-eyed and albinic variety of the polecat. A narrow tape or ribbon, as of silk or cotton, used for binding, trimming, etc. Origin: Ferret originates in the Latin furonem, both “cat” and [...]