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’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!
- 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.
- 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
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’
soigné- neat/well cared for
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
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!
- scoundrel- preferably of the dirty and rotten variety
- umbel- just roll it around in your mouth a bit. Umbel.
- newel- meet my twins, Umbel and Newel.
- insoumis- unruly, rebellious
- imprévisible- unpredictable, capricious
Clearly my French personality is having some feelings at the moment.
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).
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”
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.