This week’s question was brought to you by Alison Can Read and Parajunkee: What is the biggest word you’ve stumbled across lately that you didn’t know the meaning of? I recently read and reviewed Something Red by Douglas Nicholas. It is a wonderful book, read it if you like historical fantasy. However, you might want to have a dictionary handy. I stumbled across the following words that I was not familiar with. My confusion is your lesson in vocabulary for the day (and consider me very impressed if you already knew these):
traneen: something of little or no value
frumenty: a popular dish in Western European medieval cuisine
portcullis: a grating of iron hung over the gateway of a fortified place and lowered between grooves to prevent passage
sithee: Northern English for look here or listen
blankmanger: a kind of thick custard
unguents: a soothing preparation spread on wounds, burns, rashes, abrasions or other topical injuries
smaragds: any green gemstones, such as emeralds
gallimaufry: a hodgepodge; jumble; confused medley
spalpeen: a rascal
While I did love this book, it also served as a much needed lesson in word humility. The only one of these I had an inkling of was portcullis.
What about you? Stumble over any mysterious words lately?
Photo: The Sartorialist