The word of the day is clinker:
- a mass of incombustible matter fused together, as in the burning of coal.
- a hard Dutch brick, used especially for paving.
- a partially vitrified mass of brick.
- the scale of oxide formed on iron during forging.
- Geology. a mass of vitrified material ejected from a volcano.
1769, from klincard (1641), a type of paving brick made in Holland, from Du. klinkaerd, from klinken "to ring" (as it does when struck), from M.Du., of imitative origin.
"The courtyard was made of clinker, which turned into dust in the summer and mud when it rained."
- Caroline Moorehead, Village of Secrets