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[edit] laconic

la-KAH-nic

adjective

Etymology

1589, from Greek Lakonikos, from Lakon "person from Lakonia," the district around Sparta in southern Greece in ancient times, whose inhabitants were famous for their brevity of speech. When Philip of Macedon threatened them with, "If I enter Laconia, I will raze Sparta to the ground," the Spartans' reply was, "If." [1]

Definition
  1. using or marked by the use of few words
  2. terse or concise [2]


[edit] ladybug

LAY-dee-bug

noun

Etymology

late 17th century, after Our Lady, the mother of Jesus Christ [3]

Definition

any of numerous small nearly hemispherical often brightly colored often spotted beetles (family Coccinellidae) of temperate and tropical regions that usually feed both as larvae and adults on other insects (as aphids) [4]


[edit] lares and penates

LUH-rez and PEH-nae-tez

noun plural

Etymology

in the Roman religion, the Lares were spirits who, if propitiated, watched over the house or community to which they belonged. [5] The Penates were gods who watched over the home or community to which they belonged. [6]

Definition
  1. household gods
  2. personal or household effects [7]


[edit] latakia

lah-tah-KEE-ah

noun

Etymology

after Latakia, Syrian seaport [8]

Definition

a highly aromatic Turkish smoking tobacco [9]


[edit] lesbian

LEZ-bee-un

noun, adjective

Etymology

1591, from from Greek lesbios "of Lesbos," Greek island in northeastern Aegean Sea, home of Sappho, great lyric poet whose erotic and romantic verse embraced women as well as men, hence meaning "relating to homosexual relations between women" (1890; lesbianism in this sense is attested from 1870) and the noun, first recorded 1925. Slang variant lez, les is from 1929; lesbo first attested 1940. Before this, the principal figurative use (common in 17c.) was lesbian rule (1601) a mason's rule of lead, of a type used on Lesbos, which could be bent to fit the curves of a molding; hence, "pliant morality or judgment." [10]

Definition

of or relating to homosexuality between females [11]


[edit] lido

LEE-doh

noun

Etymology

The original Lido is a beach resort near Venice, Italy. The town's name comes from the Italian word "lido," which means "shore" or "bank." (The Italian root derives from "litus," the Latin word for "shore.") By the mid-19th century, Lido's reputation as a chic vacation destination for the well-to-do was the envy of seaside resorts everywhere. English speaking social climbers generalized the town's name and started using it for any fashionably Lido-esque beach. [12]

Definition
  1. a fashionable beach resort [13]
  2. a public swimming pool which is outside, or part of a beach where people can swim, lie in the sun or do water sports [14]


[edit] lilliputian

lil-li-PYOO-shen

adjective

Etymology

from Lilliput, the fabulous island whose inhabitants were six inches high, coined by Swift in Gulliver's Travels (1726) [15]

Definition
  1. small, miniature
  2. petty [16]


[edit] limerick

LIM-rik

noun

Etymology

1896, perhaps from Limerick, the county and city in Ireland, but if so the connection is obscure. It is usually attributed to a party game in which each guest in turn made up a nonsense verse and all sang a refrain with the line "Will you come up to Limerick?" Or perhaps from Learic, from Edward Lear (1812-88) English humorist who popularized the form. [17]

Definition

a light or humorous verse form of five chiefly anapestic verses of which lines 1, 2, and 5 are of three feet and lines 3 and 4 are of two feet with a rhyme scheme of aabba [18]


[edit] lothario

loh-THAR-ee-oh

noun

Etymology

1756, from Lothario, seducer in the play The Fair Penitent (1703) by Nicholas Rowe

Definition

a man whose chief interest is seducing women [19]


[edit] lucullan

loo-KUL-lun

adjective

Etymology

from the name of Licinius Lucullus, an ancient Roman general famous for his lavish banquets [20]

Definition

lavish or overindulgent, especially with regard to food [21]


[edit] lucifer

LOO-si-fer

noun

Etymology

From Old English Lucifer in reference to Satan from the Latin Lucifer "morning star," literally "light-bringing," from lux (gen. lucis) + ferre "carry". Belief that it was the proper name of Satan began with its used in the Bible to translate Greek Phosphoros, which translates Hebrew Helel ben Shahar in Isaiah xiv.12 -- "How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning!" [KJV] The verse was interpreted by Christians as a reference to "Satan," because of the mention of a fall from Heaven, even though it is literally a reference to the King of Babylon (cf. Isaiah xiv.4). Lucifer in reference to a friction match is from 1831. [22]

Definition

a friction match having as active substances antimony sulfide and potassium chlorate [23]


[edit] luddite

LUDD-ite

noun

Etymology

1811, from name taken by an organized band of weavers who destroyed machinery in Midlands and northern England 1811-16 for fear it would deprive them of work. Supposedly from Ned Ludd, a Leicestershire worker who in 1779 had done the same before through insanity (but the story was first told in 1847). Applied to modern rejecters of automation and technology from at least 1961. [24]

Definition
  1. any opponent of technological progress
  2. one of the 19th century English workmen who destroyed laborsaving machinery that they thought would cause unemployment [25]


[edit] lynch

LINCH

verb

Etymology

1835, from earlier Lynch law (1811), likely named after William Lynch (1742-1820) of Pittsylvania, Va., who c.1780 led a vigilance committee to keep order there during the Revolution. Other sources trace the name to Charles Lynch (1736-96) a Virginia magistrate who fined and imprisoned Tories in his district c.1782, but the connection to him is less likely. [26]

Definition

to put to death (as by hanging) by mob action without legal sanction [27]

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