Pasha (PA-shuh, PASH-uh, puh-SHAH) : A person of high rank or importance. From Turkish pasa, from Persian padshah, from pati (master) + shah (king). Pasha was used as a title of high-ranking officials in the Ottoman Empire.
Loquacious (Loh-KWAY-shus) full of excessive talk : wordy, given to fluent or excessive talk: garrulous. Loquacious made its first appearance in English in the 17th century and, with poetic license, stretched its meaning to include such things as the chattering of birds and the babbling of brooks. In less poetic uses, loquacious usually means "excessively talkative." The ultimate source of all this chattiness is loqui, a Latin verb meaning "to speak." Other words descended from loqui include colloquial, eloquent, soliloquy, and ventriloquism.
Ayatollah (ah-yuh-TO-luh) 1. A high-ranking religious leader of the Shiite Muslims. 2. A person having authority and influence, especially one who’s dogmatic. From Persian ayatollah (literally, sign of god), from Arabic ayatullah, from aya (sign) + allah (god).
Moue: (MOO) a little grimace: pout. Moue is one of two similar words in English that refer to a pout or grimace; the other is mow, which is pronounced to rhyme either with no or now. Mow and moue share the same origin—the Anglo-French mouwe—and have a distant relationship to a Middle Dutch word for a protruding lip. (They do not, however, share a relationship to the word mouth, which derives from Old English mūth.) While current evidence of moue in use in English traces back only a little more than 150 years, mow dates all the way back to the 14th century. Moue has also seen occasional use as a verb, as when Nicholson Baker, in a 1988 issue of The New Yorker, described how a woman applying lip gloss would "slide the lip from side to side under it and press her mouth together and then moue it outward…."
Baksheesh (BAK-sheesh) A payment, such as a tip or bribe. From Persian bakhshish, from bakhshidan, from baksh (to give). Ultimately from the Indo-European root bhag- (to share) that is also the source of nebbish, Sanskrit bhagya (good fortune), and words related to -phagy (eating), such as onychophagia (the biting of one’s nails) and xerophagy (the eating of dry food).
Engender (in-JEN-der) 1: beget, procreate 2: to cause to exist or to develop : produce 3: to assume form : originate. When engender was first used in the 14th century, it meant "propagate" or "procreate," but extended meanings soon developed. Engender comes from the Latin verb generare, which means "to generate" or "to beget." Generate, regenerate, degenerate, and generation are of course related to the Latin verb as well. As you might suspect, the list of engender relatives does not end there. Generare comes from the Latin noun genus, meaning "birth," "race," or "kind." From this source we have our own word genus, plus gender, general, and generic, among other words.
Dervish (DUHR-vish) 1. A Muslim monk of various ascetic orders, some of whom take part in ecstatic rituals such as whirling dances or chants. 2. Someone who exhibits frenzied movements. From Turkish, from Persian darvish (poor, beggar).
Squinny (SKWIN-ee) To look or peer with eyes partly closed: squint.
“I remember thine eyes well enough. Dost thou squiny at me?" So asks Shakespeare's mad King Lear of blind Gloucester, marking the first known use of the verb squinny. It is likely that Shakespeare formed the word from an earlier English word squin, meaning "with the eye directed to one side." Shakespeare also uses the more familiar squint in King Lear: "This is the foul fiend Flibbertigibbet.… He gives the web and the pin, / squints the eye … mildews the white wheat, / and hurts the poor creature of earth." Although this is not the first known use of the verb squint, it is the first known use of the verb's transitive sense.
Prodnose (PROD-nohz) verb intr.: To pry. noun: A prying person. After Prodnose, a pedantic and nosy character, who appeared in the columns of J B Morton in the Daily Express. Earliest documented use: 1954.
Penchant (PEN-chunt) A strong and continued inclination; broadly: liking.
Like its synonyms leaning, propensity, and proclivity, penchant implies a strong instinct or liking for something. Penchant, a descendant of Latin pendere (meaning "to weigh"), typically implies a strongly marked taste in the person ("a penchant for jazz music") or an irresistible attraction in the object ("a penchant for taking risks").
Ascetic (uh-SET-ik) 1: practicing strict self-denial as a measure of personal and especially spiritual discipline 2: austere in appearance, manner, or attitude. Ascetic comes from askētikos, a Greek adjective meaning "laborious." Ultimately, it comes from the Greek verb askein, which means "to exercise" or "to work." There aren't many other English words from askein, but there's no dearth of synonyms for ascetic. Severe and austere, for example, are two words that share with ascetic the basic meaning "given to or marked by strict discipline and firm restraint." Ascetic implies abstention from pleasure, comfort, and self-indulgence as spiritual discipline, whereas severe implies standards enforced without indulgence or laxity and may suggest harshness (as in "severe military discipline"). Austere stresses absence of warmth, color, or feeling and may apply to rigorous restraint, simplicity, or self-denial (as in "living an austere life in the country").
Calaboose (KAL-uh-booss) jail; especially: a local jail. Calaboose is Spanish in origin; it's from the Spanish word calabozo, meaning "dungeon."