Monday, September 14, 2015

Word of the day: ulster

The word of the day is ulster:

  1. a former province in Ireland, now comprising Northern Ireland and a part of the Republic of Ireland.
  2. a province in N Republic of Ireland. 3123 sq. mi. (8090 sq. km).
  3. Informal. Northern Ireland.
  4. (lowercase) a long, loose, heavy overcoat, originally of Irish frieze, now also of any of various other woolen cloths.
northernmost of the four provinces of Ireland, 14c., from Anglo-Fr. Ulvestre (early 13c.), Anglo-L. Ulvestera (c.1200), corresponding to O.N. Ulfastir, probably from Ir. Ulaidh "men of Ulster" + suffix also found in Leinster, Munster, and perhaps representing Ir. tir "land." (

"The meeting had all the dramatics of one of her more romantic drawings—shine of lantern light on the oilskins of the ferryman, a tall figure that jumped ashore carrying a carpetbag.  And what was he wearing?  Some great hooded cloak or ulster that made him look like a figure out of a conspiratorial opera.  The ferryman's lantern threw his huge shadow down the landing...  Then he was before them throwing back the hood, shaking her hand with his big wet hand, saying some sort of greeting and in the same breath apologizing for the ulster—it was his field coat, his town coat was stolen in San Francisco."
 - Wallace Stegner, Angle of Repose

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