Thursday, December 31, 2015

I was like & in a nutshell

Quotations:

qanda_2015_ep29


Brendan O'Neill: [sink to one's teeth into; I was like; in a nutshell; booze;] I have to say,  Australia, this is a really rubbish scandal. I mean, when I got here, everyone was saying that there's this huge scandal involving a royal commissioner, the Prime Minister, Trade Unions and I was like, "Yes, something to sink my teeth into", and then I read it and I was like: "Are you serious!". So, in a nutshell, this guy accepted an invitation to speak at dinner and he said :"I won't speak if it's a fundraiser."  Some one said to him:" it is a fundraiser." And he said :"Okay, I won't speak at it." That's it. I mean, there are no prostitutes; there's - there are no drugs; there's not even any booze and booze is like the bottom line requirement for any kind of political scandal.

Definition:

I was like:
I said.

in a nutshell:
1. in very few words, getting right to the main point.
2. used for saying that you are going to express something in a simple direct way.

unimpeachable & sink to one's teeth into

Quotations:

qanda_2015_ep29

Kelly O'Dwyer: [unimpeachable] They should be held to an incredibly high standard and I think that there is nothing that has been presented here that suggests that somebody of the unimpeachable reputation of Dyson Haydon who has served in the high court who has had an impeachable career. There is nothing to suggest to me that he should not be allowed to continue on conducting the very important role that he's conducting right now.

Brendan O'Neill: [sink to one's teeth into; I was like; in a nutshell; booze;] I have to say,  Australia, this is a really rubbish scandal. I mean, when I got here, everyone was saying that there's this huge scandal involving a royal commissioner, the Prime Minister, Trade Unions and I was like, "Yes, something to sink my teeth into", and then I read it and I was like: "Are you serious!". So, in a nutshell, this guy accepted an invitation to speak at dinner and he said :"I won't speak if it's a fundraiser."  Some one said to him:" it is a fundraiser." And he said :"Okay, I won't speak at it." That's it. I mean, there are no prostitutes; there's - there are no drugs; there's not even any booze and booze is like the bottom line requirement for any kind of political scandal.

Definition:

unimpeachable:
that you can not doubt or question;

sink (get) to one's teeth into:
to start to do something with a lot of energy and enthusiasm.



Wednesday, December 30, 2015

mockery & play it for all it's worth

Quotations:

qanda_2015_ep29

Richard Di Natale: [allegation; float around; mockery; get in the way; play it for all it's worth;]  It is typical. But what we know is that there are all these sorts of allegations floating around. We've got a royal commissioner who's got - who has links to the Liberal Party. He's now been found out accepting fundraisers to Liberal Party events. I mean, it makes mockery of the independence of the process, and that's the problem with this stuff. The politics always gets in the way of getting a decent outcome, and so you end up with, if there is an issue within the union at the moment, I think obviously that current government play that for all it's worth. Well find those people who are guilty of it, charge them and have them tried before the law. 

Definition:

mockery:
comments or actions that are intended to make sb/sth seem ridiculous;

play it for all it's worth
to exploit a problem, disability, or injury to get as much sympathy or compensation as possible.

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

ploy & float around

Quotations:

qanda_2015_ep29

Richard Di Natale: [bash; fundraiser; ploy; union movement] Look, the Royal commission was set up as a union bashing exercise. It was pretty transparent at the time. You've got the fellow who is heading the Royal Commission now attending Liberal Party fundraisers. If it's not a bias, it's just really poor judgement and that should disqualify him in and of itself. It was deliberate ploy by the government. This government does this sort of stuff. It plays politics all the time with these sorts of issues. If there is criminality within the union movement, well, charge them. You know, that's why we have laws. So, if somebody is guilty of a criminal offence, they should be charged and they should prosecuted.

Richard Di Natale: [allegation; float around; mockery; get in the way; play it for all it's worth; try;]  It is typical. But what we know is that there are all these sorts of allegations floating around. We've got a royal commissioner who's got - who has links to the Liberal Party. He's now been found out accepting fundraisers to Liberal Party events. I mean, it makes mockery of the independence of the process, and that's the problem with this stuff. The politics always gets in the way of getting a decent outcome, and so you end up with, if there is an issue within the union at the moment, I think obviously that current government play that for all it's worth. Well find those people who are guilty of it, charge them and have them tried before the law. 

Definition:

ploy:
words or actions that are carefully planned to get an advantage over sb else.

float around:
to be the subject of frequent discussion or attention.


Monday, December 28, 2015

headline act & bashing

Quotations:

qanda_2015_ep29

Ad: [hand-picked; head up; headline act] Tony Abbott will do anything to attack his critics. So, he set up what he told us was an independent Royal Commission into Unions. Yet the man he hand-picked to head it up also agree to be the headline act at Liberal Party fundraiser. Independent, Mr. Abbott, honestly?


Richard Di Natale: [bash; fundraiser; ploy; union movement] Look, the Royal commission was set up as a union bashing exercise. It was pretty transparent at the time. You've got the fellow who is heading the Royal Commission now attending Liberal Party fundraisers. If it's not a bias, it's just really poor judgement and that should disqualify him in and of itself. It was deliberate ploy by the government. This government does this sort of stuff. It plays politics all the time with these sorts of issues. If there is criminality within the union movement, well, charge them. You know, that's why we have laws. So, if somebody is guilty of a criminal offence, they should be charged and they should prosecuted.

Definition:

headline act:
usually refers to a concert or show that has many different acts, the headline act is the one that will be the most popular, and generate the most ticket sales for the concert.

bashing:
very strong criticism of a person or group. 

Saturday, December 26, 2015

hand-picked & head

Quotations:

qanda_2015_ep29

Ad: [hand-picked; head up; headline act] Tony Abbott will do anything to attack his critics. So, he set up what he told us was an independent Royal Commission into Unions. Yet the man he hand-picked to head it up also agree to be the headline act at Liberal Party fundraiser. Independent, Mr. Abbott, honestly?

Definition:

hand-picked:
chosen very carefully for a particular purpose.

head:
1. to be in the first position of authority and exercise control over people or an organization;
...



untenable & thuggery

Quotations:

qanda_2015_ep29

Dastyari: [untenable] Well, no. I think he says that, when he initially took it, he thought after that point in time, when he would be attending the event he wouldn't still be conducting the Royal Commission. But, look, you know, you can call it what you want, you can call it bias, you can call it perceived bias, you can call it any number of different things, the fact is his position is untenable. He Royal Commissioner Dyson Heydon should be resigning. 

Kelly O'Dwyer: [outrageous; thuggery; intimidation; bribery; superannuation] Well, look, I think that this has been a really pretty outrageous slur on somebody who is an eminent jurist. It was very clear in the statement he made today that he overlooked the fact that it was a Liberal Party event. He immediately said that he would not attend that event, not speak at that lecture. Let's not forget that the lecture he was asked to speak at was the Sir Garfield Barwick lecture, and that lecture was a lecture of another jurist. So I think it's quite understandable,that he thought that he was delivering a law lecture, from one eminent jurist to another. But let's not distract from the fact that this is a Royal Commission that has not been set up, as Sam has suggested, to be some sort of political witch-huntIt's a Royal Commission that is looking at very very serious matters. It's looking at thuggery and intimidation and corruption within the construction sector. We've already seen people who have given evidence at the Royal Commission arrested after having given evidence outside the front doors of the commissioner arrested for the things as bribery, we have heard evidence given about the fact that one particular union official was paid $93,000 by superannuation fund, we've heard much much evidence along these lines and it's very very serious ... 

Definition:

untenable:
lacking the qualities such as sound reasoning or high ground that make defence possible.

thuggery:
violent, usually criminal, behaviour.

Thursday, December 24, 2015

errant & sad

Quotations:

Complete Works of Virginia Woolf:

"Move! Move! Move!" cried Helen, chasing him from corner to corner with a chair as though he were an errant hen.

"It's books," sighed Helen, lifting an armful of sad volumes from the floor to the shelf.

Definition:

errant:
doing sth that is wrong or not behaving in an acceptable way;

sad:
1. boring or not fashionable;
2. in poor condition;
3. ...

pneumonia & the height of

Quotations:

Complete Works of Virginia Woolf:

"It's as though they'd taken pains to torment me!" he cried, stopping dead. "did I come on this voyage in order to catch rheumatism and pneumonia? Really one might have credited Vinrace with more sense. My dear," Helen was on her knees under a table.

To come at all was the height of folly, but now that we are here I suppose that I can face it like a man.

Definition:

pneumonia:
a serious illness affecting one or both lungs that makes breathing difficult.

the height of sth:
an extreme example of a particular quality.

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

stop dead & rheumatism

Quotations:

Complete Works of Virginia Woolf:

"It's as though they'd taken pains to torment me!" he cried, stopping dead. "did I come on this voyage in order to catch rheumatism and pneumonia? Really one might have credited Vinrace with more sense. My dear," Helen was on her knees under a table.

Definition:

stop dead:
to stop moving very unexpectedly.

rheumatism:
a disease that makes the muscles and joints painful, stiff and swollen. 

Monday, December 21, 2015

downright & Sunday best

Quotations:

Complete Works of Virginia Woolf:

They were strange ornaments to bring on a sea voyage -- china pugs, tea-sets in miniature, cups stamped floridly with the arms of the city of Bristol, hair-pin boxes crusted with shamrock, antelopes' heads in coloured plaster, together with a multitude of tiny photographs, representing downright workmen in their Sunday best, and women holding white babies.

Definition:

downright:
used as a way of emphasizing sth negative or unpleasant;

Sunday best:
1. somebody's best clothes, traditionally worn on a Sunday to go to church;
2. your best clothes that you wear for special occasions;

floridly & shamrock

Quotations:

Complete Works of Virginia Woolf:

They were strange ornaments to bring on a sea voyage -- china pugs, tea-sets in miniature, cups stamped floridly with the arms of the city of Bristol, hair-pin boxes crusted with shamrock, antelopes' heads in coloured plaster, together with a multitude of tiny photographs, representing downright workmen in their Sunday best, and women holding white babies.

Definition:

floridly:
florid:
having too much decoration or detail.

shamrock:
a small plant with three leaves on each stem. The shamrock is the national symbol of Ireland.

Sunday, December 20, 2015

leave & pug

Quotations:

Complete Works of Virginia Woolf:

In her anger that a woman of fifty should behave like a child and come cringing to a girl because she wanted to sit where she had not leave to sit, she did not think of the particular case, and, unpacking her music, soon forgot all about the old woman and her sheets. 

They were strange ornaments to bring on a sea voyage -- china pugs, tea-sets in miniature, cups stamped floridly with the arms of the city of Bristol, hair-pin boxes crusted with shamrock, antelopes' heads in coloured plaster, together with a multitude of tiny photographs, representing downright workmen in their Sunday best, and women holding white babies.

Definition:

leave:
1. official permission to do sth;
...

pug:
a small dog with short hair and a wide flat face with deep folds of skin.

Saturday, December 19, 2015

clench & cringe

Quotations:

Complete Works of Virginia Woolf:

Suddenly Mrs. Chailey, turning from the subject of sheets, dismissing them entirely, clenched her fists on the top of them, and proclaimed, "And you could't ask a living creature to sit where I sit!"

In her anger that a woman of fifty should behave like a child and come cringing to a girl because she wanted to sit where she had not leave to sit, she did not think of the particular case, and, unpacking her music, soon forgot all about the old woman and her sheets. 


Definition:

clench:
when you clench your hands, teeth, etc, or when they clench, you press or squeeze them together tightly, usually showing that you are angry, determined or upset.

cringe:
1. to feel very embarrassed and uncomfortable about sth;
2. to move back and/or away from sb because you are afraid;

Thursday, December 17, 2015

go round & counterpane

Quotations:

Complete Works of Virginia Woolf:

"There's only just sheets enough to go round, and the master's has a rotten place you could put your fingers through. And the counterpanes. Did you notice the counterpanes?

Definition:

go round:
1. (especially of food) be sufficient to supply everybody present.
2. spin, revolve;

counterpane:
bedspread; a cover for a bed and its bedding

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

tentative & gentry

Quotations:

Complete Works of Virginia Woolf:
The discreet tentative way in which she moved, together with her sober black dress, showed that she belonged to the lower orders; nevertheless she took up a rock-like position, looking about her to see that no gentry were near before she delivered her message, which had reference to the state of the sheets, and was of the utmost gravity.

Definition:

tentative:
1. not behaving or done with confidence;
2. not definite or certain because you may want to change it later.

gentry:
people belonging to a high social class.

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

flicker & intercept

Quotations:

Complete Works of Virginia Woolf:

One could scarcely see the black ribs of wrecked ships, or the spiral towers made by the burrowings of great eels, or the smooth green-sided monsters who came by flickering this way and that.

But just as she was turning with a view perhaps to finding some employment, she was intercepted by a woman who was so broad and so thick that to be intercepted by her was inevitable.

Definition:

flicker:
1. to be expressed or appear somewhere for a short time;
2. to move with small quick movements;
3. to keep going on and off as it shines or burns;

intercept:
to stop sb/sth that is going from one place to another from arriving.

Monday, December 14, 2015

brisk & eel

Quotations:

Complete Works of Virginia Woolf:

The colourless October sky above was thinly clouded as if by the tail of wood-fire smoke, and the air was wonderfully salt and brisk.

One could scarcely see the black ribs of wrecked ships, or the spiral towers made by the burrowings of great eels, or the smooth green-sided monsters who came by flickering this way and that.


Definition:

brisk:
1. cold but pleasantly fresh;
...

eel:
a long thin sea or freshwater fish that looks like a snake. There are several types of eel, some of which are used for food.


Sunday, December 13, 2015

fizzle & effervesce

Quotations:

Complete Works of Virginia Woolf:

The ship was making her way steadily through small waves which slapped her and then fizzled like effervescing water, leaving a little border of bubbles and foam on either side.

Definitions:

fizzle:
1. to make a gentle hissing sound;
...

effervesce:
1. to give off gas in tiny bubbles, often producing foam and a hissing sound;
...

Saturday, December 12, 2015

taper & exhilaration

Quotations:

Complete Works of Virginia Woolf:

A very thin line of shadow tapered on the horizon, scarcely thick enough to stand the burden of Paris, which nevertheless rested upon it. They were free of roads, free of mankind, and the same exhilaration at their freedom ran though them all.

Definitions:

taper:
1. to become gradually narrower; to make sth become gradually narrower;
...

exhilaration:
exhilarate:
to make sb feel very happy and excited.

Friday, December 11, 2015

pellet & walrus

Quotations:

Complete Works of Virginia Woolf:

"Pebbles!" he concluded, viciously dropping another bread pellet upon the heap. 

So far, owing to great care on my part, they think of God as a kind of walrus; but now that my back's turned - Ridley," she demanded, swinging round upon her husband, "what shall we do if we find them saying the Lord's Prayer when we get home again?"

Definitions:

pellet:
1. a small hard ball of any substance, often of soft material that has become hard;
2. a very small ball that if fired from a gun.

walrus:
an animal like a large seal; a sea animal with thick fur, that eats fish and lives around costs, that has two long outer teeth called tusks lives in Arctic regions;

Thursday, December 10, 2015

disquisition & denunciation

Quotations:

Complete Works of Virginia Woolf:

She got the name; but she got also a disquisition upon the proper method of making roads.

Beginning with the Greeks, who had, he said, many difficulties to contend with, he continued with the Romans, passed to England and the right method, which speedily became the wrong method, and wound up with such a fury of denunciation directed against he road-makers of the present day in general, and the road-makers of Richmond park in particular, where Mr. Pepper had the habit of cycling every morning before breakfast, that the spoons fairly jingled against the coffee cups, and the insides of at least four rolls mounted in a heap beside Mr. Pepper's plate. 

Definitions:

disquisition:
a long complicated speech or written report on a particular subject.

denunciation:
an act of criticizing sb/sth strongly in public

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

shoulder blade & pane

Quotations:

Complete Works of Virginia Woolf:

"My shoulder blades?" he asked, shifting them painfully. "Beauty has no effect upon uric acid that I'm aware of," he sighed, contemplating the round pane opposite, through which the sky and sea showed blue.

Definitions:

shoulder blade:
either of the two large flat bones at the top of the back.

pane:
a single sheet of glass in a window.

Monday, December 7, 2015

staple & bland

Quotations:

Complete Works of Virginia Woolf:

Naturally she fell to comparing her own fortunes with the fortunes of her friend, for Willouggby's wife had been perhaps the one woman Helen called friend, and this comparison often made the staple of their talk.

Blandly he passed her the jam.

Definitions:

staple:
1. a regular and important part or feature of something;
2. an important product, especially a food, that people eat or use regularly;
3. a small thin piece of metal wire bent into the shape of a flattened U with square corners, used to fasten things together, especially sheets of paper

bland:
1. showing no strong emotions or excitement; not saying anything very interesting;
2. ..

Sunday, December 6, 2015

untapped & hoot

Quotations:

Complete Works of Virginia Woolf:

The sense of untapped resources, things to say as yet unsaid, made the hour significant, so that in future years the entire journey perhaps would be represented by this one scene, with the sound of sirens hooting in the river the night before, somehow mixing in.

Definitions:

untapped:
available but not yet used;

hoot:
1. if a car horn hoots or you hoot or hoot the horn, the horn makes a loud noise;
2. to make a loud noise

Saturday, December 5, 2015

lurch & fend off

Quotations:

Complete Works of Virginia Woolf:

Mrs. Ambrose's worst suspicions were confirmed; she went down the passage lurching from side to side, and fending off the wall now with her right arm, now with her left; at each lurch she exclaimed emphatically, "Damn!"

Definitions:

lurch:
1. to move suddenly in a way that is not smooth or controlled;
2. if your heart or stomach lurches, it seems to suddenly jump because you are excited or upset;
...

fend off:
1. to push against an approaching vessel or object in order to prevent a collision;
2. to push somebody or something away, or turn somebody or something aside.

Friday, December 4, 2015

prolific & get on with

Quotations:

Complete Works of Virginia Woolf:

Rachel was an unlicked girl, no doubt prolific of confidences, the very first of which would be: "You see, I don't get on with my father." 

Definitions:

prolific:
1. existing in large numbers;
2. producing in large numbers, or containing large number of quantities of something, especially animal life;
3. producing a lot of fruit or many offspring;
...

get on (with):
1. to have a reasonably friendly social relationship with somebody;
2. ..

Thursday, December 3, 2015

unplumbed & asunder

Quotations:

Complete Works of Virginia Woolf:

Drawn up there, sucking at his cigar, with his arms encircling his knees, he looked like the image of Buddha, and from this elevation began a discourse, addressed to nobody, for nobody had called for it, upon the unplumbed depths of ocean.

Rachel was an unlicked girl, no doubt prolific of confidences, the very first of which would be: "You see, I don't get on with my father." 

Definitions:

unplumbed:
1. not measured with a plumb line to determine depth;
2. not thoroughly understood or investigated;

unlicked:
1. not licked, e.g. so as to be moistened, cleaned, or dried;
2. not completely or properly formed or shaped;

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

droop & spinster

Quotations:

Complete Works of Virginia Woolf:

As this was quite true Helen did not attempt to deny it, and her next remark, "But didn't they improve after we'd gone?" was unfortunate, for her husband answered with a droop of his shoulders, "If possible they got worse."

Mr. Pepper, indeed, created a diversion of a kind by leaping on to his seat, both feet tucked under him, with the action of a spinster who detects a mouse, as the draught struck at his ankles.

Definitions:

droop:
1. to bend, hang or move downwards, especially because of being weak or tired;
2. to become sad or depressed.

spinster:
a woman who is not married, especially an older woman who is not likely to marry.

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

pish & peevishly

Quotations:

Complete Works of Virginia Woolf:

"Pish. None of the stories were good," said her husband peevishly

Definitions:

pish:
used to express contempt, annoyance, or impatience.

peevishly:
peevish:
easily annoyed by unimportant things; bad-tempered.

Monday, November 30, 2015

rascal & fumble

Quotations:

Complete Works of Virginia Woolf:

And you had to show the young rascal that these tricks wouldn't do, eh?

But Ridley and Mr. Pepper were heard fumbling at the door. 

Definitions:

rascal:
a person, especially a child or man, who shows a lack of respect for other people and enjoys playing tricks on them.

fumble:
1. to use your hands in an awkward way when you are doing sth or looking for sth;
2. ..

Thursday, November 26, 2015

brat & pat

Quotations:

Complete Works of Virginia Woolf:

As for brains, they were quick brats, she thought, and modestly she ventured on a little story about her son, -- how left alone for a minute he had taken the pat of butter in his fingers, run across the room with it, and put it on the fire - merely for the fun of the thing, a feeling which she could understand. 

Definitions:

brat:
a person, especially a child, who behaves badly;

pat:
1. pat of butter: a small, soft, flat lump of butter;
2. ...

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

burly & I'll be bound

Quotations:

Complete Works of Virginia Woolf:

At this point, however, the door opened and a tall burly man entered the room, came forward and shook Helen's hand with an emotional kind of heartiness, Willoughby himself, Rachel's father, Helen's brother-in-law.

They've got god heads on their shoulders, I'll be bound?

Definitions:

burly:
big, strong and heavy.

I'll be bound:
used when you have said something that you are certain is true.

insipidity & vacillate

Quotations:

Complete Works of Virginia Woolf:

Her face was weak rather than decided, saved from insipidity by the large enquiring eyes;

Yes! how clear it was that she would be vacillating, emotional, and when you said something to her it would make no more lasting impression than the stroke of a stick upon water.

Definitions:

insipidity:
insipid:
1. having almost no taste or flavour;
2. not interesting or exciting;

vacillate:
to keep changing your opinion or thoughts about sth, especially in a way that annoys other people.

Monday, November 23, 2015

own & prickle

Quotations:

Complete Works of Virginia Woolf:

But when questioned she had to own that she never asked him.

Do you remember -- the piano, the room in the attic, and the great plants with prickles?


Definitions:

own:
1. own to sth/to doing sth: to admit that sth is true.
2. ...

prickle:
1. a small sharp part on the stem or leaf of a plant or on the skin of some animals;
...

iambic & vehicular

Quotations:

Complete Works of Virginia Woolf:

He had turned Persian poetry into English prose, and English prose into Greek iambics; he was an authority upon coins; and - one other thing - oh yes, she thought it was vehicular traffic.

Definitions:

iambic:
in which one weak or short syllable is followed by one strong or long syllable.

vehicular:
intended for vehicles or consisting of vehicles.

Saturday, November 21, 2015

pall & plush

Quotations:

Complete Works of Virginia Woolf:

Happily the tropical suns had bleached the tapestries to a faded blue-green colour, and the mirror with its frame of shells, the work of the steward's love, when the time hung heavy in the southern seas, was quaint rather than ugly. Twisted shells with red lips like unicorn's horns ornamented the mantelpiece, which was draped by a pall of purple plush from which depended a certain number of balls.

Definitions:

pall:
1. a covering that makes a place dark and gloomy;
2. a thick dark cloud of sth;
...

plush:
a type of silk or cotton cloth with a thick soft surface made of a mass of threads;

Friday, November 20, 2015

mantelpiece & drape

Quotations:

Complete Works of Virginia Woolf:

Happily the tropical suns had bleached the tapestries to a faded blue-green colour, and the mirror with its frame of shells, the work of the steward's love, when the time hung heavy in the southern seas, was quaint rather than ugly. Twisted shells with red lips like unicorn's horns ornamented the mantelpiece, which was draped by a pall of purple plush from which depended a certain number of balls.

Definitions:

mantelpiece:
a shelf above a fireplace.

drape:
1. to hang or be able to hang in loose folds or over something;
2. to place part of the body on or over something such as the back of a chair, in a relaxed and casual way;
..

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

quaint & unicorn

Quotations:

Complete Works of Virginia Woolf:

Happily the tropical suns had bleached the tapestries to a faded blue-green colour, and the mirror with its frame of shells, the work of the steward's love, when the time hung heavy in the southern seas, was quaint rather than ugly. Twisted shells with red lips like unicorn's horns ornamented the mantelpiece, which was draped by a pall of purple plush from which depended a certain number of balls.

Definitions:

quaint:
attractive in an unusual or old-fashioned way;

unicorn:
in stories an animal like a white horse with a long straight horn on its head;

chink & oblivious

Quotations:

Complete Works of Virginia Woolf:

They looked through a chink in the blind and saw that long cigars were being smoked in the dining-room;

Ambrose were oblivious of all tumult; they were in Cambridge, and it was probably about the year 1875.


Definitions:

chink:
a narrow opening in sth, especially one that lets light through.

oblivious (of/to sth):
not aware of sth

Monday, November 16, 2015

cowardly & sedentary

Quotations:

Complete Works of Virginia Woolf:

From the deck of the ship the great city appeared a crouched and cowardly figure, a sedentary miser.

Definitions:

cowardly:
1. showing a lack of physical or moral courage, or too scared to do a particular thing;
...

sedentary:
1. spending a lot of time sitting down and not moving;
2. ...

Sunday, November 15, 2015

vivacious & circumscribe

Quotations:

Complete Works of Virginia Woolf:

Glancing back, at the doorway, they saw Mr. Pepper as though he had suddenly loosened his clothes, and had become a vivacious and malicious old ape.

 It seemed dreadful that the town should blaze for ever in the same spot; dreadful at least to people going away to adventure upon the sea, and beholding it as a circumscribed mound, eternally burnt, eternally scarred.

Definitions:

vivacious:
having a lively, attractive personality;

circumscribe:
1. to limit sb/sth's freedom, rights, power, etc.
2. to draw a circle around another shape;

Saturday, November 14, 2015

acidity & pigsty

Quotations:

Complete Works of Virginia Woolf:

"There never will be a book, because some one else has written it for him," said Mr. Pepper with considerable acidity. "That's what comes of putting things off, and collecting fossils, and sticking Norman arches on one's pigsties." 

Definitions:

acidity:
1. an unfriendly and cruel quality in written or spoken words;
2. the concentration of acid in a substance, of which PH is a measure;

pigsty: 
1. a small building or a confined area where pigs are kept;
2. a very dirty or untidy place.

chuckle & sagely

Quotations:

Complete Works of Virginia Woolf:

The chuckling and hissing of water could be plainly heard, and the ship heaved so that he steward bringing plates had to balance himself as he drew the curtain.

Both gentlemen nodded sagely as they carved their apples.

Definitions:

chuckle:
to laugh quietly or to yourself, or say something with a quiet laugh;

sagely:
sage:
wise, especially because you have a lot of experience;

Thursday, November 12, 2015

conciseness & muddle

Quotations:

Complete Works of Virginia Woolf:

"Drink - drugs," said Mr. Pepper with sinister conciseness. "He left a commentary. Hopeless muddle, I'm told.

Definitions:

conciseness - concise
concise: 
1. giving only the information that is necessary and important, using few words;
2. shorter than the original book on which it was based.

muddle:
1. a state of mental confusion;
2. a situation in which there is confusion about arrangements, etc. and things are done wrong;
3. to confuse sb;
...

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

punt & queer

Quotations:

Complete Works of Virginia Woolf:

He was the hero of the punt accident, you remember? A queer card. Married a young woman out of a tobacconist's, and lived in the Fens - never heard what became of him

Definitions:

punt:
a long shallow boat with a flat bottom and square ends which is moved by pushing the end of a long pole against the bottom of a river.

queer:
1. strange or unusual;
2. an offensive way of describing a homosexual, especially a man, which is, however, also used by some homosexuals about themselves.
...


Tuesday, November 10, 2015

crinkle & fastidious

Quotations:

Complete Works of Virginia Woolf:

She drew a green vase with a crinkled lip towards her, and began pulling our the tight little chrysanthemums, which she laid on the table-cloth, arranging them fastidiously side by side.

Definitions:

crinkle:
to become covered with or to from a lot of thin folds or lines, especially in skin, cloth or paper. 

fastidious:
1. being careful that every detail of sth is correct;
2. not liking things to be dirty or untidy;

sidle & sinister

Quotations:

Complete Works of Virginia Woolf:

As the little boat sidled up to the steamer, and the old man shipped his oars, he remarked once more pointing above, that ships all the world over flew that flag the day they sailed. In the minds of both the passengers the blue flag appeared a sinister token, and this the moment for presentiments, but nevertheless they rose, gathered their things together, and climbed on deck

Definitions:

sidle:
1. to move sideways, or move something sideways;
2. to move slowly in a particularly direction, usually because you are nervous or do not want to be noticed;

sinister:
seeming evil or dangerous; making you think sth bad will happen;

Sunday, November 8, 2015

barge & tug

Quotations:

Complete Works of Virginia Woolf:

The river, which had a  certain amount of troubled yellow light in it, ran with great force; bulky barges floated down swiftly escorted by tugs;

Definitions:

barge:
a large boat with a flat bottom, used for carrying goods and people on canals and rivers;

tug:
1. a small powerful boat for pulling ships, especially into a harbour or up a river;
2. ...

Thursday, November 5, 2015

jib & flamboyant

Quotations:

Complete Works of Virginia Woolf:

We are swallowing monsters that we should have jibbed at if they had been offered us by an imaginative and flamboyant traveller.

Definitions:

jib:
1. jib at doing sth: to be unwilling to do or accept sth;
2. ...

flamboyant:
1. behaving or dressing in a way that deliberately attracts people's attention;
2. ...

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

snub & distemper

Quotations:

Complete Works of Virginia Woolf:

Each sortie of ours in pursuit of information upon these cardinal points of perspective - God, man, Nature - is snubbed back with ruthless common sense. 

The great are to be pitied and so are the poor; both are exposed to distempers and uneasiness; the middle station between the mean and the great is the best;

Definitions:

snub:
1. to treat somebody with deliberate coldness or contempt;
2. to insult someone by ignoring them or being rude to them;
...

distemper:
1. an infectious disease of animals especially cats and dogs, that causes fever and coughing.
2. a type of pain that is mixed with water and used on walls.

Monday, November 2, 2015

sortie & cardinal

Quotations:

Complete Works of Virginia Woolf:

Each sortie of ours in pursuit of information upon these cardinal points of perspective - God, man, Nature - is snubbed back with ruthless common sense. 

Definitions:

sortie:
1. an attempt at an activity or business;
2. an attack made by a small military force into enemy territory;
3. a brief trip away from home, especially to an unfamiliar place;

cardinal:
1. most important; having other things based on it;
...

Sunday, November 1, 2015

minute & furl

Quotations:

Complete Works of Virginia Woolf:

to one the human being is vast, the tree minute; to the other, trees are huge and human beings insignificant little objects in the background.

We must hastily alter our proportions throughout; Nature must furl her splendid purples; she is only the giver of drought and water;

Definitions:

minute:
1. extremely small in size or scope;
...

furl:
to roll and fasten sth such as a sail, a flag or an umbrella;

Saturday, October 31, 2015

superfluous & brevity

Quotations:

Complete Works of Virginia Woolf:

Until we know how the novelist orders his world, the ornaments of that world, which the critics press upon us, the adventures of the writer, to which biographers draw attention, are superfluous possessions of which we can make no use. All alone we must climb upon the novelist's shoulders and gaze through his eyes until we, too, understand in what order he ranges the large common objects upon which novelists are fated to gaze: man and men behind them Nature; and above them that power which for convenience and brevity we may call God.

Definitions:

superfluous:
more than you need or want.

brevity:
the quality of using few words when speaking or writing.



loiter & dally

Quotations:

Complete Works of Virginia Woolf:

For the book itself remains. However we may wind and wriggle, loiter and dally in our approach to books, a lonely battle waits us at the end.

Definitions:

loiter:
to stand or wait somewhere especially with no obvious reason;

dally:
to take too much time making a decision; to do sth too slowly.

Friday, October 30, 2015

statuesque & hosier

Quotations:

Complete Works of Virginia Woolf:

Will it fix its gaze upon Greece and princes and princesses, and seek as it might so nobly, the statuesque, the impersonal?

He is said to have been a hosier,; but what, after all, was a hosier in the seventeenth century?

Definitions:

statuesque:
tall and beautiful in an impressive way; like a statue;

hosier:
somebody who makes or sells hosiery;

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

amble & doff

Quotations:

Complete Works of Virginia Woolf:

So slack indeed becomes Sidney's grasp upon these ambling phantoms that in the middle he has forgotten what his relation to them is - is it "I" the author who is speaking or is it "I" the character? No reader can be kept in bondage, whatever the grace and the charm, when the ties between him and the writer are so irresponsibly doffed and assumed.

Definitions:

amble:
to walk at a slow relaxed speed.

doff:
1. to take off a coat or another piece of clothing;
2. to take off or lift and tilt a hat as a greeting or a mark of respect

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

enmesh & recourse

Quotations:

Complete Works of Virginia Woolf:

We who wished to escape have been caught and enmeshed.

To supply change and movement he must have recourse to mystification.

Definitions:

enmesh:
to involve sb/sth in a bad situation that it is not easy to escape from.

recourse:
1. the act of seeking assistance from somebody or something else in a time of difficulty;
2. ...

snowflake & obliterate

Quotations:

Complete Works of Virginia Woolf:

And as the story winds on its way, or rather as the succession of stories fall on each other like soft snowflakes, one obliterating the other, we are much tempted to follow their example. 

Definitions:

snowflake:
a small soft piece of frozen water that falls from the sky as snow.

obliterate:
to remove all signs of sth, either by destroying or covering it completely;

Monday, October 26, 2015

water-spaniel & snuffle

Quotations:

Complete Works of Virginia Woolf:

Sometimes for a moment in looking at Nature one may fit the word to the sight; note the heron "wagling" as it rises from the marsh, or observe the water-spaniel hunting the duck "with a snuffling grace".

Definitions:

water-spaniel:
a dog with a thick curly water-resistant coat, belonging to a breed developed for retrieving game from water.

spaniel:
a dog with large soft ears that hang down. There are several types of spaniel

snuffle:
1. if an animal snuffles, it breathes noisily through its nose, especially while it is smelling sth;
2. to breathe noisily because you have a cold or you are crying;

Saturday, October 24, 2015

featureless & grandeur

Quotations:

Complete Works of Virginia Woolf:

their featureless faces work with passion; Gynecia, realizing that she loves her daughter's lover, foams into grandeur, "crying vehemently Zelmane help me, O Zelmane have pity on me"; and the old King, in whom the beautiful strange Amazon has awakened a senile amorosity, shows himself old and foolish, looking "very curiously upon himself, sometimes fetching a little skip, as if he had said his strength had not yet forsaken him".

Definitions:

featureless:
without any qualities or noticeable characteristics;

grandeur:
1. the quality of being great and impressive in appearance;
2. the importance or social status sb has or thinks they have;

bastard & foundling

Quotations:

Complete Works of Virginia Woolf:

we like bastards are laid abroad, even as foundlings, to be trained up by grief and sorrow.

Definitions:

bastard: 
1. a person whose parents were not married to each other when he or she was born;
2. used to insult sb, especially a man, who has been rude, unpleasant or cruel;
...

foundling:
a baby who has been left by its parents and who is found and taken care of by sb else. 

Thursday, October 22, 2015

incongruous & taper

Quotations:

Complete Works of Virginia Woolf:

Where his own emotions come suddenly to the surface and light up the vague pastoral landscape with an incongruous glare. For a moment we get a surprising combination; crude daylight overpowers the silver lights of the tapers; shepherds and princesses suddenly stop their warbling and speak a few rapid words in their eager human voices.

Definitions:

incongruous:
strange and not suitable in a particular situation;

taper:
1. a slim candle that is narrower at the top than at the bottom;
2. a strip of wood or waxed paper used for taking a flame to light something else;
...

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

satin & reel off

Quotations:

Complete Works of Virginia Woolf:

even the Princes Musidorus and Pyrocles have passions; Pamela and Philoclea, for all their sea-coloured satins and nets strung with pearls, are women and can love. Thus we stumble upon scenes that cannot be reeled off with a flowing pen;

Definitions:

satin:
a type of cloth with a smooth shiny surface;

reel off:
to list things in rapid succession and with no apparent effort;

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

stateliness & symmetrical

Quotations:

Complete Works of Virginia Woolf:

Beauty of scene; stateliness of movement; sweetness of sound -- these are the graces that seem to reward the mind that seeks enjoyment purely for its own sake.

witness the little tremor that stirs and agitates a sentence that a more formal age would have made coldly symmetrical:

Definitions:

stateliness:
1. an elaborate manner of doing something;
2. impressiveness in scale or proportion;

symmetrical:
having two halves, parts or sides that are the same in size and shape;

Monday, October 19, 2015

pictorial & crystallise

Quotations:

Complete Works of Virginia Woolf:

There in a little space we have some of the elements that are woven together to compose this vast tapestry. We have beauty of scene; a pictorial stillness; and something floating towards us, not violently but slowly and gently in time to the sweet warbling of the shepherds' voices. Now and again this crystallises into a phrase that lingers and haunts the ear - "and a waste of fire in the midst of the waters'

Definitions:

pictorial:
connected with pictures;

crystallise:
to make thoughts, beliefs, etc. clear and fixed;

coffer & apparel

Quotations:

Complete Works of Virginia Woolf:

It is the body of a man, and he grasps to his breast a small square coffer; and he is young and beautiful - "though he were naked, his nakedness was to him an apparel".

Definitions:

coffer:
a large strong box, used in the past for storing money or valuable objects;

apparel:
1. clothes, particularly those worn on a formal occasion;
2. clothing, when it is being sold in shops/stores

Saturday, October 17, 2015

fickle & fitful

Quotations:

Complete Works of Virginia Woolf:

he has followed profane loves; he has been scornful and fickle and passionate and servile and ambitious.

His devotions themselves were feverish and fitful.

Definitions:

fickle:
changing often and suddenly;

fitful:
happening only for short periods; not continuous or regular;

impediment & close-knit

Quotations:

Complete Works of Virginia Woolf:

Now his imagination, as if freed from impediment, goes rocketing up in flights of extravagant exaggeration. 

But to break off fragments from poems whose virtue lies in their close-knit sinews and their long-breathed strength is to diminish them.

Definitions:

impediment:
1. something that delays or stops the progress;
2...

close-knit:
1. tightly united or connected;
2. having strong relationships with each other and taking a close, friendly interest in each other's activities and problems;

Friday, October 16, 2015

erudition & facet

Quotations:

Complete Works of Virginia Woolf:
Indeed, the extreme subtlety and erudition of Donne's poems to his patrons seems to show that one effect of writing for such an audience is to exaggerate the poet's ingenuity.

But a change of inspiration that has killed many poets - witness Tennyson and the Idylls of the King - only stimulated another side of Donne's many-sided nature and many-faceted brain.

Definitions:

erudition:
great academic knowledge;

facet:
1. a particular part or aspect of sth;
2. to cut facets in something, especially a gemstone;

Thursday, October 15, 2015

well-versed & intoxicating

Quotations:

Complete Works of Virginia Woolf:

Lady Bedford must have been a very clever woman, well versed in the finer shades of theology, to derive an instant or an intoxicating pleasure from the praises of her servant.

Definitions:

well-versed (in):
very educated about a particular subject.

intoxicating:
making you feel excited so that you cannot think clearly.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

bluestocking & well-bred

Quotations:

Complete Works of Virginia Woolf:

and it is proof of the respect in which reading was held that a girl of fashion should be able to read an old corrupt poet like Chaucer without feeling that she was making herself a target for ridicule as a bluestocking. The habit was part of a normal and well-bred life.

Definitions:

bluestocking:
a well-educated woman who is more interested in ideas and studying than in traditionally feminine things.

well-bred:
someone who is well bred has been taught good manners and given a good education and is often from a high social class.


Tuesday, October 13, 2015

lose sight of & outspoken

Quotations:

Complete Works of Virginia Woolf:

And as we lose sight of the outspoken young man who hated society, and of the passionate lover, seeking some mysterious unity with his love and finding it miraculously, now here, now there, it is natural to abuse the system of patrons and patronage that thus seduced the most incorruptible of men.

Definitions:

lose sight of:
to be unable to see someone or something any more;

outspoken:
saying exactly what you think, even if this shock or offend people;

Sunday, October 11, 2015

flout & assert itself

Quotations:

Complete Works of Virginia Woolf:

It is as if the spirit of the age, which he had scorned and flouted, suddenly asserted itself and made this rebel its slave.

Definitions:

flout:
to show that you have no respect for a law, etc. by openly not obeying it.

assert itself:
to start to have an effect.

Saturday, October 10, 2015

affinity & intricacy

Quotations:

Complete Works of Virginia Woolf:

Easy as it is to exaggerate affinities, still we may claim to be akin to Donne in our readiness to admit contrasts, in our desire for openness, in that psychological intricacy which the novelists have taught us with their slow, subtle, and analytic prose.

Definitions:

affinity:
1. a natural liking for or identification with somebody or something;
2. a similarity or connection between people or things;
3. a natural understanding and sympathy between people;
...

intricacy:
1. the complicated parts or details of sth;
2. the character of something that has many aspects or parts arranged together in a particularly complex or artful way;

Friday, October 9, 2015

servile & obsequious

Quotations:

Complete Works of Virginia Woolf:

Thus, after Donne the harsh satirist, and Donne the imperious lover, comes the servile and obsequious figure of Donne the devout servant of the great, the extravagant eulogist of little girls .


Definitions:

servile:
wanting too much to please sb and obey them.

obsequious:
too eager to please someone, in a way that does not seem sincere.

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

jerry-built & placate

Quotations:

Complete Works of Virginia Woolf:

They cried, and their cries, cutting through the thin walls of the jerry-built house, disturbed him at his work.

Great ideas - Lady Bedford, Lady Huntingdon, Mrs. Herbert - with well-spread tables and fair gardens, must be conciliated; rich men with the gift of rooms in their possession must be placated.


Definitions:

jerry-built:
built quickly and cheaply without caring about quality or safety;

placate:
to make sb feel less angry about sth

huddle & out-think

Quotations:

Complete Works of Virginia Woolf:

It is not simply that the huddle and pressure of youth which out-thinks its words had urged him on too fast for grace or clarity. 

Definitions:

huddle:
1. a small group of people, objects or buildings that are close together, especially when they are not in any particular order;
...

out-think:
outdo in thinking