charlie's blog

Monday, October 27, 2008

new words

New words for this week, again courtesy of The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay:

recherché - exquisite; lavishly elegant and refined; exotic or obscure
kohl - a dark powder used as eye makeup
ullage - the unfilled space in a container of liquid
peristsalsis - alternating muscular contractions and relaxations, which propel food through the gut
heliotrope - a variable color averaging a moderate to reddish purple
plimsoll mark - line painted near the waterline of a ship to indicate proper loading
aubergine - a dark purple or eggplant color
arras - a tapestry or wall hanging
parturition - the process of giving birth
trayf - non-kosher food
palooka - a stupid, oafish or clumsy person
internecine - (of conflict) within a group or organization
bricolage - construction using whatever was available at the time
obverse - the front side of an item (e.g. a book or coin)
verisimilitude - the appearance of truth or reality
plenary - full in all respects, complete
expatiate - to speak or write at great length or in great detail
mullion - a vertical window component dividing columns of panes
spandrel - a blank area between arch supports or below a window
confabulate - to speak casually with; to fabricate memories in order to fill in the gaps in one's memory
donnish - academic; marked by a narrow focus

A few of these are ones I've seen many times and thought I had a vague idea of their meaning. The rest are evidence of Michael Chabon's absurdly large vocabulary.



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