Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Wondrous Words Wednesday: Doctor Zhivago (part II)

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

taiga p. 241
"In the black distance over the black snow, these were no longer streets in the ordinary sense of the word, but like two forest clearings in the dense taiga of stretched-out stone buildings, as in the impassable thickets of the Urals or Siberia."
The coniferous evergreen forests of subarctic lands, covering vast areas of northern North America and Eurasia. (see picture)

skete p. 293
"It clung to the elevation in tiers, like Mount Athos of a hermits' skete in a cheap print, house above house, street above street, with a big cathedral in the middle on its crown."
A settlement of monks or ascetics.

corymbs 419
"It grew on a mound above a low, hummocky bog, and reached right up to the sky, into the dark lead of the prewinter inclemency, the flatly widening corymbs of its hard, brightly glowing berries."
A form of inflorescence in which the flowers form a flat-topped or convex cluster, the outermost flowers being the first to open.

drumlin 419
"This height, like a drumlin, ended on one side in a sheer drop."
A long, narrow or oval, smoothly rounded hill of unstratified glacial drift. (see picture)

diselter 438
"And how can I tell him, brothers, when I'm a real diselter if there ever was one."
I cannot find a definition for this word!

ataman 438
"I'll tell you right now. The ataman Bekeshin."
The elected chief of a Cossack village or military force.

satrap 459
"For instance, there was this petty satrap, from Sapunov's men, and, you see, he took a dislike to a certain lieutenant."
A subordinate ruler, often a despotic one.

platbands 480
"Half his way lay under the shady trees hanging over the street, past whimsical, mostly wooden little houses with steeply cocked roofs, lattice fences, wrought-iron gates, and carved platbands on the shutters."
A flat structural member, as a lintel or flat arch. (see picture)

boyar 481
"It was faced with faceted, glazed tiles, the triangular facets coming together to form a peak pointing outwards, as in ancient Moscow boyar mansions."
A member of the old nobility of Russia, before Peter the Great made rank dependent on state service.

entresol 569
"By means of an additional floor, the shop had gained an intermediary entresol, with a window strange for an inhabited room."
A low floor between two higher floors, the lower one usually being a ground floor; mezzanine. (see picture)


bermudaonion said...

I love the illustrations! All of your words are new to me. I would probably need a dictionary if I read that book.

Louise said...

All the words are new for me too.