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Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Wondrous Words Wednesday: Year of Wonders IV



Wondrous Words Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Kathy aka Bermuda Onion where we share new (to us) words that we’ve encountered in our reading. Feel free to join in the fun.

Year of Wonders by Geraldine Brooks

pipkin p. 135
"In the end, I brought it home again and placed it guiltily in a pipkin."
a small, earthen pot.

serried p. 135
"The sun glinted off the serried instruments and then I could see the notes of music, molten, dripping like golden rain.
pressed together or compacted, as soldiers in rows

gall p. 136
"My mouth was as dry as ashes and tasted as if I'd sucked a gall."
any abnormal vegetable growth or excrescence on plants

posset p. 136
"I crept around, making up the fire and warming a posset with the slow, crabbed gestures of a crone."
a drink made of hot milk curdled with ale, wine, or the like, often sweetened and spiced.

stooks p. 140
"From the high point I could see down to the Riley farm, where the stooks from the harvest still stood in the field, mildewed now and useless."
sheaves of grain

purl p. 157
"I hurried to the kitchen, warmed a mug of purl for him, and carried it back out to where he stood, waist deep in the dirt."
a curling movement of water; eddy (this doesn't seem right but it's the closest definition to a drink.)

caudle p. 162
"Charity was stirring in her corner then, so I warmed the child some caudle, instructed her how to complete the making of the stew I had begun, and set out with the rector."
a warm drink for the sick, as of wine or ale mixed with eggs, bread, sugar, spices, etc.

ricks p. 170
"...while they didn't get what you would say was a warm greeting here, at least they didn't have to fear their ricks being fired or their poultry poisoned..."
Also, hayrick. Chiefly Midland U.S. a large, usually rectangular stack or pile of hay, straw, corn, or the like, in a field, especially when thatched or covered by a tarpaulin; an outdoor or makeshift mow.

drake p. 170
"George Wickford, up late and pacing because he could not sleep for worry about how to feed his family, saw a great burning drake streaking its white path across the heavens."
Archaic: a dragon. (here used to mean a shooting star.)

sprags p. 171
"By morning he had dug out his cross in the turf to mark his claim, had cut his seven timbers for the stowe, and was whittling away at the wooden sprags to hold it upright."
Mining: a short timber for propping up loose walls or spacing two sets.

bouse p. 175
buddling p. 175
"You shall have much to do in sorting the bouse we raise into ores and deads and buddling the ore in the wash to rid it of toadstone."
bouse: to haul with tackle. (I assume here it means what IS hauled?)
buddle:a shallow trough in which metalliferous ore is separated from gangue by means of running water.

trews p. 177
"Then I plunged a few holes in the waist and ran a rope through like a drawstring to keep the trews upon me."
close-fitting tartan trousers, worn especially by certain Scottish regiments.

stemples p. 178
"Wickford had wedged great slabs of gray limestone carefully into the walls and hewn sturdy bought to make sound stemples."
(Mining) A crossbar of wood in a shaft, serving as a step.

cluzened p. 180
"The cold cluzened my fingers so that instead of gaining skill with practice, my numb hands fumbled more and more."
frozen (this word I couldn't find anywhere, except in an article by Geraldine Brooks, so I know it's exactly what she meant.)

6 comments:

Annie said...

What a great work you do ! Thanks to you !

Col (Col Reads) said...

Wow, this list of words has me wondering if I actually speak English at all :-)

Margot said...

You must be reading Year Of Wonder in one hand and the dictionary in the other. Amazing, the number of new words!.

Scribacchina said...

I've seen several Wondrous Words posts with words from this book. I really need to get to it.
I like drake, by the way. It's the only one I sort of could guess.

bermudaonion said...

Most of those words are new to me, but I did know a few of them. A few, like purl, had different meanings than I expected too. Thanks for playing along!

Carin Siegfried said...

@Margot, I could figure them all out from the context so I didn't look them up until afterward.

@Bermuda Onion, yes, some of these when looking at my list I thought, "really? Carin you know that." but the word I knew was a homophone (or just a different definition) of an unknown word!