Monday, October 05, 2009

The Children's Book Pt. 1: Words

Byatt: "Thinking and writing are making connections. I once gave a reading in a university where a student said self-righteously 'You used a word I didn't know in that reading. Don't you think that was elitist of you?' I replied that if I were her I should have rushed to the dictionary in glee and delight."

"A word?!" I have an entire list from Byatt's last novel alone! I have completed Byatt's new The Children's Book finally, and will post a couple of times on it. The first is all the words that I did not know while reading, and I have looked them all up. I cannot find definitions for 3 of them! So any help that you can give would be great. :)

Btw, I found a great site, when looking for the hard to find words: OneLook. It searches many different online dictionaries, and provides links for the ones that come up with definitions. It is very low-tech, but works great. I had pictures with some of these, and will try and re-insert them at some point, as they are helpful, but I am frustrated with formatting this right now!


·       Almoner: 1 : one who distributes alms2 British : a social-service worker in a hospital
·       Archets:
·       Besom: broom 2; especially : one made of twigs
·       Blancmange: a usually sweetened and flavored dessert made from gelatinous or starchy ingredients and milk
·       Boll: the pod or capsule of a plant (as cotton)
·       Borzois: any of a breed of large dogs developed in Russia especially for pursuing wolves that have a long silky usually white coat with darker markings —called also Russian wolfhound
·       Bryony: any of a genus (Bryonia) of tendril-bearing vines of the gourd family with large leaves and red or black fruit

·       Cabochons: a gem or bead cut in convex form and highly polished but not faceted
·       Cadge: beg, sponge
·       Campion: any of various plants (genera Lychnis and Silene) of the pink family
·       Cannikin: a small can or drinking vessel
·       Chiromancer: palmistry
·       Chrysoprase: an apple-green chalcedony valued as a gem
·       Cissy: British variant of sissy
·       Coeval: of the same or equal age, antiquity, or duration
·       Coppicing: to cut back so as to regrow in the form of a coppice (1 : a thicket, grove, or growth of small trees2 : forest originating mainly from shoots or root suckers rather than seed)
·       Cortege: 1 : a train of attendants : retinue2 : procession; especially : a funeral procession
·       Dado: 1 a : the part of a pedestal of a column above the base b : the lower part of an interior wall when specially decorated or faced; also : the decoration adorning this part of a wall2 : a rectangular groove cut to make a joint in woodworking; specifically : one cut across the grain
·       Damascene: to ornament (as iron or steel) with wavy patterns like those of watered silk or with inlaid work of precious metals
·       Douceur: a conciliatory gift
·       Dowsing: to use a divining rod
·       Durbars: 1 : court held by an Indian prince2 : a formal reception held by an Indian prince or an African ruler
·       Efts: newt; especially : the terrestrial phase of a predominantly aquatic newt
·       Engobe: liquid clay slips of varying compositions which are applied to the surface of a clay object, e.g. a pot. The purpose of the engobe can be as different as the varied forms it comes in: to give color to a piece; to improve the surface texture; to provide a ground to do further decoration on; to add textures.
·       Exigent: 1 : requiring immediate aid or action 2 : requiring or calling for much : demanding
·       Faience: earthenware decorated with opaque colored glazes

·       Fakir: 1: a Muslim mendicant : dervish b : an itinerant Hindu ascetic or wonder-worker2: impostor; especially : swindler
·       Fly-agaric: a medium to large poisonous amanita mushroom (Amanita muscaria) with a usually bright red cap

·       Fly: A fly was a horse-drawn public coach or delivery wagon, especially one let out for hire. In Britain, the term also referred to a light covered vehicle, such as a single-horse pleasure carriage or a hansom cab.
·       Frit: 1 : the calcined or partly fused materials of which glass is made2 : any of various chemically complex glasses used ground especially to introduce soluble or unstable ingredients into glazes or enamels
·       Gentian: 1 : any of numerous herbs (family Gentianaceae, the gentian family, and especially genus Gentiana) with opposite smooth leaves and showy usually blue flowers2 : the rhizome and roots of a yellow-flowered gentian (Gentiana lutea) of southern Europe that is used as a tonic, stomachic, and flavoring in vermouth

·       Gibbets: 1 : gallows 1a2 : an upright post with a projecting arm for hanging the bodies of executed criminals as a warning
·       Glost: lead glaze used for pottery
·       Ichneumon: any of a large superfamily (Ichneumonoidea) of hymenopterous insects whose larvae are usually internal parasites of other insect larvae and especially of caterpillars —called also ichneumon fly

·       Inglenook: a nook by a large open fireplace; also : a bench or settle occupying this nook
·       Jerks: exercises?
·       Kobold: 1 : a gnome that in German folklore inhabits underground places2 : an often mischievous domestic spirit of German folklore
·       Madrepores: any of various stony reef-building corals (order Madreporaria) of tropical seas that assume a variety of branching, encrusting, or massive forms
·       Mana: 1 : the power of the elemental forces of nature embodied in an object or person2 : moral authority
·       Mooted: 1 archaic : to discuss from a legal standpoint : argue2 a : to bring up for discussion : broach b : debate
·       Oast-house: An oast or oast house is an example of vernacular architecture in England, especially Kent and Sussex. They are farm buildings used for drying hops in preparation for the brewing process. They consist of two or three storeys on which the hops were spread out to be dried by hot air from a wood or charcoal-fired kiln at the bottom.
·       Opercules: lids (as in eyes, I believe)
·       Pannikins: a small pan or cup
·  Pucceles: ???
·       Putsch: a secretly plotted and suddenly executed attempt to overthrow a government
·       Radiolarians: any of three classes (Acantharia, Polycystina, and Phaeodaria) of usually spherical chiefly planktonic marine protozoans having radiating threadlike pseudopodia and often a siliceous skeleton of spicules
·       Repured: ???
·       Saggar: a box made of fireclay in which delicate ceramic pieces are fired
·       Samphire: 1 : a fleshy European seacoast plant (Crithmum maritimum) of the carrot family that is sometimes pickled2 : a common glasswort (Salicornia europaea) that is sometimes pickled
·       Sappers: 1 : a military specialist in field fortification work (as sapping)2 : a military demolitions specialist
·       Scoffing: 1 : to eat greedily ed dinner>2 : seize —often used with up
·       Sempiternal: of never-ending duration : eternal
·       Serge: a durable twilled fabric having a smooth clear face and a pronounced diagonal rib on the front and the back
·       Snood: 1 a Scottish : a fillet or band for a woman's hair b : a net or fabric bag pinned or tied on at the back of a woman's head for holding the hair

·       Sorrel: any of various plants or plant parts with sour juice: as a : any of various docks (as Rumex acetosa and R. acetosella); also : the leaves used as a potherb b : wood sorrel
·       Susurration: a whispering sound : murmur
·       Tett: ???
·       Tourbillon: 1 : whirlwind 12 : a vortex especially of a whirlwind or whirlpool
·       Uitlander: : foreigner; especially : a British resident in the former republics of the Transvaal and Orange Free State
·       Undines: an elemental being in the theory of Paracelsus inhabiting water : water nymph
·       Vulpine: 1 : of, relating to, or resembling a fox2 : foxy, crafty
·       Woof: 1 a : weft 1a b : woven fabric; also : the texture of such a fabric2 : a basic or essential element or material

5 comments:

Margaret Perry said...

what a list! I knew a few of those...but not the ones you didn't.

Nathan said...

An archet is a violin bow. Are the others possibly typos? As in "reputed" instead of "repured"?

andersonrc1 said...

Thanks Nathan! I actually had a picture of archet, but couldn't upload it... for lazy reasons! The others are real words... not typos. Though, I suspect, like archet, they may not be English. Repured, as far as I can gather is a legal term of some sort, but I can't determine what it means.

Deb said...

I just spent the last half hour looking up words that I'd written down while reading this book. There were so many that I didn't know, which is unusual for me. I stumbled upon your post when I was looking for Opercules of Madrepores. This is a great post! Thank you!

Deb said...

P.S. Tett = bridle