A few fun words that were new to me this week:
vervain, n One of several weedy plants of the genus Verbena, primarily V. officinalis, widely dispersed in warm and temperate regions in both hemispheres, growing a foot or two high, with spreading wiry branches, and very small flowers
page 18, Certain Women by Madeleine L’Engle
“David sipped a cup of vervain, watching the shadows of the great Douglas firs on the nearby islands deepen and darken.”
blondined, adj Bleached, having bleached hair
page 290, Certain Women by Madeleine L’Engle
“He was sitting at a small table in the living room, playing cards with a blondined actress who had been cast in a small role in Uncle Vanya.”
That’s basically what I guessed.
subaltern, n [Chiefly British] Holding a military rank just below that of captain
page 71, Messenger of Truth by Jacqueline Winspear
“Maisie closed her eyes and gripped the coat to her, the smell of death lingering among the folds of fabric, as if the garment had absorbed something of what the artist had seen as a young subaltern.”
oasthouses, pl n Buildings designed for kilning (drying) hops as part of the brewing process
page 76, Messenger of Truth by Jacqueline Winspear
“Nick’s early sketches were of pastoral scenes, of horses in Kent-ish fields, of farms and oasthouses, of cattle ambling toward the milking shed in late afternoon and of women gathered outside farm buildings, their jackets secured by string, laced boots muddied under heavy cloth skirts with pinafores.”
What new words have you found lately?
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