It is a truth universally acknowledged that the less appropriate a word is for polite conversation, the more synonyms it has.
- Rear/Rear end
- Gluteus Maximus/Glutes
Do you like how I capitalized everything to make it feel more dignified?
I’m getting very negligent about having my links posts on Fridays but as it is I don’t have enough links.
However I will always be blessed with the horror shows that are the English and French languages.
14 days until I fly home!
- pellucid- meaning both translucently clear and/or easily understood
- bombogenesis- weather throwback
- ensorcell- to enchant or fascinate
- farrago- a confused mixture
- clafoutis- a baked French thing
- en revanche- on the other hand
- le silence qui parle- silence that speaks volumes
- l’amour en cage- the French name for physalis, or the Chinese Lantern plant. Literally, Caged Love.
- hirondelle- the swallow of the bird variety
I’ve been falling back on word posts fairly often recently because they’re easy to churn out and I’m lazy- but when you’ve been hitting a lot of museums it’s also the case that there are a lot of fun and exciting words coming to your attention.
- stele: a stone or wooden slab, generally taller than it is wide, erected in the ancient world as a monument
- pyx: is a small round container used to carry the consecrated host to the sick or those otherwise unable to come to a church in order to receive Holy Communion
- stevedore: a person employed at a dock to load and unload ships.
- gussy: as in, to ‘gussy up’
- bodhisattva: a person who is able to reach nirvana but delays doing so through compassion for suffering beings
- catafalque: a decorated wooden framework supporting the coffin of a distinguished person during a funeral or while lying in state
- parure: a set of jewels intended to be worn together
- cuivrer: to copperplate
- chameau: camel
épingle: pin (n)
- saule: willow
I was too busy shopping. Whoops.
But the good news is that I now have a pair of winter gloves (that lack was getting a bit problematic in this negative Fahrenheit New England paradise. Even in France I had some trouble with my keys and doors).
And also a pair of fishnet socks, because not everything can be practical.
- condiment: a spice, sauce, or preparation added to food to give flavor
- calcify: to get all calcium-y
- cajole: this is a word with so much imagery behind it, for me. Kind of like guffaw.
- nematode: ‘Sa worm
- toff: pejorative British slang for the overly aristocratic/pretentious/landed gentry. A very Britishly British insult. In the US we don’t even have landed gentry.
- peccadillo: a small and trivial offense, not to be confused with the very inoffensive armadillo
- glaucous: dull grayish green or blue color. Also the powdery bloom on grapes. I like the connection.
- pernicious: credit to Roald Dahl.
- cusp: like Leo on the cusp of Cancer.
- festoon: a chain or garland, more commonly what you do with it.
- égérie: muse
Apologies for the spurious posting but really in a #sorrynotsorry kind of way because I’m in France living my busiest and #bestlife.
I’ll stop with the hashtags now because I’m quickly losing all self respect.
Time to correct:
- verdigris- see also: patina
- cruller- I’m sorry, but this sounds more like a weird animal than a pastry cake.
- ruse- I pronounce the ‘s’ with a ‘z’ sound, rathe than like the French ‘ruse’. hbu?
- kiln- All the ovens!
- terrapin- “Look at that terrapin in its carapace.”
If anyone wants to get me a Faune Lettree scarf from Hermes, I would be fine with that.
More words… in part because it’s a heat wave and I’m languishing, and in another part because I’ve got a list that’s hitting a nice ripe length.
- spruce- Both a noun (the evergreen tree) and a verb (to spruce up)
- philtrum- I used to confuse philtrum and clavicle, when I was young and foolish
- strum- guitar onomatopoeia
- belonging- You can have a sense of belonging and you can also have belongings. Belong-ing.
- badinage- Nothing to do with badgers.
- doughty- Nothing to do with dough.
Every once in a while, if you’re me, someone asks you what your favorite word is. Maybe it’s Princeton’s supplement to the Common App. Maybe it’s your obsessive brain at 2 a.m. And, if you’re me, you never know what to say to Princeton or to your 2 a.m. brain.
Well, future Mimsy, and anyone else who is wondering: I started keeping track. And I came up with a lot of words. All over the past week. This may be the first part of a multipart series, because I certainly didn’t thoroughly thumb any dictionary to come up with this collection. No, these are just those words that popped into my head at odd moments, generally sometime between 1 and 3 in the morning.
If you’re here looking for answers to the Princeton Common App addendum: Move on. These words are taken
If, however, you’re searching for some sweet nothings to whisper in the ear of your little grey cells, borrow liberally and without shame. The night is dark and full of terrors.
Continue reading “A Few Choice Words”