New Words for Me…


  • Nose-nippers – another word for pince-nez spectacles
  • Sullen-looking chairs that were as thick as they were high” – anyone know?
  • Bench-joy – another puzzler
  • Benignantly – kind, especially to inferiors; a good influence
  • Dumbledore (Thos Hardy) – old dialect in SW UK: a bumble bee. (Fr: Old English dumble – to move sluggishly + dor (humming insect). It’s not just Harry Potter then…
  • Dry as a lime basket – hmm. Couldn’t find this out. There was mention of how to dry limes, but not a “lime basket”… Some type of weaving technique?
  • Fried liver and lights – the “lights” word is another name for offal (I think)
  • Tranter – a peddler, hawker or carrier using a horse and cart.
  • Nasmyth hammer – a type of steam hammer to shaping large pieces of wrought iron (1839)
  • Rencounter –to meet casually
  • Mumbudgeting– unsure. “Interrupting?”
  • Drong (clothing?) – hmm. I could only find reference to a passageway or lane between hedges. In Canada, salmon pools are sometimes called drongs, I’ve heard.
  • Laodicean – lukewarm or indifferent to politics
  • Onriddle – Not sure. Context was Under the Greenwood Tree: “Thou’st ought to be able to onriddle such a chief as she…”
  • White Tuesday – couldn’t find much about this…  Any ideas?
  • Birdlime (linked with trapping wild birds and keeping them alive) – sticky material made from bark of holly etc. and smeared on twigs to catch small birds that light on it.

From Under the Greenwood Tree (mostly) with a bit of Willa Cather thrown in.


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