Scott Marlowe, fantasy author

Scott Marlowe

Author of the Alchemancer and Assassin Without a Name fantasy series

The Wordnik Word of the Day for October 11, 2010

I thought as I came across notable words from Wordnik's Word of the Day service, I'd post them here. Here's today's.

The Wordnik Word of the Day for October 11, 2010 is

waister

(noun) A green hand on board a whaler, usually placed in the waist of the vessel until qualified for more responsible duties.
(noun) On a naval vessel, formerly, one of a class of old men who have been disabled or grown gray without rising in the service.

'Waister' is named for the 'waist' or central part of the ship, where new seamen were set to work as there was little to do beyond hauling on ropes or swabbing the deck.

Example:

"They could not be got upon deck in the night, or if by dint of the rope's-end they were at length routed out of their hammocks, they immediately developed the worst symptoms of the 'waister' -- seasickness and fear of that which is high."

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Wordnik Word of the Day for October 5, 2010

I thought as I came across notable words from Wordnik's Word of the Day service, I'd post them here. Short and sweet. Here you go.

The Wordnik Word of the Day for October 5, 2010 is:

bedel

In the medieval universities, a servant of a 'nation' or faculty (each of which companies elected two, an upper and a lower, termed the esquire bedel and the yeoman bedel, terms showing the classes from which they were chosen), whose duties were to apportion the 'schools' or lecture-rooms and the chapters of the colleges and halls, to cry the days and hours of the lectures, to publish and carry out the decrees of the company, to march before the rector, dean, or proctor with a silver mace on occasions of ceremony.

'Bedel' has the alternate spelling of 'beadle' and comes from the Old English 'bydel,' meaning herald or messenger.

Example:

"Salaried officers of the company were a secretary, a bookkeeper, a husband (or as we would say, an accountant), and a bedel or messenger."

Wordnik Word of the Day: couple-beggar

I thought as I came across notable words from Wordnik's Word of the Day service, I'd post them here. Short and sweet. Here you go. Yes, I'm a little behind on this one.

The Wordnik Word of the Day for August 12, 2010 is was

couple-beggar

http://www.wordnik.com/words/couple-beggar

(noun) One who makes it his business to unite beggars in marriage; a hedge-priest.

A 'couple-beggar' was originally a person who officiated marriages between criminals in the notorious Fleet Prison in London.

Example:

"Casey's bodyguard, who tied Andy neck and heels, and in that helpless state he witnessed the marriage ceremony performed by the 'couple-beggar,' between Casey and the girl he had looked upon as his own five minutes before."

- Handy Andy, a Tale of Irish Life, by Samuel Lover

Wordnik Word of the Day for September 7, 2010

I thought as I came across notable words from Wordnik's Word of the Day service, I'd post them here. Short and sweet. Here you go.

The Wordnik Word of the Day for September 7, 2010 is

kistvaen

(noun) A stone coffin in the form of a pit covered with earth and surrounded by stones.

'Kistvaen' comes from the Welsh, 'cistfaen,' meaning 'chest' (cist) plus 'stone' (maen).

Example:

"Drizzlecombe, near Sheep's Tor, is rich in a variety of antiquities, for it has three stone rows, a large tumulus, a kistvaen, and a later relic -- a miner's blowing-house."

- Devon, Its Moorlands, Streams and Coasts, by Rosalind Northcote

Wordnik's Word of the Day for Sep. 2, 2010

I thought as I came across notable words from Wordnik's Word of the Day service, I'd post them here. Short and sweet. Here you go.

The Wordnik Word of the Day for September 2, 2010 is

razee

(noun) A ship of war cut down to a smaller size by reducing the number of decks.

(verb) To cut down or reduce to a lower class, as a ship; hence, to lessen or abridge by cutting out parts: as, to razee a book or an article.

'Razee' as a verb is now more commonly known as 'raze,' which comes from the Middle English, 'rasen,' which means 'to scrape off.'

Example:

"As a matter of fact the Confederate navy never had but one real man-of-war, the famous Merrimac; and she was a mere razee, cut down for a special purpose, and too feebly engined to keep the sea."

- Captains of the Civil War, by William Charles Henry Wood