Word of the Week

IDIOM 

Noun:  a phrase that has a meaning of its own that cannot be understood from the meaning of the individual words e.g.  'over the moon';  'see the light'; 'by the skin of your teeth'

PROVERB

Noun:  a short popular saying that gives advice about how people should behave or that expresses a belief that is generally thought to be true e.g.  'Don't cry over spilled milk.' and 'A stitch in time saves nine.'

APLOMB 

Noun: self-confidence or assurance especially when in a demanding situation e.g. 'She handled the awkward meeting with great aplomb.'

SEISMIC 

Adjective:  (1)  relating to earthquakes or other vibrations of earth and its crust e.g. 'Seismic waves caused by earthquakes created  a tsunami  on the island shore' 
(2)  of enormous proportions or effect e.g. 'When she heard the news about what happened there was a seismic shift in her attitude'

NEMESIS

Noun: a long-standing rival, an arch enemy; the inescapable agent of someone’s or something’s downfall e.g. ‘Will Harry Potter finally defeat his nemesis Voldemort’? ‘My nemesis was determined to ruin my changes of promotion

SUPERCILIOUS

Adjective: behaving or looking as though one thinks one  is superiour to others e.g. ‘You look down on people with your supercilious attitude’

AUDACITY

Noun: (1)  a willingness to take bold risks e.g. ‘He was taken aback at the sheer audacity of the plan’. 2) Rude or disrespectful behaviour e.g. ‘She had the audacity to suggest that he was lying’   Audacious: adjective

VERACITY

Noun: conforming to facts, accuracy, e.g. ‘officials expressed doubts concerning the veracity of the story’

EFFACING

Adjective: not claiming attention for oneself, retiring and modest e.g. 'The captain was typically self-effacing when questioned about the team’s success giving credit to the other players.’ 

DISCOMBOBULATE

Verb:  to disconcert, confuse, disturb

Adjective: disconcerted, confused, disturbed e.g. ‘ The speaker was completely discombobulated by the hecklers’

PERNICIOUS

Adjective: having a harmful effect, especially in a gradual or subtle way e.g.‘The pernicious effects of poverty’

ARBITRARY

Adjective: (1) based on random choice or personal whim rather than any reason, plan or system e.g. 'He played a few arbitrary notes on the piano to check it out' (2) Using unlimited personal power without considering other people's wishes e.g. 'an arbitrary ruler' 

SPURIOUS

Adjective:  false or fake, not being what it purports to be.

PERTINENT

Adjective:  having a clear and decisive relevance to the matter in hand.

UNREMITTING

Adjective: never relaxing or slackening; incessant; never stopping.

VERACITY

Noun: conformity to facts, accuracy e.g.'Officials expressed doubts concerning the veracity of the story'

SCINTILLATING  

Adjective: (1) Sparkling or shining brightly, e.g. 'the scintillating sun'; (2) Brilliantly and excitingly clever or skilful, e.g. 'The audience loved his scintillating wit'

EPIPHANY  

Noun: an appearance or manifestation of a divine being;  a moment of sudden and great revelation or realisation

ASPIRE 

Verb: to long, aim or seek ambitiously, especially for something great or of high value e.g. ' to aspire to be the best you can possibly be'

CENSURE

Verb and Noun:  to express severe disapproval of someone or something especially in a formal  statement.   An adverse judgement, a reprimand

CONCILIATORY

Adjective: intended to  pacify or likely to pacify e.g. ‘a conciliatory approach’

GHOUL  

Noun: A monster or evil spirit in Arabic mythology associated with graveyards and consuming human flesh.

Adjective: Ghoulish (1) resembling or characteristic of a ghoul e.g. 'a ghoulish mask' (2) morbidly interested in death or disaster  e.g. 'she told the story with ghoulish relish'

THWART 

Verb: to prevent someone from accomplishing something

FACETIOUS

Adjective: treating serious issues with deliberately inappropriate humour; flippant

ELITE

Noun:  a select group that is superior in terms of ability or qualities to the rest of a group or society. 'Elitist' (adjective) considered superior by others or themselves.

INCLEMENT

Adjective: Of the weather i.e. unpleasantly cold or wet 

PROFUSE

Adjective: Very plentiful, abundant e.g. ‘profuse apologies’

DIVERSE

Adjective: Showing a great deal of variety, differing from one another.  

DIVERSITY

Noun: The state of being diverse.

INNATE

Adjective: inborn, natural, existing naturally or by heredity rather than being learned through experience/ existing as part of the basic nature of something e.g. 'She has an innate sense of rhythm' / 'her innate capacity for organisation’ 

TREPIDATION

Noun:  A feeling of fear or anxiety about something that may happen

MYRIAD 

Noun and Adjecive: An extremely great number of people or things, innumerable
Noun: e.g.  'a myriad of ideas', 'a myriad of choices'   Adjective: e.g. 'our myriad problems'

IRREVERENT

Adjective: Showing a lack of respect for people or things that are generally taken seriously.

ADVERSE

Adjective: Preventing  success or development; unfavourable or harmful e.g. 'adverse weather conditions'

MALEVOLENT 

Noun: 'Having or showing a wish to do evil to others, evil, malicious.'

MANDATE 

Noun: 'The authority to carry out a policy, regarded as given by the electorate to a party or candidate that wins an election. ‘He called an election to seek a mandate for his policies’ ‘An official order or commission to do something’ e.g. 'He was given a mandate to seek the release of political prisioners’

INNOCUOUS  

Adjective: Harmless, inoffensive, innocent e.g. 'It was an innocuous question’

COMPLEMENT  
Verb: To contribute extra features to someone or something in such a way as to improve or emphasize their qualities, e.g. 'The sauce complements the dessert beautifully'.

COMPLEMENT  
Noun:  A number or quantity of something, especially that required to make a group complete, e.g. 'At the moment we have the full complement of staff'.

PREVALENT
Adjective: Being widespread, very common, a lot of something.

PREVALENCE
Noun:  The quality of being widespread

GREGARIOUS
Adjective: Fond of company, sociable

PROHIBIT
Verb: (1) To formally forbid something by law, rule or other authority. (2) To formally forbid someone from doing something (3) To make something impossible, prevent

JEOPARDIZE
Verb: To put someone or something into a situation in which there is a danger of loss, harm or failure.

RECOLLECT
Verb: To succeed in remembering something

RECOLLECTION 
Noun: (1) A memory of something e.g. "a recollection of past holidays" and (2) The act or power of recollecting e.g. "He is not, to my recollection, a very good musician"

FLUCTUATE
Verb: To change level, strength or value frequently.

VICINITY
Noun: The area near or surrounding a particular place.

SURREPTITIOUSLY  
Verb: Acting in a stealthy, secretive way because the action would not be approved of.

ALIENATE
Verb: Make someone feel isolated or estranged 

HYPOTHESIS
Noun: A supposition or proposed explantion made on the basis of limited evidence as a starting point for further investigation.

ARMISTICE
Noun: An agreement made by opposing sides in a war to stop fighting, a truce.

ALOOF
Adjective: Not friendly or forthcoming; cool and distant 

COALITION
Noun: A temporary alliance for combined action, especially of political parties forming a government.

ARTICULATE
Adjective: Having or showing the ability to speak fluently and coherently.  Verb: to pronounce something clearly and distinctly.

OBSOLETE
Adjective: No longer produced or used. Out of date.

INSIGHT
Noun: The capacity to gain an accurate and deep understanding of someone or something.

Inspiring Quotations from our Weekly Bulletins
  • Be like a flower and turn your face to the sun. -  Kahlil Gibran

  • In some parts of the world, students are going to school every day. It's their normal life. But in other part of the world, we are starving for education... it's like a precious gift. It's like a diamond. - Malala Yousafzai

  • The air is like a butterfly with frail blue wings.  The happy earth looks at the sky and sings.-  Joyce Kilmer, Spring

  • The happiness of your life depends on the quality of your thoughts.      - Marcus Aurelius

  • Three daily reminders: Have the courage to say no.  Have the courage to face the truth.  Have the courage to do the right thing because it is right.  - Mark Twain

  • Our Lord has written the promise of the resurrection, not in books alone, but in every leaf in spring-time. - Martin Luther 

  • Look up at the stars and not down at your feet.  Try to make sense of what you see, and wonder about what makes the universe exist. - Stephen Hawking

  • The longest way must have its close - the gloomiest night will wear on to a morning. - Harriet Beecher Stowe, 'Uncle Tom's Cabin'

  • Believe those who are seeking the truth; doubt those who find it. - André Gide

  • Life is mostly froth and bubble, two things stand like stone; Kindness in another’s trouble, courage in your own. - Oliver Goldsmith

  • It was one of those March days when the sun shines hot and the wind blows cold: when it is summer in the light and winter in the shade. - Charles Dickens – Great Expectations

  • If you only have one smile in you give it to the people you love. - Maya Angelou

  • Spring passes and one remembers one's innocence. Summer passes and one remembers one's exuberance. Autumn passes and one remembers one's reverence. Winter passes and one remembers one's perseverance. - Yoko Ono

  • The sun just touched the morning; The morning, happy thing, Supposed that he had come to dwell, And life would be all spring. - Emily Dickinson

  • Your teacher can open the door but you must enter by yourself.  - Chinese Proverb

  • For  last year’s words belong to last year’s language and next year’s words await another voice.  And to make an end is to make a beginning.  - T.S. Eliot

  • Christmas waves a magic wand over this world, and behold, everything is softer and more beautiful. -  Norman Vincent Peale 

  • At this Christmas when Christ comes, will He find a warm heart? Mark the season of Advent by loving and serving others with God's own love and concern. - Saint Teresa of Calcutta ('Love: A Fruit Always in Season')

  • There are two ways to live your life.  One is as though nothing is a miracle.  The other is as though everything is a miracle. - Albert Einstein

  • There is a crack in everything.  That’s how the light gets in.  (from ‘Anthem’) -  Leonard Cohen

  • Our Lady had quiet trust that God would answer her prayer. So it is with us. He will give us what is necessary for us. -  Venerable Frances Taylor

  • There is nothing on this earth more to be prized than true friendship. - St Thomas Aquinas

  • Don’t walk behind me; I may not lead.  Don’t walk in front of me; I may not follow.  Just walk beside me and be my friend. - Albert Camus

  • Ordinary riches can be stolen, real riches cannot.  In your soul are infinitely precious things that cannot be taken from you.  - Oscar Wilde

  • Never lose an opportunity of seeing anything beautiful, for beauty is God’s handwriting. -  Ralph Waldo Emerson

  • A person who has good thoughts cannot ever be ugly. You can have a wonky nose and a crooked mouth and a double chin and stick-out teeth, but if you have good thoughts they will shine out of your face like sunbeams and you will always look lovely.  -  Roald Dahl ('The Twits')

  • What’s right isn’t always popular.  What’s popular isn’t always right.  -  Howard Cosell

  • Happiness lies in the joy of achievement and the thrill of creative effort -  Franklin D Roosevelt 

  • Let the beauty we love become the good that we do. -  Rumi (Persian poet) 

  • Education is not preparation for life.  Education is life itself.John Dewey

  • Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world. – Nelson Mandela

  • Do not abandon yourselves to despair. We are the Easter people and hallelujah is our song.  Pope John Paul II

  • Education breeds Confidence.  Confidence breeds Hope.  Hope breeds Peace. Confucius

  • Many receive advice, only the wise profit from it. Harper Lee

  • I did then what I knew how to do.  Now that I know better I do better. – Maya Angelou

  • One child, one teacher, one book and one pen can change the world. Malala Yousafzai

  • Step out of the history that is holding you back.  Step into the new story you are willing to create. - Oprah Winfrey

  • Hope is being able to see that there is light despite all of the darkness - Archbishop Desmond Tutu

  • Self-confidence is the first requisite to great undertakings. - Samuel Johnson

  • Happiness is when what you think, what you say and what you do are in harmony. - Mahatma Gandhi

  • Learning is a treasure that will follow its owner everywhere. - Chinese Proverb

  • When I have a problem I ask St Therese, not to solve it, but to take it in her hands and help me accept it. - Pope Francis

  • It is not the literal past, the 'facts' of history, that shape us, but images of the past embodied in language. - Brian Friel (‘Translations’)

  • Coming together is a beginning, keeping together is progress, working together is success. - Henry Ford

  • When black cats prowl and pumpkins gleam, may luck be yours on Halloween!

  • Kindness changes everything. - Manor House SMILE Committee.

  • We never know how high we are till we are called to rise. Then if we are true to form our statures touch the skies. - Emily Dickinson

  • I would rather walk with a friend in the dark, than alone in the light. - Helen Keller

  • It is the beautiful task of Advent to awaken in all of us memories of goodness and thus to open doors of hope. - Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger 1986 (Pope Benedict) 

  • We will open the book. Its pages are blank. We are going to put words on them ourselves. The book is called Opportunity and its first chapter is New Year's Day. - Edith Lovejoy Pierce

  • The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched – they must be felt with the heart. - Helen Keller