It’s time for more new words! Today, my words are from Mistress of the Art of Death by Ariana Franklin. I’m listening to this on audio, so thank heavens for Amazon and their “search inside” feature. At least I was able to go back and find some of the unfamiliar words I remembered.
1. Sheela-na-gig: a grotesque female figure with exaggerated genitalia
“…she had the massive, feminine barbarity of a sheela-na-gig that turned the prior’s comfortable, book-lined room into a cave.”
2. Rochets: A ceremonial vestment made of linen or lawn, worn by bishops and other church dignitaries.
“…ahead, where the bakery and brew house stood outline against the dyikng sun, figures in violet rochets were spilling out of the buildings and into the walkways like petals being blown in one direction.”
3. Oriel: a projecting bay window corbeled or cantilevered out from a wall
“There was an oriel, two lattices — both open to allow in the scent of the river — and a rose of stained glass that could only have originated in a Christian church.”
4. Squit: diarrhea
“You ask that loafer about Wulf and the Wild Hunt; he’s full of squit.” This one is my favorite! A combination of squirt and…well, you know what I mean. A truly excellent putdown and the sort of word any nine-year-old boy would love.
5. Frankenpledge: Originally, a system where householders were responsible for each other’s behavior and you had to tattle on your neighbor if he broke any laws.
“How old is the child, Prior? He may not be accorded frankenpledge until he is twelve.”
6. Eyre: a circuit traveled by an itinerant justice in medieval England, or the circuit court he presided over
Assize: an ancient writ issued by a court of assize to the sheriff for the recovery of property
“For facing her were three of the several justices in eyre who had come to Cambridge for its assize…”
Okay, I could go on and on and on with these. Lots and lots of great words in this one! What new words did YOU learn this week?