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SILHOUETTE

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SILHOUETTE

Postby Dr. Goodword » Thu Nov 08, 2012 9:20 pm

• silhouette •


Pronunciation: si-lu-etHear it!

Part of Speech: Noun

Meaning: The outline of an object filled in with single color, usually black, against a lighter background.

Notes: Today's word is so clearly French that it has not spawned any family members in English. It may be used as a verb, however, as a figure silhouetted against the sky. It does contain several spelling traps that we should be aware of: the H after the L and the OU that represents the [u] sound. We also have to remember that the ending is the French diminutive ending with the superfluous [TE] at the end: -ette.

In Play: There are several places where silhouettes are naturally expected: "Matt Tremony watched Calley Pidgian's silhouette on the window shade with great interest." Let's not forget that today's Good Word can serve as well as a verb: "As Granola Barr explained to her father that she was going out with someone who drives a Cadillac, he could see a motorcycle silhouetted by the streetlight down the block."

Word History: Today's Good Word has an eponym: Étienne de Silhouette (1709-1767), the French minister of finance in 1759. Silhouette was forced by France's credit crisis during the Seven Years War to impose severe economic demands upon the French people, particularly the wealthy. Because of Silhouette's austerity program, his name became eponymous with anything done or made cheaply. Since profiles cut from black card were the cheapest way of recording a person's appearance, the French jokingly used Silhouette's name to refer to them. (A silhouette of today's Good Word was submitted by David McWethy, King of Garage Sales, in Fayetteville, Arkansas.)
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Re: SILHOUETTE

Postby MTC » Fri Nov 09, 2012 6:23 am

Does this mean the name of Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras will become synonymous with "silhouette" in Greece, e.g., "Samaras on the shade," etc? Or am I groping in the dark?
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Re: SILHOUETTE

Postby David McWethy » Fri Nov 09, 2012 1:01 pm

I don't have the answer to MTC's question; personally, I'm more concerned about the likelihood that in the future there will be an increasing number of occasions when "obamette" will be the term of choice....

But I could be wrong.
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Re: SILHOUETTE

Postby eberntson » Fri Nov 09, 2012 3:49 pm

I just can't get that line from Bohemian Rhapsody out of my mind now...

I see a little silhouetto of a man,
Scaramouche, scaramouche will you do the Fandango


Thank goodness it's the weekend and I can work on getting that sound out of my head. :wink:
Last edited by eberntson on Tue Nov 13, 2012 2:02 pm, edited 2 times in total.
EBERNTSON
Fear less, hope more;
eat less, chew more;
whine less, breathe more;
talk less, say more,
and all good things will be yours.
--R. Burns
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Re: SILHOUETTE

Postby LukeJavan8 » Fri Nov 09, 2012 10:19 pm

I enjoy photographing people against the sun, it being
behind them. Little light reaches the face and when
played with using the camera, fetching photos result.
-----please, draw me a sheep-----
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Re: SILHOUETTE

Postby Philip Hudson » Sat Nov 10, 2012 12:59 am

I just Youtubed "Bohemian Rapsody". I must have missed it. I have no memory of the song or the singers. What is a rapsody? I have no idea what it means. I know rhapsody. I must be too old to have heard of it. The singers, men, have on lipstick. Eclectic in music though I may be, it leaves me cold.
It is dark at night, but the Sun will come up and then we can see.
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Re: SILHOUETTE

Postby MTC » Sat Nov 10, 2012 8:26 am

Not your "schtick," Philip?

Lipstick! Mad Men (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s0Hru4IucB0)
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Re: SILHOUETTE

Postby Philip Hudson » Sat Nov 10, 2012 11:59 am

MTC: Wow! A pun and an unfathomable Yiddish word all in
one sentence.
It is dark at night, but the Sun will come up and then we can see.
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Re: SILHOUETTE

Postby David McWethy » Sat Nov 10, 2012 1:01 pm

I most recently thought of "silhouette" while listening (for the 82nd time) Queen's "Bohemian Rhapsody" (from their album "A Night At The Opera", et. al).

In those lyrics are several words and lines that I, at least, had misunderstood. For example: I'd always thought the lyrics were:
I see a little silhouette-o of a man
Got a mous(tache), got a mous,
Will you do the fandango?

when, upon Googling the lyrics, it turns out that the correct words were
I see a little silhouette-o of a man
Scaramouche, scaramouche
Will you do the fandango

The word "scaramouche" (which might have been a prospective GoodWord if it had seen a bit more exposure) is
a stock character in the Italian commedia dell'arte that burlesques the Spanish don and is characterized by boastfulness and cowardliness
.
The song--which at the time was ground-breaking in so many ways--amply demonstrates what Queen would be without the incredible voice of Freddy Mercury....which, unfortunately, was just what happened.

But for a time spanning most of a decade two other Queen songs quite accurately described the British rock group: "We Will Rock You" and "We Are The Champions".

But I could be wrong.
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Re: SILHOUETTE

Postby Philip Hudson » Sat Nov 10, 2012 3:41 pm

It is as if I turned over a huge rock and uncovered millions of snakes, lizzards, scorpions, and other denizens of the dark. It is called "Queen", which I take to be a musical group of some kind. Can I just turn the rock back over and forget all about it or am I scarred for life?
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Re: SILHOUETTE

Postby David McWethy » Sat Nov 10, 2012 4:18 pm

"Scarred" isn't the word I'd use, but as you go back into the cave be sure to take a copy of Plato with you. :wink:
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Re: SILHOUETTE

Postby MTC » Sat Nov 10, 2012 5:03 pm

David, your misunderstood song lyric, "Got a mous(tache), got a mous" for ,"Scaramouche, Scaramouche" is a classic Mondegreen. Wikipedia discusses Mondegreens here: (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ Mondegreen)
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Re: SILHOUETTE

Postby Slava » Sat Nov 10, 2012 6:08 pm

And Dr. Goodword here.
Life is like playing chess with chessmen who each have thoughts and feelings and motives of their own.
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Re: SILHOUETTE

Postby Perry Lassiter » Sat Nov 10, 2012 7:47 pm

And Toosdiblue?
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Re: SILHOUETTE

Postby Philip Hudson » Sat Nov 10, 2012 8:31 pm

"José can you see?" from our national anthem.
It is dark at night, but the Sun will come up and then we can see.
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