Category Archives: word

Words from my reading

I think these might be the last words I pull from Godric:

gillyflower, n Carnation or a similar plant of the genus Dianthus; wallflower
page 52, Godric by Frederick Buechner
“We stood beside my father’s stone where I had laid a gillyflower down.”
This reminded me of Harry Potter!

woad flowers

woad, n An annual Old World plant (Isatis tinctoria) in the mustard family, formerly cultivated for its leaves that yield a blue dye; the dye obtained from this plant
page 54, Godric by Frederick Buechner
“Her hands were blue as Father’s lips with woad from dyeing fustian for my lord, and she seized with blue fingers round the wrists.”
Apparently you get the same indigo dye from this plant as from “true indigo,” Indigofera tinctoria, but in a lower concentration. [This plant is considered invasive in the United States.]

fustian, n Formerly, a coarse sturdy cloth made of cotton and flax; presently, any of several thick twilled cotton fabrics, such as corduroy, having a short nap; pretentious speech or writing, pompous language
page 54, Godric by Frederick Buechner
“Her hands were blue as Father’s lips with woad from dyeing fustian for my lord, and she seized with blue fingers round the wrists.”

I just love that two of these words are related to dyeing!

Previous words posts drawing on the vocabulary of Godric:
First installment
Second installment

More great words on my Words from my reading page.

Book cited here:
Godric by Frederick Buechner [Amazon]*

What new words have you found lately?

* That’s an affiliate link; I am an Amazon Associate and receive a small commission on sales through my affiliate links.

Words from my reading

A few more words from Godric this week:

thimble-riggers, pl n Operators of a shell game
page 30, Godric by Frederick Buechner
“Magicians drew live doves out of the air as easy as thimble-riggers drew pence out of dunces’ pockets, and the Jews in their horned caps and yellow badges sat in booths to weigh out silver at the rates of gold.”

campion, n Any of several plants of the genera Lychnis and Silene native chiefly to the Northern Hemisphere and having variously colored flowers with notched or fringed petals
page 35, Godric by Frederick Buechner
“Campion was everywhere and grey-winged gulls.”

shriving, v To obtain absolution for (oneself) by confessing and doing penance; also, to hear confessions
page 42, Godric by Frederick Buechner
“She’d finished telling all her fleshly sins and knelt for shriving when all at once she flung her clothes above her head an nimble as a tumbler at a fair went topsy-turvy with her bum aloft.”

moiety, n A half; a part, portion, or share
page 46, Godric by Frederick Buechner
“By the time that I was thirty-odd and Mouse’s beard already showed a sprig or two of grey, we owned each one a moiety of the Saint Esprit.”

clouts, pl n [There are many definitions for this word, but in this case, it means:] A cloth, a piece of cloth or leather, a patch, a rag
page 46, Godric by Frederick Buechner
“They were Venetian seamen mostly, as brown and spry as apes, and naked save for clouts to hide their lechery.”

Previous words posts drawing on the vocabulary of Godric:
First installment

More great words on my Words from my reading page.

Books cited here:
Godric by Frederick Buechner [Amazon]*

What new words have you found lately?

* That’s an affiliate link; I am an Amazon Associate and receive a small commission on sales through my affiliate links.

Words from my reading

For this week, I’m digging into words from a book that was replete with good ones:

gauds, pl n Pieces of showy finery; a gay trapping, trinket, or the like; any object of ostentation or exultation
page 4, Godric by Frederick Buechner
“We had rabbitfur, goosefeather, beeswax, calfskin, garlic and gauds galore.”
Not gaudy?

perry, n A fermented liquor, similar to cider but made from the juice of pears
page 11, Godric by Frederick Buechner
“She had long legs and hair in a tangle and a gap between her teeth for squirting cider or perry through if ever the whim should take her.”

knout, n A leather scourge used for flogging
page 19, Godric by Frederick Buechner
“I’ve seen a shaft of light aslant through dark, a fierce lance tilted to the heart of things, a flail, a knout.”

goodman, n The man of the house, master, husband, head of a family; an appellation of civility; a term of respect, frequently used to or of a person before his surname: nearly equivalent to Mr. or sometimes to gaffer, sometimes used ironically
page 20, Godric by Frederick Buechner
“‘I planted horns on many a goodman’s brown and jollied lads with tales about it afterward.’”

fettle, v To line the hearth of (a reverberatory furnace) with loose sand or ore in preparation for pouring molten metal
page 29, Godric by Frederick Buechner
“If my lord said harrow, he’d harrow, said tinker, he’d tinker or fettle he’d fettle though he was no villein bound to serve but a man born free as any man and paid the rent of our poor roof with pence.”

More great words on my Words from my reading page.

Books cited here:
Godric by Frederick Buechner [Amazon]*

What new words have you found lately?

* That’s an affiliate link; I am an Amazon Associate and receive a small commission on sales through my affiliate links.

Words from my reading

A few fun words that were new to me this week:

mucker, n I found many definitions, including the one suggested by the word itself (One who removes muck from stables, etc.), but based on the context I think this one’s the most fitting: Friend
page 45, The Mapping of Love and Death by Jacqueline Winspear
“‘I mean, he seems to have been a good sort of bloke, someone you’d want as a mucker.’”

syllabub, n A cold dessert made with sweetened cream thickened with gelatin and beaten with wine, spirits, or fruit juice
page 98, The Mapping of Love and Death by Jacqueline Winspear
“Sutton had picked up a spoon and was holding it above the syllabub served for the pudding course.”
I might like to live in a place that had a pudding course …

celandines, pl n Perennial Eurasian herbs having deeply divided leaves, showy yellow flowers, and yellow-orange latex, also called swallowwort
page 242, The Mapping of Love and Death by Jacqueline Winspear
“With primroses, shiny egg-yolk-yellow celandines, and delicate white wood anemones underfoot, they followed an old path down to the stream that ran through a woodland of hazel, hornbeam, oak, and beech, and soon the pungent aroma of the wild garlic that grew alongside Kent-ish streams was released with every step taken.”
Flower of some kind, that much was clear …

prosopagnosia, n Face blindness (per the text)
page 162, Missing Mark by Julie Kramer
“There was even a scientific name for face blindness, she explained, prosopagnosia.”

syringa, n The mock orange; lilac
page 223, A Lesson in Secrets by Jacqueline Winspear
“Soon she came to a cottage on the right and pulled up alongside a hedge that in May would be blooming with bright white syringa.”
Flowers! Our lilacs are getting ready to bloom.

More great words on my Words from my reading page.

Books cited here:
The Mapping of Love and Death by Jacqueline Winspear [Amazon]*
A Lesson in Secrets by Jacqueline Winspear (review to come) [Amazon]*
Missing Mark by Julie Kramer [Amazon]*

What new words have you found lately?

* That’s an affiliate link; I am an Amazon Associate and receive a small commission on sales through my affiliate links.

Words from my reading

I decided to do this a bit differently this week, since all my words were all found in one sentence. Can you match the implement in each photo (1-4, from top) with the correct term at right?

A. octant
B. graphometer
C. waywiser
D. theodolite

octant, n A measuring instrument used primarily in navigation
page 2, The Mapping of Love and Death by Jacqueline Winspear
“One by one he took each piece and wrapped it carefully with linen and sackcloth: an octant, a graphometer, the surveyor’s compass — a gift from his parents when he completed his studies — a waywiser, theodolite, and tripod.”

graphometer, n A surveying instrument used for angle measurements
page 2, The Mapping of Love and Death by Jacqueline Winspear
“One by one he took each piece and wrapped it carefully with linen and sackcloth: an octant, a graphometer, the surveyor’s compass — a gift from his parents when he completed his studies — a waywiser, theodolite, and tripod.”

waywiser, n An instrument for measuring the distance one has traveled on the road, an odometer, pedometer, or perambulator
page 2, The Mapping of Love and Death by Jacqueline Winspear
“One by one he took each piece and wrapped it carefully with linen and sackcloth: an octant, a graphometer, the surveyor’s compass — a gift from his parents when he completed his studies — a waywiser, theodolite, and tripod.”
Such a great word!

theodolite, n A precision instrument for measuring angles in the horizontal and vertical planes
page 2 , The Mapping of Love and Death by Jacqueline Winspear
“One by one he took each piece and wrapped it carefully with linen and sackcloth: an octant, a graphometer, the surveyor’s compass — a gift from his parents when he completed his studies — a waywiser, theodolite, and tripod.”
I’m pretty sure I’ve encountered this word before, but I drew a blank when I read it here.

More great words on my Words from my reading page.

Books cited here:
The Mapping of Love and Death by Jacqueline Winspear :: Amazon*

What new words have you found lately?

Answers:

  1. C (waywiser)
  2. B (graphometer)
  3. A (octant)
  4. D (theodolite)

Image credits:
1, 2, 3, 4

* That’s an affiliate link; I am an Amazon Associate and receive a small commission on sales through my affiliate links.

Words from my reading

A few fun words that were new to me this week:


Lych Gate at Strata Florida Church, Ceredigion, Wales; photo via Wikipedia

lych-gate, n A roofed gateway to a churchyard used originally as a resting place for a bier before burial
page 74, An Incomplete Revenge by Jacqueline Winspear
“She considered this as she looked first at the Norman church, then at the ancient lych-gate and the graves beyond.”

locum, n Someone (physician or clergyman) who substitutes temporarily for another member of the same profession
page 113, An Incomplete Revenge by Jacqueline Winspear
“‘The village can’t support a vicar of its own anymore; the diocese concluded it’s far too small, so there’s a sort of locum who does the rounds, comes in every Sunday morning and for the usual hatch, match and dispatch work.’”
My guess of itinerant preacher was pretty close.

luthier, n One who makes or repairs stringed instruments, such as violins
page 158, An Incomplete Revenge by Jacqueline Winspear
“Maisie left Chelstone soon after Maurice’s housekeeper came to the cottage bearing an envelope for her, with a note from Maurice and the name of the luthier in Denmark Street who would, she hoped, be able to tell her more about the violin she had witnessed Webb playing with great skill.”

plectra, pl n Small, thin pieces of metal, plastic, bone, or similar material, used to pluck the strings of certain instruments, such as the guitar or lute.
page 216, An Incomplete Revenge by Jacqueline Winspear
“Mahogany counters flanked either side of the shop, displaying strings, clamps, an assortment of plectra, and other tools of the musician’s trade.”

Previous words post drawing on the vocabulary of An Incomplete Revenge.

More great words on my Words from my reading page.

Books cited here:
An Incomplete Revenge by Jacqueline Winspear* [my review]

What new words have you found lately?

* That’s an affiliate link; I am an Amazon Associate and receive a small commission on sales through my affiliate links.

Words from my reading

A few fun words that were new to me this week:

water butt, n [UK] A rainwater tank (sometimes called rain barrels in North America), a tank which is used to collect and store rain water
page 1, An Incomplete Revenge by Jacqueline Winspear
“She pulled a clay pipe from her pocket, inspected the dregs of tobacco in the small barrel, shrugged, and struck a match against the rim of a water butt tied to the side of her traveling home.”

diddakoi, n A Gypsy outside the Romany tribes and of mixed blood
page 2, An Incomplete Revenge by Jacqueline Winspear
“Aunt Beulah hoped the diddakoi families kept away from the farm this year.”

vardo, n A traditional horse-drawn wagon used by British Romani people (Gypsies)
page 2, An Incomplete Revenge by Jacqueline Winspear
“About her business in the morning, Beulah brought four tin bowls from underneath the caravan — underneath the vardo in the gypsy tongue.”
I had this one figured out, but the reference illuminated something for me; an acquaintance is building a vardo!

barathea, n A soft fabric, made from various combinations of wool, silk and cotton, with a lightly ribbed or basketweave surface pattern
page 12, An Incomplete Revenge by Jacqueline Winspear
“She wore a mid-calf-length wool barathea skirt in a rich purple hue, with a red blouse and blue coat — clearly old but well maintained — that draped to mid-thigh.”

borstal, n Any of the prisons set up in Britain for delinquent boys from 1895 to 1982; a British reform school for youths between 16 and 22; formerly a British reform school for youths considered too young to send to prison
page 63, An Incomplete Revenge by Jacqueline Winspear
“The clerk noted that it was lucky they were not yet of an age — sixteen — where they would be sent to borstal.”

More great words on my Words from my reading page.

Books cited here:
An Incomplete Revenge by Jacqueline Winspear* [my review]

What new words have you found lately?

* That’s an affiliate link; I am an Amazon Associate and receive a small commission on sales through my affiliate links.

Words from my reading

A few fun words that were new to me this week:

camlet, n A garment made from rich cloth of Asian origin, supposed originally to have been made of camel’s hair and silk and later made of goat’s hair and silk or other combinations
page 68, Saint Julian by Walt Wangerin Jr.
“So quiet, so cool the morning, Julian dressed in a robe of camlet and boots of a high black leather; he slung a quiver of arrows over his back, hooked his yew bow to that, then went down the interior stairs, down the stairs of the fore-building, and out the porch door to make first tracks in the pristine snow, to walk in pleasant solitude.”

holm, n Holly; an island in a river (chiefly British); an islet, sometimes with holly bushes
page 74, Saint Julian by Walt Wangerin Jr.
“Every house in the villages, every parish church in the lord’s demesne, and the castle chapel too, and all the rooms in the castle itself were merrily decked with holm and ivy and bay and whatsoever the season afforded to be green.”

mummers, pl n Masked or costumed merrymakers, especially at a festival; mimes; actors
page 76, Saint Julian by Walt Wangerin Jr.
“Mummers came on the twenty-seventh.”

tarn, n “A pool of green water into which salts and deadly minerals had leached”
page 166, Saint Julian by Walt Wangerin Jr.
“It is as still as crystal, for nothing can live in such a tarn.”

Previous words posts drawing on the vocabulary of Saint Julian:
First installment
Second installment
Third installment
Fourth installment

This concludes my list of words from Saint Julian! I think I only have words from one other big one stacked up, but perhaps next week a brief interlude of a lighter book?

More great words on my Words from my reading page.

Books cited here:
Saint Julian by Walt Wangerin Jr.* [my review]

What new words have you found lately?

* That’s an affiliate link; I am an Amazon Associate and receive a small commission on sales through my affiliate links.