Words from my reading

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

mousseline, n A fine sheer fabric resembling muslin, originally made in Mosul, Iraq; a hollandaise sauce to which whipped cream has been added; an aspic containing whipped cream
page 260, The Lost Summer of Louisa May Alcott by Kelly O’Connor McNees
“Her mending basket overflowed with a few mousseline and batiste dresses handed down from a cousin, which she intended to make over, and she depleted the family’s candle supply significantly in a few nights as she stayed up late sewing.”

batiste, n A fine, plain-woven fabric made from various fibers and used especially for clothing
page 260, The Lost Summer of Louisa May Alcott by Kelly O’Connor McNees
“Her mending basket overflowed with a few mousseline and batiste dresses handed down from a cousin, which she intended to make over, and she depleted the family’s candle supply significantly in a few nights as she stayed up late sewing.”

Caul. Photo via The Italian showcase.

caul, n A net for confining the hair, worn by women; any kind of small net, a net; a portion of the amnion or membrane enveloping the fetus, which sometimes encompasses the head of a child when born
page 272, The Lost Summer of Louisa May Alcott by Kelly O’Connor McNees
“Here she saw a painted silk fan with inlaid mother of pearl on the handle, a caul for the hair accented with beaded gold thread, and kid gloves in every pastel shade — pink, blue, buttery yellow.”

Note: All quotes from The Lost Summer of Louisa May Alcott by Kelly O’Connor McNees are taken from an uncorrected proof and have not been verified with the final copy of the book.

dirk, n A stabbing weapon, a dagger
page 131, 31 Bond Street by Ellen Horan
“The next level was for the more infamous: burglars and arsonists, ruffians, gang members, and dirk men, who made dexterous use of ropes and garrotes to accost honest people on their way home in the dark, and deprive them of their possessions.”

I posted a few words from The Lost Summer of Louisa May Alcott last week, too.

More great words on my Words from my reading page.

Reviews of books cited here:
The Lost Summer of Louisa May Alcott by Kelly O’Connor McNees
31 Bond Street by Ellen Horan

What new words have you found lately?

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4 responses to “Words from my reading

  1. I’m not sure why, but I knew batiste – the rest were new to me. I’ve seen plenty of cauls, but never knew they had a name.

  2. I like the variety of definitions for mousseline. They couldn’t be more different.

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