Words New to Me…


  • Barograph – instrument that record barometric pressure over time.
  • A “neap” tide – a tide just the first or third quarters of the moon when there is the least different between high and low water.
  • Charybdis – a whirlpool off the coast of Sicily personified in Greek mythology as a female monster. (See Wikipedia here for more info.)
  • Genoa sail – a large triangular jib sail with the foot usually parallel and very close to the deck to maximize the sail area.
  • “On the beam” – not sure. Perhaps the breadth of a ship at the widest point?
  • Mephitic – foul smelling or noxious. (Note to self: We’ve had this word before, sunshine. However, this word is perfect for our dog at times…)
  • Cuckoo wrasse – type of fish native to the eastern Atlantic.
  • Spoor – track or scent of an animal or person.
  • Anfractious – sinuous or circuitous.
  • Quizling – a traitor who collaborates with an enemy occupying force. (From Norwegian war-time leader Vidkun Quisling who headed a domestic Nazi collaborationist regime during WWII. Thank you, Mr. Wiki.)
  • Straithes (harbor?) – an old UK word for a wharf used to unload coal.
  • Soutane – type of cassock worn by Roman Catholic priests.
  • Biretta – a square cap with three flat projections on top and worn by Roman Catholic clergymen
  • Cope (Church clothing) – a long enveloping ecclesiastical vestment.
  • Chasubles (church clothing) – a sleeveless outer vestment worn by a Roman Catholic priest, typically ornate and having a simple hole for the head.

(From Coasting by Jonathan Raban.)

Charybdis in action...

Charybdis in action…

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