Archive for July, 2010


clo·chard /ˈkloʊʃərd/

a beggar; vagrant; tramp.

1940–45; < F, der. of clocher to limp < L clopus lame


In the underground passage was the usual cast of characters. Two vagrants, clochards, were stumbling along, one of whom, holding a bottle of red wine, would from time to time lazily turn to passersby and with a disarming smile ask for a contribution.

Source: Immortality by Milan Kundera.



met·o·pe /ˈmɛtəˌpi, -oʊp/

–noun Architecture.
any of the square spaces, either decorated or plain, between triglyphs in the Doric frieze.

Also called intertriglyph.

1555–65; < Gk metópē


Torvald eyed the wall, the cornices, the scrollwork metopes, the braided false columns.

Source: Toll the Hounds by Steven Erikson.


fin·i·al /ˈfɪniəl, ˈfaɪni-/

1. Architecture. a relatively small, ornamental, terminal feature at the top of a gable, pinnacle, etc.
2. an ornamental termination to the top of a piece of furniture, or of one part of such a piece.
3. Typography. a curve terminating the main stroke of the characters in some italic fonts.

1400–50; late ME, deriv. of L fīnis end; see -al

—Related forms
fin·i·aled, adjective


Perched on a corner post’s finial at one end of the high wall, Chillbais stared with stony eyes on the tattered wilds beyond.

Source: Toll the Hounds by Steven Erikson.


fer·rule /ˈfɛrəl, -ul/ noun, verb, -ruled, -rul·ing.

1. a ring or cap, usually of metal, put around the end of a post, cane, or the like, to prevent splitting.
2. a short metal sleeve for strengthening a tool handle at the end holding the tool.
3. a bushing or adapter holding the end of a tube and inserted into a hole in a plate in order to make a tight fit, used in boilers, condensers, etc.
4. a short ring for reinforcing or decreasing the interior diameter of the end of a tube.
5. a short plumbing fitting, covered at its outer end and caulked or otherwise fixed to a branch from a pipe so that it can be removed to give access to the interior of the pipe.
6. Angling .
a. either of two fittings on the end of a section of a sectional fishing rod, one fitting serving as a plug and the other as a socket for fastening the sections together.
b. one of two or more small rings spaced along the top of a casting rod to hold and guide the line.

–verb (used with object)
7. to furnish with a ferrule.

Also, ferule.

1605–15; alter. (appar. conformed to L ferrum iron, -ule) of verrel, verril, late ME virole < MF (c. ML virola ) < L viriola, equiv. to viri ( a ) bracelet + –ola -ole


He brushed his gloved hands across the pommels of his daggers, the weapons slung on baldrics beneath his arms. Ever reassuring, those twin blades of Daru steel with their ferules filled with the thick, pasty poison of Moranth tralb.

Source: Toll the Hounds by Steven Erikson.


tail·ing /ˈteɪlɪŋ/

1. the part of a projecting stone or brick tailed or inserted in a wall.
2. tailings,
a. Building Trades . gravel, aggregate, etc., failing to pass through a given screen.
b. the residue of any product, as in mining; leavings.

1640–50; tail + -ing


Ash had begun to rain down on them, unceasing now, each flake cold as snow, yet this was a sludge that did not melt, instead churning into the mud until it seemed they walked through a field of slag and tailings.

Source: Toll the Hounds by Steven Erikson.


floc·cu·late (flŏk’yə-lāt’)
v. floc·cu·lat·ed , floc·cu·lat·ing , floc·cu·lates

v. tr.
To cause (soil) to form lumps or masses.

To cause (clouds) to form fluffy masses.

v. intr.
To form lumpy or fluffy masses.

n. Something that has formed lumpy or fluffy masses.

floc’cu·la’tion n.


Monstrous Kerkaju bulged across the green sky, every pore and flocculation distinct, its simulacrum mirrored in the Quicksilver Ocean.

Source: Tales of the Dying Earth by Jack Vance.


eq·ui·page /ˈɛkwəpɪdʒ/

1. a carriage.
2. a carriage drawn by horses and attended by servants.
3. outfit, as of a ship, an army, or a soldier; equipment.
4. Archaic.
a. a set of small household articles, as of china.
b. a collection of articles for personal ornament or use.

1570–80; < MF; see equip, -age


They would indeed take me to gather stones, and so we set out, flying through space in an equipage whose nature I cannot recall.

Source: Tales of the Dying Earth by Jack Vance.