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flitillary

flitillary  n.— «The erratic, zigzagging flight of courting and songbird-evading fritillaries prompt some people to refer to them as “flitillaries.” Actually, the genus name probably derives from fritillus, a cylindrical cup used by the...

snow-cone

snow-cone  v.— «But how many close plays at first are there? How many near catches in the outfield that are called as a catch when they are “snow-coned?”» —“MLB: Rekindle the Instant Replay Controversy” by...

hung up

hung up  adj.— «I couldn’t see the bird, but I knew he was “hung up” in turkey hunting vernacular, strutting his stuff with the logical expectation that the hen (me) would come to him. That’s how it usually works in nature, but...

breeding pad

breeding pad  n.— «As beef cattle grow and mature, rump fat is an early developing fat tissue. Textbooks of beef cattle anatomy often refer to it as the “breeding pad,” a protective fat Mother Nature put in place for mating...

flotsamist

flotsamist  n.— «Where and when something reaches shore depends mainly on weight, wind, and currents. Experts can study flotsam—driftwood, in particular—that help them understand ocean currents and weather patterns. Nature also provides...

SO

SO  n.— «These men live in this house because, for better or for worse, they have been cast out by society. The nature of their crimes guarantees that they will be identified as sex offenders—or, as they sometimes call themselves, “S.O...