Posts tagged ‘Umberto Eco’

Wednesday Word of the Week: cataplasm

cat·a·plasm
/ˈkætəˌplæzəm/

noun Medicine/Medical .
poultice.

Origin:
1555–65; < Latin cataplasma < Greek katáplasma. See cata-, -plasm

Source: Dictionary.com.

‘And that is arctium lappa; a good cataplasm of fresh roots cicatrizes skin eczemas.’

Source: The Name of the Rose by Umberto Eco.

See also cicatrise and cicatrix.

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Wednesday Word of the Week: theophany/theophanic

An example of logophany, perhaps?

the·oph·a·ny
/θiˈɒfəni/

–noun, plural -nies.
a manifestation or appearance of god or a god to a person.

Origin:
1625–35; < Late Latin theophania < Late Greek theopháneia. See theo-, -phany

—Related forms
the·o·phan·ic /ˌθiəˈfænɪk/, the·oph·a·nous, adjective

Source: Dictionary.com.

It is the most immediate of the paths that put us in touch with the Almighty: theophanic matter.

Source: The Name of the Rose by Umberto Eco.

Wednesday Word of the Week: tatterdemalion

Another example of lexical erudition and a humongous list from The Name of the Rose.

tat·ter·de·mal·ion
/ˌtætərdɪˈmeɪlyən, -ˈmæl-/

–noun
1. a person in tattered clothing; a shabby person.

–adjective
2. ragged; unkempt or dilapidated.

Origin:
1600–10; first written tatter-de-mallian and rhymed with Italian; see tatter 1 ; -de-mallian < ?

Source: Dictionary.com.

From the story he told me, I pictured him among those bands of vagrants that in the years that followed I saw more and more often roaming about Europe: false monks, charlatans, swindlers, cheats, tramps and tatterdemalions, lepers and cripples, jugglers, invalid mercenaries, wandering Jews escaped from the infidels with their spirit broken, lunatics, fugitives under banishment, malefactors with an ear cut off, sodomites, and along with them ambulant artisans, weavers, tinkers, chair-menders, knife-grinders, basket-weavers, masons, and also rogues of every stripe, forgers, scoundrels, cardsharps, rascals, bullies, reprobates, recreants, frauds, hooligans, simoniacal and embezzling canons and priests, people who lived on the credulity of others, counterfeiters of bulls and papal seals, peddlers of indulgences, false paralytics who lay at church doors, vagrants fleeing from convents, relic-sellers, pardoners, soothsayers and fortunetellers, necromancers, healers, bogus alms-seekers, fornicators of every sort, corrupters of nuns and maidens by deception and violence, simulators of dropsy, epilepsy, hemorrhoids, gout, and sores, as well as melancholy madness.

Source: The Name of the Rose by Umberto Eco.

Wednesday Word of the Week: gonfalonier/gonfalon

Make a sentence with these words – there’s a prize for the best one.

gon·fa·lon·ier
/ˌgɒnfələˈnɪər/

–noun
1. the bearer of a gonfalon.
2. a chief magistrate or some other elected official in any of several medieval Italian republics.

Origin:
1580–90; < French < Italian gonfaloniere. See gonfalon, -ier 2

Source: Dictionary.com.

gon·fa·lon
/ˈgɒnfələn/

–noun
1. a banner suspended from a crossbar, often with several streamers or tails.
2. a standard, especially one used by the medieval Italian republics.

Origin:
1585–95; < Italian gonfalone < Middle French gonfalon, gonfanon < Germanic; see gonfanon

Source: Dictionary.com.

Finally it was the day of the execution, and a gonfalonier came for him, appearing friendly, for he asked what sort of man Michael was and why he was so stubborn when he had only to affirm what the whole populace affirmed and accept the opinion of Holy Mother Chruch.

Source: The Name of the Rose by Umberto Eco.

Word of the day: ossarium

(o-sā’ri-um), n,; pl. ossaria (-iä). [LL.: see ossuary.] An urn or other receptacle for the bones or ashes of the dead; an ossuary.

Source: Century Dictionary Online.

“Keep your eye on that spot,” William said to me. “There could be a passage leading to the Aedificium.”

“Under the cemetry?”

“And why not? In fact, now that I think about it, there must be an ossarium somewhere; they can’t possibly have buried all their monks for centuries in that patch of ground.”

Source: The Name of the Rose by Umberto Eco.

Word of the Day: scapular

scap·u·lar 2 /ˈskæpyələr/

–noun
1. Ecclesiastical . a loose, sleeveless monastic garment, hanging from the shoulders.
2. two small pieces of woolen cloth, joined by strings passing over the shoulders, worn under the ordinary clothing as a badge of affiliation with a religious order, a token of devotion, etc.
3. Anatomy, Zoology . scapula.
4. Ornithology . one of the scapular feathers.

Origin:
1475–85; < ML
scapulāre, n. use of neut. of scapulāris (adj.). See scapular 1

Source: Dictionary.com.

The monks were now standing at the tables, motionless, their cowls lowered over their faces, their hands under their scapulars.

Source: The Name of the Rose by Umberto Eco.

antistrophe

an·tis·tro·phe /ænˈtɪstrəfi/

–noun
1. the part of an ancient Greek choral ode answering a previous strophe, sung by the chorus when returning from left to right.
2. the movement performed by the chorus while singing an antistrophe.
3. Prosody . the second of two metrically corresponding systems in a poem. Compare strophe ( def. 3 ) .

Origin:
1540–50; < Gk: a turning about. See anti-, strophe

—Related forms
an·ti·stroph·ic  /ˌæntəˈstrɒfɪk, -ˈstroʊfɪk/, an·tis·tro·phal, adjective
an·ti·stroph·i·cal·ly, adverb

Source: Dictionary.com.

It was already part of the story he heard and repeated, or that Berengar imagined, in his agitation and his remorse. Because there is, as antistrophe to Adelmo’s remorse, a remorse of Berengar’s: you heard it.

Source: The Name of the Rose by Umberto Eco.