Quiet here, but I\’ve still been reading! All the new-to-me words this week come from Vet on the Wild Side.
Greasepaint– \”What we needed were three good-natured circus elephants, brought up to the roar of the greasepaint, the shouting of clowns…\”
Definition: theatrical makeup, from grease mixed with paint. This one doesn\’t seem quite right, but I couldn\’t find any other meaning of the word.
Caliph– \”To make way for the mighty albino, lying like a dead caliph on his bier, two security guards with whistles and batons went ahead.\”
Definition: a successor of Muhammad, a leader of Islam
Inglenook– \”The pair of tigers were magnificent animals, adolescents who still retained some cubbishness, and as friendly and stroke-happy as any inglenook moggy.\”
Definition: a corner beside the fireplace
Compos mentis– \”By now Savari should have been up on his feet, groggy, but more or less compos mentis.\”
Definition: of a sound mind
Pantechnicon– \”The pantechnicon\’s engine wouldn\’t fire, so we had to push-start the enormous vehicle.\”
Definition: large van used to move furniture
Plonk– \”Perhaps the wine of the Plaza Mayor was colored chemical plonk.\”
Definition: cheap or inferior wine (slang)
Suzerainty– \”By democratic standards the Cubans are not a free people, but they are free of grinding poverty… and of the diseases of poverty, and they\’re free of American suzerainty.\”
Definition: the power or domain of a suzerain, a feudal lord
Dauphin– \”The arts of falconry and the love of the possession of those \’kingdom of the daylight\’s dauphins\’ courses in his blood.\”
Definition: formerly, the eldest son of the King of France
Shahin, Houbara– \”… but what did they know about the shahin in practice, the ways of the houbara and gazelle, such subtle quarry?\”
S: a swift Asiatic falcon
H: a large bird of the bustard family
Thermidor– \”Several of us were looking forward to having a thermidor for Saturday dinner, but we had reckoned without Andrea.\”
Definition: a dish of cooked lobster meat mixed with cream
Boffin– \”I\’ll get us an appointment to see a boffin!\”
Definition: (archaic) a scientist or technician engaged in research
Priapic– \”… the male madrill\’s startling colours, perfeclty normal in mature adults, did add a certain dramatic quality to these handsome animals\’ frequent priapic revels.\”
Trish asked me in the comments last week what my retention is like on the new vocab I find. Truthfully, half the time I forget them! I know I\’ve come across caliph and suzerainty before, but the meaning escaped me so I looked them up again. Often I have to look up a word two or three times before it sticks well. For a while, several years back, I wrote out new words and their definitions by hand in a notebook; the physical act of writing them seemed to help me remember them better. Typing doesn\’t quite have the same sticking-factor, for me. (But it\’s faster! And easeir to search). To find more wondrous words, visit this meme\’s host at Bermudaonion\’s Weblog.
It takes me a little while to learn new words too, so you're not alone. A few stick right away, though. Do you remember Inglenook wine? When I read the definition of inglenook, I wondered why they chose that as a brand name. Thanks for participating.
I don't remember all of the words I look up either but I try to focus on remembering those who I might encounter again.Great words 🙂
Oh, wow… I HAVE to remember \”plonk\” and find a way to use it in casual conversation!
Bermudaonion- I never heard of Inglenook wine. (is it any good?)Ladybug- I'm always coming across words I know I've looked up before! Janet- Isn't it a great word?
suzerainty?? 🙂 Not even sure how to say that one! I find that writing words down helps me remember them more as well, but it usually takes me looking up the word a few times for it to stick. Then once I've learned the word, it seems I see it everywhere! Bituminous is one of those words, although I don't think it is one I would ever use!
Trish- I'm not sure I can pronounce it, either. Luckily it never comes up in conversation.