Scott Marlowe, fantasy author

Scott Marlowe

Author of the Alchemancer and Assassin Without a Name fantasy series

Interesting Words: Lord of the Isles

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 David Drake's Lord of the Isles.

breechclouts: a cloth worn about the breech and loins; loincloth

brocade: thick heavy expensive material with a raised pattern

cordage: the ropes in the rigging of a ship

garret: floor consisting of open space at the top of a house just below roof; often used for storage

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

hawser: large heavy rope for nautical use

hobnailed: marked by the wearing of heavy boots studded with hobnail (hobnail: a short nail with a thick head; used to protect the soles of boots)

loofah: the dried fibrous part of the fruit of a plant of the genus Luffa; used as a washing sponge or strainer

oarlock: a holder attached to the gunwale of a boat that holds the oar in place and acts as a fulcrum for rowing

sluices: conduit that carries a rapid flow of water controlled by a sluicegate

transom: a horizontal crosspiece across a window or separating a door from a window over it

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Interesting Words: Sky of Swords

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.

Read my review of Sky of Swords.

anteroom: a large entrance or reception room or area

argent: a metal tincture used in heraldry to give a silvery appearance

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

commissariat: a stock or supply of foods

cortege: the group following and attending to some important person

cynosure: something that strongly attracts attention and admiration

galliard: A gay, lively dance

garderobe: a wardrobe or its contents

harridan: a scolding (even vicious) old woman

kirtle: a long dress worn by women

misprision: A neglect, negligence, or contempt

pillory: a wooden instrument of punishment on a post with holes for the neck and hands; offenders were locked in and so exposed to public scorn

pique: tightly woven fabric with raised cords

poltroon: an abject coward

seneschal: the chief steward or butler of a great household

sumptuary: regulating or controlling expenditure or personal behavior; sumptuary laws

trousseau: the personal outfit of a bride; clothes and accessories and linens

Interesting Words: Lord of the Fire Lands

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.

Read my review of Lord of the Fire Lands.

adjudicator: a person who studies and settles conflicts and disputes

baldric: a wide (ornamented) belt worn over the right shoulder to support a sword or bugle by the left hip

burgher: a member of the middle class

cabochon: a highly polished convex-cut but unfaceted gem

connivance: agreement on a secret plot

cordwainer: A worker in cordwain, or cordovan leather; a shoemaker

coronet: a small crown; usually indicates a high rank but below that of sovereign

creel: a wicker basket used by anglers to hold fish

demesne: territory over which rule or control is exercised

deportment: the way a person behaves toward other people

despot: a cruel and oppressive dictator

dormer: a gabled extension built out from a sloping roof to accommodate a vertical window

dory: a small boat of shallow draft with cross thwarts for seats and rowlocks for oars with which it is propelled

elocution: an expert manner of speaking involving control of voice and gesture

estuary: the wide part of a river where it nears the sea; fresh and salt water mix

fo'c'sle: living quarters consisting of a superstructure in the bow of a merchant ship where the crew is housed

haberdasher: a merchant who sells men's clothing

harangue: a loud bombastic declamation expressed with strong emotion

heriot: a payment or tribute of arms or military accouterments, or the best beast, or chattel, due to the lord on the death of a tenant

hummocky: a small natural hill

moorland: open land usually with peaty soil covered with heather and bracken and moss

muniment: A record; the evidences or writings whereby a man is enabled to defend the title to his estate; title deeds and papers.

piebald: having sections or patches colored differently and usually brightly

priory: religious residence in a monastery governed by a prior or a convent governed by a prioress

rapacious: excessively greedy and grasping

smock: a loose coverall (coat or frock) reaching down to the ankles

spume: foam or froth on the sea

squelch: walk through mud or mire

tanist: a lord or proprietor of a tract of land or of a castle, elected by a family, under the system of tanistry

tarn: a mountain lake

tattoo: a drumbeat or bugle call that signals the military to return to their quarters

thegn: a thane

trusses: a framework of beams forming a rigid structure

weathercock: weathervane with a vane in the form of a rooster

wimple: headdress of cloth; worn over the head and around the neck and ears by medieval women

witan: sage, adviser

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Interesting Words: Crystal Rain

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.

Read my review of Crystal Rain. 

cleat: a fastener (usually with two projecting horns) around which a rope can be secured

cordon: cord or ribbon worn as an insignia of honor or rank

gimbal: a pivoted ring mounted at right angles to one or two others to ensure that something such as a ship's compass always remains horizontal

sextant: a measuring instrument for measuring the angular distance between celestial objects

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Interesting Words: Farthing

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.

Read my review of Farthing.

bourgeois: a member of the middle class

coppiced: a dense growth of bushes

drugget: a rug made of a coarse fabric having a cotton warp and a wool filling

histrionic: characteristic of acting or a stage performance; often affected ("Histrionic gestures")

invigilating: to keep watch; to keep watch over students at an examination.

neologism: the act of inventing a word or phrase

parvenu: a person who has suddenly risen to a higher economic status but has not gained social acceptance of others in that class

portico: a porch or entrance to a building consisting of a covered and often columned area

prosaically: in a matter-of-fact manner

putative: commonly thought or deemed; supposed; reputed; as, the putative father of a child.

spinney: a copse that shelters game

vicar: a Roman Catholic priest who acts for another higher-ranking clergyman

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