HIGHFALUTIN [hahy-fuh-LOOT-n]: grandiose, pompous, pretentious

Highfalutin is one of those words that I didn’t think was a real word.  I thought it was just a nonsense term, but it turns out that it’s legitimate.   Bryan Garner lists the word as an Americanism which dates from the mid-19th century.  That’s about as much about the origin of the word that I […]

CLIFF DIVING: a Mexican sport involving huge risks

I have to say it clearly and loudly:  I’m afraid of heights.   I always have been. I remember when I was just a kid and went swimming with my best friend and his parents at a place where there was a high dock for a tourist boat to tie up.  Everyone loved to jump off […]

SHAMBOLIC: highly disorganized, in shambles

Talk about reacting to the moment.  Our word for today is shambolic, a word I heard for the first time an hour ago.  David Brooks, who I consider to be one of the most thoughtful, intelligent conservative commentators on television, was a member of a panel convened by David Gregory, the host of Meet the […]

GOD GAVE A GOOSE: refers to someone who is very foolish

I was listening to a very serious commentary on the Fiscal Cliff issue on television when I heard the commentator say that he had been talking with a prominent member of the House of Representatives who said that there were “50 people in the House he believed God gave a goose for.” (paraphrased from an […]

CARAPACE [KAR-uh-peys] : a hard shell, as on a turtle or armadillo

I am of the opinion that there is no such thing as a living armadillo.   Having lived in the near southwest for several years and traveling the roads pretty frequently, I have seen my share of armadillos, that creepy, pointy animal with a hard shell and a long, bony tail.  But they are all dead, […]

SEGUE [SEG-way] : to make a smooth transition

One of the criteria which depicts the American way of governance is the smooth transition from one presidential administration to another.   It is recognized as a segue: a transition without conflict or violence. In some countries the transition of leadership is by coup or armed revolt.   Violence in the streets and loss of life is […]