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Month: March 2023 (Page 1 of 3)


Peregrinate – to travel from place to place, or from one country to another; to live in foreign countries

“The records for the fall of 1886 are sparse, for Roosevelt was carrying the biggest secret of his peregrinating life. He had fallen in love with Edith Carow and planned to marry her; he wanted no publicity.

Lion in the White House, Aida D. Donald


Halcyon – calm, quiet, peaceful, undisturbed, happy; a number of days occurring about the winter solstice, when the weather is calm; hence, days of peace and tranquility

“After this and other political atrocities, the legislative body was labeled the most corrupt since the halcyon days of Boss Tweed and his henchmen, who bilked the city out of tens of millions of dollars.”

Lion in the white house, Aida D. Donald


Bloviate – to talk at length, especially in an inflated or empty way

“[Roosevelt’s] resolution of impeachment was tabled, as an old warhorse of the system attacked him. As reported in one account, he bloviated about “that dude,” Roosevelt.”

Lion in the White House, Aida D. Donald


Sartorial – of or pertaining to a tailor or to tailoring

“The evening at the party’s caucus, he showed up in a formal cutaway coat with tails and carried a high silk top hat. He sported a gold watch and fob and a gold-topped cane. The sartorially splendid Rosevelt had a round, ruddy face, ample brown hair parted in the middle, and thick, reddish sideburns.”

Lion in the white house, Aida D. Donald


Expatriate – to drive (a person) from his native land; to withdraw (oneself) from one’s native land; to renounce the rights of citizenship where one was born, and become a citizen of another country

“Some of the most heartfelt poems in this book are written from the viewpoint of expatriates or exiles longing for their native land.”

Poems of the Irish People, introduction, printed 2016

Pyrrhic Victory

Pyrrhic Victory – a too costly victory; in reference to the victory of Pyrrhus over the Romans as Asculum in 279 BC, in which the losses were extremely heavy

“Roosevelt fought an intense battle, but he scored only a pyrrhic victory. At the next general election, German Americans made a revolutionary political switch to the Democrats.”

Lion in the White House, Aida D. Donald

On Roosevelt’s Police Examinations

“To reform the system Roosevelt introduced new examinations for policemen. As a result, sixteen hundred qualified men were given jobs as officers. Within two years, about two-fifths of all patrolmen were placed under the revamped civil service, or about four times the previous number of protected jobholders. The qualifying examinations were not onerous. An applicant had to know how to spell, to write a good letter, to do basic arithmetic, and to have some acquaintance with history and geography. To those complaining about the unfairness of the test, Roosevelt made public several examples of failing replies that would-be patrolmen had offered. In answer to the question “What are the five New England states?” a man wrote, “Ireland, Scotland, Wales, and Cork.” Another applicant who failed wrote the word paper in answer to “Upon what instrument is the government of the United States founded?” One applicant hoped to flatter Roosevelt by replying “President Roosevelt” when asked who would perform the duties of the mayor if he were absent or disabled.”

Lion in the White House, Aida D. Donald


Acclimatize – to accustom to a new climate or different environment; acclimate

“[Roosevelt] turned to his uncle, James Alfred Roosevelt, the Hudson River aristocrat and influential Democrat (not the father of Franklin Delano Roosevelt, who was to marry Theodore’s niece Eleanor), for advice about the sordid legislative arrangement, but James only tried to acclimatize his nephew to the prevailing practices of the day: go along to get along.”

Lion in the White House, Aida D. Donald


Excoriate – to denounce strongly

“It was this kind of [corrupt] political system, controlled mostly by Tammany Hall, as the Democratic Party’s office was known, that men like Roosevelt and other reformers had excoriated over the years.”

Lion in the White House, Aida D. Donald

Dudelike and Fancy Locutions

Dude – a man too much concerned with his manners and appearance; a fop; a dandy; a city fellow or tourist, especially an Easterner (Western Slang)

Locutions – a word, phrase, or expression; a particular style of speech

“Roosevelt immersed himself in western surroundings and folkways. Despite his dudelike, fringed buckskin clothing, eyeglasses, and fancy locutions like “hasten forward there” spoken in a squeaky voice, he was a cowboy.

Lion in the White House, Aida D. Donald
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