Vocabulary: Lean Horse Edition

From the last hundred pages or so of The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman:

obtruncate: to deprive of a limb (makes sense).
indissoluble: perpetual or incapable of being dissolved or destroyed. I love double negatives within words.
oedematous: of or pertaining to the edema (obviously). Edema: interstitial cellular fluid.
sententious: given to pithy or moralizing sayings.
ratiocination: the process of logical reasoning.
aposiopetic: (aposiopesis) breaking off a sentence in the middle, as if unable to proceed
parallelogramical: parallelogram-shaped (clearly; I just liked the word).
radix: the base of a numerical system, or the root of a plant (interesting).
jactitation: a boast that causes harm to another, also extreme restlessness in bed?
delectation: enjoyment (knew it).
saturnine: sluggish, melancholy, or bitter in temperament.
farthingal: hoops used to expand women’s skirts at the time of the book.
palfry: (palfrey) a woman’s saddle, smaller and softer.
placket-hole: the hole that goes into a pocket (!).
concupiscence: sexual lust, or more generally, passion.
windlass: a sort of crank-based lifting machine (no idea).
geniture: birth.
costive: constipated, slow to act, or stingy (very versatile word!).
impuissance: (impuissant) weak, feeble.
captious: of a disposition to point out faults, or ensnaring and perplexing when referring to argument.
farrago: a mixture or medley.
pannier: a basket or bag (i.e. breadbasket), or again hoops to expand skirts.
basilicon: an ointment made of wax, pitch, resin, and oil or lard.
ecliptic, trine, and sextil: all terms to do with astrological positions.
argute: shrewd or subtle (I assume it has roots in the hundred-eyed god Argus).

https://coldewey.cc/2009/08/vocabulary-lean-horse-edition/ »

Gadzooks

It never occurred to me that the above oath, so benign and absurd in sound, is actually a corruption of “God’s hooks,” a euphemism for the nails in the cross. Gadzooks indeed!

Vocabulary: Fraught With Grammarye Edition

From Burton’s translation of the 1001 Nights.

grammarye: corruption of “grammary” or vice versa. General knowledge or erudition.
nenuphar: the “great white water lily of Europe.” Okay…
blee: complexion.
carnelian: a type of red chalcedony made into jewelry. Was a descriptor for some lady’s lips.
wot: know. Variation of “wit.”
lout: bend or stoop low out of courtesy. (I know what the other lout is)
wassail: to drink someone’s health or revel in general with drink.
sworder: swordsman or fighter.
eyne: archaic plural of “eye.” Really now, you could just say eyes.
hent: to seize or grab.
garth: a courtyard or garden.
syce: a groom or stable boy.
viaticum: supplies for a journey – also when the Eucharist is given to one near death.
gugglet: see guglet > see goglet > a long-necked earthenware container for water or liquid.
dight: to dress or adorn.
limn: to portray or illuminate – originally to literally illuminate.
meseemeth: it seems to me. Obviously… but come on.

https://coldewey.cc/2009/05/vocabulary-fraught-with-grammarye-edition/ »

Broadcast.

Did you ever notice that “broadcast,” when broken down, essentially means to “throw in a wide pattern?” Neither did I. And yet it makes so much sense. Start looking closely at everything about you and you find this sort of thing everywhere.

Old timey vocabulary: Bleak House edition

From the first half of Bleak House:

ait – a small island, esp. in a river. In green aits and fields…
nosegay – a bouquet of flowers. I knew this one.
patten – a sort of clog worn to give height or keep one out of the mud. I would have guessed some sort of special mitten.
pattening – can’t find anything for this one. Possibly a misprint of “patterning?” It has to do with clothes.
purblind – partially or totally blind. I’m thinking it’s related to “par-boiled.”
weazen – like wizened, but with 100% more ea. Suffix optional.
tapis – a carpet or tapestry.
prolixity – of unnecessary or tedious length. Wordy.
prosing – to speak or write in prose, usually in a dull way. I thought so, just making sure.
paviour – a paving material or person who paves. Might as well just say “paver.”
emolument – profit or fees resulting from labor. Pay, essentially.
nankeen – some sort of yellowish clothing made from Chinese cotton. Makes sense.
desultory – haphazard, inconsistent, tangential (unrelated to sultry)

O Lord!

https://coldewey.cc/2009/03/old-timey-vocabulary-bleak-house-edition/ »

Words I never looked up from “The Three Musketeers”

  • casuist – apparently one whose reasoning is suspect or false
  • catafalque – no idea
  • sbirri – some sort of authority in France, possibly Huguenot-related
  • exordium – an introductory or explanatory passage?
  • caparison – part of a horse’s decoration
  • caracole – something horses do
  • fauteuil – has to do with fainting, but may be furniture as well
  • carbuncle – a jewel, if I remember correctly… also an esper
  • soubrette – a lady’s personal servant
  • quodlibet – your guess is as good as mine
  • laveer – ditto

I guess I could google these, but I’m busy. Little help?

https://coldewey.cc/2009/01/words-i-never-looked-up-from-the-three/ »

Words I’ve had to learn to read the first few chapters of “Tristram Shandy”

  • vaticination – prophecy or foreknowledge (not what it sounds like)
  • heteroclite – irregular or deviant (I should have guessed)
  • declension – a decline or downward slope (literal or abstract)
  • cervantic – (not in any dictionary, but its meaning is clear if subtle)
  • panegyric – elaborate oration or praise ( I knew that)
https://coldewey.cc/2009/01/words-ive-had-to-learn-to-read-the-first-few/ »