Wondrous Words Wednesday is a fabulous weekly meme hosted by Bermuda Onion, where we share new (to us) words that we’ve encountered in our weekly reading.
My words this week are taken from Caddie Woodlawn (see my review). Any book written quite some time ago (1935), about a time even earlier (1864) will have some new words, and Caddie was no exception.
1. Bully (adjective)
This comes up multiple times during the book. We all know and use bully in a modern sense, but this was a surprising usage for me:
"Caddie, they've got bully tops in the store at Dunnville," added Warren hopefully.
"It's bully fun!" yelled Warren.
There are lots of definitions at Free Dictionary. It's really interesting how there has been quite a change in usage especially in the noun form. There is also bully beef of course!
i) A person who is habitually cruel or overbearing, especially to smaller or weaker people.
ii) A hired ruffian; a thug.
iii) A pimp.
iiii) Archaic. A fine person.
iiiii) Archaic. A sweetheart.
2. Haycock (noun)
I, myself, remember the long walks and the slim dinners and sometimes nights spent under a haycock, when we could not find a tavern which wanted decorating.
Chiefly British. A conical mound of hay. The Free Dictionary.
3. Tow- headed (adjective)
An exciting game became much more exciting when, on coming out of hiding, one felt that he might find himself face to face with a redskin instead of tow-headed Maggie or gentle Sam.
i) A head of white-blond head resembling tow.
ii) A person with such hair.
iii) A sand-bar or low lying alluvial island in a river, especially one with a stand of trees. The Free Dictionary.
It's pretty funny that I didn't know this word, as I believe I would qualify as tow- headed. And what is this tow that we tow-heads resemble? Tow is coarse broken flax or hemp fibre prepared for spinning.
4. Arbutus (noun)
One day, when the three adventurers were in the woods hunting for arbutus to take to Teacher, they heard a roaring on the river.
i) Any of the broad leaved evergreen trees or shrubs of the genus Arbutus, including the madrona and strawberry tree, that are native chiefly to the warm regions in the Americas and Europe.
ii) The trailing arbutus. The Free Dictionary.
|What wiki has as a representative picture|
5. Hogshead barrel (noun)
So they came to his farm one day and got him and put him in a big hogshead barrel.
Any of various units of volume or capacity ranging from 63 to 140 gallons (238 to 530 litres), especially a unit of capacity of liquid measure in the United States, equal to 63 gallons (238 litres).
A large barrel or cask. The Free Dictionary.
6. Haymow (noun)
"You wanted to turn somersaults in the haymow, didn't you, Cousin Annabelle?"
ii) The hay stored in a hayloft.
iii) Archaic. A haystack
7. Hoyden (noun)
But that a daughter of mine should so far forget herself in her hospitality to a guest- that she should be such a hoyden as to neglect her proper duties as a lady!
A high spirited, boisterous or saucy girl. The Free Dictionary.