Words from my reading

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


Lych Gate at Strata Florida Church, Ceredigion, Wales; photo via Wikipedia

lych-gate, n A roofed gateway to a churchyard used originally as a resting place for a bier before burial
page 74, An Incomplete Revenge by Jacqueline Winspear
“She considered this as she looked first at the Norman church, then at the ancient lych-gate and the graves beyond.”

locum, n Someone (physician or clergyman) who substitutes temporarily for another member of the same profession
page 113, An Incomplete Revenge by Jacqueline Winspear
“‘The village can’t support a vicar of its own anymore; the diocese concluded it’s far too small, so there’s a sort of locum who does the rounds, comes in every Sunday morning and for the usual hatch, match and dispatch work.'”
My guess of itinerant preacher was pretty close.

luthier, n One who makes or repairs stringed instruments, such as violins
page 158, An Incomplete Revenge by Jacqueline Winspear
“Maisie left Chelstone soon after Maurice’s housekeeper came to the cottage bearing an envelope for her, with a note from Maurice and the name of the luthier in Denmark Street who would, she hoped, be able to tell her more about the violin she had witnessed Webb playing with great skill.”

plectra, pl n Small, thin pieces of metal, plastic, bone, or similar material, used to pluck the strings of certain instruments, such as the guitar or lute.
page 216, An Incomplete Revenge by Jacqueline Winspear
“Mahogany counters flanked either side of the shop, displaying strings, clamps, an assortment of plectra, and other tools of the musician’s trade.”

Previous words post drawing on the vocabulary of An Incomplete Revenge.

More great words on my Words from my reading page.

Books cited here:
An Incomplete Revenge by Jacqueline Winspear* [my review]

What new words have you found lately?

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

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6 responses to “Words from my reading

  1. It’s funny when very familiar words are seen in a different context. I would use locum most days (indeed I’ve been one on occasion), but I’d never thought of a locum priest conceptually before. Plectra is clearly the plural form of plectrum when you think about it, funny how plectrum is well known- for me at least, but plectra unknown. And it makes sense that there’s a word to describe a lych- gate but I would never have known what it was. Thanks.

  2. they were all new to me ,enjoyed the learning experience.

  3. I feel like I should have known a few of those, but I couldn’t have identified any of them.

  4. I knew locum (mostly from doctor, but I’ve heard of a locum priest) – and as it did for Louise, plectra makes perfect sense as a plural, I’ve just never run across it in that form before!

    Luthier is a lovely word. Luthier. Luuuuuuthier.
    (sorry, it’s just one of those great words for getting your tongue around!)

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