Wednesday 25 January 2012

Wondrous Words Wednesday 25/1/12

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.  

This weeks words come from Tom's Midnight Garden.

1. Clunch (Noun)

Of the four sides of the garden, Tom had already observed that three were walled: one by the back of the house itself, another by a very high south wall, build of clunch blocks and brick; and another by a lower wall that might well prove climbable. 

Clunch is a term for traditional building material used mainly in eastern England and Normandy. It is a term which encompasses a wide variety of materials, often locally variable.
It often comes as irregular lumps of rock either picked up from the fields, or quarried and hewn from the ground in more regular-shaped building blocks. It is predominantly chalk/clay based and is bedded in mortar to form walls. It is a particularly soft building material. Some people comment that it could be cut by a saw. Wiki.
Picture credit

2. Besom (Noun)

Perhaps he had been on his way to stoke the furnace; perhaps- for he carried a besom broom- he had come to sweep the rest of the pond-ice for Hatty. 

i) A bundle of twigs attached to a handle and used as a broom.
ii) Sports. The broom used to sweep the ice from the path of a curling stone. The Free Dictionary.

Besom brooms are the broomsticks traditionally associated with witches. Wiki

3. Pollarded (Verb)

Now the young men among the skaters were pulling curved branches off the pollarded willow-trees, to make sticks for a practice game of bandy, or ice-hockey: a stone was to be the ball. 

i) A tree whose top branches have been cut back to the trunk so that it may produce a dense growth of new shoots.
ii) An animal, such as an ox, goat, or sheep, that no longer has its horns. The Free Dictionary. 

Picture credit
4. Lodes (Noun)

Here it prepares to enter the Fenland, where many other waterways- lodes and cuts and drains, with a man-made directness, rivers with ancient meanderings- will, in their own time, join it. 

I initially found meanings about a vein of mineral ore in rock. Clearly that is not the right usage. 

The Cambridgeshire Lodes are a series of man-made waterways, believed to be Roman in origin. 

5. Hithes (Noun)

Ice stopped the wheels of the upriver water-mills, and blocked the way for the barges that, in those days, plied from King's Lynn as far upstream as the hithes of Castleford.

A port or small haven. The Free Dictionary. 


bermudaonion said...

I looked up pollarded a few weeks ago and actually remembered it because we have friends with the last name Pollard. I'm sure that makes no sense, but it stuck in my head that way. Clunch is new to me, but I've seen plenty of it.

Tea said...

All words I've never seen. Maybe I've seen pollard. Thanx.

Annie said...

All your words are very interesting. i would like t o read this book. Thanks !

Julie @ Read Handed said...

pollarded has such a specific meaning. Very interesting words. Thanks for sharing. Mine are here.

Anonymous said...

Great words this week! I especially like besom.

Anonymous said...

Liked the pictures with the words.

Suko said...

Great post and pictures, Louise! Most of these words were unfamiliar to me. Like Kathy, we know people with the last name, Pollard.

Margot said...

All your words are so interesting. (Must be a very interesting book.) Pollarded is something my son did recently to his eucalyptus trees. I'll have to tell him the new word. And, I like the visual I get when you wrote about clunch walls. Over the years in our travels we've seen some very lovely walls made with clunch.

Jennifer said...

I have awarded you the Versatile Blogger Award! Congratulations!

Kath Lockett said...

Love 'clunch' !

Unknown said...

I always learn some new words here, Louise!

My Scottish grandmother frequently uses the word 'besom' (pronounced by her as 'bizem') when my girls are being difficult, as in 'ye wee besom!' meaning 'upstart', although it also can mean a woman of loose morals. A wonderful word!

Hannah said...

Okay, I be no good at this today. You win, Louise.