inveigle

“in-vay-gull” | /ɪnˈviː.ɡəl/

v – To convert, convince, or win over with flattery or wiles.

“The woman was able to inveigle her way into the private club by flirting with the security guard.”

 

Early corruption of French aveugler (“to blind, to delude”), from aveugle (“blind”), from the Old French avugle (“without eyes”), from Latin ab + oculus (“eye”). The in- might be from other a-/en- variations found in Middle English, which was then latinised into in-.

kitsch

“kitch” | /kɪtʃ/

adj – Art, decorative objects and other forms of representation of questionable artistic or aesthetic value; a representation that is excessively sentimental, overdone, or vulgar. Tacky.

“Although the husband loved the gaudy velvet portrait of Elvis, the woman thought it to be extremely kitsch.”

 

From German Kitsch, from dialectal kitschen (“to coat, to smear”), the word and concept were popularized in the 1930s by several critics who contrasted it with avant garde art.

cumberground

“come-burr-grownd” |  /ˈkʌm.bə.ɡɹaʊnd/

n – Any totally worthless object or person; something that is just in the way.

“I have no intentions of making accommodations for that man. He is a rude cumberground to this entire family.”

“My mother always told me not to mind my bullies, for they are just cumberground.”

 

cumber +‎ ground, in reference to the Bible, Luke 13:7.

Pyrrhic Victory

(A Phrase A Day!)

“Peer-ick Vihk-tore-ee” | /ˌpɪɹ.ɪk ˈvɪk.t(ə)ɹ.i/

n – A very costly victory, wherein the considerable losses outweigh the gain, so as to render the struggle not worth the cost.

“Reeling from the pyrrhic victory, the general mourned the loss of his sons and cursed the day he let them join the war.”

 

Named after the Greek king Pyrrhus of Epirus, who suffered heavy losses while defeating the Romans.

 

Machiavellian

“Mah-KEY-ah-vell-ee-un” /ˌmæk.jəˈvɛl.i.ən/

adj – Attempting to achieve goals by cunning, scheming, and unscrupulous methods, especially in politics or in advancing one’s career.

“Iago is the Machiavellian antagonist in William Shakespeare’s play, Othello.”

 

From the name of the Italian statesman and writer Niccolò Machiavelli (1469-1527), whose work The Prince (1532) advises that acquiring and exercising power may require unethical methods.

parvenu

“Par-vehn-oo” | /ˈpɑɹ.və.nu/

n – A person who has risen, climbed up, or has been promoted to a higher social class, especially through acquisition of wealth, rights, or political authority but has not gained social acceptance by those within that new class.

“He realized his sudden wealth would not change the fact society’s elite saw him as a parvenu.”

 

Borrowed from French parvenu, past participle of parvenir, from Latin perveniō (“arrive, reach”).

obsequious

ob-see-qwee-us | /əbˈsiːkwi.əs/

adj – Obedient; compliant with someone else’s orders or wishes. Excessively eager and attentive to please or to obey instructions

“The princess had obsequious servants who showered her with attention.”

 

From Latin obsequiōsus (“complaisant, obsequious”) [1], from obsequium (“compliance”), from obsequor (“comply with, yield to”), from ob (“in the direction of, towards”) + sequor (“follow”) (see sequel).