Scott Marlowe, fantasy author

Scott Marlowe

Author of the Alchemancer and Assassin Without a Name fantasy series

Interesting Words: Ephemera by Paul S. Kemp

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One of the things I often do as I'm reading a novel or short story is keep track of words whose definitions I do not know or that I find interesting. Either way, these interesting words are ones I feel might be of use in my own writing. That, and it's good to expand one's vocabulary every once in a while.

These interesting words were found in Paul Kemp's Ephemera: Dark Stories from the mind of Paul S. Kemp.

apotheosis: the elevation of a person (as to the status of a god)

caravel: The caravel of the 16th century was a small vessel with broad bows, high, narrow poop, four masts, and lateen sails. Columbus commanded three caravels on his great voyage.

effigy: a representation of a person (especially in the form of sculpture

iconoclast: someone who tries to destroy traditional ideas or institutions

inchoate: only partly in existence; imperfectly formed

insensate: devoid of feeling and consciousness and animation

parturition: the process of giving birth

proclivities: a natural inclination

repertory: the entire range of skills or aptitudes or devices used in a particular field or occupation

torpor: inactivity resulting from torpidity and lack of vigor or energy

viridian: a durable bluish-green pigment

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Interesting Words: Reiffen's Choice by S.C. Butler

View this book on Amazon.com One of the things I often do as I'm reading a novel or short story is keep track of words whose definitions I do not know or that I find interesting. Either way, these interesting words are ones I feel might be of use in my own writing. That, and it's good to expand one's vocabulary every once in a while.

These interesting words were found in S.C. Butler's Reiffen's Choice.

boom: any of various more-or-less horizontal spars or poles used to extend the foot of a sail or for handling cargo or in mooring

bootblack: a person who polishes shoes and boots

floe: a flat mass of ice (smaller than an ice field) floating at sea

gunwale: wale at the top of the side of boat; topmost planking of a wooden vessel

tiller: lever used to turn the rudder on a boat

wizarding: magic, a spell; though the word is made-up, I thought it well-used: "He gathered the tempest's power into himself, to use in the wizarding he would employ to take them away."

Interesting Words: Shadow's Son by Jon Sprunk

View this book on Amazon.com One of the things I often do as I'm reading a novel or short story is keep track of words whose definitions I do not know or that I find interesting. Either way, these interesting words are ones I feel might be of use in my own writing. That, and it's good to expand one's vocabulary every once in a while.

These interesting words were found in Jon Sprunk's Shadow's Son.

ambergris: waxy substance secreted by the sperm whale and found floating at sea or washed ashore; used in perfume

banquette: an upholstered bench

chandlery: the place where a chandler's goods are sold or stored

cloying: overly sweet

coiffure: the arrangement of the hair (especially a woman's hair)

corbel: a triangular bracket of brick or stone (usually of slight extent)

cresset: An open frame or basket of iron, filled with combustible material, to be burned as a beacon; an open lamp or firrepan carried on a pole in nocturnal processions.

diaphanous: so thin as to transmit light

exarch: a viceroy who governed a large province in the Roman Empire

flambeaux: a flaming torch (such as are used in processions at night)

gabardine: a firm durable fabric with a twill weave

galantine: boned poultry stuffed then cooked and covered with aspic; served cold

gossamer: a gauze fabric with an extremely fine texture

kirtle: a long dress worn by women; 15th century kirtle

lariat: a long noosed rope used to catch animals

malachite: a green mineral used as an ore of copper and for making ornamental objects

minaret: slender tower with balconies

newel: the central pillar of a circular staircase

niter: used especially as a fertilizer and explosive

ordure: solid excretory product evacuated from the bowels

palaver: flattery intended to persuade

parquet: seating on the main floor between the orchestra and the parquet circle

petticoat: undergarment worn under a skirt

prelate: a senior clergyman and dignitary

sibilant: a consonant characterized by a hissing sound (like s or sh)

skein: a long piece of wool that has been wound into a loose shape instead of a tight ball

slattern: a prostitute who attracts customers by walking the streets

staccato: marked by or composed of disconnected parts or sounds; cut short crisply

susurrus: the indistinct sound of people whispering

verdigris: a green patina that forms on copper or brass or bronze that has been exposed to the air or water for long periods of time

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Interesting Words: Through Wolf's Eyes by Jane Lindskold

View this book on Amazon.com One of the things I often do as I'm reading a novel or short story is keep track of words whose definitions I do not know or that I find interesting. Either way, these interesting words are ones I feel might be of use in my own writing. That, and it's good to expand one's vocabulary every once in a while.

These interesting words were found in Jane Lindskold's Through Wolf's Eyes.

apothecary: a health professional trained in the art of preparing and dispensing drugs

attar: essential oil or perfume obtained from flowers

cabochon: a highly polished convex-cut but unfaceted gem

carter: someone whose work is driving carts

citrine: semiprecious yellow quartz resembling topaz

ersatz: an artificial or inferior substitute or imitation

garnet: any of a group of hard glassy minerals (silicates of various metals) used as gemstones and as an abrasive

inveigle: influence or urge by gentle urging, caressing, or flattering

investiture: the ceremonial act of clothing someone in the insignia of an office; the formal promotion of a person to an office or rank

plutocracy: a political system governed by the wealthy people

sorrel: a horse of a brownish orange to light brown color

sycophant: a person who tries to please someone in order to gain a personal advantage

tricorn: cocked hat with the brim turned up to form three points

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Interesting Words: Dragon Keeper by Robin Hobb

View this book on Amazon.comOne of the things I often do as I'm reading a novel or short story is keep track of words whose definitions I do not know or that I find interesting. Either way, these interesting words are ones I feel might be of use in my own writing. That, and it's good to expand one's vocabulary every once in a while.

These interesting words were found in Robin Hobb's Dragon Keeper.

aplomb: great coolness and composure under strain

chit: an official note giving information or showing a sum of money that is owed or has been paid

contralto: the lowest female singing voice

damask: a fabric of linen or cotton or silk or wool with a reversible pattern woven into it

deckhand: a member of a ship's crew who performs manual labor

dilettante: an amateur who engages in an activity without serious intentions and who pretends to have knowledge

enervate: weaken mentally or morally

fid: A pin of hard wood, tapering to a point, used to open the strands of a rope in splicing

hoyden: a girl who behaves in a boyish manner

humidor: an airtight container for keeping cigars or tobacco moist.

pedagogy: the profession of a teacher

peignoir: a loose dressing gown for women

penurious: excessively unwilling to spend

physicking: a purging medicine; stimulates evacuation of the bowels

slurry: a suspension of insoluble particles (as plaster of paris or lime or clay etc.) usually in water

somnolence: a very sleepy state

stippling: produce a mottled effect

supine: lying face upward

windlass: lifting device consisting of a horizontal cylinder turned by a crank on which a cable or rope winds

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