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ZYMURGY

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ZYMURGY

Postby Dr. Goodword » Sun Nov 20, 2011 11:36 pm

• zymurgy •

Pronunciation: zai-mêr-jee • Hear it!

Part of Speech: Noun

Meaning: 1. That branch of applied chemistry that deals with fermentation, such as that involved in wine-making or brewing. 2. The practice or art of fermentation in brewing, distilling, wine-making, and so forth.

Notes: This rather rare word would be an excellent play in a game of Scrabble. It is analogical to metallurgy, liturgy, and dramaturgy, so it has an adjective, zymurgical, and an adverb, zymurgically, but that is the extent of its derivational family.

In Play: If you don't want your friends to be certain about the shady activities of your relatives, today's is a word that can help you out in certain situations: "Uncle Skeeter was caught in an act of zymurgy somewhere out in the woods by the revenuers. I don't think he was making merlot." Of course, zymurgy can also be a perfectly legitimate academic pursuit, too: "While writing his master's thesis on the zymurgy of the grape, Felix accidentally fell into a vat of his subject matter and nearly drowned."

Word History: Today's Good Word is a Greek compound consisting of zyme "leaven" + ourgia "working". Ourgia comes from Proto-Indo-European werg-/worg- "to do, work", which turned up in English work with relatively little change. The E-variant is visible in Greek ergon "work", which we use in ergonomics, the study of equipment design for efficient work. Organ was taken from Greek organon "tool, instrument" and orgy, well, that has to be a lot of work. (We are happy that Kitty Moody did the work of finding today's Good Word and sending it in to us.)
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a "tool" in the zymurgy family tree

Postby chatsnoir » Mon Nov 21, 2011 2:34 pm

not only might orgies be alot of work, some "tools" might be present.

speaking of which, what exactly does "tool" mean, in the perjorative sense it is being used these days, mostly by young people?

enquiring minds want to know, i discovered when i googled it.

:shock:
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Re: a "tool" in the zymurgy family tree

Postby Slava » Mon Nov 21, 2011 6:28 pm

chatsnoir wrote:not only might orgies be alot of work, some "tools" might be present.

speaking of which, what exactly does "tool" mean, in the perjorative sense it is being used these days, mostly by young people?
Welcome to the Agora, chatsnoir!

To try to answer your question, here are a couple of definitions from dictionary.com:

a person manipulated by another for the latter's own ends; cat's-paw.

a person used to perform dishonourable or unpleasant tasks for another.

Such usage dates back to 1663.

Hope this helps.
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Postby Perry Lassiter » Mon Nov 21, 2011 7:27 pm

Again, you are most welcome. Second newcomer I've seen today. Reminds me of Hamlet to his friends, Rosie and Guildy: Why you would play upon me...
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Postby Perry Lassiter » Tue Nov 22, 2011 12:34 pm

One of the characters on House last night called another a "tool."
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Postby chatsnoir » Tue Nov 22, 2011 6:18 pm

SLAVA, i have seen those definitions but am thinking the current slang has a different meaning than the PILGRIM-era versions. i heard that someone who is more than just a "tool" is referred to as a "toolbox." i am laughing but am not sure what i'm laughing about.....
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Postby Slava » Tue Nov 22, 2011 6:52 pm

chatsnoir wrote:SLAVA, i have seen those definitions but am thinking the current slang has a different meaning than the PILGRIM-era versions. i heard that someone who is more than just a "tool" is referred to as a "toolbox." i am laughing but am not sure what i'm laughing about.....
Maybe it means they're so gullible they can be used in many ways? I have to admit, you've got me on this one.

Correction: I'd forgotten about urbandictionary.com. Here's what their contributors have come up with. It looks like I was pretty much right, if you accept their definitions.
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Postby chatsnoir » Wed Nov 23, 2011 1:14 am

thank you. now i know what i'm laughing at. the urban dictionary was helpful.
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Re: ZYMURGY

Postby Philip Hudson » Mon Feb 25, 2013 7:34 pm

Chatsnoir: Having just met you in our discussion of mapaphor, I began examining your previous posts. You haven't posted nearly often enough. I am responding to an earlier good word zymurgy where you turned the discussion to the word tool. That gave a boost this Good Word thread for which I am grateful. Slava provided an old, obvious definition of a tool and some interesting slang definitions. If you are willing to entertain a more earthy definition one follows. In the 1950s, tool was a slang name for male genitalia. Toolbox was a slang word for female genitalia. Somewhat crude.
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