Words from my readings

New to me words this week:

simooms, n A hot, violent, sand-laden wind of the African and Asiatic deserts
page 29, Three Men in a Boat (To Say Nothing of the Dog) by Jerome K. Jerome
“It evidently wanted to go on, and prognosticate drought, and water famine, and sunstroke, and simooms, and such things, but the peg prevented it, and it had to be content with pointing to the mere commonplace ‘very dry.'”

palfreys, pl n [Archaic] A saddle horse, especially a gentle one for a woman
page 34, Three Men in a Boat (To Say Nothing of the Dog) by Jerome K. Jerome
“Many of the old houses, round about, speak very plainly of those days when Kingston was a royal borough, and nobles and courtiers lived there, near their King, and the long road to the palace gates was gay all day with clanking steel and prancing palfreys, and rustling silks and velvets, and fair faces.”

oriel, adj A large window built out from a wall and resting on a bracket or a corbel; bay window
page 34, Three Men in a Boat (To Say Nothing of the Dog) by Jerome K. Jerome
“The large and spacious houses, with their oriel, latticed windows, their huge fireplaces, and their gabled roofs, breathe of the days of hose and doublet, of pearl-embroidered stomachers, and complicated oaths.”

stomachers, pl of stomacher n Richly ornamented, triangular piece of cloth formerly worn, especially by women, as a covering for the chest and abdomen
page 34, Three Men in a Boat (To Say Nothing of the Dog) by Jerome K. Jerome
“The large and spacious houses, with their oriel, latticed windows, their huge fireplaces, and their gabled roofs, breathe of the days of hose and doublet, of pearl-embroidered stomachers, and complicated oaths.”

gimlet, n A small boring tool with a handle at right angles to a shaft having at the other end a spiral, pointed cutting edge; a cocktail made of sweetened lime juice, gin or vodka, and sometimes soda
page 68, Three Men in a Boat (To Say Nothing of the Dog) by Jerome K. Jerome
“I got quite cross with them after a bit, and told them what I thought of them, and then they gave the gimlet such an excruciating wrench that I woke up.”
I knew a gimlet was a drink, but I didn’t know it was also a tool.

coracles, pl n Short, roundish boats made as of animal skins or canvas waterproofed and stretched over wicker or wooden frames
page 76, Three Men in a Boat (To Say Nothing of the Dog) by Jerome K. Jerome
“And all the river down to Staines is dotted with small craft and boats and tiny coracles — which last are growing out of favour now, and are used only by the poorer folk.”

mouch, v Chiefly British variant of mooch
page 101, Three Men in a Boat (To Say Nothing of the Dog) by Jerome K. Jerome
“I left him in the boat, and settled to go for a mouch round Henley.”

boxty-cakes boxty cakes, n Traditional Irish potato pancakes, made of finely grated, raw potato and mashed potato with flour, baking soda, buttermilk and sometimes egg
page 13, A Passion Redeemed by Julie Lessman
“The aroma of boxty cakes and sausage bangers sizzling on the griddle reminded her she’d been too nervous to eat.”

Earlier installments of this regular feature (more words!).

Reviews of books cited here:
Three Men in a Boat (To Say Nothing of the Dog) by Jerome K. Jerome
A Passion Redeemed by Julie Lessman

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8 responses to “Words from my readings

  1. I remember, quite fondly, reading Three Men in a Boat with my dictionary beside me. I love books I can mine for new (old?) words!

  2. Your words make Three Men in a Boat sound quite intriguing. I thought I knew stomacher and gimlet, only to be surprised at the meanings. Boxty cakes are a favorite thing at my house although not as a sandwich.

    • Oh, what made you think I meant boxty cakes as a sandwich? I guess the photo kind of looks like a sandwich, but that’s not intentional! They’re just brown on the sides and not on the edges!

  3. I’m originally from Idaho, and we made “boxty cakes” all the time for breakfast out of leftover mashed potatoes we had hanging around. The only difference is that we called them something different! 🙂 Love all the words you found, but now I’m hungry for my mom’s potato cakes!!!

  4. Great words. The only way I knew gimlet was as a drink – shows you where my mind is.

  5. What a feast of wonderful words! Some of them I was vaguely familiar with, though didn’t necessarily have the meaning exactly right. I’d never run into “mouch” before, though, or “boxty cakes.” And certainly not “simooms.” Fascinating!

    I’ve only got one word of my own today.

  6. I didn’t know any of your words! Your pic of the boxty cakes is making me hungry (I think it’s past lunchtime!). And what a great idea to link to the reviews of the books you mentioned. I think I will have to borrow that one!

  7. lol i knew about the palfreys b/c i used to like a guy with that last name and he was all smug that he was a something women could ride – har har har

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