Archive for May, 2008

windrow

wind·row /ˈwɪndˌroʊ, ˈwɪn-/
-noun
1. a row or line of hay raked together to dry before being raked into heaps.
2. any similar row, as of sheaves of grain, made for the purpose of drying.
3. a row of dry leaves, dust, etc., swept together by the wind.
verb (used with object)
4. to arrange in a windrow.

[Origin: 1515-25; wind + row]

Source: Dictionary.com.

Arrhendur arrows and Morgaine’s bolts pursued them without mercy, cutting down the hindmost in windrows of dead and dying.

Source: The Chronicles of Morgaine, C J Cherryh.

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pervisible

I can’t find any dictionary entries for ‘pervisible’, although there are a number of uses of this word on the internet (some of them typographical anomalies; many of them in Spanish). ‘Per’ as a prefix indicates ‘very’ or ‘utterly’, as in ‘perfervid‘, so, logically, ‘pervisible’ would mean ‘highly visible’, ‘unmistakable’.

One of the uses of ‘pervisible’ I found was the text of the book in which I originally discovered it. So here is the word in context:

Vanye looked up, the sword clenched in his fist; and Roh’s shape drifted amid the light and the sound, pervisible, larger than life.

Source: The Chronicles of Morgaine, C J Cherryh.

bedight

be·dight /bɪˈdaɪt/
verb (used with object), –dight, –dight or –dight·ed, –dight·ing. Archaic.
to deck out; array.

[Origin: 1350-1400; ME; see be-, dight]

Source: Dictionary.com.

in her imaginings she saw them as they must have been the day that they followed their king into this place to die, all bedight in their finest clothing, young and beautiful, and the dome rang with their voices.

Source: The Chronicles of Morgaine, C J Cherryh.

voivode

 A last lexeme from Dracula.

voi·vode /ˈvɔɪvoʊd/
noun
(in Eastern European history) a local ruler or governor, esp. the semi-independent rulers of Transylvania, Wallachia, or Moldavia before c1700.

Also, vaivode.

[Origin: 1550-60; ≪ Slavic; cf. Pol wojewoda, Russ voevóda, Serbo-Croatian vȍj(e)voda, OCS vojevoda commander, governor (translating Gk hégemn and stratégós), equiv. to voj– base of voinŭ warrior + –e– var. (after j) of –o– -o- + –voda, n. deriv. of voditi to lead; vaivode < Hungarian vajvoda (now vajda) < Slavic]

 Source: Dictionary.com.

qua

 Another word from Dracula.

qua /kweɪ, kwɑ/
-adverb as; as being; in the character or capacity of: The work of art qua art can be judged by aesthetic criteria only.

[Origin: 1640-50; < L quā fem. abl. sing. of quī who]

 Source: Dictionary.com.

ptomaine

 More vampiric verbiage.

pto·maine /ˈtoʊmeɪn, toʊˈmeɪn/
-noun any of a class of foul-smelling nitrogenous substances produced by bacteria during putrefaction of animal or plant protein: formerly thought to be toxic.

[Origin: 1875-80; < It ptomaina < Gk ptôma corpse + It –ina -ine]

-Related forms
pto·main·ic, adjective

Source: Dictionary.com.

sperm

 If I remember rightly, this word is used in Dracula in the context of wax dripping down a candle.

Sper`ma*ce”ti\, n. [L. sperma sperm + cetus,gen. ceti, any large sea animal, a whale, Gr. ???. See Sperm, Cetaceous.] A white waxy substance obtained from cavities in the head of the sperm whale, and used making candles, oilments, cosmetics, etc. It consists essentially of ethereal salts of palmitic acid with ethal and other hydrocarbon bases. The substance of spermaceti after the removal of certain impurities is sometimes called cetin.

Source: Webster’s Revised Unabridged Dictionary quoted on Dictionary.com.