Posts Tagged 'The Sea by John Banville'

Vocabulary in The Sea

Oh, let’s play a game! I’ll list the words first and then the definitions!      What, no?   No, that doesn’t sound like fun? Well, I just don’t know if I will have the patience to type up all these but I feel I must…

Learning new words is FUN, dammit.

Thank you, Kathy aka BermudaOnion for hosting today’s meme!  Click on the button above to find more wordy posts.

But before I go into all this, please note that I don’t think I’m as stupid ignorant as this very long list might suggest.    I like words.   I like wrapping my head about a word’s history, use and sound.    Sometimes, I encounter a word that I might know but it’s surrounding words make me question it.   Or I know it’s a word I should know and when I look it up, I have to do that forehead-slap move.  DOH!     And sometimes, I *think* I know the word but question my ability to define it if I was put on the spot.    And then sometimes?   TOTALLY befuddled by how a word is used and I wonder I have every heard it or read it before.    So there.   I’m a word-geek.  A very amateur word-geek.

page – word
30 – costiveness - slow or reluctant in speech or action; unforthcoming
32 – piebald - having irregular patches of two colors, typically black and white.   Usually refers to horses.
? – stentorious – darn, I didn’t write down the page and I can’t find the sentence. A stentor is a person with a powerful voice.
43 – flocculent - having or resembling tufts of wool
53 – chatelaine - a woman in charge of a large house.
54 – marmoreal - made of or likened to marble.
84 – cicatrice - the scar of a healed wound.
84 – ichor - the fluid that flows like blood in the veins of the gods
88- venial - denoting a sin that is not regarded as depriving the soul of divine grace
95 – rufous - reddish brown in color.
95 – rubescent - reddening; blushing
96 – craquelure - a network of fine cracks in the paint or varnish of a painting.
102 – groyne - a low wall or sturdy timber barrier built out into the sea from a beach to check erosion and drifting.
102 – cinereal – or cinerea:  the gray substance of the brain and spinal cord.
103 – Bonnard – that is, Pierre Bonnard. Some painter dude I don’t know about.  The protagonist of The Sea has dedicated his life to researching and writing about this artist so he comes up a lot.
103 – coevals (oh. yea, OK. should have figured this one out.  ! not coe-vals) – a contemporary
116 – anaglypta – athick, embossed wallpaper.
117 – gorse - a yellow-flowered shrub of the pea family
118 – glair - a preparation made from egg white, used esp. as an adhesive for bookbinding
128 – ovine - of, relating to, or resembling sheep.
129 – homunculus - a very small human or humanoid creature.
135 – mandala - a geometric figure representing the universe in Hindu and Buddhist symbolism.
137 – catafalque - a decorated wooden framework supporting the coffin of a distinguished personduring a funeral or while lying in state.
137 – crepitant - make a crackling sound (this is likely one of those words I’ve looked up a million times!)
139 – boreens - a narrow country road.
155 -caducous – a botany word that means easily detached and shed at an early stage.


158 – perisher - TOTALLY NEW TO ME!    in fact, my dictionary doesn’t have it.   When I posed it to the interwebs, I got the response ‘BOUNDER’*, which is also unknown to me.   Both of these words mean someone who is morally reprehensible.


162 – casuistry - the use of clever but unsound reasoning, esp. in relation to moral questions
163 – convolvulus - a twining plant with trumpet-shaped flowers, some kinds of which are invasive weeds
165 – scumbling - modify (a painting or color) by applying a very thin coat of opaque paint to give a softer or duller effect.
168 – mephitic - foul-smelling; noxious.     EASY TO FIGURE OUT but that doesn’t mean I *know* it.
169 – novelettishly - a short novel, typically one that is light and romantic or sentimental in character (you might assume I should know this.   But I don’t think I’ve ever encountered it before in print or conversation.)
169 – sough - a moaning, whistling, or rushing sound.
179 – imprecation - a spoken curse
183 – purblind - slow or unable to understand; dim-witted.
183 – cerements - waxed cloth for wrapping a corpse.
183 – blench - make a sudden flinching movement out of fear or pain
184 – Gilles de Rais – O.M.G.     Here’s the sentence!

“… kiddies in general, I am afraid, bring out the not so latent Gilles de Rais in me.”

So, my fingers trip over to Wikipedia and find the information about this interesting person.   Follow the link if you dare.
185 – sozzled – I’m assuming this means DRUNK but I still want to look it up.  Yep, it means VERY DRUNK, beyond squiffy.
185 – plangent - loud, reverberating, and often melancholy.
188 – colloquy - a conversation
188 – littoral - of, relating to, or situated on the shore of the sea or a lake
188 – anabasis - a march from a coast into the interior
190 – inamorato** – OO LA LA! a person’s male lover
191 – crapulent -*SMILES*…  I remembered this from one of BermudaOnion‘s posts!  Such a perfect word:  of or relating to the drinking of alcohol or drunkenness.

HUH?

*  I googled for an image of perisher and/or bounder but didn’t find anything good.   In fact, I got more than a few photos of women’s feet in high heels.   And one of a cartoon Bassett Hound.  ?!

**  I ran into the female version of this word today in my current read Cat in a Diamond Dazzle by Carole Nelson Douglas

HIdeinWhitetoSkipLine

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