Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Wondrous Words Wednesday : Doctor Zhivago

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.

Doctor Zhivago by Boris Pasternak, translated by Richard Pevear and Larissa Volokhonsky

tarantass 6
"In the summer of 1903, Yura and his uncle were riding in a tarantass and pair over the fields to Duplyanka..."
a large, four-wheeled Russian carriage mounted without springs on two parallel longitudinal wooden bars. (see picture)

zemstvo 7
"In the Pankovo area they cut a merchant's throat and a zemstvo man had his stud burned down."
one of a system of elected local assemblies established in 1864 by Alexander II to replace the authority of the nobles in administering local affairs after the abolition of serfdom: became the core of the liberal movement from 1905 to 1917.

muzhiks 7
"Give our muzhiks their head, they'll throttle each other, it's God's truth."
a Russian peasant.

modistes 24
"mme Guichard bought a small business, Levitskaya's dressmaking shop near the Triumphal Arch, from the seamstress's heirs, with the right to keep the old firm intact, with the circle of its former clients and all its modistes and apprentices."
a female maker of or dealer in women's fashionable attire.

cheviot 31
"Fuflygin was wearing an expensive fur coat, unbuttoned, trimmed with railway piping, and under it a new civilian suit made of cheviot."
a woolen fabric in a coarse twill weave, for coats, suits, etc.

mandril 34
"A thousand times he's been told, first bring the mandril under, then tighten the stop, but no, he's got his own way."
a shaft or bar the end of which is inserted into a workpiece to hold it during machining.

papakha 40
"...suddenly the man who had been walking backwards ahead of the marchers and conduction the singing by waving a papakha clutched his hand, stopped directing, put his hat back on, and, turning his back to the procession, began to listen to what the rest of the leaders marching beside him were saying." (see picture)

a tall hat, usually of lambskin and often wuth a flat top, originating in the Caucusus.

nenuphars 47
ephebes 47
"And now it's these fauns, nenuphars, ephebes, and 'let it be like the sun.'"
The great white water lily of Europe.
a young man, especially an ephebus. And an ephebus is: a youth of ancient Greece just entering manhood or commencing training for full Athenian citizenship.

galimatias 49
"She comes in the morning, sits till dinnertime, and for a whole two hours tortures me reading that galimatias."
confused or unintelligible talk.

sophistry 55
"She entered on the path of sophistry."
a subtle, tricky, superficially plausible, but generally fallacious method of reasoning.

bashlyks 58
"Yet the ends of their bashlyks were tied at the back with such knots that it gave them away as children and showed that they still had papas and mamas." (see picture)

cineraria 64
"...the almond-scented blue-violet cineraria in baskets seemed to excite the appetite."
any of several horticultural varieties of a composite plant, Senecio hybridus, of the canary Islands, having clusters of flowers with white, blue, purple, red, or variegated rays. (see picture)

catafalque 74
"In appearance and size it resembled a catafalque or a royal tomb."
a raised structure on which the body of a deceased person lies or is carried in state. (see picture)

stearine 91
"The flame choked on the stearine, shot crackling little stars in all directions, and sharpened into an arrow."
the crude commercial form of stearic acid, used chiefly in the manufacture of candles.

mummers 94
"...clowning mummers played at hide-and-seek and pass-the-ring."
a person who wears a mask or fantastic costume while merrymaking or taking part in a pantomime, especially at Christmas and other festive seasons.

rostrum 158
"Thus inconspicuously she became a real speaker from the rostrum."
any platform, stage, or the like, for public speaking.

withes 165
"From the mud long fences of woven willow withes stuck up, looking like nets thrown into a pond or baskets for catching crayfish."
any tough, flexible twig or stem suitable for binding things together.


tea said...

Boy, I would have to keep the dictionary beside me the whole time. "Dreamer" is like Dr. Zvivago. There are so many big words.

Suko said...

Wow! Wonderful words here from your reading! I would need a dictionary by my side (or at my fingertips) if I were to read this classic! I also enjoyed the pictures.

I took a different approach to this meme.

bermudaonion said...

I've heard of mummers from the Mummer's Parade in Philadelphia. I've seen pictures of men wearing papakha's before but never knew they had a specific name. You found a lot of great words in that book!

Louise said...

Wow. I think you've just explained why I don't really enjoy reading the Russian classics! I did know a couple of words- easier ones like cineraria and rostrum. I came across withes in the last week or so too.

Jackie McGuinness said...

I feel like I should read Dr. Zhivago again after reading your list of words!!