Words from my reading

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

tonsure, v The act of shaving the head or part of the head, especially as a preliminary to becoming a priest or a member of a monastic order
page 10, Saint Julian by Walt Wangerin Jr.
“That brutal king swore to tonsure his second son.”
Once I read the definition I instantly had a picture of this in my head!

demesne, n Manorial land retained for the private use of a feudal lord; the grounds belonging to a mansion or country house; an extensive piece of landed property, an estate
page 10, Saint Julian by Walt Wangerin Jr.
“At that time a member of the old king’s royal council, thirty-two years old, the lord of his own demesne, and in liege obedience to his king, Julian’s father asked to keep the lad as servus a manu, one to write his dictations while he was himself acting in the court’s service.”

samite, n A heavy silk fabric, often interwoven with gold or silver, worn in the Middle Ages
page 11, Saint Julian by Walt Wangerin Jr.
“His clothes were mostly wool, though at the young king’s court he wore samite, sendal, damask; and the furs that trimmed his raiment were lambskin, rabbit, miniver, otter, marten….”
I could tell this was a fabric, of some kind.

sendal, n A thin light silk used in the Middle Ages for fine garments, church vestments, and banners
page 11, Saint Julian by Walt Wangerin Jr.
“His clothes were mostly wool, though at the young king’s court he wore samite, sendal, damask; and the furs that trimmed his raiment were lambskin, rabbit, miniver, otter, marten….”
Ditto on the fabric.

grandee, n A nobleman of the highest rank in Spain or Portugal; used as the title for such a nobleman; a person of eminence or high rank
page 33, Saint Julian by Walt Wangerin Jr.
“A tiny grandee, proud of himself?”

I also posted words from Saint Julian last week. (And there’s more where those came from! Maybe I’ll have to break them up, intersperse them with words from other books?)

More great words on my Words from my reading page.

Book cited here:
Saint Julian by Walt Wangerin Jr.* [my review]

* That’s an affiliate link; I am an Amazon Associate and receive a small commission on sales through my affiliate links.

What new words have you found lately?

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8 responses to “Words from my reading

  1. Beautiful and difficult words ! I like them !

  2. I knew tonsure for some odd reason, but the rest were new to me. I love grandee – if I ever have a title, that’s the one I want!

  3. I knew tonsure, demesne, and samite. You can come across so many new words when reading historical fiction.

  4. Pingback: Words from my reading | Word Lily

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