Forbes has an article entitled How to Cheat at Golf — Without the Guilt which called into question today the definition for a word that I’ve used on occasion. That word? Par.
The Forbes article says:
2. PAR IS AN IMPOSSIBLE DREAM.
Give it up. Of those golfers who register with the USGA for an official handicap (just one out of five players), a mere 0.7% can be considered “scratch” golfers, meaning they actually have a sporting chance of shooting par over 18 holes. You are not one of these superhumans. Instead try this psychological trick: Consider every hole on the course a par-5. Shoot a 5 on every hole and you’ll get a 90, which is great, all things considered.
So often we use par to mean, well, mean or median. Average. It’s from the Latin for equal, after all. But if you look at the golf leaderboard, you’ll see that half of the field is not above par, nor are the leaders so far above the rest of the field to set par at the mean statistical definition.
No, in golfing terms, par is set arbitrarily by the golf course designers or professionals, and it’s a standard that most golfers can’t meet.
Please update your preferred metaphors and clichés appropriately.
1. (of letters) capital.
2. large, as either capital or uncial letters.
3. written in such letters ( opposed to minuscule).
4. a majuscule letter.
Personally, I am on a quest to introduce this word into the common slang as an adjective meaning superlative or spectacular.
The St. Louis Blues were majuscular in their game against the Sharks.
(From Agent of Byzantium.)
Patteran, a set of coded signs made with sprigs or something, typically associated with gypsies. (Definition)
From, appropriately, "The Gipsy Trail":
Follow the Romany patteran
North where the blue bergs sail,
And the bows are grey with the frozen spray,
And the masts are shod with mail.
I’ll be able to use this one in a sentence, werd.
Orpiment, a yellow pigment made from arsenic. (Definition)
From "The Song of Diego Valdez":
But I remember comrades–
Old playmates on new seas–
Whenas we traded orpiment
Among the savages–
A thousand leagues to south’ard
And thirty years removed–
They knew not noble Valdez,
But me they knew and loved.
I don’t think I’ll get to use this in conversation often, though.