Interesting Words

Interesting Words: Shadow's Son by Jon Sprunk

View this book on 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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