New Word #121
runner-up: It is used to describe the second winner in a competition. And the number one is called champion, a beautiful word, of course and the second is called runner-up, which sounds like a reluctant name one gives to something (or someone) one doesn’t really want to think about.
penultimate: last but one in a series of things; second last. This word is rarely used.
antepenultimate: last but two in a series; third last. I’ve never seen this word being used.
dyphobia: also known as diphobia or duophobia, is the fear of number two. I don’t know why some people will be afraid of number 2. The fear of number 13 is … OK, considering the fact that 13 is not so often used, but number 2 is.
second act: A play is divided into the first, second, third act etc. However the phrase “second act” has extended its meaning to include a person’s side job, or a person’s job after retiring or quitting his original occupation.
second coming: the prophesied return of Christ to earth at the Last Judgment. I only saw this phrase being used once in WB Yeat’s poem “The Second Coming”.
second chair: I think it means the person who sits next to the principle player in a band or sits beside the principle lawyer in a legal team (as the second lawyer).
second best: next after the best.
second thoughts: a change of opinion or resolve reached after considering something again. It is usually used just like buyer’s woes to describe a situation, in which a buyer regrets the purchase after the transaction.
second nature: a characteristic or habit in someone that appears to be instinctive because that person has behaved in a particular way so often.
second fiddle: one that plays a supporting or subservient role.
second helping: A second portion of the same thing, usually of food; seconds; refill. I don’t know if this is true but I learned that asking for a second helping is considered a little impolite.
second class: a set of people or things grouped together as the second best. The phrase is often used in “second class citizens”.
second chance: an opportunity to try something again after failing one time. I don’t know why the phrase “second chance” is used more often than “first chance”. Probably because often the first chance is just not enough since people can make mistakes and run into difficulties. Without the second chance or the third chance to try, many things cannot be accomplished.
secondhand: pre-owned. I guess different cultures and different people have very different opinions about pre-owned stuff. And I often feel it strange that antiques are not considered secondhand goods.
first, second, third base: These phrases are often heard in American movies or TV shows about dating to indicate how far one can go…
second opinion: This phrase is only used on medical doctors. A second opinion means that you choose to see another doctor or specialist after you’ve received an initial diagnosis or treatment plan for a medical condition.
second half: We often hear this phrase when we watch sports. The second half is a completely different beast, in comparison with the first half. Since I don’t watch much sports, I really don’t know. There’s also a second half betting for sports games.
second amendment: The 2nd Amendment is a hotly contested issue in America and it concerns a person’s rights to own guns. And it is said at least in several states, even a blind person can own guns. However I don’t know if this blind gun owner has the legal right to shoot.
second stomach: the second compartment of the stomach of a ruminant, like cattle, sheep, deer. However horses only have one stomach. Sometimes the second stomach is (jokingly) referring to a person who can eat dessert even if he or she is full, almost like having a second stomach.
second generation: denoting the offspring of parents who have immigrated to a particular country. This phrase is often heard in the immigrant community. Being the second generation faces a lot of challenges. And if the first generation is narcissistic and stubborn, the challenges for the second generation can amount to psychological catastrophes.
second hand smoke: smoke inhaled involuntarily from tobacco being smoked by others.
second rate: of mediocre or inferior quality.
second mortgage: a loan you take out using your house as collateral while you still have another loan secured by your house.
second degree murder: It is a murder committed without premeditation.
second cousin: Second cousins are the children of first cousins, who are the children of one’s parents’ siblings.
second hand experience: Second hand experiences are those you learn about from other people rather than directly or from your own experience.
second time lucky or third time lucky: better luck than previous times.
second job: A side job, also informally called a side hustle or side gig, is an additional job that a person takes in addition to their primary job in order to supplement their income. Actually women always have the second job of taking care of the family, which unfortunately doesn’t pay salaries.
second income: a form of supplemental income that is in addition to your primary salary or pay. There are also residual income and discretionary income, which mean passive incomes one gets from interests, royalties, or investment.