Archive for May, 2008


To understand ‘cicatrise’ it would help to know what a ‘cicatrix’ is.

cic·a·trix /ˈsɪkətrɪks, sɪˈkeɪtrɪks/
noun, plural cic·a·tri·ces /ˌsɪkəˈtraɪsiz/
1. Physiology. new tissue that forms over a wound and later contracts into a scar.
2. Botany. a scar left by a fallen leaf, seed, etc.

Also, cic·a·trice /ˈsɪkətrɪs/

[Origin: 1350-1400; ME < L: scar]

Related forms
cic·a·tri·cial /ˌsɪkəˈtrɪʃəl/, adjective
ci·cat·ri·cose /sɪˈkætrɪˌkoʊs, ˈsɪkə-/, adjective



Another word from Dracula. Well, near enough – the actual word was ‘cicatrised’.

cic·a·trize /ˈsɪkəˌtraɪz/ verb, –trized, –triz·ing.
verb (used with object)
1. Physiology. to heal by inducing the formation of a cicatrix.
verb (used without object)
2. to become healed by the formation of a cicatrix.

Also, especially British, cic·a·trise.

[Origin: 1350-1400; ME < ML cicātrizāre. See cicatrix, -ize]

Related forms
cic·a·tri·zant, adjective
cic·a·tri·za·tion, noun
cic·a·triz·er, noun



I could find no official definition of this word from Dracula. It appears in the expression ‘bloofer lady’, referring to Lucy Westenra. It’s pretty obvious from the text that it’s a childish rendition of ‘beautiful’ (the vampire Lucy abducts and feeds on Hampstead children, and this is how they describe her). Stoker’s use of it may well have been influenced by the ‘boofer lady’ – Bella Wilfer – in Dickens’s Our Mutual Friend.


Here to make sense of the previous entry.

trit·u·rate /v. ˈtrɪtʃəˌreɪt; n. ˈtrɪtʃərɪt/ verb, -rat·ed, -rat·ing, noun
verb (used with object)
1. to reduce to fine particles or powder by rubbing, grinding, bruising, or the like; pulverize.
2. a triturated substance.
3. Pharmacology. trituration (def. 3).

[Origin: 1615-25; < LL trītūrātus (ptp. of trītūrāre to thresh), equiv. to L trītūr(a) a threshing (trīt(us) rubbed, crushed (see trite) + –ūra -ure) + –ātus -ate]

-Related forms
trit·u·ra·tor, noun



Another word from Dracula.

trit·u·ra·tion /ˌtrɪtʃəˈreɪʃən/
1. the act of triturating.
2. the state of being triturated.
3. Pharmacology.
a. a mixture of a medicinal substance with sugar of milk, triturated to an impalpable powder.
b. any triturated substance.

[Origin: 1640-50; < LL trītūrātiōn– (s. of trītūrātiō), equiv. to trītūrāt(us) threshed (see triturate) + –ion -ion]



Suggested by the previous entry.

col·u·brine /ˈkɒləˌbraɪn, -brɪn, -yə-/
1. of or resembling a snake; snakelike.
2. belonging or pertaining to the subfamily Colubrinae, comprising the typical colubrid snakes.

[Origin: 1520-30; < L colubrīnus, equiv. to colubr– (s. of coluber) snake + –īnus -ine]



Another word from Dracula.

cul·ver·in /ˈkʌlvərɪn/
1. medieval form of musket.
2. a kind of heavy cannon used in the 16th and 17th centuries.

[Origin: 1400-50; late ME < MF coulevrine < L colubrīna, fem. of colubrīnus colubrine]


And also from Gulliver’s Travels:

I gave him a description of cannons, culverines, muskets, carabines, pistols, bullets, powder, swords, bayonets, sieges, retreats, attacks, undermines, countermines, bombardments, sea-fights