Words from my reading

A few new to me words this week (I promise a long list next week!):

whitleather, n White leather;leather dressed or tawed with alum, salt, etc., remarkable for its pliability and toughness
page 147, In This Mountain by Jan Karon
“You had to cover your skillet good and tight, though, or your meat would dry out and be tough as whitleather….”

cursive, Flowing, not disconnected
page 225, Violet Dawn by Brandilyn Collins
“‘Then I’m picking up Miss Williams, I’ll want to go back out to her house for a cursive sweep.'”
Just like the handwriting.

rataplan, n The beating of a drum, or a sound like this
page 270, Violet Dawn by Brandilyn Collins
“But her heart drummed like the rataplan of rain on a roof.”
It wasn’t too hard to guess the meaning of this one.

bois d’arc, n A small tree, Maclura pomifera, also known as the Osage Orange.
page 23, Same Kind of Different as Me by Ron Hall
“It seemed as if someone had just craned them in and plopped them down on sawed-off bois d’arc stumps, so you could see all the way underneath them.”
I know it as Osage Orange.

The fruit of the Osage Orange; the tree has many names.

The fruit of the Osage Orange; the tree has many names.

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

Reviews of books cited here:
In This Mountain by Jan Karon
Violet Dawn by Brandilyn Collins

What new words have you found lately?

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11 responses to “Words from my reading

  1. That is one weird-looking fruit! Thanks for including the picture.

  2. At first I was thinking cursive – you mean like handwriting? Realized, yes and no. What a great use of that word…I never realized it was a modifier on the word handwriting. I’ll have to figure out how else to use it now. 🙂

  3. I like rataplan. Just saying it sounds like drumming. It must be obsolete, though, because the WordPress dictionary says it’s misspelled. Anyway, I’m going to use it the next time it rains.

    • Yes, it does sound like drumming, doesn’t it?

      The dictionary (not online) didn’t say it was; I don’t always trust online dictionaries. This wouldn’t be the first time I’ve found the WordPress dictionary to be wrong.

  4. Interesting words. I wonder why they specified white leather – is it tougher than other leather?

    • I wondered the same thing, and your asking prompted me to look it up: Whitleather is leather dressed with alum, salt, etc., remarkable for its pliability and toughness. So there you have it. I added this information to my definition above, also.

  5. Pingback: Widen Your Social Circle: New Word Repository Entries « filling my patch of sky

    • I don’t have any exciting new words from my reading – I love that use of cursive though! I had no idea. 🙂

  6. There’s a delicious fruit known as che (Cudrania tricuspidata) (AKA: Chinese Che, Chinese Mulberry, Cudrang, Mandarin Melon Berry, Silkworm Thorn) that can be grafted onto Osage orange (Maclura pomifera). I recently blogged about it at http://kjpermaculture.blogspot.com/2009/09/che-eh-mmmm-nom-nom.html

    I have observed osage orange fruit being eaten by deer and the seeds by squirrels. Long, long ago they were eaten by mastodons and giant sloth.

    BTW, in addition to growing che on OO seedlings at home, I am also intentionally growing thornless honey locusts for cut-and-come-again (i.e. coppiced) mulch, bee forage, fodder and free nitrogen.
    Keith Johnson
    permacultureactivist.net

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