Words from my reading 729

Some words from my reading of The Angel’s Game:

farrago, n A confused mixture, jumble, hodgepodge
page 10, The Angel’s Game by Carlos Ruiz Zafón
“Entitled The Mysteries of Barcelona, this Byzantine melodrama was a farrago shamelessly indebted to Dumas and Stoker, and borrowing from Sue and Féval along the way.”

Grand Guignol, n Any dramatic production designed to shock and horrify its audience with its gruesome or macabre content [so-named after a former theater in Paris noted for such drama]
page 11, The Angel’s Game by Carlos Ruiz Zafón
“‘The disease afflicting you has a name, and that is Grand Guignol: it does to drama what syphilis does to your privates.'”

onanism, n Coitus interruptus; masturbation
page 13, The Angel’s Game by Carlos Ruiz Zafón
“Doña Carmen demanded discretion and changed the sheets once a month: residents were advised to abstain from succumbing to onanism or getting into bed with dirty clothes.”

sibylline, adj Of or like any of certain women consulted as prophetesses by the ancient Greeks and Romans; of or like a fortuneteller; prophetic
page 45, The Angel’s Game by Carlos Ruiz Zafón
“Barrido, who was small and squat and always affected an oily, sibylline smile, was the brains of the operation.”

necropolis, n A cemetery, especially one belonging to an ancient city
page 50, The Angel’s Game by Carlos Ruiz Zafón
“I would have my sinister tower rising above the oldest, darkest streets of the city, surrounded by the miasmas and shadows of that necropolis which poets and murderers had once called the ‘Rose of Fire’.”

poetasters, pl n A writer of mediocre verse, rhymester, would-be poet
page 58, The Angel’s Game by Carlos Ruiz Zafón
“I was never invited to them because he knew that those who attended, frustrated poetasters and ass kissers who laughed at his jokes in the hope of some charity — a recommendation to a publisher or a compliment to soothe their wounded pride — hated me with an unswerving vigor and determination that were quite absent from their more artistic endeavors, which were persistently ignored by the fickle public.”

muzzy, adj Confused, befuddled; blurred [probably a combination of mu(ddy) and (fu)zzy] (colloquial)
page 133, The Angel’s Game by Carlos Ruiz Zafón
“I didn’t feel the prick, just a pleasant, muzzy sensation of warmth spreading through my body.”

carapace, n The horny, protective covering over all or part of the back of certain animals, as the upper shell of a turtle, armadillo, crab, etc.
page 133, The Angel’s Game by Carlos Ruiz Zafón
“A white stain covered its carapace suggesting the shape of wings spread open.”

cortege, n The group of attendants accompanying a person, retinue; a ceremonial procession, as at a funeral
page 166, The Angel’s Game by Carlos Ruiz Zafón
“The crowd followed, forming a silent cortege that advanced through the streets and mausoleums of the cemetery beneath a blanket of low clouds that rippled like a sheet of mercury.”

delirium tremens, n An acute episode of delirium that is usually caused by withdrawal from alcohol
page 167, The Angel’s Game by Carlos Ruiz Zafón
“‘I must be, because in mid delirium tremens I thought i discovered you sleeping in my doorway at midnight.'”

sylph, n In Paracelsus’s alchemical system, any of a class of mortal, soulless beings supposed to inhabit the air; a slender, graceful woman or girl
page 179, The Angel’s Game by Carlos Ruiz Zafón
“‘Far from being the sylph to whom poets sing, nature is a cruel, voracious mother who needs to feed on the creatures she gives birth to in order to stay alive.'”

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

Review of book cited here:
The Angel’s Game by Carlos Ruiz Zafón
Note: I did verify these quotes with the final version, but I was unable to verify the page numbers; the page numbers cited are from my Advance Reading Copy, so they may not be consistent with the page numbers for these quotes in the final version of the book.

What new words have you found lately?


5 responses to “Words from my reading 729

  1. I like the sound of “farrago.” I’ll have to find a way to use it today. “Poetaster” is an interesting one! And “muzzy” sounds like something I’d see on a Facebook status. ha.

  2. As I sit here looking at this desk, it is a farrago. Must be some muzzy person’s desk. Yup, that would be me. Love two of your new words already.

  3. Those are some mouthtful. I like the sound of farrago!

    And I wish I was sylph-like!

    Wondrous Words Wednesday

  4. Very interesting words in that book. I’ve just finished reading it myself and enjoyed it more than I thought I might.

    My first WoW post is up:


  5. I knew Guignol because he actually originated where we lived in France – Lyon. The Grand Guignol Theater was in Paris, but the puppet originated in Lyon.

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