*gainsay \gayn-SAY; GAYN-say\ (transitive verb) –
1 : To deny or dispute; to declare false or invalid.
2 : To oppose; to contradict.
"Owing to the company’s cynical policy of inaction, suppression and hoping the problem would go away, there was nothing to gainsay from the stock’s sudden and rapid decline."
Gainsay comes from Middle English geinseien, from gein-, "against" (from Old English gegn-, gean-) + sayen, "to say," from Old English secgan.
gallimaufry \gal-uh-MAW-free\ (noun) – A medley; a hodgepodge.
"Terry was wont to express her freespiritedness in her clothing which was a gallimaufry of styles, textures, and colors, all merged together into a style uniquely ‘Terry.’"
Gallimaufry, originally meaning "a hash of various kinds of meats," comes from French galimafrA(c)e, from Old French, from galer, "to rejoice, to make merry" (source of English gala) + mafrer, "to eat much," from Medieval Dutch maffelen, "to open one’s mouth wide."
gambit \GAM-bit\ (noun) –
1 : An opening in which a minor piece is sacrificed to obtain a strategic advantage.
2 : A maneuver used to secure an advantage.
3 : A remark used to open or redirect a conversation.
‘When Jason failed to get the result and cash he expected from his latest job-avoidance gambit, he elected to simply abandon the enterprise as he had done so many times before.’ From Spanish gambito, from Italian gambetto (the act of tripping someone), from gamba (leg).
gaucherie \goh-shuh-REE\ (noun) –
1 : A socially awkward or tactless act.
2 : Lack of tact; boorishness; awkwardness.
"I went to our table, looking straight before me, and immediately paid the penalty of gaucherie by knocking over the vase of stiff anemones as I unfolded my napkin." — Daphne Du Maurier, ‘Rebecca’
Gaucherie comes from the French, from gauche, "lefthanded; awkward," from Old French, from gauchir, "to turn aside, to swerve, to walk clumsily."
Gaudy \GA-dee or GAW-dee\ (adjective) –
1 : Extravagantly showy, dazzling, possibly tastelessly so.
2 : (noun) A gala festival or entertainment celebrating some event.
"Theresa takes great pride in her South American origins, dressing in gaudy clothes every day."
There is an old noun gaud = "a showy bauble, trinket, ornament" from which "gaudy" itself was derived. "Gaudiness" is the noun derived from "gaudy." Gaudy is the most positive of the four near synonyms "gaudy," "flashy," "meretricious," and "tawdry." "Flashy" implies shallowness, while "meretricious" suggests falseness and misrepresentation. "Tawdry" suggests cheapness and sleaziness. "Gaudy" implies excess, clashing colors that may or may not be outlandish. From Old French gaudir "to rejoice, make merry, to jest, scoff at" from late Latin gaudre "to rejoice." Latin gaudium "joy, happiness." Akin to Greek ganusthai "to rejoice" with an infixed "n."
genuflection \jen-yeh-FLEK-shehn\ (noun) –
1 : Bowing on one knee as a sign of respect;
2 : kow-towing, groveling.
"Rathbone’s genuflection around the president in the board room gets on everyone’s nerves."
Today’s word comes from Late Latin genuflectere "to bow" based on genu "knee" + flectere "to bend." The latter stem is related to our word "flexible." The origin of "genu" is a Proto-Indo-European word that had three forms: *genu-, *gonu- and *gnu- (known as ablaut forms). Latin obviously used the first. Greek chose the second for its gonia "angle, corner" found in "diagonal," "orthogonal," and many others referring to angles or corners. English chose the third form, which came into Old English as cneo "knee" and today is spelled "knee" without the [k] sound, lost long ago in the fog of history
germane \juhr-MAYN\ (adjective) –
Appropriate or fitting; relevant.
"…Chloe was abroad until you – you assumed the authority to have her recalled. There is no way she can provide any information germane to your inquiry." — Clare Curzon, "Body of a Woman"
Germane comes from Middle English germain, literally, "having the same parents," ultimately deriving from Latin germanus, from germen, "a bud, a shoot."
Geronimo \jeh-RAH-neh-mo\ (noun) – The name of an Apache rebel, used most often as an interjection of exultation uttered on the brink of a great leap or other courageous or life-threatening act.
"Martin said ‘Geronimo!’ and signed the papers acquiring a little-known company, hoping it was the right decision."
"Gernimo" is the Spanish form of the name "Jerome," from the Greek, hieronomos "sacred name" (compare hieroglyphics "sacred writing"). It was given to the Chiricahua Apache leader, Goyathlay "The one who yawns" (1829-1909) by European settlers. Goyathlay led a series of raids against Mexican and American settlements in the Southwest in protest of US policy to force Native Americans into reservations. Geronimo’s name was adopted at the paratrooper school of the 82nd Airborne Division (Fort Bragg, North Carolina) around 1940, probably in response to a scene in a movie depicting the Apache leader making a daring leap to escape pursuit of the US cavalry.
gimcrack \JIM-krak\ (noun) –
1 : A showy but useless or worthless object; a gewgaw.
(adjective) – 1 : Tastelessly showy; cheap; gaudy.
"There was something cheap and sentimental about the device the writer used to get his characters together and it seemed aesthetically gimcrack."
The origin of gimcrack is uncertain. It is perhaps an alteration of Middle English gibecrake, "a slight or flimsy ornament."
glower \GLA-wehr\ (verb) –
To stare menacingly.
"You don’t have to glower like that just because I smashed the chocolate mousse onto your new white shirt"
Middle English gloren, possibly from Norwegian dialect glyra "to look askance." It is less likely a blend of glare + scour "search" (ME glaren + scuren). In the motion picture world glowering is known as "the slow burn," an expression of barely contained fury with the eyes focused on the person at fault.
grandee \gran-DEE\ (noun) –
1 : A man of elevated rank or station.
2 : In Spain or Portugal, a nobleman of the first rank.
"Such was Albert’s need to live like a grandee that he was constantly living well beyond his financial needs and was burdened by a tremendous debt."
Grandee comes from Spanish grande, from Latin grandis, "great, large, hence important, grand." Related words include grandeur, "the state or quality of being grand"; grandiose, "characterized by affectation of grandeur"; aggrandize, "to make great or greater"; and, of course, grand.
gravitas \GRAV-uh-tahs\ (noun) –
High seriousness (as in a person’s bearing or in the treatment of a subject).
"The speaker was so utterly lacking in gravitas that none of his pronouncements were taken at all seriously, in spite of their actual importance to the group’s day-to-day existence."
Gravitas is from the Latin gravitas, "heaviness, seriousness," from gravis, "heavy, serious."
Griselda \gri-ZEL-duh\ (noun) –
1 : A woman of exemplary meekness and patience.
2 : A female given name: from a Germanic word meaning ‘gray battle.’
‘While most in the office described Lois as ‘mousy,’ Hank considered her more of a Griselda given her ablility to work through a long, tiresome, complicated project while never complaining of the difficulty or added workload.’
Def. 1 after a character in a tale of the same name in Giovanni Boccaccio’s Decameron.