Friday, 1 October 2010

English is an odd language

I've just finished reading a Robin Hobb trilogy at the behest of my wife. Not bad. Interestingly, Hobb uses a number of words I either was not familiar with and/or would not think to use. Here's a list:

ichor - pronounced eye-ker. Ooze from a wound.

lave - wash. Latin: lavare. Apparently it was present in Old English as lafian. Compare: lavatory.

chantey - a naval song. Compare: chant.

prate - to chatter. Compare Afrikaans praat.

salal - a kind of American plant.

hummock - a hump or hill.

cicatrix - a scab or scar.

ensorcel - to hypnotise or enchant. Compare: sorcery.

gelid - freezing. Compare: gelatine and cold.

carom - to rebound. A billiards term.

forefend - delay, inhibit, prevent, forestall.

immure - incarcerate. Latin: in murus, in a wall.

vail - to remove a hat. Compare: veil.

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