Saturday, September 08, 2018

Vocabulary from Other Places and Times

One fun thing about reading books written in different times or places is the vocabulary. Sometimes I scribble the interesting ones down. Some I've heard before but not often; some I haven't. From Northwest Passage (so far), written in 1937 about life in New England and elsewhere in North American in the latter 1700s:
  • ropewalk 
  • mensurations 
  • towcloth
  • furbelowed 
  • gundelos with lateen sails 
  • "as thick as bones in a shad"

And more fun words and phrases, from Nevil Shute's Pastoral, written in England in 1944:
  • deal (noun used as an adjective, as in, "the deal wash stand", "a deal chair")
  • batwoman (not Batwoman)
  • hutment 
  • roach bag (I think this was literal, as in bait for fishing)
  • gentles (in relation to fishing)
  • "it had been wizard!"
Internet will reveal all--relax and enjoy the searches and all the fun things you'll learn within just a few minutes!--good places to start are:

  •, a whole collection of dictionaries.  Merriam-Webster particular for American and Collins particularly for British/Commonwealth
  • Wikipedia, info on so very very many things
What interesting words have you encountered lately while reading?

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