Wednesday 6 February 2013

Wondrous Words Wednesday 6/2/13

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 again come from my recent reading of Imagined London, a rich source of new words, as might be expected from a Pulitzer Prize winner. The first Wondrous Words post from Imagined London is here

1. Locution (Noun)

Perhaps nowhere was I as struck by this as I was in the City, for quickly I learned that that locution in literature referred not, as I had supposed, to the city of London, but to the part of London that is the oldest and today most dedicated to finance and commerce. 

1. A particular word, phrase, or expression, especially one that is used by a particular person or group.
2. Style of speaking; phraseology.

2. Aits (Noun)

Fog up the river, where it flows among green aits and meadows; fog down the river where it rolls defiled among the tiers of shipping and the waterside pollutions of a great (and dirty) city.

Chiefly British. A small island, especially in a river. 

Picture source

3. Usury (Noun)

And all of the above owe more than a bit to real life; their like can be found in the London papers on any given day, being charged with usury, being indicted for fraud, representing those so indicted.

1. The practice of lending money and charging the borrower interest, especially at an exorbitant or illegally high rate.
2. An excessive or illegally high rate of interest charged on borrowed money. 
3. Archaic Interest charged or paid on a loan. 

4. Farthingales (Noun)

Talk of farthingales and arsenic powder make us also assume that fashions in dress were completely unlike our own, and indeed the tight trousers and slashed skirts of Soho would shock and amaze any of the ladies of 1753 London. 

A support, such as a hoop, worn beneath a skirt to extend it horizontally from the waist, used by European women in the 16th and 17th centuries. 
5. Balmacaan (Noun)

And on Vigo Street a man in full old-fashioned London regalia- balmacaan, waistcoat, suit, tie and umbrella by his side- sells orchids from a stall. 

A loose, full overcoat with raglan sleeves, originally made of rough woolen cloth. (After Balmacaan, an estate near Inverness, Scotland)

Picture source

6. Perfidy (Noun)

At the height of the controversy about invading Iraq and the animosity that ensued between the United States and England and the French, a limo driver waxed poetic and specific about 1,200 years of French perfidy.

1. Deliberate breach of faith; calculated violation of trust; treachery.
2. The act or an instance of treachery. 

7. Rondelay (Noun)/ Roundelay

Early on we got into a frustrating rondelay about whether my son had any vests or jumpers. 

A poem or song with a regularly recurring refrain. 

All definitions today are from The Free Dictionary. 


Deb Nance at Readerbuzz said...

Twice yesterday: "I don't know how to pronounce it, but it's spelled...." I see words in print that are wonderful words, but then I hesitate to use them in common speech because I'm not terribly sure how to pronounce them.

One was the word MEME.

Love new words.

bermudaonion said...

I knew usury - I think from a business law class I took eons ago.

I'm glad to know the meaning of aits - I use it all the time when I play Boggle on my phone but had no idea what it meant.

Thanks for playing along!

Jackie McGuinness said...

I feel the same about meme. According to M-W it rhymes with beam, seem, seam, team etc.
However, I also found that some say it comes from the French word meme which means same.

Anonymous said...

Interesting new words for me today.

Sim Carter said...

Wondrous words indeed! I knew perfidy and locution but none of the others. The locution quote still haS me confused though.

Julia Tomiak said...

Thank you- most of these are words I had a vague idea about, but you cleared things up. Pictures always help. Great words today Louise!

Margot said...

I am getting old when something like a Balmacaan is old-fashioned. I thought they were still in style. I like the sound of this book. I'm off to find more about it.

Brona said...

I've enjoyed your posts about this book so much Louise, that I ordered a copy for myself yesterday at work :-)
At least I wont have to look up quite so many words when it finally arrives.

Suko said...

I love your illustrated words this week, Louise. Imagined London sounds like a fabulous book!

Lady In Read said...

the book sounds fascinating! and i knew one word from your list - perfidy..
the rest were just vaguely familiar