The marimba is a large scale musical instrument in the percussion family. Keys or thin, wide bars (usually made of wood) are struck with mallets to produce musical tones. A foot pedal to controls resonators below. It produces a sound much mellower and more sustained than that of the xylophone.
A paradigm (pronounced PAIR-uh-dime)is an example serving as a model or pattern; a set of all forms which contain a common element; or a general agreement of belief of how the world works - what could be called `common sense'.
Photovoltaic systems are those which generate electricity directly using natural sunlight. A solar cell is therefore a device that converts the energy of sunlight directly into electricity by the photovoltaic effect.
Agar or agar agar is a gelatinous substance derived from seaweed. Historically and in a modern context, it is chiefly used as an ingredient in desserts throughout Japan, but in the past century found extensive use as a solid substrate to contain culture medium for microbiological work.
Salmon have a variety if names according to the stage they are at in their life cycle. Among these are;-
Alevin - fry or very young salmon
Parr - up to 2 years old
Samlet - young salmon
Sprag - young salmon
Smolt - young salmon migrating to sea
Sprod - salmon in its second year
Grilse - salmon on its first return from sea
Baggit - salmon just after spawning
A sociable (short for sociable coach) or barouche-sociable is an open, four-wheeled carriage described as 'a cross between a barouche and a victoria'. It had two double seats facing each other. It might be controlled from the interior by an owner-driver or have a box for a coachman.
A beadle was a parish constable; or a uniformed minor lay official who served a ceremonial function and kept order; or an attendant to a Scottish minister.
Charles Dickens' character from Oliver Twist, Mr Bumble is the parish beadle and leader of the orphanage. He's officious, corrupt, a chronic mangler of the King's English, and a great source of comic relief.
The glaistig is a creature from Scottish mythology - the word is Gaelic in origin. It can either be a kind of satyr in the shape of a goat, or a beautiful female fairy, identical with the bean-nighe, usually attired in a green robe, seldom seen except by the bank of a river.
Bloomers is a word which has been applied to several types of divided women's garments for the lower body at various times. Originally they were loose oriental trousers gathered at the knee or ankles, first made popular by Ameian feminist Amelia Bloomer in 1851.
A bloomer can also be a blunder; an embarrassing mistake.
And a third meaning for bloomer is an iron worker.
The Spencer, dating from the 1790's, was originally a woolen outer tail-coat with the tails cut-off. It was worn as a short waist-length, double-breasted, man's jacket over a long-tailed coat as extra covering. In the eighteenth century, Lord Spencer stood with his back to a fire and the tails of his tail-coat caught fire. The burned parts were cut away and Spencer liked the resulting style.
Later it becamse the name for a kind of short jacket for women and children.
The multure was the proportion of a man's flour paid to the miller or the Lord who owned the mill for the privilege of having one's grain milled in medieval times. The multure was usually a tithe - ten per cent - but millers were notorious for being dishonest and trying to take more than their fair share.
My daughter Helen commented in November 2008 in her Blog that she was now keeping a notebook of new words that she came across during her reading. "This week I bought a lovely little leather bound book to write new words in as I read them . I've added a few from "1984", but my favourite has to be persiflage (from the French persifler) which means banter." I later discovered that my older daughter, Bryony, also kept a similar notebook.
This inspired me to create a Word blog. This will include both new words, favourite words and the origins of phrases that we commonly use. A definition and some comment, perhaps even a relevant quotation, will acompany the word or phrase.
“I am a Bear of Very Little Brain, and long words bother me.” - Winnie the Pooh
I'm a blogger - nowadays that seems to be my main occupation and Rambles from My Chair is my main blog. I’m a retired local government executive - now studying how to survive a neurological disorder that gives me various problems but, hopefully, a whole new outlook on life and an increased sense of humour and perspective. I enjoy all manner of communication apart from the telephone and am constantly e-mailing, texting, writing postcards and letters and commenting on other people's blogs.
Scriptor Senex is Latin for Old Writer and my real name is John but I've almost forgotten that nowadays...
“He’s not so old. He’s just the age that he is, that’s all.” (Gerald Hammond)