Wednesday 16 January 2013

Wondrous Words Wednesday 16/1/13

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.  

Today's words come from my recent reading of T.S Eliot's Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats.

1. Serried (Adjective)

She probably escaped with ease, I'm sure she was not drowned-
But a serried ring of flashing steel Growltiger did surround.

Pressed or crowded together, especially in rows. 

The answer was actually there in the illustration!

2. Terpsichorean (Adjective)

Reserving their terpsichorean powers
To dance by the light of the Jellicle Moon.

Of or related to dancing. 

3. Braw (Adjective, Scottish)

For your Pollicle Dog is a dour Yorkshire tyke,
And his braw Scottish cousins are snappers and biters,

i) Fine, splendid
ii) Dressed in a fine or showy manner

4. Prestidigitation (Noun)

At prestidigitation

i) Performance of or skill in performing magic or conjuring tricks with the hands; sleight of hand
ii) A show of skill or deceitful cleverness. 

5. Legerdemain (Noun)

At legerdemain

i) Sleight of hand. 
ii) A show of skill of deceitful cleverness. 

6. Brummell of Cats

In the whole of St James's the smartest of names is 
The name of this Brummell of Cats

George Bryan "Beau" Brummell (7 June 1778- 30 March 1840) was an iconic figure in Regency England, the arbiter of men's fashion, and a friend of the Prince Regent, the future King George IV. Wiki.

Picture source

7. Strassburg Pie

And you might now and then supply
Some caviare, or Strassburg Pie

A pastry containing pate de foie gras and bacon, wiki says this was formerly known as Strassburg Pie in English, as Strassburg was a major producer of foie gras. 

A modern incarnation
Although they apparently used to look more  like this extraordinary creation!
All other definitions from


bermudaonion said...

I knew prestidigitation and legerdemain but the rest of your words are new to me. I thought terpsichorean might be some kind of musical instrument but I was way off with that one. That bottom Strassburg Pie is too pretty to eat!

MedicatedMoo said...

Wow, I didn't know any of those!

Unknown said...

Old Possum's Book of Cats is wonderful! I was telling my husband about it the other night...

These are great words and Prestidigitation and Legerdemain definitely put me in mind of some cats!
Strassbourg Pie doesn't sound all that tempting to me, but the creation in the last photo looks like a piece of art.
Brummmmell is a great name for a cat and I like knowing its origin.

Anonymous said...

All new words for me, interesting.

Sim Carter said...

Jellicle moon! These are wonderful and quirky words from one of the masters of the english language.

Margot said...

You managed a list of words quite foreign to me. I didn't realize T.S. Eliot was so high brow.

Genie -- Paris and Beyond said...

Love the richness of words and these just tickle my fancy. Thanks, T.S., for this story!


Suko said...

You present a smorgasbord here of words and pictures. Very nice! Many of these words are new to me.