Words When You Go To Museums


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.

Like stevedore.

  • 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
  • capricious
  • chalice
  • parure: a set of jewels intended to be worn together
  • rife
  • phalanx


  • cuivrer: to copperplate
  • chameau: camel
  • guêpe: wasp

  • acéphale: headless

  • bouffon: buffoon

  • épingle: pin (n)

  • sciure: sawdust

  • saule: willow

Words words words


Happy February!

I’ve been having a weirdly emotional week- and I say weirdly because there’s not really much going on that should be causing me to be such a mess- which has resulted in posting being essentially nil.

In the interest of actually putting something up with a minimum of effort, here’s an update of my list of words. Bonus points if you can pick out the ones inspired by my moodiness!

  • ineffable
  • porpoise
  • chamois: I knew this was a leather but apparently it’s also a cute goat. I hope the two aren’t related but they probably are.
  • mildew
  • mope
  • tenacity
  • veracity
  • morose
  • scallop
  • marabou: Another word that I think of as being a clothing material term (one that makes me think of retro boudoirs and peignoirs and wearing heeled slippers around the house) but that is also/was originally an animal term (i.e. the marabou stork)


  • malin: cunning, clever, malignant
  • tournesol: sunflower
  • pépin: seed
  • néréides: fifty sea nymph daughters of Nereus, the old man of the sea, in Greek mythology. Also a jewelry brand. Also a family of clam worm. (Do not google image).
  • fourre-tout: catch-all

Words: from capsicum to témoignage

It’s soooo rainy but guess what?
I have a pair of waterproof shoes now. I’m retiring my 10+ year old riding boots (I feel like they should be ritually cremated or something). It’s the end of an era.

milquetoast- I forget if I’ve included this already, but it can’t hurt to do it again. Does it have to do with milk and toast? I don’t know. But literally refers to a ‘meek, submissive character’.
mobius- mobius strips=science magic
capsicum- bell pepper
execrable- it’s the same word in French!
platititude- almost a platypus but not quite
harridan- basically a harpy. Rude words you shouldn’t call people
louche- ‘disreputable or sordid in a rakish/appealing sort of way’

esclavage- slavery
témoignage- testimony
origan- oregano
soigné- neat/well cared for

A Words Post Because I Haven’t Written My Resolutions Yet

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
  • sediment
  • 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.
  • irascible
  • muse
  • festoon: a chain or garland, more commonly what you do with it.


  • bruyère: heather

  • égérie: muse

Words, Not Links


I have fairly few links to share so the regular (really not fair of me to call it regular anymore) will be postponed for a few days.

In the meantime, words!

  • scrimmage
  • scoundrel- preferably of the dirty and rotten variety
  • incendiary
  • botulism
  • umbel- just roll it around in your mouth a bit. Umbel.
  • newel- meet my twins, Umbel and Newel.
  • fructify
  • unguent
  • ungulate
  • sibilant
  • callow
  • faff


  • insoumis- unruly, rebellious
  • imprévisible- unpredictable, capricious

Clearly my French personality is having some feelings at the moment.

Words in French and English


It’s time for a words post with an added dimension of fun- I’m also going to include words that I’m learning here in France. I hope to get around to an update post soon, with a general list of experiences and fun things and weird experiences like the fact that I locked myself out of my house today (whoops).

Anyway, words.

The annoying thing is I thought of one going to sleep last night and din’t write it down because I was too tired to get up, figuring I would remember it- and of course I forgot it. Continue reading “Words in French and English”

I Haven’t Done a Words Post in So Long


Time to correct:

  • coterie
  • verdigris- see also: patina
  • foment
  • 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?
  • morsel
  • katydid
  • vertiginous
  • carapace
  • oast
  • 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.