It's such a delight to learn a new word. It's also so difficult to keep up with blog posts. After learning the wonderful word "brachiate" last week, I decided to start keeping a vocabulary list, as I used to do in high school. Here are the new words I encountered over the course of the past week, along with, in some cases, the contexts in which I encountered them:
acanthus |əˈkanTHəs| noun 1 a herbaceous plant or shrub with bold flower spikes and spiny decorative leaves, native to Mediterranean regions.acanthus 2 acanthus 2 [via Latin from Greek akanthos, from akantha ‘thorn,’ from akē ‘sharp point.’]
From Counterman, Paul Violi: “The lettuce splayed, if you will, / In a Beaux Arts derivative of classical acanthus”
brachiate verb |ˈbrākēˌāt, ˈbrak-| [ no obj. ] (of certain apes) move by using the arms to swing from branch to branch: the gibbons brachiate energetically across their enclosure.
fleuron |ˈfləränˈflo͝orän| noun a flower-shaped ornament, used especially on buildings, coins, books, and pastry. • a small pastry puff used for garnishing.
From Counterman, Paul Violi: “…form a medallion with a dab / Of mayonnaise as a fleuron.”
kenosis |kəˈnōsəs| noun (in Christian theology) the renunciation of the divine nature, at least in part, by Christ in the Incarnation. DERIVATIVES kenotic |-ˈnätik| adjective ORIGIN late 19th cent.: from Greek kenōsis ‘an emptying,’ from kenoun ‘to empty,’ from kenos ‘empty,’ with biblical allusion (Phil. 2:7) to Greek heauton ekenōse, literally ‘emptied himself.’
From a student: “My most important argument with myself is about self-sacrifice. How much self to let go of. The great religions call for some, idealize complete self-sacrifice here and there. Kenosis.”
pelisse |pəˈlēs| noun historical a woman's cloak with armholes or sleeves, reaching to the ankles. • a fur-lined cloak, especially as part of a hussar's uniform. ORIGIN early 18th cent.: from French, from medieval Latin pellicia (vestis)‘(garment) of fur,’ from pellis ‘skin.’
poltroon |pälˈtro͞on| noun archaic or literary an utter coward. from French poltron, from Italian poltrone, perhaps from poltro ‘sluggard.’
From Jane Eyre: “What a miserable little poltroon had fear, engendered of unjust punishment, made of me in those days!”
sitzfleisch |ˈsitsˌflīSH| noun informal, chiefly US a person's buttocks. • power to endure or to persevere in an activity; staying power.
solander |səˈlandər| (also solander box) noun a protective box made in the form of a book, for holding such items as botanical specimens, maps, and color plates. ORIGIN late 18th cent.: named after Daniel C. Solander (1736–82), Swedish botanist.