Vocabulary: Byrny Bro Edition

aludel: bulbous glass vessel open at both ends used to collect condensates
roundelay: poem with a regularly repeated phrase; also, a circular dance
athanor: steady-temperature heating element for chemistry or alchemy
fazart: hermaphroditic fowl; also, a weakling or coward (also faisard)
meacock: a meek, effeminate, or henpecked man (meek + peacock)
smaragd: emerald (from lat. smaragdus, to flash or shoot lightning)
brail: small ropes used to haul in a sail, or a small net for fishing
byrny: chain mail shirt covering the upper arms to below waist
misprision: failure of office, especially in preventing treason
cymophane: a translucent yellow gem in the beryl family
thripping: snapping one’s fingers (onomatopoeic)
gramercy: exclamation of thanks or emotion
haskardly: coarse, unpolished, or vulgar
carcanet: decorative women’s circlet
stour: turmoil, conflict, or dust cloud
matrass: long-necked glass flask
greengage: a type of green plum
mediamnis: canal or dyke (lat.)
supervivid: surviving (arch.)
footling: trifling or silly
sithence: since (arch.)
colubrine: snakelike
cupshotten: drunk

https://coldewey.cc/2019/08/vocabulary-byrny-bro-edition/ »

Vocabulary: Picul of Pulque Edition

cotter: part used to fix two other parts together or otherwise prevent their motion
sprue: channel in a mold through which molten metal flows; or, a tropical disease
wickiup: a simple (often Native American) hut or shelter made of mats or brush
skiffle: jazz or rock-derived music using improvised instruments; or, a light rain
replevin: recovery of goods unlawfully taken (security deposit often required)
malversation: improper professional behavior, esp. in public office
manciple: steward of provisions for a monastery, college, or court
sizar: a student at Cambridge or Trinity receiving an allowance
spancel: the act of or knotted rope used in hobbling an animal
yamen: in imperial China, the office or residence of an official
fard: facial cosmetics, esp. white, or the act of applying them
pulque: lightly alcoholic fermented drink made from agave
pampooties: rawhide slippers worn in the Aran islands
scrog: short or naturally stunted trees or undergrowth
thrapple: the windpipe, or to throttle (it, presumably)
catty: a Chinese weight measure of about 680g/1.5lb
archimandrite: head of one or several monasteries
corposant: St. Elmo’s Fire (lit. ‘holy body’)
diffide: to distrust or act distrustfully
picul: 100 catties

https://coldewey.cc/2018/09/vocabulary-picul-of-pulque-edition/ »

There is little else to do but write this clear explanation of everything that has happened to me since the misfortune of birth. He that has fared better, and without deceiving himself, let him utter his jackass cry.

Robert Aickman, The Fetch
https://coldewey.cc/2018/09/there-is-little-else-to-do-but-write-this-clear/ »


Anenon – “Mansana”

A lonely, quietly wild wind solo metamorphosizes into something more layered and yet also more delicate. When I’m not paying attention and this track comes on, it always arrests my attention halfway through and I can never remember how the transformation took place, or when. (bandcamp)

https://coldewey.cc/2018/05/anenon-mansana-tongue-a-lonely-quietly-wild/ »

Vocabulary: Weel Talk Edition

quiddity: the essence of or a distinctive feature of something, or a trifling legal issue
emprise: an endeavor or exploit, or the qualities that drive one to them
squail: to throw something awkwardly, esp. weighted sticks at animals
malanders: blisters or crusty eruptions on a horse’s neck or knee
madstone: a stone believed to have antivenomous properties
quintain: a target set up for knights to tilt at, or the sport itself
keelpin: a small peg on cargo that locks it in place in the hold
gastine: a wasteland or desert, or the pillaging of something
erysipelas: a skin infection also known as “St Anthony’s fire”
pritchel: a punch or shaping tool used in metalworking
plethoric: overabundant, in blood or just in general
turves: plural of turf; units or blocks of peat
glede: archaic name for the red kite, a bird
opiparous: sumptuous or luxurious
snite: to blow or wipe one’s nose
eyot: an island, variant of ait
colophony: rosin or resin
weel: a deep pool
ratchel: gravel

https://coldewey.cc/2018/04/vocabulary-weel-talk-edition/ »

For art is like a living organism — better dead than dying.

Samuel Butler, Erewhon
https://coldewey.cc/2017/12/for-art-is-like-a-living-organism-better-dead/ »

Never could the eye have beheld the sun, had not its own essence been soliform, neither can a soul not beautiful attain to an intuition of beauty.

Samuel Coleridge (paraphrasing Plotinus) – Biographia Literaria
https://coldewey.cc/2017/06/never-could-the-eye-have-beheld-the-sun-had-not/ »

Clever video idea by Jonah Haber; the background is photosensitive and captures silhouettes of the dancer whenever the flash fires.

https://coldewey.cc/2017/06/yes-we-mystic-working-for-the-future-in-the/ »

When the artichoke flowers, and the chirping grass-hopper sits in a tree and pours down his shrill song continually from under his wings in the season of wearisome heat, then goats are plumpest and wine sweetest; women are most wanton, but men are feeblest.

At that time let me have a shady rock and wine of Biblis, a clot of curds and milk of drained goats with the flesh of an heifer fed in the woods, that has never calved, and of firstling kids; then also let me drink bright wine, sitting in the shade, when my heart is satisfied with food, and so, turning my head to face the fresh Zephyr, from the everflowing spring which pours down unfouled thrice pour an offering of water, but make a fourth libation of wine.

Hesiod, Works and Days
https://coldewey.cc/2017/06/when-the-artichoke-flowers-and-the-chirping/ »

When a meteoroid strikes your camera mid-capture (NASA)

https://coldewey.cc/2017/06/when-a-meteoroid-strikes-your-camera-mid-capture/ »

Fools! They know not how much more the half is than the whole, nor what great advantage there is in mallow and asphodel.

Hesiod, Works and Days
https://coldewey.cc/2017/02/fools-they-know-not-how-much-more-the-half-is/ »

Vocabulary: Toper th’ Merlon to ye edition

gamboge: resin used as yellow pigment or purgative, from Cambodia (‘gambogia’)
cofferdam: temporary waterproof enclosure for working below a waterline
johannine: relating to or characteristic of the apostle John or his gospel
obsequy: deferential behavior when singular, funeral rites when plural
actinic: related to or able to trigger light-activated chemical changes
merlon: the solid part between the gaps of a crenelated battlement
proa: Malaysian sailboat with triangular sail and single outrigger
invultuation: to create a likeness or effigy, esp. in witchcraft
sardonyx: onyx with layers of sard, a type of chalcedony
lobtail: when a whale strikes its flukes on the water
darbies: cuffs or manacles (also ‘double-darbies’)
rowel: the spiked wheel at the end of a spur
spinet: small upright piano or harpsichord
sporran: pouch worn on the front of a kilt
kentledge: scrap metal used as ballast
synoptic: adjective form of synopsis
lethiferous: lethal; inviting death
pule: to whine or whimper
ophidian: serpent-related
anent: about or regarding
toper: frequent drinker
gargarize: gargle
maukin: hare

https://coldewey.cc/2017/02/vocabulary-toper-th-merlon-to-ye-edition/ »

Big Thief – “Paul”

The lonesome peaks and valleys of the verses in “Paul” call out to me to whistle them, but they sound incomplete without their gentle harmonic backing and lyrical punctuation; the richly layered yet monotone chorus likewise defy reproduction without every component. That’s the sound of truly excellent and cohesive songwriting. (bandcamp)

https://coldewey.cc/2017/01/big-thief-paul-masterpiece-the-lonesome/ »