Words from my reading

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

oary, adj Having the form or serving the purpose of an oar
page 4, Middlemarch by George Eliot
“Here and there a cygnet is reared uneasily among the ducklings in the brown pond, and never finds the living stream in fellowship with its oary-footed kind.”

parterre, n An ornamental flower garden having the beds and paths arranged to form a pattern; parquet; the part of the floor of a theater beneath the galleries
page 12, Middlemarch by George Eliot
“The casket was soon before them, and the various jewels spread out, making a bright parterre on the table.”

pilulous, adj Pertaining to or resembling a pill; small, inconsiderable, trifling
page 21, Middlemarch by George Eliot
“Has anyone ever pinched into its pilulous smallness the cobweb of pre-matrimonial acquaintanceship?”

purblind, adj Having poor vision, nearly or partly blind; slow in understanding or discernment, dull; obsolete: Completely blind
page 34, Middlemarch by George Eliot
“She was disposed rather to accuse the intolerable narrowness, the purblind conscience of the society around her: and Celia was no longer the eternal cherub, but a thorn in her spirit, a pink-and-white nullifidian, worse than any discouraging presence in the ‘Pilgrim’s Progress.'”

nullifidian, n Of no faith or religion; one who has no faith, an unbeliever, an infidel
page 34, Middlemarch by George Eliot
“She was disposed rather to accuse the intolerable narrowness, the purblind conscience of the society around her: and Celia was no longer the eternal cherub, but a thorn in her spirit, a pink-and-white nullifidian, worse than any discouraging presence in the ‘Pilgrim’s Progress.'”

More great words on my Words from my reading page.

What new words have you found lately?

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3 responses to “Words from my reading

  1. Les Miserables

    Translated variously from French as The Miserable Ones, The Wretched, The Poor Ones, The Victims

    From the book The Note (page 3) by Angela Elwell Hunt.

  2. Those are all new to me. I love that oary means just what it sounds like it would.

  3. Parterre is one one of those words that I have to look up every time I see it, although it comes up in my reading all the time. The definition just won’t stick in my head!

    And I love “nullifidian”. It’s so much more fun than any of the equivalent terms we normally use.

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