In order to see the hidden expressions after trying to recall them just hover your mouse over the whitespace and check if you are correct. This page gathers most of the new words, expressions, vocabulary or cultural aspects encountered.

Alternative solutions - Tip of the tongue - Grammer rules - Repeated mistakes - Idioms - Vocabulary - Tools - To do

Alternative solutions

Tip of the tongue

  • musical sheet, assembly of notes, ... -> score

See also Keywords#tongue

Grammar rules

Sorted by frequency of mistake

  1. did + past form -> did + (infinitive - to)
    • justification?
    • origin?
  2. ?
  3. ?

Repeated mistakes

  • suddently -> suddenly
  • further != farther (mainly used for physical distances only)
  • intrinsicly -> intrinsically
  • independance -> independence
  • negociation -> negotiation
  • mentionned -> mentioned
  • lazyness -> laziness
  • hopefuly -> hopefully
  • easilly -> easily
  • necesseraly -> necessarily
  • modelizing -> modeling
  • modelising -> modeling
  • bitting -> biting
  • desert -> dessert
  • intelectual (property) -> intellectual (property)
  • futur -> future
  • recommandation -> recommendation
  • pretence -> pretense
  • treshold -> threshold
  • syndrom -> syndromes
  • words with *lly or *ly
  • choose -> chose
    • < UtopiahGHML> I choosed... science and reason
    • < dpb> chose*
    • < maxauth_work> dpb: hehe, wanted to say the same :)
    • < UtopiahGHML> I didn't choooose grammar and vocabulary :P
    • < maxauth_work> hehe
    • < dpb> :P
    • < maxauth_work> nice answer
  • saciety -> satiety

This mistakes should be checked thanks to this wiki search function, example with saciety :

Use in irssi and this list of commons mistake to correct automatically and send warning.


  • ?
    • useful likes tits on a bull
  • devoir apprecier un cadeau
  • un idiot
    • A sandwich short of a picnic
  • vouloir toujours plus
  • chacun son métier, les vaches seront bien gardées
    • horses for courses
  • porter la culotte
    • to wear the pants
  • Jouer la montre
    • running out the clock, killing the clock, stonewalling
  • Etre entre le marteau et l'enclume
    • To be between a rock and a hard place
  • Blanc bonnet, bonnet blanc
    • same difference; six in one, half a dozen in the other (or six of one, half a dozen in the other)
  • tiré par les cheveux
    • (far-fetched, contrived)
  • ? (~impressionnes-moi, heard in Twin Peaks)
    • Color me amazed {impressed, tickled, amused, ...}
  • Les cordonniers sont les plus mals chausses
    • The cobbler's children go barefoot
  • Voir la paille dans l’œil du voisin et ne pas voir la poutre dans le sien
    • Pot calling the kettle black
  • Chat échaudé craint l'eau froide
    • Once burned, twice shy
  • Chute en avant
    • Rat race
  • Langue de bois
    • To pay lip service

Vocabulary Word of the day.

Week 9 and beyond

From discussions :

  • Wikipedia:Grit = positive, non-cognitive trait based on an individual's passion for a particular long-term goal or endstate, coupled with a powerful motivation to achieve their respective objective.
  • Spiffy = smart in appearance.
  • Wikipedia:Cobblestone
  • clutching
  • pipe dream = A plan, desire, or idea that will not likely work; a near impossibility.
    • seems to come from opium pipe
  • vapid = Lifeless, dull or banal.
  • truss = A bandage and belt used to hold a hernia in place (also used in cooking and architecture)
  • Husk = outer shell or coating of a seed. It often refers to the leafy outer covering of an ear of maize (corn) as it grows on the plant.
  • seam = A joint formed by mating two separate sections of materials. Seams can be made or sealed in a variety of ways, including adhesive bonding, hot-air welding, solvent welding, using adhesive tapes, sealant, etc.
  • tart = Sharp to the taste; acid; sour.
  • Wikipedia:Frond = Large divided leaf.
  • peevish = Constantly complaining; fretful, whining
  • tepid = Uninterested; exhibiting little passion or eagerness.
  • sleet = rain like snow precipitaion
  • abashed = Embarrassed, disconcerted, or ashamed.
  • ombudsman = An appointed official whose duty is to investigate complaints, generally on behalf of individuals such as consumers or taxpayers, against institutions such as companies and government departments.
  • Hemorrhage = Bleeding, technically known as hemorrhaging or hemorrhaging is the loss of blood from the circulatory system.
  • to plunge = To baptize by immersion.
  • a yarn = (countable) A story, a tale, especially one that is incredible.
  • A leeway = A varying degree or amount of freedom or flexibility; margin, latitude, elbowroom
  • an aeon = An extended period of time. Usually assumed to be more than a millennium.
  • An inkling = A slight suspicion or hint.
  • An hulk = A big, (and possibly clumsy) person
  • A bromide = A dull person with conventional thoughts.
  • stark = (archaic) strong; vigorous; powerful.
  • a fixture = A regular patron of a place or institution.
  • pesky = Annoying, troublesome, irritating.
  • a toil = A labour, work
  • an eulogy = An oration to honor a deceased person, usually at a funeral.
  • food porn = sexy advertised food, how juicy and desirable a prepared look, how appealing it is. (from Dispatches - Sandwiches Unwrapped)
  • subsume = ?
  • P.I.T.A. = (slang) Pain In The A**
  • heed = Attention; notice; observation; regard; -- often with give or take.
  • To botch = to perform (a task) in an unacceptable or incompetent manner; to make a mess of something; to ruin; to bungle; to spoil; to destroy
  • Prequel = a work that portrays events and/or aspects of a previously completed narrative, but is set prior to the existing narrative.
  • demeanor = The outward way in which a person behaves, especially towards others (from Code Geass).
  • A cornucopia = An abundance or plentiful supply.
  • IIRC = If I Recollect Correctly
  • To cobble = To assemble ('cobble together' an improvised assembly).
  • A beak = A rigid structure projecting from the front of a bird's face, used for pecking, grooming and for eating food.
  • A prequel = In a series of works, an installment that is set chronologically before its predecessor, especially the original narrative or (perhaps improper usage) any narrative work with at least one sequel.
  • Coke = fuel coke derived from coal.
  • To drone = To speak in a monotone way.
  • Yak shaving = Any apparently useless activity which, by allowing you to overcome intermediate difficulties, allows you to solve a larger problem.
  • a tummler = An employee charged with the duty of entertaining guests throughout the day by providing any number of services, from comedian to master of ceremonies.
  • The varsity = The main sports team at an educational institution;
  • a hoof = The foot of an animal such as a horse, ox or deer.
  • Limbo = In Roman Catholic theology, Limbo (Latin limbus, edge or boundary, referring to the "edge" of Hell) is a hypothesis about the afterlife condition of those who die in original sin without being assigned to the Hell of the damned (gehenna).
  • A plough = tool used in farming for initial cultivation of soil in preparation for sowing seed or planting.
  • Pastoralism or pastoral farming = the branch of agriculture concerned with the raising of livestock.
  • Epigraphy = the study of inscriptions or epigraphs engraved into stone or other durable materials, or cast in metal, the science of classifying them as to cultural context and date, elucidating them and assessing what conclusions can be deduced from them.
  • a tack = A direction or course of action, especially one that differs from the previous one.
  • marrow = The substance inside bones which produces blood cells.
  • above my head = (expression) too difficult/complicated for me to understand.
  • To unnerve = To make nervous or upset.
  • iff = (mathematics, logic) if and only if; used to show that the predicate that follows it has the same truth value as the predicate that precedes it.
  • Autarky = an economy that is self-sufficient and does not take part in international trade, or severely limits trade with the outside world.
  • dreg = (by extension) the lowest and most worthless part of something.
  • An Icicle = a spike of ice formed when water dripping or falling from an object freezes.
  • bailiwick = An area or subject of authority or involvement; a realm.
  • vile = morally low; base; despicable
  • mendicant = A beggar.
  • epitome = (of a class of items) A representative example.
  • to whet = (transitive) To stimulate or make more keen.
  • Rote learning = learning technique which avoids understanding of a subject and instead focuses on memorization. The major practice involved in rote learning is learning by repetition. The idea is that one will be able to quickly recall the meaning of the material the more one repeats it.
  • Transliteration = the practice of transcribing a word or text written in one writing system into another writing system or system of rules for such practice.
  • Indentured servant = a form of debt bondage worker.
  • To tamper = (intransitive) To alter by making unauthorized changes; to meddle with.
  • ancillary = Subordinate; secondary; auxiliary; accessory;
  • pickle = (idiomatic) A difficult situation.
  • A chore = A task, especially a difficult, unpleasant, or routine one.
  • soggy = Soaked with moisture; soaked with liquid.
  • lenient = lax; tolerant of deviation; permissive; not strict
  • dire = Evil in great degree; dreadful; dismal; horrible; terrible; lamentable.
  • to delve = (intransitive) To search thoroughly and carefully for information.
  • antagonism = a strong natural dislike or hatred; antipathy
  • Halcyon = (from the Greek myth of Alcyone) golden or marked by peace and prosperity.
  • in a bind = (expression) In a difficult, threatening, or embarrassing position;
  • To pry = Opening and looking where one is not welcome; being nosey.
  • A patrimony = A right or estate inherited from one's father; or, in a larger sense, from any ancestor.
  • A shill = A person paid to endorse a product favourably, while pretending to be impartial.
  • wilted = (of plants) Drooping, typically due to lack of water.
  • to shank = (slang) To stab.
  • bbiaf = (slang) Be Back In A Few
  • Out Of left field = Out of touch, eccentric, odd; also, misguided.
  • A mockup = A prototype, usually low-fidelity, such as paper illustrations, screenshots, or simple configurations of screens with limited interaction.
  • a spill = (countable) A mess of something that has been dropped.
  • to reminisce = (intransitive) To recall the past in a private moment, often fondly or nostalgically.
  • hitherto = (formal or law) Up to this or that time.
  • An heyday = A period of success, popularity or power; prime.
  • to stray = (figuratively) to wander from the path of duty or rectitude; to err.
  • a whack = A blow, impact or slap. (seems to be popular in the Bay Area according to Johanna>)
  • iatrogenic = adverse effects or complications caused by or resulting from medical treatment or advice.
  • phronesis = the virtue of moral thought, usually translated "practical wisdom", sometimes as "prudence".
  • an atavism = an evolutionary throwback, such as traits reappearing which had disappeared generations ago.
  • to wallow = (intransitive) To live in filth or gross vice; to disport one's self in a beastly and unworthy manner.
  • dint = (uncountable) force; power;
  • to hurl = (transitive) To throw (something) with force.
  • to hoard = To amass, usually for one's personal collection.
  • Plant sap = fluid transported in xylem cells (tracheids or vessel elements) or phloem sieve tube elements of a plant.
  • racy = Having a strong flavor indicating origin; of distinct characteristic taste; tasting of the soil; hence, fresh; rich.
  • sketchy = (slang) Of questionable or doubtful quality.
  • to succour = (transitive) To render aid to one in distress.
  • A bode = An omen; a foreshadowing.
  • A trickster = One who performs a trick.
  • A linchpin = (figuratively) a central cohesive source of stability and security; a person or thing that is critical to a system or organisation.
  • The happenstance = The chance or random quality of an event or circumstance; often in the phrase by happenstance.
  • to heed = (transitive) To mind; to regard with care; to take notice of; to attend to; to observe.
  • breadwinner = The primary income-earner in a household
  • alimony = The means to support life.
  • to sleuth = (intransitive) To act as a detective; to try to discover who committed a crime.
  • an imp = a supernatural creature, similar to a demon but smaller and less powerful.
  • Eutrophication = the increase in chemical nutrients — compounds containing nitrogen or phosphorus — in an ecosystem, and may occur on land or in water.
  • a pupa = an insect in its development stage between a larva and an adult.
  • to dabble = (intransitive) To participate or have an interest in, but not so seriously.
  • A workhorse = Anyone or thing that does a lot of work; who works consistently or regularly.
  • glossogenetic tree = equivalent of phylogenetic tree for languages
  • a vicarage = The benefice, duties or office of a vicar
  • asinine = Failing to exercise intelligence or judgment; ridiculously below average rationality.
  • Capital Expenditure (CAPEX) = Funds used by a company to acquire or upgrade physical assets such as property, industrial buildings or equipment.
  • farcical = resembling a farce; ludicrous; absurd
  • apportion = to allocate proportionally.
  • Sycophant = servile person who, acting in his or her own self-interest, attempts to win favor by flattering one or more influential persons, or by saying lies against a fellow citizen for gaining a kind of profit.
  • Barter = medium in which goods or services are directly exchanged for other goods and/or services without a medium of exchange, such as money.
  • forlorn = abandoned, left behind, deserted
  • lean and mean = (Fig.) fit and ready for hard, efficient work
  • ancillary = Subordinate; secondary; auxiliary; accessory.
  • top o the morning to you = wishing a good morning, comes from New Zealand
  • to ensconce = To place in a secure environment
  • a mote = A small particle; a speck.
  • to heed = To mind; to regard with care; to take notice of; to attend to; to observe.
  • brazen = Impudent, immodest, or shameless.
  • to behoove = To suit; to befit.
  • yak shaving = Any seemingly pointless activity which is actually necessary to solve a problem which solves a problem which, several levels of recursion later, solves the real problem you're working on. [MIT AI Lab, after 2000: orig. probably from a Ren & Stimpy episode.]
    • "Possibly the second-greatest act of yak shaving in history was Don Knuth temporarily stopping work on his magnum opus The Art of Computer Programming in order to write something to do better typesetting for it. Eight years later, he released TEX. Then he resumed work on the book."
    • clear focus + having enough resources -> going as far away from your goal as you have to finally reach it
  • Anhedonia = inability to experience pleasurable emotions from normally pleasurable life events such as eating, exercise, social interaction or sexual activities.

From Objective Knowledge, the second last chapter

  • Tetradic = of a figure, especially the numbers 0,1 and 8, that have four-fold symmetry.
  • to beget = To cause; to produce.
  • A rung = A crosspiece forming a step of a ladder.

From Mushishi

  • attic = The space, often unfinished and with sloped walls, directly below the roof in the uppermost part of a house or other building, generally used for storage or habitation.
  • To quell = (transitive) To quiet; to allay; to pacify; to cause to yield or cease.
  • To seep = to ooze, or pass slowly through pores or other small openings
  • To shrivel = (intransitive) To collapse inward; to crumble.
  • sturdy = of firm build
  • hail = Balls or pieces of ice falling as precipitation from a thunderstorm.
  • A stroll = A wandering on foot; an idle and leisurely walk; a ramble.
  • gall = Bile, especially that of an animal; the greenish, profoundly bitter-tasting fluid found in bile ducts and gall bladders, structures associated with the liver.
  • To drench = To soak, to make very wet.
  • To hound = (transitive) To persistently harass.
  • egress = An exit or way out

From Stigmergic collaboration

  • curt = Brief or terse, especially to the point of being rude.
  • to tone = (transitive) to make (something) firmer
  • vested interest = a special interest in protecting whatever is to one's own advantage
  • to cater = To provide things to satisfy a person or a need, to serve.
  • volition = A conscious choice or decision.
  • overarching = (by extension) all-embracing or overwhelming
  • to lessen = To make less; to diminish; to reduce.
  • Entomology = the scientific study of insects.
  • sematectonic = form of behavior or physiological change by the evidences of work performed by other animals, including the special case of the guidance of additional work. Defined page 105 of the thesis "sematectonic : interpretations based upon the state of the solution as represented by the environment".

From Metarepository project Exponential growth and towards the post-scarcity singularity

  • a lathe = A machine tool used to shape a piece of material, or workpiece, by rotating the workpiece against a cutting tool.

From Vernor Vinge on the Singularity

  • inimical = ?

From The World is Not Flat: Expertise and InPhO :

  • inception = ?
  • surreptitiously = ?
  • surmise = ?

From Philosophy: Who Needs It :

  • ilk = ?
  • ineffable = ?
  • volition = ?
  • a foxhole = ?

From Never Eat Alone :

  • litmus = ?
  • to sire = ?

From Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei

  • to aggravate = ?
  • inconspicuous = ?
  • stout = ?
  • atoning = ?
  • to hem = ?
  • a truant = ?

Week 8

From discussions :

  • distraught = Deeply hurt, saddened, or worried; distressed.

Week 7

From discussions :

  • keepsake = Some object given by a person and retained in memory of something or someone; something kept for sentimental or nostalgic reasons.
  • Hidden agenda = A wish (and plan) to implement a particular idea without telling anybody even though people will be affected in a negative way.
  • Backorder = a distribution term that refers to the status of items on a purchase order in the event that some or all of the inventory required to fulfill the order is out of stock. This differs from a forward order where stock is available but delivery is postponed for another reason.

Week 6

From discussions :

  • a manger = A trough for animals to eat from. From Old French mangeoire, manjoire, from mangier.

From Game Theory at work:

  • a shrubbery = A wide border to a garden where shrubs are thickly planted; or a similar larger area with a path winding through it.

Week 5

From discussions :

  • a mainstay = A chief support.
  • a turnip = The white root of a yellow-flowered plant, Brassica rapa, grown as a vegetable and as fodder for cattle.
  • to endow = To furnish with money or its equivalent, as a permanent fund for support; to make pecuniary provision for; to settle an income upon; especially, to furnish with dower; as, to endow a wife; to endow a public institution.
  • yeast = A compressed cake or dried granules of this substance used for mixing with flour to make bread dough rise.
  • to run errand = to go for a trip to accomplish a small mission or to do some business (dropping items by, doing paperwork, going to a friend's house, etc.)

From Game Theory at work:

  • a truce = a period of time in which no fighting takes place due to an agreement between the opposed parties.

Week 4

From discussions :

  • Grazing = describes a type of predation in which an herbivore feeds on plants (such as grasses), or more broadly on a multicellular autotrophs (such as kelp).
  • to twitch = To perform a twitch (A brief, small and sometimes involuntary movement out of place and then back again), a spasm.

From Is Google Making Us Stupid? :
(follow up discussion at the Britannica Blog)

  • a telltale = something that serves to reveal something else.
  • wayward = obstinate, contrary and unpredictable.
  • pithy = Precisely meaningful; forceful and brief.
  • duly = In a due, fit, or becoming manner; as it ought to be; properly.
  • to etch = To engrave a surface (especially of metal or glass) in order to produce a printing pattern.
  • terse = (of speech or style) Brief, concise, to the point.
  • harried = Rushed; panicked; overly busy or preoccupied.
  • a worrywart = A pessimist who is a frequent prophet of doom.

( to bemoan = to complain about; to dismay or worry about something.

  • prescience = Knowledge of events before they take place; foresight; foreknowledge.

From Game Theory at work:

  • to swerve = To go out of a straight line; to deflect.
  • to spurn=(ambitransitive) Reject disdainfully; contemn; scorn.

From Le scaphandre et le papillon:

  • a diving bell = An airtight chamber, open at the bottom, that is lowered on a cable underwater to operate as a base or a means of transport for a diver or a small number of divers.
  • a pinprick = An insignificant puncture made by a pin or similar point
  • to amend = (intransitive) To become better.
  • buoyant = lighthearted and lively.
  • wreckage = Something wrecked, especially the remains or debris of something wrecked.

From Paprika:

  • perp = (slang, law enforcement) perpetrator
  • neurosis = (pathology) A mental disorder, less severe than psychosis, marked by anxiety or fear (deprecated !)
  • Anaphylaxis = acute systemic (multi-system) and severe Type I Hypersensitivity allergic reaction in humans and other mammals.
  • to vent = (transitive, intransitive) To express.
  • a scythe = An instrument for mowing grass, grain, or the like, by hand, composed of a long, curving blade, with the concave edge sharped, made fast to a long handle, called a snath, which is bent into a form convenient for use.
  • to mete out = To distribute something in portions; to apportion or dole out.

Week 3

From discussions :

  • Cognate = (linguistics) Either descended from the same attested source lexeme of ancestor language, or held on the grounds of the methods of historical linguistics to be regular reflexes of the unattested, reconstructed form of proto-language.
  • rumor has it = people who gossip are saying that..., there is a rumor going around that...
  • a drought = a period of below average rain fall

From Game Theory at work:

  • lackluster = Not exceptional; not worthy of special merit, attention, or interest; having no vitality
  • to oust = To expel; to remove.
  • poison pills = term referring to any strategy, generally in business or politics, to increase the likelihood of negative results over positive ones for a party that attempts any kind of takeover. It derives from its original meaning of a literal poison pill carried by various spies throughout history, taken when discovered to eliminate the possibility of being interrogated for the enemy's gain.
  • Sunk costs = In economics and in business decision-making, sunk costs are costs that have been incurred and which cannot be recovered to any significant degree. Sunk costs are sometimes contrasted with variable costs, which are the costs that will change due to the proposed course of action, and prospective costs which are costs that will be incurred if an action is taken.
  • dim-witted = Being a dimwit; stupid; foolish; simple.
  • to forgo = To let pass.

Week 2 (flash cards)

From discussions :

  • proclivities = a strong tendency towards a specific action or behaviour
  • hydroponic = method of growing plants using mineral nutrient solutions instead of soil
  • to lean = To hang outwards / To press against
  • "Keeping up with the Joneses" = was a popular expression in the beginning of the XXth century referring to the desire to be seen as being as good as one's neighbors or contemporaries using the comparative benchmarks of social caste or the accumulation of material goods.
  • a stint : A period of time spent doing or being something. A spell.

From a An Appraisal of Technologies of Political Control :

  • harbinger = a precursor; one that presages what is to come
  • salient = (adjective) prominent, worthy of note; pertinent or relevant
  • stringent = Strict; binding strongly; making strict requirements; restrictive; rigid; severe

From our San Francisco Museum of Modern Art visit :

  • a cable = synonym for a photography
  • a cloak = A long outer garment worn over the shoulders, a cape, often with a hood.
  • to sever = To cut free.
  • steel = metal alloy of mostly iron plus carbon, harder than pure iron but malleable when hot.
  • circa = approximately, about, abbreviated as "ca".
  • cognitive dissonance = an uncomfortable feeling or stress caused by holding two contradictory ideas simultaneously.
  • a cabinet = (historical) A size of photograph, specifically one measuring 3⅞" by 5½".
  • to pop-out = (metaphor) to stand-out, to appear distinctly
  • groundbreaking = Innovative; new, different; doing something that has never been done before.
  • gluttony = the vice of eating to excess.
  • a solace = A source of comfort or consolation.
  • to reel = To unwind, to bring or acquire something by spinning or winding something else.
  • searing = (of a pain) having a sensation of intense sudden heat
  • symbolic cleansing = (transitive) To spiritually purify; to free from sin or guilt; to purge.

From Game Theory at work:

  • to pester = (transitive) To bother, harass or annoy persistently.

From World Simulation at Digital Ethnography

  • foothold = (military) airhead, beachhead, bridgehead, lodgement

Week 1 (flash cards)

From discussions :

  • <3 = ASCII art common symbol for love
  • mystery shopping = market research action describing an undercover buys of a product or service to produce competitive analysis

From The Evolution of Lisp by Steele, Richard, Gabriel :

  • a pun = A joke or type of wordplay in which similar senses or sounds of two words or phrases, or different senses of the same word, are deliberately confused.
  • a tenure = a status of possessing a thing or an office; an incumbency.
  • to stash = To hide or store away for later use.
  • intersperse = To mix irregularly something with something else.
  • a tar pit = is a geological occurrence where subterranean bitumen leaks to the surface, creating a large puddle, pit, or lake of asphalt. In Computer Science it refers to "Turing tarpit" a general term for one of the various esoteric programming languages designed to be Turing-complete while in some sense simplifying to the greatest extent possible both the syntax and the semantics of the language (cf Wikipedia).
  • anemic = (by extension) Weak; listless; lacking power, vigor, vitality, or colorfulness.
  • to grapple = (transitive) to seize something and hold it firmly
  • shrill = (adjective) High-pitched and piercing.
  • strident = (literally) Loud; shrill, piercing, high-pitched; rough-sounding.

Flash cards

It is possible to download a set of flash cards (updated weekly) that you can use with the Mnemosyne Project in order to help learning and later memorizing those "Memes".


To do

  1. a lot of new vocabulary is within each of my ReadingNotes
    1. include here (with a PageList / Include thanks to PmWiki)
  2. update decks of flashcards
    1. used directly MemoryRecipe (in place since early January 2011)
  3. find a place for read materials
    1. Use, utilize, and usage: what’s the difference? by Yateendra Joshi, Editage Blog 2009
  4. the skin and exercise header do not work with links, to correct
    1. corrected Path:/pub/css/Languages.css