Christmas week is here! The end of the year is near! Okay, that’s all the rhyming for today – it is Monday and this short work week is going to be hellish for me, so I’ll get right to the words, of which Wordsmith is allowing us to figure out the theme. If you get the theme with today’s word, you are a super genius. Enjoy your week everybody!

quoz (kwaz)

noun: an odd person or thing

Of uncertain origin. Perhaps it’s a variant of the word quiz which has a similar meaning. Or maybe the word quiz is a variant of quoz. It’s all very quizzical. Or quozzical. Earliest documented use: 1780

Usage (from Wordsmith)
“That juggling trick of yours is growing older than a floorboard split under the weight of countless eager feet, and rendering you a quoz to the ears.”
Neil Baker; G Day: Please God, Get Me Off the Hook; AuthorHouse; 2010.

“While everything that exists is a potential quoz for somebody, one must embrace the mystery for it to open itself.”
William Least Heat-Moon; Blue Highways: A Journey into America; Little, Brown and Company; 2012.

vidimus (VAI-di-muhs)

noun: 1. an attested copy of a document
2. an official inspection

From Latin vidimus (we have seen), from videre (to see). Ultimately from the Indo-European root weid- (to see), which also gave us guide, wise, vision, advice, idea, story, history, vizard, videlicet, prudential, previse, and invidious. Earliest documented use: 1436

Usage (from Wordsmith)
“The final letter was a vidimus bearing the great seal of Philip the Fair, purportedly confirming the marriage contract between Philip of Artois and Blanche of Brittany.”
Margaret Reeves, et al.; Shell Games; CRRS Publications; 2004.

pinchbeck (PINCH-bek)

adjective: counterfeit or spurious
noun: an alloy of zinc and copper, used as imitation gold in jewelry

After watchmaker Christopher Pinchbeck (1670-1732), who invented it. It’s ironic that today his name is a synonym for something counterfeit, but in his time his fame was worldwide, not only as the inventor of this curious alloy, but also as a maker of musical clocks and orreries. The composition of this gold-like alloy was a closely-guarded secret, but it didn’t prevent others from passing off articles as if made from this alloy… faking fake gold!

Usage (from Wordsmith)
“There had been something precious between them, like true gold among pinchbeck.”
Jo Beverley; The Secret Wedding; Signet; 2009.

jayhawker (JAY-haw-kuhr)

noun: 1. a robber 2. a native or resident of Kansas

Originally, a Jayhawker was a member of antislavery guerrillas in Kansas or Missouri during the US Civil War. It’s not clear why they were called Jayhawkers. Earliest documented use: 1860

Usage (from Wordsmith)
“On occasion, Jennison’s men joined Jim Lane’s jayhawkers in a series of hit-and-run raids.”
Wilmer L. Jones; Behind Enemy Lines; Taylor Trade Publishing; 2015.

“Some Kansans are complaining that Miss America Tara Dawn Holland isn’t exactly a Jayhawker. ‘She wasn’t really Miss Kansas,’ Joyce Carron of Wichita said as Holland arrived for appearances in the state. Responded Holland: ‘I learned a long time ago that home is where you hang your hat.’ She attended the University of Missouri at Kansas City, after three attempts at becoming Miss Florida.”
Arlene Vigoda; Losing Faith; USA Today; Oct 16, 1996.

expergefacient (eks-puhr-juh-FAY-shuhnt)

adjective: awakening or arousing
noun: a drug or other agent that awakens or arouses

From Latin expergefacere (to awaken), from expergisci (to become awake) + facere (to make or do). Earliest documented use: 1821

Usage (from Wordsmith)
“These symptoms of nervous excitement, brought on by an overdose of the expergefacient, soon passed off, and next day he was himself again.”
American Journal of Insanity; Vol. 21; 1965.

Did you figure out the common theme? I didn’t – but here it is from Wordsmith:

So how were this week’s words selected? These five words had all the letters of the English alphabet, except the letter L. Joyeux Noel!

Now, a pangram is a sentence that uses all letters of the alphabet. The most well-known is “The quick brown fox jumps over a lazy dog” which makes use of 33 letters. People have come up with shorter pangrams too.

Let’s call it a noelgram — a sentence that uses all letters of the alphabet, except the letter L


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