Category Archives: Richard’s word of the day

Obambulating with Armitage: TAE Word for the Day


This week’s words from A.Word. A. Day feature selections that sound as if they might be tied to the candidates in the presidential election here in the U.S.–but actually have no connection.

I loved this one:

obombulate: (verb) to walk about. From the Latin,  ob- (to) + ambulare (to walk). Earliest documented use: 1614.

Oh, I do enjoy watching Mr. Armitage and his various ChaRActers doing a bit of obombulating, don’t you?

Harry Kennedy obombulates in Dibley with its charming vicar, Geraldine in a screencap from “The Vicar of Dibley” (courtesy of RANet).

Sir Guy is obombulating a bit unsteadily when he answers Robin’s challenge in the first ep of RH S3.

Oh, dear. Obambulate as much as you want to in that outfit, my Dark Knight!

Sgt. Porter obambulates in the desert (and amazingly, gets a signal on his smartphone).

Watching Richard Armitage obombulate with those long, long legs, those slinky hips and the Derriere of Delight can be downright discombobulating (throwing one into a state of confusion).

If you could obambulate with Mr. Armitage or one of his characters, when and where you choose to do it?

A Man of “Mense”: TAE Word for the Day


Mense (pronounced “mens”): (noun) propriety, decorum, manliness, dignity, comeliness, civility (transitive verb) to grace; adorn.  NOT to be confused with “menses.” Totally different meaning . . .

(Propriety is the quality or state of being proper or suitable; decorum refers to appropriateness of behavior, conduct. The plural form decorums refers to the conventions of polite behavior.) 

Mense comes from the Middle English menske (honor), derived from the Old Norse mennska, (humanity), related to Old English (man).

I think we would all agree that Richard Armitage is a well-brought-up gentleman. His parents, teachers and other mentors taught him about good manners, suitable behavior and the importance of civility, and it seems to have stuck.

There are no stories of Mr. A throwing cell phones at beleaguered hotel staff members,  engaging in fisticuffs outside nightclubs, acting like a divo on set or staggering drunkenly around an English neighborhood in the wee hours shouting at the top of his lungs, “I’m Guy of Gisborne. Let me in!”

He is a man who exhibits mense. Polite, soft-spoken, thoughtful, never one to push himself forward, good-humored but never mean-spirited–Richard is an example of manliness in its most beautiful form.

Positively Protean Armitage: TAE Word for the Day


protean: (adj)  (1) Assuming many forms; variable.  (2) Able to handle many different things, as roles in a play. Versatile.

After Proteus, a sea god in Greek mythology, who could assume different forms. He got his name from the Greek protos (first) as he was one of the earliest sea gods. Earliest use: 1594.

The dark knight who captured my heart.

The first thing I ever saw Richard Armitage in was Robin Hood. I was taken with the nuances, the depth, the vulnerabilities he gave to what could have otherwise been a bog-standard one-dimensional henchman (not to mention the Guyliner and leather). That, of course, led me to investigate some of his earlier material. In a fairly brief space of time, I saw North & South, Sparkhouse, and The Vicar of Dibley‘s Wholly Holy Happy Ending.

I can only say I was truly blown away. This actor was clearly no one-trick pony. It was hard for me to believe the same human being who had given us the smouldering, swaggering, staggeringly sexy Sir Guy had also brought to life a painfully shy Yorkshire farmer, that gentle giant John Standring.

Sweetie John, the shy, steadfast friend and husband.

And the sunny, sweet, cheeky accountant Harry. And created the Victorian mill owner Thornton, the good son who had borne the responsibility of restoring and maintaining his family’s good name and fortune.  Wow.

Harry discusses “one kiss. With Tongues.” with Geraldine as part of paying up on her debt.

Thornton, the sober mill owner who develops a “foolish passion” for a young lady from the genteel south.

The man is a veritable acting chameleon, assuming many forms in a convincing manner, subtly altering voice, facial expressions, body language and mannerisms in order to create a new and different character.

And then, of course, there’s all those talents and skills. Swordfighting and horseback riding; singing and dancing; writing, painting, playing musical instruments . . . well, you get the idea. As I said, not a one-trick pony at all.

I would say Richard Armitage is a positively protean actor, wouldn’t you? And aren’t you glad you discovered him, too?

Ameliorating via Armitage: TAE Word for the Day


Ameliorate: (verb) to make or to grow better; to improve . To step in and make an unsatisfactory situation better.

Synonyms include amend, enhance, help.

ETYMOLOGY: From the Latin melior, “better.” Earliest known use: 1767

Richard Armitage is a man who believes in a life philosophy of nourishment and nurturing, of building up rather than tearing down, of treating others the way you yourself would want to be treated. He is a man who strives to see just how far he can go on “somewhat limited talent” (his words, NOT mine). He seeks to improve himself and encourages us to do the same by word and deed; he leads by example.

In my opinion, he enhances any production in which he appears. He often ameliorates the role, adding dimensions  and shadings to the character that might very well not be there if played by someone else.  Think of Sir Guy, no cardboard cutout “evil henchman” or John Porter, far more than just a bloke with big guns and big muscles.

I think most of us would also agree that Mr. Armitage has ameliorated our own lives. It’s not only through entertaining and moving us through his fine performances. It’s also the way he serves as a muse for our own creative endeavors, both fandom and non-fandom related, and a catalyst for positive action and change in our own lives.

Ameliorating through Armitage: it’s a good thing.

Our Munificent Man: TAE Word for the Day


Munificent: ( adj.) extremely generous

Munificent is a word often used in reference to someone who makes large donations to a worthy cause–a munificent supporter of the American Cancer Society or the humane society or a college scholarship fund, for example.

But a munificent person can also be someone extremely generous in other ways: generous with their talents, creativity, time, compassion, kindness, friendship, humor.

Surely, then, our Richard is a not only amazing, marvelous and magnificent, but also munificent?  Of course, he is a supporter of a number of charities himself and seems to engage whole-heartedly in efforts to help raise funds to “raise up Christchurch” after the earthquake in New Zealand.

Richard posing with an official at one of the Christchurch fundraisers he and fellow TH cast members participated in.

But he is munificent in other areas of his life, too. Witness the recent meetings with fans and their family members on the Black Sky set. Richard was under no obligation to take the time out of his busy work schedule to talk with fans, pose for photos and sign autographs. But he chose to do so in a truly munificent manner.

Photo courtesy of RAlover of Richard obligingly posing for pix on the set of Black Sky.

Lucy Griffiths described RA as a great screen partner. It seems he was munificent as he worked with this younger and less experienced actress. There was certainly a lot of enthusiasm in her voice when she talked about Richard (but then again, can we blame her?).

Screencap courtesy of RANet of Richard and Lucy as Guy and Marian in Robin Hood.

And our hard-working actor who keeps putting his all into his parts, who researches each role, creates bios for his characters, a man who has mastered sword fighting and archery and horseback riding and dealing with his water phobia, a man who can hair act–this, dear friends, is a man who is truly munificent with his gifts and talents. And we all benefit from his munificence, don’t we?

Richard Crispin Armitage: a munificent man in many ways.

Mr. A and his smilerynkers; or crow’s feet go international


Who knew all the fascinating things you could learn about crow’s feet? Here are the comments left by some readers at the A.Word.a.Day site which appeared in the weekly roundup post.  I have to say I really like the Danes’ take on the subject.

And here is Mr. A showing off his smilerynkers.

Richard shows off his smiling wrinkles for us in this screencap from the Spooks 7 DVD extras. Courtesy of RichardArmitageNet

Subject: crow’s feet  Def: Wrinkles in the skin around the outer corners of the eyes.

In Italian it corresponds to “zampe di gallina” = “hen’s feet”.

Emanuela Ughi, Perugia, Italy

Ah! Languages. I’m a Francophone. When I take French leave most of your readers take the equivalent English leave (in French). Oddly enough we often resort to different animals to describe the same phenomenon. In today’s case (aging showing at the outer edge of our eyes), we refer to geese as in “goose’s feet” instead of your crow. Seems to me that they leave quite a different footprint. I’ll take your crow for my (not golden) goose.

Claude Généreux, Montreal, Canada

Curiously, in Brazil “chicken’s feet” has the same meaning.

Heber R. Da Cruz, Maceió, Brazil

The Danish term for crow’s feet is somewhat more gentle and puts a more positive spin on it. The term is smilerynker, literally smiling wrinkles. You get them from a long life, where you have lived and laughed.

Crow’s feet, on the other hand, kragetæer, literally crow’s toes, is handwriting like mine that is uneven and hard to decipher and looks like the tracks left in the snow by birds hopping about.

Henrik Nielsen, Indianapolis, Indiana
Richard channeling his Cary Grant and showing off those smiling wrinkles at the 2010 BAFTAs. Courtesy of RANet

In my language – Swedish – this expression is used for handwriting that is almost illegible, a child’s (or a doctor’s).

Agneta Sandelin, Stockholm, Sweden
In English, that sort of handwriting is called “chicken scratch”. -Carolanne Reynolds

Years ago when our granddaughter, Samantha, was about four years old, she sat on my wife’s lap and was gently rubbing my wife’s face, around her eyes and accompanying crow’s feet. Samantha lovingly said, “Grandma, I love your pleats.”

Marvin Berkson

As an orthopedic surgeon, I cannot let pass this opportunity to mention, for the record, the bird part, dear to my specialty. It’s the pes anserinus, or goose’s foot. Located just below the knee, this structure represents the confluence of three tendons, likened to the three-toed configuration of a goose foot. A nearby bursa (sac) can become inflamed causing the painful pes anserine bursitis.

Lawrence Schweitzer, MD, Danbury, Connecticut

A crow’s foot is also the mark  a carpenter uses to mark his measuring tape, you start the mark at the correct measurement on the tape and angle it slightly to the left and a second mark angles slightly to the right. Looks like a crow’s foot.

Joe Dorrance, Parker, Colorado

Crow’s feet (plural of crow’s foot) is also a term in the American English tradesman’s vernacular for an open-end socket wrench attachment (images) that can get the job done in tight work areas where a regular wrench or socket just won’t do!

Joe DiFernando, Norfolk, Virginia

Within the conventions of comic book lettering, crow’s feet describes the marks used to indicate a human sound that accompanies the in-taking or expelling of air. Also called breath marks, they are usually three small dashes stacked vertically (and at slight angles) on each side of the sound that the character is making (such as a whew, gasp!, cough, sputter). Here’s a panelfrom the “Silk Spectre” comic book showing the use of crow’s feet in a dialog balloon.

Ken Kirste, Sunnyvale, California

Now, Mr. A hasn’t yet lived a long life, but I think there has been plenty of laughter and, I hope, lots of love in his 41 years. Here’s hoping there is lots more to come!

Richard as John Porter after an amusing encounter with Danni in Strike Back. Screencap courtesy of RANet

That Richard Armitage is a Lulu: TAE Word for the Day


Today’s word is lulu (pronounced LOO-loo): noun. A remarkable person, idea or thing 

Etymology: Possibly coming from the nickname for Louise. Earliest recorded use: 1886.


Wow, when this word appeared in my A.Word. A.Day email this morning, I could only think of a certain TDHBEW.

Richard Armitage: blindingly handsome, extraordinarily talented, with a keen intelligence and wit and charisma to spare. A man who is sweet, thoughtful, modest, kind and gentle; a man who believes in nourishment and nurturing.  Richard is remarkable, no doubt about it. Richard Armitage, ladies and gents, is a real lulu, wouldn’t you agree?




Perhaps my favorite photo taken on the set of Black Sky, courtesy of RALover and RichardArmitageNet.

TAE Word for the Day: Does Mr. Armitage make you simper?


The Word for the Day is simper (verb) to smile in a silly, self-conscious way. (2) To say with a simper.

(Noun) A silly, self-conscious smile.

I sometimes think it is a good thing I can’t see my face while I am looking at images of RA/listening to his voice because I suspect I would be, as we say in this neck of the woods, “grinning like a possum.” Or, in other words, I’d have a simper on my face. I’d be simpering.

And so I ask, ladies and gents, does Mr. A make you simper (amongst other things)?

Gallant Gent: TAE Word for the Day


See if this definition reminds you of anyone.

gallant (adjective)

1.  Brave, spirited, noble-minded, chivalrous: a gallant knight; a gallant rescue attempt.

2. Exceptionally polite and attentive to women; courtly.

3. Stately, grand; a gallant pageant.


1. A brave, noble-minded and chivalrous man.

2. A man exceptionally attentive to women.

3. A stylish and dashing man.


Polite, chivalrous, attentive, brave. A gallant man, indeed.





Armitage’s Armamentarium!: TAE Word for the Day


Surely this word was made for our TDHBEW.

armamentarium (noun):  a fruitful source of devices or materials available for or used for an undertaking; the aggregate of equipment, methods and techniques available to one for carrying out one’s duties.

Mr. Armitage uses his Method acting techniques, journaling, intelligence and intuition, his mobile features and command of his physicality, along with an amazing vocal instrument, to bring his characters to life, giving them depth and breadth and believability. He has a powerful armamentarium at his disposal to craft a great performance.

Likewise, characters such as Lucas North and Sgt. John Porter have their armamentariums of gadgets, tools and weapons to aid them on their missions.

Armamentarium is from the Latin root armament, referring to equipment used by a military unit. The suffix -arium denotes a location or receptacle.

Bravo for Armitage’s Armamentarium and long may it bring us enjoyment!



It would appear John Porter has packed a potent portion of his armamentarium for his mission.

Sir Guy and the Flatigious Foe: TAE Word for the Day



Flatigious Vasey throwing Guy under the bus and turning him over to the guards after the debacle with Irish Spring and the Lucky Charms Guy.

Sir Guy didn’t have it easy. The woman he loved and did his best to protect played him for a fool, He was constantly thwarted by that glory hog git Hoodie and the Mysterious Man with Boobs known as the Nightwatchman–and he had to deal with the capriciousness and ire of Vasey, who would definitely be in consideration for “Worst Boss.”

In fact, Vasey was downright flatigious, which seems a particular shame for the good people of the shire, considering he was the chief officer of the law in Nottingham.

Flatigious: (adjective): extremely wicked; criminal.

From the Latin flagitiosis, from flagitium (shameful act),  flagitare (to plead or demand persistently). First used prior to 1384.

Poor Guy, getting an earful once more when his great plan to trap the gang goes completely awry. (screencaps courtesy of RANet)




We can hardly blame Sir Guy for expressing such feelings to the flatigious Vasey.



Nottie’s tin god: TAE Word for the Day


tin god: (noun) (1) A pompous, self-important person. (2) A person who considers himself or herself infallible and tries to dictate standards of behavior or belief.

This term refers to the fact that tin as a base metal compared with other, more precious metals. In other words, petty or of little value. First documented use was before 1880.

Could one describe a certain beady-eyed, treacherous troll as a little tin god? A clue–yes!

Thank heavens we have Guy–who is the pure platinum sex god of Nottingham!!! He’s OUR baddie. 😉

Who are some other tin gods you might have noticed in RA’s productions?

Noshable Armitage: TAE Word of the Day


I have actually used today’s word in reference to Mr. Armitage more than once.

Nosh: (verb) to snack or eat between meals; to snack on. (noun)  a snack.

Nosh stems from the Yiddish word nashn which came from the German word meaning “to nibble.” It entered English in the 1950s.

Naturally, this being Guyday Friday, I would choose artwork featuring our favorite hot henchman  to illustrate. I often find I want to nosh on that tempting long swan-like neck of Guy’s. I also think that laryngeal prominence I admire so much would make a great nosh. After all, it is called an Adam’s-apple, isn’t it?  😉

A little romance courtesy of John and Margaret


In the mood for some hearts and flowers, my darlings? Well, here you go. Nobody is more swoon-worthy than our dear Mr. Thornton. Oh, what he says with those eyes, and that smile and those beautiful hands . . . sometimes actions do speak louder, far louder than words.