Thursday, November 22, 2018

Ye Olde Dictionary Of Fun 3 (1941)

Behold! I found yet another vintage dictionary with a "new words" section -- this one's from 1941! So, like last time, I'll be posting some of my favorite "new words" from that year, along with their definitions, my comments (in red), and the 14th photo that comes up in a Google search for that word.

A note before I begin: Many of the "new" words and phrases here were related to the current events of the time, including the names of weapons, war-related air crafts, etc. as well as cringe-worthy words such aryan, nazi, concentration camp, blackout, blitzkrieg, fascism, fuhrer, and gestapo. I don't want to ignore that they're in here. In fact, if you want to see all the new words from 1941, click to enlarge any of these pictures:

But yeah, I'm not really in the mood to highlight those.

So, here we go with some of the more fun & delightful "new" words from 1941:

Automatism: Surrealism. Suspension of the conscious mind in order to release for expression the repressed ideas and images of the unconscious.

(Hmmm... I see an airplane with glasses.)

Autostrada: A trunk highway, usually of concrete and without intersections, reserved for high-speed motor traffic.

(So, a freeway?)

Bangboard: A sidepiece mounted above the far sidepiece of a wagon, from which the ears of corn tossed by a husker rebound into the wagon.

Barbecue: To roast or grill (esp. pork or beef) slowly in sizable pieces before an open fire, or on a gridiron or revolving spit or in a trench, often drenching with a sauce of vinegar, salt, and pepper.

Boysenberry: A huge blackberry like bramble fruit with raspberry like flavor, developed in California from three blackberries, a variety of raspberry, and the loganberry.

Bra: Short for brassiere. A close-fitting outer waist for women, often with sleeves.


Bulldozer: A broad blunt horizontal ram or pusher propelled by a tractor, for use in road building.

Codeball: A game in which a pair or two pairs of players play an inflated ball six inches in diameter entirely with the feet, either against the six surfaces of a handball court or on a golflike course into fourteen inverted metal bowls.

Corny: Affecting, or rendered in, a banal, bland, or unsophisticated style, so as to elicit sentimental feelings; -- contrasted with hot (see below.) Slang.

(Corny -- kind of like that girl's Codeball shirt, mmhmm.)

Disqualify: Sports. To debar from further participation or competition because of an infringement of the rules or of official rulings.

Dither: A distracted or unbalanced state of overexcitement.

Groove: In The Groove, Swing Music. Playing swing music in exalted mood and in top form.

Hair-do: A way of dressing the hair.

Heel: A contemptibly mean-spirited scoundrel likely to double-cross a pal. Slang. Orig. Underworld slang, US.

(A contemptibly mean-spirited scoundrel... as opposed to a loving, warm & fuzzy scoundrel?)

Hot: Slang. Impassioned and exciting in rhythm and mood, often also vehement in execution; as, hot jazz; a hot dancer.

(Yeah, I'm not posting the 14th picture for this one. Search "hot" on Google if you want to see a lot of (apparently) sexy ladies, though. We'll just move on, here...)

McCoy, The: Also, the Real McCoy. The genuine person or article; the real thing. Slang, US.

Mickey Finn: A drugged drink of liquor.

(1941: Bad drink! 2018: Good drink! Time travelers must be so confused.)

Mocha: Designating a rich icing made with butter and chocolate and flavored with coffee, or a cake iced with it.

Perisphere: A perfect sphere; a globe; -- coined for use at New York World's Fair, 1939-40.

(I'm happy that the definition of "perisphere" hasn't changed in 77 years. It's still just a giant globe thing from the NY World's Fair, forever and for always.)

Pinball: A game played by driving a small ball up a groove alongside of a sloping board studded with small spikes, or pins, and furnished with numbered holes, the object of the game being to cause the ball, as it rolls down the board, to fall into the highest-numbered hole.

Plummet: To drop or plunge straight down.

Softball: A modified form of baseball played out of doors with a ball like the one used in indoor baseball but smaller and harder; also, the ball used in this game.

(The history/nuances of baseball/softball are super confusing and I'm done with trying to understand them.)

Stellar: Chief; leading; principal; star.

(I was secretly hoping to see a picture of Zenon, here, so... Bonus Picture Time!)


Video: [L, videre to see.] Television. Pertaining to or used in the transmission or reception of the image; as, video channel; video frequency.

Welsh Corgi: A short-legged, long-backed dog with foxlike head, belonging to either of two Welsh breeds: the Cardigan, marked by rounded ears, slightly bowed forelegs, long tail; the Pembroke, by pointed-erect ears, straight legs, and short tail.

(Much of the world may have been at war in 1941, but at least the citizens of the planet were not without Welsh Corgis.) 💜💖💛

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