vocabulary

Visual Vocabulary: Reveille

Reveille: a signal to get up in the morning; in the military it is a bugle call at sunrise. As in, “Every morning when they sounded the reveille at Camp Anawanna, Donkey Lips was rudely and violently startled awake.”

Visual Vocabulary: reveille, Julie Rado Design

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For the full experience, you’re going to want to play the audio with this one. And if you don’t know who Donkey Lips is, then I’m sorry that you did not grow up with Nickelodeon in the early 90s. Salute your shorts! And if you did grow up watching Nickelodeon, well, you’ll never forget what the word reveille means now. 

Camp Anawanna, we hold you in our hearts
And when we think about you, it makes me wanna fart!
(Some things never change)

P.S. I’m sure my musical notes are riddled with mistakes. Forgive me, for I was not a bugler. I was a violinist and I’m very rusty at reading music.


Visual Vocabulary is a project I created for myself in which I attempt to sear new words into my memory by illustrating them. You can see all of them here, and read more about the process behind them here.

Visual Vocabulary: Sirocco

Sirocco: a windstorm that lifts up clouds of dust or sand. As in, “I was doing my spring cleaning and managed to whip up quite the sirocco. I guess I should probably bust out the Swiffer more often.”

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This is going to be one of the words I just know I’ll attempt to use in future and get the pronunciation and/or spelling wrong. In the last five minutes Ive spelled it “sorocco,” “sicorro” and “soccoro.” Whatever, the fancy name for the dust cloud, you know which one I mean! I can remember harmattan just fine, but its a bit more geographically specific. However, once again I need to point out that a captious Mr. Carson would not be amused with the source of this sirocco.


Visual Vocabulary is a project I created for myself in which I attempt to sear new words into my memory by illustrating them. You can see all of them here, and read more about the process behind them here.


Visual Vocabulary: Meretricious

Meretricious: of, relating to, or characteristic of a prostitute. As in, “Say, Janie, don’t you think those boots are a little...meretricious?”

Visual Vocabulary: meretricious, Julie Rado Design

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Haven’t we all had a gleam in our eye for lace-up, thigh-high red pleather hooker boots [or some other equally distasteful article from clothing from Rave] at one point in our lives? (Probably around the time we were 16?) Let’s be thankful for the friends who talked us out of dressing quite so meretriciously.... Alternatively, let’s be thankful for the friends who gleefully joined in dressing meretriciously so we wouldn’t feel alone. Which camp did you fall into??


Visual Vocabulary is a project I created for myself in which I attempt to sear new words into my memory by illustrating them. You can see all of them here, and read more about the process behind them here.


Visual Vocabulary: Saccade

Saccade: a rapid, jerky movement of the eyes between positions of rest. As in, “Did you notice the saccade that Marvin developed after his eighteenth cup of coffee today? Someone needs to tell that dude to lay off the caffeine and keep him away from the clients!”

Visual Vocabulary: saccade, Julie Rado Design

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Bzzzt. Bzzzt. That’s what a saccade sounds like. Come to think of it, this is probably what we look like when there’s a fruit fly relentlessly hovering around our computer screens and we’re trying to find the perfect moment to lay the smack down. Call it the fruit fly saccade. Or if you want to remain un-fancy, ping pong eyeballs.


Visual Vocabulary is a project I created for myself in which I attempt to sear new words into my memory by illustrating them. You can see all of them here, and read more about the process behind them here.


Visual Vocabulary: Bibelot

Bibelot: a bauble, knickknack or trinket. As in, “Sammy continued to gather dust on Thelmas shelf and thought to himself, ‘I’m just a bibelot. Everywhere I go. Just a damn bibelot.’”

Visual Vocabulary: bibelot, Julie Rado Design

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Im going to go ahead and assume that if, like me, you grew up in the 70s or 80s, you totally get the two references in this illustration. If not, then all I have to say is Bop. Bozedy bozedy bop, zitty bop. And then I’d tell you to look here and here.


Visual Vocabulary is a project I created for myself in which I attempt to sear new words into my memory by illustrating them. You can see all of them here, and read more about the process behind them here.


Visual Vocabulary: Bumptious

Bumptious: self-assertive or proud to an irritating degree. As in, “Claire’s not just confident, she’s downright bumptious.”

Visual Vocabulary: bumptious, Julie Rado Design

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I imagine Claire Underwood gets up in the morning and on her vanity there’s a framed card that says “Bumptious Biznatch.” Right? I haven’t started watching season three yet, but somehow I imagine her thirst for power hasn’t been quenched. Maybe she’ll step over Frank and take the presidency...Now that would be some good TV.


Visual Vocabulary is a project I created for myself in which I attempt to sear new words into my memory by illustrating them. You can see all of them here, and read more about the process behind them here.


Visual Vocabulary: Stolid

Stolid: showing little emotion; not easily aroused or excited. As in, “The bulldog eyed the fire hydrant, but remained stolid, as was his nature. Frankly, it was unimpressive.” 

Visual Vocabulary: stolid, Julie Rado Design

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I will admit that this week I took a shortcut and re-used this bulldog illustration. I created him (and a bunch of other fun critters) for a client project that never saw the light of day. But I couldn’t bear to keep him buried on a hard drive, so I finally took him out for a walk. He has yet to voice his appreciation. 


Visual Vocabulary is a project I created for myself in which I attempt to sear new words into my memory by illustrating them. You can see all of them here, and read more about the process behind them here.


Visual Vocabulary: Otiose

Otiose: serving no useful purpose, futile. 

As in, “When it’s cold out, it seems a bit otiose to indicate that you want tea, Earl Grey, hot. Of course you want hot tea in the dead of winter, Jean Luc. Similarly, it would be otiose to resist the Borg. Those guys don’t take no for an answer. This concludes Your Guide to Starship Enterprise Basics, Day One.”

Visual Vocabulary: otiose, Julie Rado Design

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Does anyone out there not associate the word “futile” with the Borg? I have a skewed survey sample because I grew up watching ST:TNG and all of my adult friends are nerds. So I’m sorry if it looks like I took the easy way out of illustrating otiose, but now I can say I have illustrated a Borg. That's going under the “Nerdery” header on my resume. 


Visual Vocabulary is a project I created for myself in which I attempt to sear new words into my memory by illustrating them. You can see all of them here, and read more about the process behind them here.


Visual Vocabulary: Frippery

Frippery: showy or unnecessary in ornament, a tawdry or frivolous thing.

As in, “Some people may think that the topping selection at the frozen yogurt store is a frippery, but I say variety is the *sprinkle* of life!”

Visual Vocabulary: frippery, Julie Rado Design

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I must confess, frippery is a word that I discovered last week and it pushed its way to the front of the line past words that have been patiently waiting to be illustrated for a lonnng time. But it was just one of those words that no matter what, I knew would be fun to draw. Casuistry, maybe someday I’ll figure out how to illustrate you the way you deserve to be illustrated. Until then, my choices remain ones of frippery. 


Visual Vocabulary is a project I created for myself in which I attempt to sear new words into my memory by illustrating them. You can see all of them here, and read more about the process behind them here.


Visual Vocabulary: Weltschmerz

Weltschmerz: Sadness on thinking about the evils of the world. As in, “Some days, the sense of Weltschmerz when listening to the news is just too much for me, so I have to turn on some mind-numbing fluff music to keep myself from feeling all the feelings.”

Visual Vocabulary: weltschmerz, Julie Rado Design

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I think we’ve all felt some Velt-shmerts with the news lately, haven’t we? Thankfully, there are things like Mommy unicorns giving birth to triplets at the zoo to keep us hopeful. 


Visual Vocabulary is a project I created for myself in which I attempt to sear new words into my memory by illustrating them. You can see all of them here, and read more about the process behind them here.