Tag Archives: vocabulary

Words from my reading

I think these might be the last words I pull from Godric:

gillyflower, n Carnation or a similar plant of the genus Dianthus; wallflower
page 52, Godric by Frederick Buechner
“We stood beside my father’s stone where I had laid a gillyflower down.”
This reminded me of Harry Potter!

woad flowers

woad, n An annual Old World plant (Isatis tinctoria) in the mustard family, formerly cultivated for its leaves that yield a blue dye; the dye obtained from this plant
page 54, Godric by Frederick Buechner
“Her hands were blue as Father’s lips with woad from dyeing fustian for my lord, and she seized with blue fingers round the wrists.”
Apparently you get the same indigo dye from this plant as from “true indigo,” Indigofera tinctoria, but in a lower concentration. [This plant is considered invasive in the United States.]

fustian, n Formerly, a coarse sturdy cloth made of cotton and flax; presently, any of several thick twilled cotton fabrics, such as corduroy, having a short nap; pretentious speech or writing, pompous language
page 54, Godric by Frederick Buechner
“Her hands were blue as Father’s lips with woad from dyeing fustian for my lord, and she seized with blue fingers round the wrists.”

I just love that two of these words are related to dyeing!

Previous words posts drawing on the vocabulary of Godric:
First installment
Second installment

More great words on my Words from my reading page.

Book cited here:
Godric by Frederick Buechner [Amazon]*

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.

Words from my reading

A few more words from Godric this week:

thimble-riggers, pl n Operators of a shell game
page 30, Godric by Frederick Buechner
“Magicians drew live doves out of the air as easy as thimble-riggers drew pence out of dunces’ pockets, and the Jews in their horned caps and yellow badges sat in booths to weigh out silver at the rates of gold.”

campion, n Any of several plants of the genera Lychnis and Silene native chiefly to the Northern Hemisphere and having variously colored flowers with notched or fringed petals
page 35, Godric by Frederick Buechner
“Campion was everywhere and grey-winged gulls.”

shriving, v To obtain absolution for (oneself) by confessing and doing penance; also, to hear confessions
page 42, Godric by Frederick Buechner
“She’d finished telling all her fleshly sins and knelt for shriving when all at once she flung her clothes above her head an nimble as a tumbler at a fair went topsy-turvy with her bum aloft.”

moiety, n A half; a part, portion, or share
page 46, Godric by Frederick Buechner
“By the time that I was thirty-odd and Mouse’s beard already showed a sprig or two of grey, we owned each one a moiety of the Saint Esprit.”

clouts, pl n [There are many definitions for this word, but in this case, it means:] A cloth, a piece of cloth or leather, a patch, a rag
page 46, Godric by Frederick Buechner
“They were Venetian seamen mostly, as brown and spry as apes, and naked save for clouts to hide their lechery.”

Previous words posts drawing on the vocabulary of Godric:
First installment

More great words on my Words from my reading page.

Books cited here:
Godric by Frederick Buechner [Amazon]*

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.

Words from my reading

I decided to do this a bit differently this week, since all my words were all found in one sentence. Can you match the implement in each photo (1-4, from top) with the correct term at right?

A. octant
B. graphometer
C. waywiser
D. theodolite

octant, n A measuring instrument used primarily in navigation
page 2, The Mapping of Love and Death by Jacqueline Winspear
“One by one he took each piece and wrapped it carefully with linen and sackcloth: an octant, a graphometer, the surveyor’s compass — a gift from his parents when he completed his studies — a waywiser, theodolite, and tripod.”

graphometer, n A surveying instrument used for angle measurements
page 2, The Mapping of Love and Death by Jacqueline Winspear
“One by one he took each piece and wrapped it carefully with linen and sackcloth: an octant, a graphometer, the surveyor’s compass — a gift from his parents when he completed his studies — a waywiser, theodolite, and tripod.”

waywiser, n An instrument for measuring the distance one has traveled on the road, an odometer, pedometer, or perambulator
page 2, The Mapping of Love and Death by Jacqueline Winspear
“One by one he took each piece and wrapped it carefully with linen and sackcloth: an octant, a graphometer, the surveyor’s compass — a gift from his parents when he completed his studies — a waywiser, theodolite, and tripod.”
Such a great word!

theodolite, n A precision instrument for measuring angles in the horizontal and vertical planes
page 2 , The Mapping of Love and Death by Jacqueline Winspear
“One by one he took each piece and wrapped it carefully with linen and sackcloth: an octant, a graphometer, the surveyor’s compass — a gift from his parents when he completed his studies — a waywiser, theodolite, and tripod.”
I’m pretty sure I’ve encountered this word before, but I drew a blank when I read it here.

More great words on my Words from my reading page.

Books cited here:
The Mapping of Love and Death by Jacqueline Winspear :: Amazon*

What new words have you found lately?

Answers:

  1. C (waywiser)
  2. B (graphometer)
  3. A (octant)
  4. D (theodolite)

Image credits:
1, 2, 3, 4

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

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.

Words from my reading

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

water butt, n [UK] A rainwater tank (sometimes called rain barrels in North America), a tank which is used to collect and store rain water
page 1, An Incomplete Revenge by Jacqueline Winspear
“She pulled a clay pipe from her pocket, inspected the dregs of tobacco in the small barrel, shrugged, and struck a match against the rim of a water butt tied to the side of her traveling home.”

diddakoi, n A Gypsy outside the Romany tribes and of mixed blood
page 2, An Incomplete Revenge by Jacqueline Winspear
“Aunt Beulah hoped the diddakoi families kept away from the farm this year.”

vardo, n A traditional horse-drawn wagon used by British Romani people (Gypsies)
page 2, An Incomplete Revenge by Jacqueline Winspear
“About her business in the morning, Beulah brought four tin bowls from underneath the caravan — underneath the vardo in the gypsy tongue.”
I had this one figured out, but the reference illuminated something for me; an acquaintance is building a vardo!

barathea, n A soft fabric, made from various combinations of wool, silk and cotton, with a lightly ribbed or basketweave surface pattern
page 12, An Incomplete Revenge by Jacqueline Winspear
“She wore a mid-calf-length wool barathea skirt in a rich purple hue, with a red blouse and blue coat — clearly old but well maintained — that draped to mid-thigh.”

borstal, n Any of the prisons set up in Britain for delinquent boys from 1895 to 1982; a British reform school for youths between 16 and 22; formerly a British reform school for youths considered too young to send to prison
page 63, An Incomplete Revenge by Jacqueline Winspear
“The clerk noted that it was lucky they were not yet of an age — sixteen — where they would be sent to borstal.”

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.

Words from my reading

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

stopple, n A stopper, a plug. Also, v To close with a stopper or plug
page 6, At the Back of the North Wind by George MacDonald
“Up he rose once more, made a fresh stopple of hay, and corked the hole severely.”
OK, the context made this pretty clear.

Ick, I don't like this kind of candy.

comfits, pl n Confections that consist of a piece of fruit, a seed, or a nut coated with sugar; any kind of fruit or root preserved with sugar and dried, a ball of sugar with a seed in the center, a bonbon
page 14, At the Back of the North Wind by George MacDonald
“The grass showed white in the morning with the hoar-frost which clung like tiny comfits to every blade.”
I know confit, and discomfit, but I didn’t recall this use.

besom, n A bundle of twigs attached to a handle and used as a broom
page 19, At the Back of the North Wind by George MacDonald
“‘The noise of my besom.'”

More great words on my Words from my reading page.

Review of book cited here:
At the Back of the North Wind by George MacDonald

What new words have you found lately?

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?

Words from my reading

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

pricket, n A small point or spike for holding a candle upright; a candlestick having such a spike; a buck in its second year, before the antlers branch
page 44, The Lost Summer of Louisa May Alcott by Kelly O’Connor McNees
“She turned the pages and a glowing candle on the table beside the bed sank into its pricket.”

hoyden, n A high-spirited, boisterous, or saucy girl
page 77, The Lost Summer of Louisa May Alcott by Kelly O’Connor McNees
“‘And last, my little hoyden.'”

phaeton, n A light, four-wheeled open carriage, usually drawn by a pair of horses; a touring car
page 133, The Lost Summer of Louisa May Alcott by Kelly O’Connor McNees
“Out behind the store, Mr. Singer’s new phaeton rocked back and forth on its wheels as its two harnessed horses shifted in place, anxious to move.”
I guessed it was a cart or carriage, but that’s as far as I got.

A white silk pelerine, via.

varlet, n An attendant or servant; a knight’s page; a rascal, a knave
page 206, The Lost Summer of Louisa May Alcott by Kelly O’Connor McNees
“Shouting ‘Impudent varlet!’ and ‘Ragamuffin!’ in any other context would have been a scandal, but onstage she could hope to garner some laughs.”

pelerine, n A woman’s cape, usually short, with points in front, usually of silk or lace, or of the material of the dress
page 256, The Lost Summer of Louisa May Alcott by Kelly O’Connor McNees
“The bride also wore a mink pelerine.”

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.

More great words on my Words from my reading page.

Review of book cited here:
The Lost Summer of Louisa May Alcott by Kelly O’Connor McNees

What new words have you found lately?