Quadrivial Quandary:  Logophiles, Rejoice!  Each day we give you four unusual words.  Can you fit them all in one illustrative sentence?

Today's attempts to resolve the Quandary (login or register to compose yours):

No attempts yet.

The Quandary for today, Monday, November 19, 2018, consists of:
  • fiddlestick
  • borborygm
  • henchman
  • propugnaculum, n.
Challenge: use all four words together in one illustrative sentence.

Since September 2009, word lovers have offered 7126 sentences — each one a surprise — to QQ's unique and growing library. Explore earlier Quandaries through our word list or the calendar below. View yesterday's QQ resolutions or pick a day at random.

Definitions Of Today's Words:

noun: 1. The bow with which the fiddle is played. 2. Something insignificant. interjection: Nonsense.
  1. (medicine, physiology, rare) A gurgling or rumbling noise produced by gas in the bowels; a borborygmus.
  2. (figuratively) A gurgling or rumbling.
Today is designated by the United Nations as World Toilet Day to draw attention to inadequate sanitation facilities in countries around the world.

Merriam-Webster’s Word of the Day for November 19, 2018 is:

henchman • \HENCH-mun\  • noun

1 : a trusted follower : right-hand man

2 : a political follower whose support is chiefly for personal advantage

3 : a member of a gang

Examples:

"The story follows the lives to two very different characters—Frank Guidry, a henchman for one of New Orleans’ most powerful and vicious gangsters, and Charlotte, a woman struggling to raise her two daughters while dealing with a feckless, drunken husband." — James D. Watts Jr., The Tulsa (Oklahoma) World, 11 Oct. 2018

"Since Mr. Mugabe’s ouster, Mr. Mnangagwa has tried to remake Zimbabwe’s image by portraying the government as business-friendly. He has appeared often at investors’ conferences, wearing warm, colorful scarves to offset his fearsome reputation as Mr. Mugabe’s former henchman." — Norimitsu Onishi, The New York Times, 30 July 2018

Did you know?

The earliest known examples of today’s word in written English show it being used as a term for a squire or a page, but the word may have seen earlier use with the meaning "groom." It first appeared in Middle English in the 14th century and is a combination of Old English hengest ("a male horse") and man. In the mid-1700s, henchman began to be used for the personal attendant of a Scottish Highland chief. This sense, made familiar to many English readers by Sir Walter Scott, led to the word’s use in the broader sense of "right-hand man," which in turn evolved into the other meanings.



OED Word of the Day: propugnaculum, n. A bulwark, a rampart. Also fig.: something which affords defence or protection

Quadrivial Quandary (QQ) is owned and operated by Rudi Seitz.
Sentences submitted to QQ are the property of their authors. See our page on Copyright Information for details.
Dictionary definitions are the property of their respective sources, presented here via public RSS feeds or otherwise with permission.
All other material is copyright 2015 by Rudi Seitz, all rights reserved.
Use of this site is governed by our terms of service.
Contact: rudi at quadrivialquandary dot com.