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Wondrous Words Wednesday

Wondrous Words Wednesday @ BermudaOnionWhat new words have you learned this week?
Join Kathy to learn even more.

All my words are from A Severe Mercy by Sheldon Vanauken. He writes very rich and poetic prose.

1. mot juste
(n) [moh ZHYST]

Definition—the exact, appropriate word [French]

Use“If any single word captures the essence of her—the mot juste for her, always—it is that: eager.”

scut-rabbit2. scut
(n) [skuht] 

Definition—a short tail, esp. that of a hare, rabbit, or deer

Use“He thought of the curious excitement of waiting for birds to burst upwards or even a rabbit’s white scut bounding across a field.”

eschutcheon3. fess
(n) [fes]

Definition—a wide horizontal band forming the middle section of an escutcheon (the plate on the stern of a ship inscribed with the ship's name)

Use“We designed and had a jeweler make grey-goose signet rings in gold like a coat-of-arms: the grey goose, fess, flying over stylized waves at the base, and above it and ahead, dexter, a tiny sapphire star.”

4. bosun
(n) [BOH-suhn]

Definition—a boatswain; a warrant officer on a warship, or a petty officer on a merchant vessel, in charge of rigging, anchors, cables, etc.

Use“No bosun’s pipes twittered, and other officers and men went calmly about their duties while the ship yardarmsteamed slowly on.”

5. yardarm
(n) [YAHRD-ahrm]

Definition—either of the outer portions of the yard of a square sail

Use“I was the one who—because of another shadow cross, oddly, the shadow of the destroyer’s yardarm—was some day, maybe, going to have another look at Christianity, not Davy.”

* * *

Where have you learned new words this week?


bermudaonion said...

I can remember enough French to figure out mot juste. My dog has a scut, but it's only because the guy we got her from cut her tail off. :( Thanks for participating!!

Margot said...

I have seen bosun and yardarm in books about shipping but have never looked them up. Now I get it. I always like your pictures too. I'm not sure how you find them all but they sure help in understanding.

bekahcubed said...

I love mot juste. I absolutely must write that one down so I can remember it. It seems a very useful phrase.


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