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This fascinating word must forever be associated with Carlos Castaneda, a UCLA anthropologist, writer and seeker of enlightenment. In The Teachings of Don Juan: A Yaqui Way of Knowledge (1968) he describes his tutelage under a brujo (sorcerer) who used the hallucinogenic peyote bean (etheogen) as a...
There is a great line in a song, "She talks in her sleep, but she always gets my name right."A confession: I am a somniloquist. Being bilingual, my wife tells me I have done so in both languages. Odd. Good thing I have a clear conscience!
One thing I love about this word is how the back and forth sound reinforces the meaning, in particular the second sense of the word, to vacillate. "Willy-nilly" vacillates in indecision like a wiper blade. You could be giving rise to a third definition, vacillate, stemming from the "will ye, will y...
1892, Amer.Eng., from L. populus "people." Originally in reference to the Populist Party, organized Feb. 1892 to promote certain issues important to farmers and workers. The term outlasted the party, and by 1920s came to mean "representing the views of the masses" in a general way.
To my knowledge, the first written instance of thingamabob, or really whatchamacallit, is in the Bible. The manna the Israelites ate in the desert is referred to (the first time it is mentioned) as "man hu" מן הוא. Literally, this means "what is it?"