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                               "Famous" Semantics Words
                                  2010 - 2011
traumatropism        (truh-MA-truh-piz-uhm)    n.    [<Latin]
                                                a modification of of the orientation of
                                      an organism as a result of wounding
                                 Traumatropism of the roots does not usually affect plant growth.
                                 (First appeared in Words of the Champions in 1990 and in PAIDEIA
                                  in 1995 - Plants.  The winning word for Brian King of Connections
                                  Academy when he won the 2010 Colorado State Spelling Bee.)
vicariously        (vy-KER-ee-uhs-lee)    adv.    [<Latin]
                           shared in by imaginary participation
                           in another’s experience
                              Erin reads travel magazines so that she can vicariously
                              enjoy trips to exotic lands.
                            (First appeared in Words of the Champions in 1954.
                              On the 2010 City Written Spelling Test.)
poltroon        (pawl-TROON)    n.    [<French<Italian<Latin]
                          a spiritless coward
                     Cyrano thrust his sword at the lily-livered poltroon, inflicting a fatal wound.
                          (First appeared in Words of the Champions in 1979.  Word submitted
                           by Sam Cyphers, 2010 Colorado State Spelling Bee runner-up from
                           Holy Family Catholic School in Fruita, Colorado.)
foosball        (FOOZ-bawl)    n.    [?<German + <English<Old Norse]
                        a table game resembling soccer in which the ball is
                        moved by manipulating rods to which small figures of
                        players are attached; table soccer
                            Kit and Corey played a game of foosball at the pizza parlor.
                                        (On the 2010 City Written Spelling Test.)
cornucopia        (kohrn-uh-KOHP-ee-uh)    n.    [<Latin]
                         horn of plenty; an abundance; a curved goat’s horn
                         overflowing with fruits, ears of grain, and flowers
                                    Robert placed dinner rolls in a bowl shaped like a cornucopia
                                    and place it in the center of the table.
                                                (First appeared in PAIDEIA in 2001 - Fabulous Words.)                                  
horripilation        (huh-rip-uh-LAY-shuhn)    n.    [<Latin]
                               the bristling of the hair of the head or body as
                               from disease, terror, or chilliness; goosebumps
                     Walking home on a cold, dark night by myself gives me horripilation.
                                    (First appeared in Words of the Champions in 1959, in
                                     PAIDEIA in 1996 - Medical Terms, and on the NSB grade-
                                     specific study list in 2009.)
dysphemism        (DIS-fuh-miz-uhm)    n.    [<Greek]
                         substitution of a disagreeable, offensive, or disparaging
                         word or expression for an agreeable or inoffensive one
                         (antonym: euphemism)
                              Saying, "We slaughtered our opponent" instead of "We
                              defeated our opponent" is an example of a dysphemism.
                            Other examples:  old man for father; axle grease for butter; holocaust
                               for final solution; cripple for handicapped person; pig for policeman;
                               toilet for restroom; bone orchard for cemetery
                              (First appeared in Words of the Champions in 1986 and in
                               PAIDEIA in 2006 - Thumbs Up & Thumbs Down.)
rhopalic        (roh-PAL-ik)    adj.    [<Latin<Greek]
                       having each successive word in a line of verse or
                       a sentence increase by one letter or one syllable
                            "I am not sick" is an example of a rhopalic sentence by letters.
                     Another rhopalic sentence by letters:  "I do not know where family doctors
                                                                   acquired illegibly perplexing handwriting."
                     Rhopalic sentences by syllables:  "No effort continues unrewarded."
                                            "I never realized orangutans procrastinated disingenuously."
                     A rhopalic poem:   "O, to see lacy light;
                                                 sylvan lattice gleaming,
                                                 dreamland shimmering."
cuisine        (kwuh-ZEEN)    n.    [<French<Latin]
                       manner of preparing food; style of cooking
                        The new restaurant features moderately priced French cuisine.
                          (First appeared in PAIDEIA in 2003 - Food for Thought.
                           On the Colorado State written spelling test in 2010 and
                           the City Written spelling test in 2016.)
agathokakological        (ag-uh-thoh-kak-uh-LAJ-uh-kuhl)
                                              adj.    [<Greek + <Greek + <Latin]
                                        composed of both good and evil
                                      Darth Vader is a good example of an agathokakological
                                      character in science fiction.
                                   (First appeared in PAIDEIA in 2006 - Thumbs Up & Thumbs Down)
assimilate        (uh-SIM-uh-layt)    v.    [<Latin]
                     1)  to receive into the mind and consider and thoroughly
                              Sandy needs time to sort things out and assimilate them properly.
                     2)  to make similar or alike
                                 In semantics the word immature is assimilated.  It is derived
                                 from the Latin in + maturus, the "n" in in becoming like the "m"
                                 in maturus, making it easier to pronounce.
                             (First appeared in Words of the Champions in 1954 and in PAIDEIA  
                              in 1998 - A Wrinkle in Time.  The word assimilate is itself assimilated,
                              derived from the Latin ad + simulare, the "d" in ad becoming like the
                              "s" in simulare.)
curmudgeon        (kuhr-MUJ-uhn)    n.    [<unknown]
                        a crusty, ill-tempered, or difficult and often elderly person
                          Fiona’s dad called her grandfather a "cantankerous old curmudgeon."
                              (First appeared in Words of the Champions in 1954 and in PAIDEIA
                               in 1995 - Personality.  On the Colorado State Written Test in 1976
                               and the City Written Spelling Test in 2011.)
rotisserie        (roh-TIS-uh-ree)    n.    [<French]
                         a cooking appliance fitted with a spit on which
                         food is rotated before or over a source of heat
                               Herb cooked the chicken on a rotisserie over his gas grill.
                    (First appeared in PAIDEIA in 1995 - Devices, and again in 2003 - Food for 
                     Thought.  Appears in How to Spell Like a Champ, p. 101.  On the Colorado
                     State Written Test in 1972 and 1999 and the City Written in 1986.)
anise        (AN-uhs)    n.    [<English<French<Latin<Greek]
                       a plant related to celery and parsley or
                       its fragrant seed used for flavoring
                           Pfeffernuss is a hard, highly spiced German Christmas
                           cookie flavored with anise.
                      (First appeared in Words of the Champions in 1985 and in PAIDEIA in
                       1995 - PlantsAnise was the word missed by 1942 Colorado State 
                       Spelling Champion Irwin Pepper of Gove Junior High School when
                       he came in fifth place at the National Spelling Bee.)
commemorate        (kuh-MEM-uh-rayt)    v.    [<Latin]
                                   to honor the memory of
                                     In 2009 the United States Postal Service issued a
                                     stamp to commemorate the life of author Richard Wright.
                                   (First appeared in Words of the Champions in 1983.  Appears in
                                    How to Spell Like a Champ - Commonly Misspelled Words, p. 119.)
solstice        (SOHL-stuhs), (SAWL-stuhs)    n.    [<English<French<Latin]
                   the time of the year when the sun reaches the farthest north
                   (about June 21) and the farthest south (about Dec. 21) of the
                   equator:  in the Northern Hemisphere, the summer solstice and
                   winter solstice respectively
                         The North pole is tilted directly toward the sun at the summer solstice.
                                  (The alternate form solstitial appeared in PAIDEIA in
                                   1996 - What On Earth? and again in 2003 - Cognates.)
ipsedixitism        (ip-see-DIKS-uh-tiz-uhm)    n.    [<Latin]
                               dogmatic assertion; assertivness
                                  Martina’s ipsedixitism tired her friends and put off strangers.
                            (From the Latin ipse dixit, literally "He himself said it" which refers to
                             an argument asserted but not supported based on the reputation of
                             the person making the argument, originally used by followers of
                             Pythagoras in making unproved claims.  First appeared in PAIDEIA
                             in 2000 - English, Latin, & Greek I.  On the 2001 City Written Test.)
mantra        (MAN-truh), (MAWN-truh)    n.    [<Sanskrit]
                         slogan; watchword
                              "Quality, not quantity" is the company’s mantra.
                          (The original meaning of mantra was "a chant of a Vedic hymn or text
                            in Hinduism or Buddhism" but it has taken on this new usage in recent 
                            years.  First appeared in PAIDEIA in 2003 - Cognates.  On the 2011 City
                            Written Spelling Test.)
boeotian        (bee-OH-shuhn)    adj.    [<Greek geographic name]
                       marked by stupidity and philistinism; crudely obtuse; loutish
                              Hank’s father adhered to the boeotian mentality that only
                              self-indulgent idlers go to college.
                     (In ancient times Boeotia, a district in central Greece, continually fought for
                      its independence against Athens.  Boeotians were synonymous with stupidity
                      probably because of Athens’ assertion of its cultural superiority compared to
                      its rural neighbors.  On the National Spelling Bee written test in 2004.  This
                      word was submitted by Riley Somo, 4th grader at Southmoor Elementary.)
rhodochrosite        (roh-doh-KROH-syt), (roh-DAWK-ruh-syt)   
                                                                   n.    [<German + <Greek]
                                a rose red mineral (MnCO3) consisting essentially
                                of manganese carbonate
                                      Rhodochrosite is the official state mineral of Colorado.
                 (The world’s largest rhodochrosite crystal, called the Alma King, is on display
                  at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science.  It was found in the Sweet  
                  Home Mine near Alma, Colorado.  This word was submitted by Jonah Lawrence,
                  5th grader at Southmoor Elementary.)        


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