Most of my fiction reading is from the mid Nineteenth century at the moment so I'm coming across lots of lovely sounding words which have fallen out of use. Compunctious, for example, has appeared a couple of times. Isn't it a great sounding word! It means pertaining to compunctions, scruples, feelings of guilt or remorse. So, for example, "He ignored her compunctious blush."
A perron is an out-of-door flight of steps, for example in a garden, leading to a terrace or to an upper story. The term is usually applied to mediaeval or later structures of some architectural pretensions.
Chintz is calico cloth printed with flowers and other devices in different colors; a brightly printed and glazed cotton fabric. The word Calico is derived from the name of the Indian city Calicut (Kozhikkode in native Malayalam) to which it had a manufacturing association.
In recent times the term chintzy has come to mean embarassingly stingy; tastelessly showy; cheap and tacky; or gaudy. I gather chintz has come down in the world since the days when to have your furniture covered in French chintz was the height of fashion!
Teknonymy is the practice of referring to parents by the names of their children. It is used in the Korean language as well as in the Arab world and West Africa. Clifford Geertz found this in Balinese culture as well. I'm not sure I fully understand how it is used in Korean etc but as any parent knows the moment their child starts at nursery the parent loses their own identity and simply becomes X's Mum or X's Dad...
Boscaresque is one of those made-up words that the occasional poet has apparently used. A combination of picturesque (visually vivid and pleasing) and bosky (covered with bushes) it is supposed to mean a scenic woodland.
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)