New to Me Words…

These are new-to-me words, mostly from Thackeray’s Vanity Fair:

  • Minerra – nothing came up. Any ideas? (It’s not Minerva, btw.)
  • Wherry –  a light rowing boat
  • Polonies* – alternate name for Poland; also means a type of bologna sausage.
  • Salvolatile – type of smelling salts (i.e. solution of ammonium carbonate in alcohol or ammonia water)
  • Pillan – a slender freestanding vertical column
  • Engoument – not sure. Any ideas? Presumably French in origin.
  • Antiphlogistic (re: medicine) – reducing inflammation or fever
  • Doter – to bestow excessive love or affection (from verb: to dote). Duh. Should have known that.
  • Negus – title for sovereign of Ethiopia (until 1974)
  • Eclaircissement – enlightenment; a cleaning up of a puzzle
  • Couchant – re: heraldry – describes an animal lying down with its head raised. (Link with Fr. Verb coucher?)
  • Entresol – the floor just above the ground floor of a building; mezzanine
  • Calash – light small-wheeled carriage and a collapsible top
  • Fredaines – mischief or escapade
  • “Apples and parliament” phrase – no idea. Perhaps similar to “apples and oranges”?
  • Moreen – heavy curtain fabric

I must admit to being rather impressed with Victorian vocab. 🙂

* This reminds me of the Seinfield episode where Jerry asks ‘Who had a pony when they were a kid?”… “I had a pony when I was growing up…” (Remember it?)

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