New Words For Me…

  • Azew – old English term for when a cow’s milk dries up
  • Dry as a kex – “kex” is English dialect for the dry and usually hollow stem of various plants
  • Tranter  – old name for peddler or hawker using a horse and card
  • Thermidorean – (n.) member of French moderate group who participated in the downfall of Robespierre et al in 1794, a coup d’etat.
  • Ethiopic – ancient South Semitic language in northern area of Ethiopia. Used more commonly nowadays in various religious services.
  • Dapes inemptae – “unpurchased banquet” of dairyman’s self-sufficiency in producing food for self and family
  • Withy-bed –Do you think it’s something to do with the mattress filling? Withy is a strong flexible willow stem, so perhaps used for bed mattress …?
  • Carking – burdensome, annoying
  • Springe (trap?) – device for snaring small game using a noose attached to a branch under tension
  • Felloes (carriage) – rim (or section of rim) of a wheel supported by spokes
  • Percipient – one that perceives; one on whose mind a telepathic message falls
  • Lanchers – (v.) seldom used version of verb “to launch” (i.e. he lanchers the stick in the air)
  • Scapegrace – scoundrel, rascal, usually a child in age
  • Horological – art/science of measuring time
  • Tantalus – (used in context of being a pot of some type to hold whisky) Greek myth figure made to stand in pool of water beneath fruit tree whose branches are just out of reach and the water always receding so always thirsty and hungry. Origin of verb “to tantalize” (having something desirable just out of reach).
  • Inanition – lethargy; exhaustion due to starvation
  • Nainsook – soft fine muslin often used for babies’ clothing
  • Ambuscade – variation of ambush (both verb and noun), late 16th century
  • Ribson pippin” of a man – Ribson pippin is a type of apple – perhaps man was apple-shaped?
  • Starve-acre (place) – of or pertaining to land that takes a lot of work to farm and even then isn’t that good

From all over the place the last couple of weeks or so… Quite a few from Tess of the D’Urbervilles and some from Sherlock Holmes…

Sherlock Holmes

New (to me) words…

So, I have been making a list of new-to-me words, mostly from Edith Wharton but other random sources as well:

  • Herdic (re: transportation) – type of horse-drawn carriage (late 1880’s US)
  • Vicegerent – official administrative duty of a rule or head of state
  • Enfiladed – gunfire directed along the whole length of a target (e.g. down a straight trench from end to end etc.)
  • Fatuities – self-satisfied unintelligence combined with complacency
  • Vaticanations – the art of prophesying (Link with the Vatican/Catholic church somehow?)
  • Aigrettes – tuft or plume of feathers used in head dress
  • Sacerdotal – related to priests or priesthood
  • Encaustic – related to art using wax
  • Philippic – a fiery damning speech delivered to condemn political person
  • Miry (re: weather) –  swampy damp ground
  • Sneck (re: gate) – door latch (in Northern UK and Scotland 13th century)
  • Plethoric – overfull, turgid. (Related to “plethora” as in “a lot”)
  • Adumbrations – to give a sketchy outline or foreshadow
  • Surcharged ceiling? – Was there a ceiling tax at some point? (Similar to the old window tax in UK?)
  • Lemtta – ??
  • Gnomic – resembling or containing proverbs or other aphorisms

So many words, so little time… 🙂