Tag Archives: word tasting notes

fenester

A fenester is a fenster in the fenestration allowing a finesse from the sinister finster infinity to the fine and friendly finite interior. Continue reading

artophagous, creatophagous, euryphagous, lotophagous

And so at last the weekend for the weakened trundles towards us as a languid juggernaut. I will take my small cool folding computer and I will do a little work in the galleria of the art gallery, and then my eyes will dine on artistic creations: paintings, sculptures, architecture, and spectating humans. The latest exhibition in the gallery is by a noted European painter, famed for depictions of luxuriant corpulence. And then I will head home to rest, and in the morning we will load up a car and drive to visit family and have an almighty long-weekend feast consisting of… well, many people like to have “turkey and all the trimmings” but we’re going to be having “Chinese takeout” and “lots and lots of it” because it’s “easier.” And there will be wine, and after breaking bread and sharing meat I am very likely to lapse into syncope on a sofa for a time while nearby pre-teens plot the demolition of the universe.

I am, tl;dr, looking forward to an artophagous, creatophagous, euryphagous, lotophagous weekend. Continue reading

nuit blanche

Nuit blanche. French. Two words, one syllable each: /nɥi blɑ̃ʃ/. When spoken aloud, soothing. When whispered, like an invitation to something secret. It means, literally, ‘white night’.

How can a night be white? What if the night is never black? Is it a night in white satin, never reaching the end? If a night is white, it can’t end because it can’t become light. When dawn comes, how will you know it’s dawn? Is there any special art to it? Does a white knight appear? Is the knight in white satin? Continue reading

shindle

Some people just love to use the dictionary as a stick to beat others with. “It’s in the dictionary!” is perhaps a yardstick, and “It’s not in the dictionary!” is more like a nightstick or baseball bat.

I think you will understand if I shindle back at that attitude. Continue reading

pumpkin

It’s orange, except when it isn’t. And it’s big, except when it isn’t. But when it’s big, it can be very big, and it can keep getting bigger and bigger, sometimes until it’s too big and it just breaks right open. Hazards of competitive growing! Continue reading

scholy

This word is marginal at best.

“This word,” Samuel Johnson wrote in an explanatory note, “is, I fancy, peculiar to the learned Hooker.” And which learned Hooker would that be, which erudite textworker? We get some idea with the quote Johnson appends for further amplification: Continue reading

hammock

Hammock. From a Cherokee word meaning ‘to dump abruptly on the ground.’

No, no, I’m kidding. It’s from English ham plus mock and first meant ‘to make fun of a pig.’ Continue reading