Wednesday 29 August 2012

Wondrous Words Wednesday 29/8/12

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.  

Recently I reread The Secret Garden (see my review), a 100 year old book set in Yorkshire. I knew that there would be some new words.

1. Broom (Noun)

"Nor it isn't fields nor mountains, it's just miles and miles and miles of wild land that nothing grows on but heather and gorse and broom, and nothing lives on but wild ponies and sheep."

A group of shrubs, most species have yellow flowers, but a few have white, orange, red, pink or purple flowers. Wiki

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I would have thought it some sort of pea I suspect. 

2. Palanquins (Noun)

They were of different sizes, and some had their mahouts or palanquins on their backs. 

Palanquin is the French word for a litter, a wheelless carriage, usually carried by humans. Wikipaedia. Here it is clearly the elephantine variant. 

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3. Daffydowndillys (Noun)

"Crocuses an' snowdrops an' daffydowndillys."

I know what daffodills are of course, but hadn't come across daffydowndillys before. I just love it!

4. Mignonette (Noun)

"Mignonette's th' sweetest smellin' thing as grows an' it'll grow wherever you cast it, same as poppies will."

A genus of fragrant herbaceous plants native to the Mediterranean and Southwest Asia. Grown for its sweet, ambrosial scent. Used in flower arrangements, perfume, pot pourri. Wiki. 

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5. Wuthering

Mary told him her story about the midnight wuthering of the wind which had wakened her and about the faint, far-off sounds of the complaining voice which had led her down the dark corridors with her candle and ha ended with her opening of the door of the dimly lighted room with the carven four-poster bed in the corner. 

A wind blowing strongly with a roaring sound. Northern English dialect.

A famous word of course, I was intrigued to see it here. 

6. Clemmin', clemming (Verb)

"But at last I seed a bit o' white by a rock on top  o' th' moor an' I climbed up an' found th' little 'un half dead wi' cold an' clemmin'."

To be hungry or cause to be hungry. Germanic origin.

7. Fakirs (Noun)

Magic is a great thing, and scarecly anyone know anything about it except a few people in old books- and Mary a little, because she was born in India, where there are fakirs. 

A Muslim Sufi ascetic in the Middle East and South Asia. Wandering dervishes teaching Islam and living on alms. Wikipaedia. 

I'm not sure that this definition fits all that well, but it will have to do. 

8. Pother (Noun)

They was quite in a pother yesterday. 

i) A commotion; a disturbance.
ii) A state of nervous activity; a fuss.
iii) A cloud of smoke or dust that chokes or smothers. 

9. Salver

The man held a salver with some letters on it and he waited quietly until Mr Craven took them. 

A flat try of silver or other metal used for carrying or serving glasses, cups and dishes at table or for the presenting of a letter or card by a servant. 

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Anonymous said...

Interesting photos and words.

Yvonne @ Fiction Books Reviews said...

Hi Louise,

What a great selection of words this week, some of which I haven't heard for years, although being English I did know most of them, except for 'Palanquin'.

We live quite close to moorland (Exmoor and Dartmoor) and of course The New Forest and these areas are covered in 'broom and 'gorse', which is spectacular when it flowers in the summer.

'Pother' is quite an old word and not much used these days, so you would probably need to be of a certain age to remember it!

What a fun post, it's always good to reminisce.


Satia said...

It's so funny because just a couple of week's ago we were out shopping for our niece and I almost bought her Burnett's books. We opted for E B White instead although with the idea that maybe next year . . .

Anyway, as always, a joy to read your words.

bermudaonion said...

I'm proud because I knew 2 of the 9 words - palanquin and salver. Salver is actually used in this part of the US from time to time. I think I can use clemming even if I didn't understand the sentence it was used in in the book.

Tea said...

Never heard of Broom or daffydowndilly. Love your words.

Margot said...

I like your focus on flowers in this post. Now I understand what the Bronte novel, Wuthering Heights, means.