Friday, October 31, 2014

word of the day: sylph

The word of the day is sylph:

1. a slender, graceful woman or girl.
2. (in folklore) one of a race of supernatural beings supposed to inhabit the air.
Origin
< Neo-Latin sylphēs (plural), coined by Paracelsus; apparently blend of sylva (variant spelling of Latin silva forest) and Greek nýmphē (dictionary.com) 


"Raving mad though I am about most of Max Vulpino's work, I think that in his ballet Torn Wings and Faux Pas he's gone too far - with sylphs squawking like a gaggle of goosed Valley Girls and ostriches of a certain age on point and attempting entrechats."

 - Karen Elizabeth Gordon, Out of the Loud Hound of Darkness: A Dictionarrative

Thursday, October 30, 2014

word of the day: balustrade

The word of the day is balustrade:

a railing with supporting balusters (dictionary.com),

which brings us to baluster:
 
1. any of a number of closely spaced supports for a railing.
2. balusters, a balustrade.
3. any of various symmetrical supports, as furniture legs or spindles, tending to swell toward the bottom or top.
< French, Middle French balustre < Italian balaustro pillar shaped like the calyx of the pomegranate flower, ultimately < Latin balaustium < Greek balaústion pomegranate flower (dictionary.com) 


"I sent him letters every day begging him to keep his distance - for his own safety as well as mine - although I secretly hoped, even expected, to find him hanging from my balustrade when I returned from my Serbo-Croat lessons with my consonants in distress....

"The rupture of relations between Torquil and Jonquil was far from amicable.  Torquil stalked her on the boulevards, burned Eastern crosses on her balustrade, bombed her mailbox with incendiary marzipan, invaded her E-mail with insinuations and pseudonyms, and crashed her farewell party in an asbestos cat-suit sporting a battery-operated lashing tail with which he thrashed Jonquil before a roomful of incredulous guests."

 - Karen Elizabeth Gordon, Out of the Loud Hound of Darkness: A Dictionarrative

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

word of the day: saturnine

The word of the day is saturnine:

1. sluggish in temperament; gloomy; taciturn.
2. suffering from lead poisoning, as a person.
3. due to absorption of lead, as bodily disorders.
< Medieval Latin sāturnīnus (dictionary.com)


"Jonquil adapted to the privations and rigors of Trajikistan's inns with grinning equanimity before discovering an auberge on the side of the road to the Fissures of Fingblat, just past the three crags known as the Saturnine Yet Oversexed Sisters, whence no comely youth ever returns."

 - Karen Elizabeth Gordon, Out of the Loud Hound of Darkness: A Dictionarrative

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

word of the day: pfeffernuss

The word of the day is pfeffernuss:


a small hard highly spiced cookie made traditionally for the Christmas holidays (merriam-webster.com)


"To complement the fig, pistachio, and finocchio caprice, the chef whipped up an acidulous splash of hazelnut oil, oxalis, and lime juice, with a pinch of powdered pfeffernuss."

 - Karen Elizabeth Gordon, Out of the Loud Hound of Darkness: A Dictionarrative

Monday, October 27, 2014

word of the day: oxalis

The word of the day is oxalis:

any plant of the genus Oxalis, comprising the wood sorrels.
< Latin: garden sorrel, sour wine < Greek oxalís, derivative of oxýs sharp (dictionary.com)


"To complement the fig, pistachio, and finocchio caprice, the chef whipped up an acidulous splash of hazelnut oil, oxalis, and lime juice, with a pinch of powdered pfeffernuss."

 - Karen Elizabeth Gordon, Out of the Loud Hound of Darkness: A Dictionarrative

Sunday, October 26, 2014

word of the day: finocchio

The word of the day is finocchio:



"To complement the fig, pistachio, and finocchio caprice, the chef whipped up an acidulous splash of hazelnut oil, oxalis, and lime juice, with a pinch of powdered pfeffernuss."

 - Karen Elizabeth Gordon, Out of the Loud Hound of Darkness: A Dictionarrative

Saturday, October 25, 2014

word of the day: asseverate

The word of the day is asseverate:


to declare earnestly or solemnly; affirm positively; aver.
< Latin assevērātus spoken in earnest (dictionary.com)


"An acidulous tone had crept into both sides of the conversation, her site with balsamic asseverations and cloying evasions, his with a bite of horseradish astride a malt vinegar redolent of London fogs, fish and chips, and tabloid treacle and gossip (it was, in fact, revolting)."

 - Karen Elizabeth Gordon, Out of the Loud Hound of Darkness: A Dictionarrative