Wednesday 23 May 2012

Wondrous Words Wednesday 23/5/12

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.  

I've been reading this series out loud to my 11 year old son. He loves them, me, not so much. I think he got a bit bored with this one, it took quite a while to get through. The Sorceress is Book 3 of Michael Scott's The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel series, and moves the main action from Paris to London. Once again we are dropped right into a good versus battle with new monsters. Too many monsters I think. Still it gave me lots of new words.

1. Parvis (Noun)

Standing on the parvis in front of the cathedral in Paris, feeling the raw power flow through his body, watching the animated stone gargoyles shatter to dust, he had realized just how powerful he and his sister were.

i) An enclosed courtyard or space at the entrance to a building, especially a cathedral, that is sometimes surrounded by porticoes or colonnades.
ii) One of the porticoes or colonnades surrounding such a space. The Free Dictionary.

The faithful filling the parvis of Notre Dame

2. Mottes (Noun)

3. Barbican (Noun)

There are mottes and baileys, outer wards and an inner ward, a barbican, towers and keeps.


i) (Historical term) A natural or man-made mound on which a castle was erected.
ii) (Texas) A copse or small stand of trees on a prairie
iii) (Upper Southern US) A tuft of human or animal hair standing up on the head or body. The Free Dictionary.

I love how all three usages are quite similar. Windsor Castle is a motte and bailey castle.

Picture credit

A tower or other fortification on the approach to a castle or town, especially one at a gate or drawbridge

Picture credit

4. Buckram (Noun)

Leather bindings stood beside dusty buckram and yellowed vellum were shelved side by side.

A coarse cotton fabric heavily sized with glue, used for stiffening garments and in bookbinding.

5. Sepulchre (Noun)

Although he'd known about its location for decades, he'd never had a reason to venture down to face the Sleeping God before, and everything had happened so quickly yesterday that he hadn't had a change to examine the sepulchre.

A burial vault, tomb or grave.

I know I've seen this word before, but it's not one that sticks.

6. Triune (Adjective)

Others changed with phases of the moon or the seasons, while still other triune goddesses were simply different aspects of the same person.

Being three in one. Used especially of the Christian Trinity.

This one was reasonably obvious from context, but I still thought it was an interesting word.


bermudaonion said...

Those are new to me. I love that your dictionary provides such detail on the places mottes is used. I'm wondering where the upper southern US is.

Anonymous said...

More architecture words!

Anonymous said...

More architecture words!

Tea said...

Thanks for showing the "parvis."

Libby said...

How completely crazy is it that someone else had the word 'buckram' this week?!?!

Margot said...

Wow, all your new words have me stepping into a completely new and different world. How very interesting.

Anonymous said...

I knew sepulchre, but did not know the others. Thanks for including the photos.

Genie -- Paris and Beyond said...

Several new words for me... love "parvis" and "barbican" -- Have seen the word barbican in my reading (Labyrinth) but did not slow down to look it up.


Genie -- Paris and Beyond said...

Oh, I have seen the house of Nicholas Flamel in Paris... one of the oldest in the city.

Yellow Brick Reads said...

And now to try and drop them casually into conversation...Pass the barbican anyone?