intentionality (noun) 

Intentionality (in-ten-shuh-NAL-ih-tee ) is being deliberate or purposeful. As I used it today: “You can learn to act intentionally without attachment.”

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barlyhood (noun) 

Barlyhood – a word rarely used these days – is a fit of unruly behavior brought on by heavy drinking. From “The Tunnyng of Elynour Rummyng,” a long, satiric poem written by John Skelton in around 1517: “And as she was drynkynge,/ She fell in a wynkynge,/ With a barly-hood.”

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convivial (adjective) 

This is a joyful, exuberant, sociable time of year – made festive with the pleasures of good food, good drink, and good company. In other words, it’s the most “convivial” (kun-VIV-ee-ul) of all holidays.

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Xmas (noun) 

Many people are offended when they see this shortened form of the word “Christmas” – but it actually comes from the Greek for Christ, which is Xristos. It became popular in Europe in the 1500s. These days, we mostly see it in ads.

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exultation (noun) 

Exultation (ek-sul-TAY-shun) is a feeling of triumphant elation or jubilation; rejoicing. As used by John Burroughs: “There is something very human in this apparent mirth and mockery of the squirrels. It seems to be a sort of ironical laughter, and implies self-conscious pride and exultation in the laughter.”

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eye-minded (adjective)

To be eye-minded (AYE-mine-did) is to be disposed to perceive and understand things visually, and to recall sights more vividly than sounds, smells, etc. As used by Samuel Christian Schmucker in The Meaning of Evolution: “It is true among human beings that most of them are eye-minded.”

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exacerbate (verb) 

To exacerbate (ig-ZAS-ur-bate) is to make a problem or situation worse. As I used it today: “But is [raising the minimum wage] really the answer to poverty in this country? In fact, there’s considerable evidence that it would exacerbate the problem.”

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obviate (verb) 

To obviate (AHB-vee-ate) is to anticipate and prevent or remove a need or difficulty. As I used it today: “To obviate [the urge that I’ll have to sell all my stocks if the market crashes], I’m doing a sort of financial meditation. I’m imagining myself looking at the bottom line of my stock account and seeing that is it down by 50%… and realizing that I’m okay with that.”

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yen (noun) 

Yen (YEN) – aside from being the basic monetary unit of Japan – is a strong desire, craving, or urge. As used by Mark Waters: “My first inkling that I might have a yen for directing came when I realized I enjoyed creating plays for my various sports teams more than I actually liked playing the game.”

 

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trenchant (adjective) 

Trenchant (TREN-chunt) means intense, forceful. As used by William Milligan Sloane in The Life of Napoleon Bonaparte: “Bonaparte’s contributions to the discussion were terse and trenchant.”

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