Wondrous Words Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Bermuda Onion, where we share new (to us) words that we’ve encountered in our weekly reading.
I have just recently read Peter Ackroyd's The Lambs of London. And while I wasn't completely besotted with this book, it did have a lot of great words in it.
There was a pipe shop here as well as a mantua-maker, a carpenter's workshop and a bookshop.
Hmm, no clues there really. Seems a mantua-maker was basically a dressmaker or seamstress. It's astonishing how a whole industry can become defunct and near unknown.
|A more preposterous mantua
'The city is a great jakes.'
I didn't understand this sentence at all, which was a worry to me as it was in the very first paragraph of the book.
Jakes (n) from my Shorter Oxford
1. A privy, a lavatory
2. Excrement, filth
It all makes so much sense now that I have looked up the meaning. And explains the very first sentence of the book. ' I loathe the stench of horses.'
He had no recollection of William Ireland, who had been seated by the door of the Salutation and Cat; Ireland had in fact been partially obscured by a wooden pillar around which various advertisements- for a harlequinade, for an exhibition of acrobatics- had been pasted.
Harlequinade(n) from my Shorter Oxford
1. A kind of pantomime; the part of a pantomime in which a harlequin plays the chief part.
- a piece of buffoonery
2. A piece of gaily-coloured variegated work.
William stood in front of them, having refused the offer of a chair, and looked out of a small mullioned window at the dome of St Paul's.
Mullion (n) from my Shorter Oxford
A vertical bar in the lights in a window, esp in Gothic architecture.
I know that I've looked this one up before. Maybe I'll remember it this time.
But the best word I came across this week was goatsucker. And I found it accidentally, flipping through a crossword dictionary at a book store.
Goatsucker is another name for the birds otherwise known as nightjars (of which I have heard, but know essentially nothing of, and don't believe we have them in Australia).
The more observant amongst you will have noticed that I could only be bothered getting the A-M off the shelf. You will have to wait until another time for the more abundant N-Z words.