Posts tagged ‘E R Eddison’

Wednesday Word of the Week: trisulk/trisulc

Trisulc \Tri”sulc\ (tr[imac]”s[u^]lk), n. [L. trisulcus; tri-
(see Tri-) + sulcus a furrow.]
Something having three forks or prongs, as a trident. [Obs.]
“Jupiter’s trisulc.” –Sir T. Browne.
[1913 Webster]

Source: Free Dictionary.

a flame rushed up the night, lighting the whole sky with a livid glare. And in that trisulk flash Corinius beheld though the south-west window the Iron Tower blasted and cleft asunder, and the next instant fallen in an avalanche of red-hot ruin.

Source: The Worm Ouroboros by E R Eddison.

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Wednesday Word of the Week: alectorian stone

An obscure item this week – although not the most obscure term used in The Worm Ouroboros, by any means. Brewer’s Dictionary of Phrase and Fable says it comes from the Greek word for ‘cock’, ‘alectōr’; Wikipedia lists several ancient Greeks with this name – I wonder what that says about them. I also found an interesting excerpt from a New Zealand newspaper from 1890 on the subject of magical rocks, in which the alectorian stone is mentioned.

Know of any other apotropaic minerals? Post them below.

A stone, said to be of talismanic power, found in the stomach of cocks. Those who possess it are strong, brave, and wealthy. Milo of Crotōna owed his strength to this talisman. As a philtre it has the power of preventing thirst or of assuaging it. (Greek, alectōr, a cock.)

Source: Brewer’s Dictionary of Phrase and Fable.

Against such peril I had provided certain amulets made of the stone alectorian, which groweth in the gizzard of a cock hatched on a moonless night when Saturn burneth in the ascendant.

Source: The Worm Ouroboros by E R Eddison.

Wednesday Word of the Week: kemperie-man

Good writers are always seeking to improve their vocabulary. This week’s word comes from E R Eddison’s The Worm Ouroboros – a book written in a quasi-medieval style.

Kemperie-man, ». A warrior.

Source: Dictionary of Obsolete and Provincial English.

Compare ‘kemp’:

kemp 1 /kɛmp/

–noun
1. British Dialect .
a. a strong, brave warrior.
b. an athlete, especially a champion.
c. a professional fighter.
d. an impetuous or roguish young man.

2. Scot. and North England . a contest, as between two athletes or two groups of workers, especially a reaping contest between farmworkers.

–verb (used without object)
3. Scot. and North England . to contest, fight, or strive, especially to strive in a reaping contest.

Origin:
before 900; Middle English kempe, Old English cempa; cognate with Old Frisian kempa, kampa, Middle Dutch, Middle Low German kemp ( e ), Old High German chemp ( i ) o; ultimately < West Germanic, perhaps through Latin campiō; see champion

Source: Dictionary.com.

“What be these that maintain so bloody an advantage upon my kemperie-men?”

Source: The Worm Ouroboros by E R Eddison.

Word of the day: gyve

gyve /dʒaɪv/
noun, verb, gyved, gyv·ing. Archaic.

–noun
1. Usually, gyves. a shackle, esp. for the leg; fetter.

–verb (used with object)
2. to shackle.

Origin:
1175–1225; ME give < ?

—Related forms
un·gyved, adjective

Source: Dictionary.com.

And he bade his smiths drive great iron staples into the wall, whereon he let hang up the Demons by their wrists and ankles fast to the staples with gyves of iron.

Source: The Worm Ouroboros by E R Eddison.

Word of the Day: wit

wit 2 /wɪt/

–verb (used with object), verb (used without object), present singular 1st person wot, 2nd wost, 3rd wot, present plural wit or wite; past and past participle wist; present participle wit·ting.
1. Archaic . to know.

—Idiom
2. to wit, that is to say; namely: It was the time of the vernal equinox, to wit, the beginning of spring.

Origin:
bef. 900; ME witen, OE witan; c. D weten, G wissen, ON vita, Goth witan to know; akin to L vidēre, Gk ideîn to see, Skt vidati (he) knows. See wot

Source: Dictionary.com.

“Standeth it yet?” said Brandoch Daha.

“For all I wot of,” answered Mivarsh.

Source: The Worm Ouroboros by E R Eddison.