Literary Lessons – vocabulary #3

Literary Lessons - Vocabulary #3Again, this amazing P. D. James novel increased my vocabulary. These are the ten words I found in there that I didn’t know before.

Honestly, the amount of words I found in this book makes me almost feel like I don’t know the English language at all!

The Children of Men
P. D. James

Gaucherie (p.57)
1. a tactless or awkward act
Probity (p.59)
1.  the quality of a person who is completely honest
Atavistic (p.63)
a. recurrence in an organism of a trait or character typical of an ancestral form and usually due to genetic recombination
b. recurrence of or reversion to a past style, manner, outlook, approach, or activity
2. one that manifests atavism
Incipient (p.65)
1. beginning to develop or exist
Rebarbative (p.66)
1. repellent, irritating
Bodkin (p.67)
a. dagger, stiletto
b. a sharp slender instrument for making holes in cloth
c. an ornamental hairpin shaped like a stiletto
2. a blunt needle with a large eye for drawing tape or ribbon through a loop or hem
Comminations (p.69)
1.  denunciation
Ineluctable (p.72)
1. not able to be avoided or changed
Hamlet (p.73)
1. a small village
Estuaries (p.74)
1. an area where a river flows into the sea

I especially thought hamlet was a good one. Of course I know Shakespeare’s play by the same name. However, I never knew that the meaning of it was “small village”.

Which of these do you find most interesting?

Literary Lessons – vocabulary #2

Literary lessons - more vocabulary I didn't know from The Children of Men by P.D. JamesAs you might have realized reading the first vocabulary post, the page numbers were all very much in the beginning of the book. When I wrote that post I hadn’t actually finished reading the book yet. I still haven’t at the writing of this, but will have when this posts. I didn’t want to post too many in a row, and flood your feeds with vocab lessons.

Again, I’ve found a great number of words I’ve never heard of. Here are another 10. Perhaps I’ll remember them…

The Children of Men
P. D. James

Campanile (p.45)
1. a tall tower with a bell in it
Unacrimonious (p.45)
1. angry and bitter
unacrimonious would then be: not angry and bitter
Disparagements (p.47)
to lower in rank or reputation :  degrade
2. to depreciate by indirect means (as invidious comparison) :  speak slightingly about
Disparagement is the noun: the act of lowering in rank or speaking slightingly about someone.
Mackintosh (p.47)
1. chiefly British :  raincoat
2. a lightweight waterproof fabric originally of rubberized cotton
Crimped (p.48)
1. to cause to become wavy, bent, or pinched: as
a. to form (leather) into a desired shape
b. to give (synthetic fibers) a curl or wave like that of natural fibers
c. to pinch or press together (as the margins of a pie crust) in order to seal
2. to be an inhibiting or restraining influence on something
Tawdry (p.48)
1. having a cheap and ugly appearance
2. morally low or bad
Importunities (p49)
1. the quality or state of being importunate
2. an importunate request or demand
1. making repeated or annoying requests or demands
2. causing annoyance or trouble
Galumphed (p.49)
1. to move in a loud and clumsy way
Surpliced (p.51)
1. wearing a surplice
2. having a surplice collar or neckline
1. a loose, white piece of clothing that is worn by priests or singers at church services
Gad (p.53)
1. a chisel or pointed iron or steel bar for loosening ore or rock
2. chiefly dialect :  a long stick
All the definitions of the words have been found on the Merriam-Webster website

Wow! I learned a lot again. Who knew a mackintosh was a raincoat, or a type of fabric in any case. All I could think of were apples and computers, though it was obvious from the context of the book those had nothing to do with it, plus it was spelled differently.

Do you have any words that you didn’t know? Let me know in the comments! It would be nice to know I’m not alone in this.

Literary lessons #1 (intro + vocabulary)

I wanted to start something new on my blog, something where I can keep track of words, sentences, quotes, names and such. Partially for myself, but maybe also to inspire others. They’ll be literary lessons. I love language, and hopefully this way I can also do something with it on my blog.

While reading, I often come across words I’ve never heard of. Usually, they’re not very important in the context of the sentence and it’s possible to guess at Literary Lessons - words I didn't know beforetheir meaning. However, I never looked up the words I didn’t know before; I don’t feel I need to when I can perfectly understand the story.

I thought it might be fun though, to learn a thing or two while reading. Especially in older books where the vocabulary is much broader it happens often that I don’t know the exact meaning of a word.

Therefore, I’ve now written down the words and looked them up. Here are 20 of them.

The Children of Men
P. D. James
portcullis (p.23)
1. a heavy iron gate that can be raised or lowered at the entrance to a castle
crenellated (p.23)
1. having open spaces at the top of a wall so that people can shoot guns and cannons outward.
lugubrious (p.23)
1. full of sadness or sorrow
2. very sad especially in an exaggerated or insincere way.
pert  (p.25)
1. having or showing confidence and a lack of respect or seriousness especially in an amusing or appealing way — used especially to describe girls or young women
2. small and attractive
pilasters (p.26)
1. a rectangular column that is attached to a wall and that is used for decoration or support
claret (p.27)
1. a type of red wine made in Bordeaux, France
2. a dark purplish-red color
parapet (p.27)
1. a low wall at the edge of a platform, roof, or bridge
patina (p.29)
1. a thin usually green layer that forms naturally on the metals copper and bronze when they are exposed to the air for a long time
2. a shiny or dark surface that forms naturally on something (such as wood or leather) that is used for a long time
3. a thin layer
bow-fronted (p.29)
1. having an outward curving front <bowfront furniture>
2.having a bow window in front <bowfront houses>
flyblown (p.29)
1. in poor and dirty condition
2. made dirty by flies
3. not suitable for eating
sardonic (p.29)
1. showing that you disapprove of or do not like someone or something
2. showing disrespect or scorn for someone or something
vicarage (p.30)
1. a vicar’s home
1. a priest in the Church of England who is in charge of a particular church and the area around it
2. a pastor’s assistant in an Episcopalian or Lutheran church
coverlet (p.31)
1. a decorative cover for a bed
coalescing (p.32)
1. to come together to form one group or mass
defunct (p.33)
1. no longer existing or being used
cloister (p.36)
1. a place where monks or nuns live
2. a monastery or convent
3. a covered path or hall with arches that is on the side of a building (such as a monastery or church) and that has one open side usually facing a courtyard
inquest (p. 40)
1. law
2. an official investigation to find the reason for something (such as a person’s death)
cantankerous (p.42)
1. often angry and annoyed
litany (p.42) 19
1. a prayer in a Christian church service in which the people at the service respond to lines spoken by the person who is leading the service
2. a long list of complaints, problems, etc.
Cachet (p.43)
a. a seal used especially as a mark of official approval
1 b. an indication of approval carrying great prestige
2 a. a characteristic feature or quality conferring prestige
2 b. prestige
All the definitions of the words have been found on the Merriam-Webster website

Did you know all of them? Have you recently come across words you didn’t know? Let me know in the comments!