The obscure word of the week is pounce – but not that pounce, another pounce

This week’s obscure English word is pounce in its noun form. The usual ‘pounce’ is a verb and means to suddenly jump on something, literally or figuratively; but the noun ‘pounce’ has a very different meaning. It refers variously to a fine powder used to stop wet ink from spreading on a page, or to … More The obscure word of the week is pounce – but not that pounce, another pounce

The obscure word of the week is stonk

The first obscure word for 2018 is stonk, which is totally different in origin and meaning from the word stonkered. Even though it sounds like it shouldn’t be. ‘Stonk’ is a 1920s British military term for a sharp and fast artillery bombardment, according to the OED possibly derived from the term ‘Standard regimental concentration’. It was … More The obscure word of the week is stonk

The obscure word of the week is birefringent

This week’s obscure English word is birefringent. This is a physics term meaning something that has two refractive indices. Just to explain that, most transparent materials bend light in one direction, a ‘refractive’ property. Birefringence is usually a product of crystalline minerals such as calcite, and of the way light is bent in two directions … More The obscure word of the week is birefringent