Today I got an email from Pat Kearns regarding the web site I’m making for his rental property in South Africa’s winelands. He mused that Geddy Lee is an oenophile and might enjoy a stay there. So, even though I knew from context what he meant, I looked up oenophile and, boy, am I glad I did, because right under it I found:

oe�no�mel n (literary)
1. a drink of wine and honey made in ancient Greece
2. words or ideas that combine strength and sweetness

Since MS Word gave me copyright information when I copied and pasted, I’ll include it here, what the hey:

[Encarta� World English Dictionary � 1999 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved. Developed for Microsoft by Bloomsbury Publishing Plc.]

In other words, it’s Walter Payton.

I bet the best thing about using this word in conversation is that people will think you said “animal,” which could be another way of praising somebody’s words or ideas. Either that, or they’ll hear “aenema” and will stay out of your way.

PatrickWords09/15/04 1 comments


Patrick • 05/18/05 12:04 AM:

By the way, on Law & Order: SVU tonight, Munch (Richard Belzer) used the word oenophile to jokingly refer to a suspected organ trafficker who rented a wine locker to (we would soon find out) store body parts. Finn (Ice T) said something like “I don’t know what that means, but…”

Which reminds me of another linguistic crack that Munch made, way back when I first started watching SVU. Some guy asks, after a Munch insinuation, “What are you inferring?” Munch corrects him with something like “Implying. Inferring is what you’re doing,” and then goes on to arrest him.

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