Whenever there was work to be done, Sally's tendency to malinger became more pronounced, much to our dismay.
This is an excellent word that describes the action of someone who feigns or exaggerates illness when work needs to be done. The verb "malinger" comes from the French word malingre, which means sickly. In the 19th century, malinger often referred to a soldier or sailor who pretended to be sick or insane to shirk duty. This word was later adopted by psychologists as a clinical term to describe the feigning of illness to avoid work, or for personal gain. Today, malinger is used in just about any context in which sickness or injury is feigned in order to avoid some sort of work.
|Waterloo CD, courtesy of Wikipedia|
The Republican candidate feared that his lack of support from labor unions would turn out to be his waterloo.
As I encountered this word, I heard the hit song Waterloo by the Swedish pop band, ABBA, in my head. I also thought of the Battle of Waterloo, which is the source of this word as meaning final defeat. The Battle of Waterloo occurred on June 18, 1815, ending Napoleon's military career, as well as 23 years of recurrent conflict between France and the rest of Europe.
3. swivet: a state of extreme agitation
Before the show, the actor was in quite a swivet, but once the play started, he turned his nervous energy into a brilliant performance.
This word appeared in print by the 1890s, in a collection of "Peculiar Words and Usages" of Kentucky published by the American Dialect Society. Although its origin is not known, the use of the word spread, and by the 1950s "swivet" appeared regularly in magazines such as Time and The New Yorker.
Hosted by Kathy from BermudaOnion's Weblog, Wondrous Words Wednesday is a wonderful meme for those who enjoy delving into the world of words. What new words have you discovered recently as a result of your reading, or from your own word-a-day calendar?