WORD LISTS

Strike A Pose: Positions and Posture

June 4, 2020
These words describe all sorts of ways that we move, rest, or arrange our limbs. Don't just stand there, let's get to it!
abduction
Abduction means kidnapping, forcibly carrying someone away. But in an anatomical context, it has a different meaning: moving part of your body away from your center. Adduction is its opposite: pulling your limbs back towards your center.
Abduction and adduction are two terms that are used to describe movements towards or away from the midline of the body.
akimbo
With his arms akimbo and his chin turned artfully to the side, he looked as if he were posing in a bodybuilding lineup.
attitude
Attitude means "mindset:" your demeanor and emotional state in a given moment or regarding a particular subject. In terms of your body, attitude has a similar meaning: your pose, posture, or any way in which your position reveals something about your mood.
She assumed an attitude of prayer, looked at the icons, repeated the words of a prayer, but she could not pray.
bearing
Bearing can mean "carrying," and it can also mean "direction," specifically in terms of navigation using a compass. But your bearing can also describe, literally, the way you carry yourself.
With his aristocratic bearing, he seemed to be made of marble and standing on a pedestal.
carriage
Like bearing, above, carriage literally refers to the way you carry yourself: the ways in which your posture, movements, and gait make you unique and shed some light on your character or nature.
In ballet, there is a sort of tuning the mind in to the place on its dial that monitors the body’s placement and carriage.
extension
When you contract your triceps, your arm straightens and the angle between the forearm and the upper arm increases; this is called " extension."
flex
“You want to flex different muscles but still maintain some of the things they look to you for in casting,” he says.
gait
Gait is a Scottish version of the Germanic gate, used to mean "way," "street," or "path," but also the manner of walking or movement: the particularities of a person's stride that make it recognizable or noteworthy.
He seemingly mimicked their gait and moves, their posture and their vocalisations.
genuflect
Literally meaning "bend the knee" in Latin — for all you Game of Thrones fans out there — genuflect refers specifically to the act of kneeling and crossing oneself in the Catholic church and also generally to any act of subservience before a powerful person or institution.
“Too often we just ignore China's aggression, genuflecting before the throne of free markets,” he said.
kowtow
Similar in meaning to genuflect, kowtow is Chinese, and describes a kneeling bow where the top of the head touches the floor: a display of complete submission.
“South Korea is gagging us, who are its citizens, while kowtowing to the evil regime in the North,” said Mr. Park, who leads a group called Fighters for Free North Korea.
poise
Poise comes from the Anglo-Norman poiser, meaning "to weigh." An old-fashioned balance — a scale for weighing things — has two baskets or trays. When the two trays are level, both sides weigh the same. Poise refers to balance, and also to gracefulness, especially under pressure.
The orchestra is poised, ready, hands on instruments, eyes on me.
posture
The transformation is striking, not just her body and posture, but her face, too, becomes radiant.
prone
The video then shows Brooks prone on the ground.
prostrate
Prostrate is like prone, meaning flat on your stomach, but often with the connotation of submission as opposed to prone being a simple description of a pose.
The other will be a prostrate George Floyd, whose excruciating Memorial Day execution sparked a global protest movement against racism and police violence.
slouch
But Letts gets the nod for an unshowy performance that seized attention with every passive-aggressive slouch and grimace while illuminating the power dynamics of a marriage in a modern masterpiece that suddenly seemed newly understood.
squat
Esquatir is Old French for "to crush," "to flatten," or "to squash." It also describes the way rabbits sit: crouched, low to the ground.
In his garage, he’ll squat a little more than 500 pounds, do a few sets of lunges holding 70-pound weights in each hand, and other workouts.
stance
Stance can be literal or figurative: the way you stand, or where you stand on a particular issue.
As children we imitated a favorite batting stance, pitching motion or even hairstyle, somehow believing this would miraculously transfuse our heroes’ skill into our circulation.
stoop
He suffered permanent injuries and was left with a slight stoop in his walk and with a disfigured hand.
straddle
Straddle comes from the same Old English root as stride.
Mr. Scott repeatedly says, “OK” and “I can’t breathe” as officers handcuff him, one straddling his back, and then moving down to his leg.
supine
The opposite of prone, supine means laying on your back. It comes from the Latin supinus, meaning the same thing.
Mr. Lobner said that even in an ordinary nuclear submarine, clearances in the battery compartment are so narrow that a routine inspection often requires shimmying through in a prone or supine position.

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