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.
Julian Barnes' The Pedant in the Kitchen
was such a rich source of Wondrous Words that I have more this week. I blogged the first installment back on November 23
1. Risible (Adjective)
We've all done some pretty risible things in our time- I know a Canadian novelist who once tried to make pesto from dried basil- but nothing quite as risible as this.
i) Relating to laughter or used in eliciting laughter
ii) Eliciting laughter; ludicrous
iii) Capable of laughing or inclined to laugh. The Free Dictionary.
2. Strimmer (Noun)
I shan't enter the absorbing debate- a recent long-runner among correspondents to the Guardian- over how to peel one without blubbing, except to warn you that if, as I once did, you try wearing a pair of strimmer's goggles, the plastic lens will quickly steam up and there will be much blood on the chopping board.
Moderately obvious from context, and easily solved by a Google image search, but I'd never come across strimmer before. It is what we Aussies would call a whipper snipper.
3. Obeisance (Noun)
In any case, what do cookbook writers want? More obeisance?
i) A gesture or movement of the body, such as a curtsy, that expresses deference or homage.
ii) An attitude of deference or homage. The Free Dictionary.
4. Voluptuaries (Noun)
Perhaps there really were houses with a butler's pantry; perhaps voluptuaries really did pile slag heaps of soft fruit on to stemmed porcelain display plates, and serve dishes of stuffed quail in the shape of a Ruritanian crown.
A person whose life is given over to luxury and sensual pleasures; a sensualist. The Free Dictionary.
5. Marmande (Noun)
"Now we might extend the picture to include high-rise blocks, patched with vegetation on every balcony- Marmande and plum tomatotes in pots, herbs in window-boxes, courgettes and squashes trailing round the doors.
Marmande is a variety of tomato
, and also a town in France
6. Capybara (Noun)
His alimentary canal has down the years played host to cayman, capybara, rat, agouti, armadillo, monkey, monitor lizard, maggots, palm-grubs, and other life forms.
Capybara is the largest rodent in the world
. They live in South America.
Similarly 'magel-wurzel'. This began life as 'mangold-wurzel', literally 'root of the beet'; but people (German people, that is) misheard it as 'mangel-wurzel', 'root of scarcity'.
It is a root crop generally grown as fodder for stock
, but can be eaten by people too.
8. Toby jug (Noun)
Having Mrs Beeton on your shelf was like having a chromolithograph of Queen Victoria on the wall, or a toby jug of Florence Nightingale. It was both reassuring and a vaguely patriotic statement.
A Toby jug is a pottery jug in the form of a seated person, or the head of a recognizable person (often an English king). Wiki.
The Americans even have a Toby jug museum