10 words (part 4)

Happy Wednesday everyone! Rambler5319 is going to take over today to help us expand our vocabularies. Enjoy!


It’s been a while since I did a word collection so here we go with episode 4 of my “words I didn’t know the meaning of in books I’ve read or am reading at the moment”:

The Land Of Painted Caves by Jean Auel is the final book in a long series begun in 1980 (with The Clan Of Cave Bear) and culminating in March 2011 with this one. It’s one of those series where you get to know the people and their characters develop over the time: they age; they learn new skills; they marry; they have children etc. The first 3 are from this book.

1. EPICANTHIC (from The Land Of Painted Caves by Jean Auel)

It means: A fold of skin over the inner canthus of the eye characteristic of the Mongolian people.

2. TUMPLINE (from The Land Of Painted Caves by Jean Auel)

It means: A strap across the forehead or chest for carrying burdens or hauling loads

3. FRANGIBLE (from The Land Of Painted Caves by Jean Auel)

It means: Easily broken.

I noticed that if you take the N & the B out you have the word fragile so quite easy to remember what that one means.

Despite the title of the next book it was actually very interesting. The writer had researched the subject far and wide: there was a 12 page bibliography. Reading through its 452 pages was not a trial and kept me hooked right through.

4. NEF (from SALT – A World History by Mark Kurlansky)

It means: An ornamental stand or holder for a knife, fork etc. or for a table napkin. Often ship shaped.

Bella Bathurst first came across my radar with the excellent Lighthouse Stevensons about the dynasties of the family involved in the design & construction of most of the lighthouses around the Scottish coast. The Wreckers looks at the myths & realities of shipwrecks and those involved in them.

5. ANTI-SCORBUTICS (from The Wreckers by Bella Bathurst)

It means: Agents which prevent or relieve scurvy

The next word is from a book which looks behind the scenes of one of the most successful groups of the modern music era: Fleetwood Mac. It is written by Carol Ann Harris, an ex-girlfriend of Lindsay Buckingham, who kept a diary of her 8 years with him and the rest of the group. Fleetwood Mac, founded by Peter Green in 1967, had numerous chart hits beginning in 1968 with Black Magic Woman & Need Your Love So Bad. Released in Dec 1968 Albatross made it to no.1 in the UK in Jan 1969. The group has had many personnel changes over the years and one list gives 16 names who have played & sung under the FM banner. Things changed for them in a big way when on New Year’s Eve 1974 Lindsay Buckingham & Stevie Nicks joined the band. Recorded in 1976, Feb 1977 saw the release of the group’s biggest selling album Rumours. Over the 36 years since then, its 45 million sales worldwide (so far) mean it has averaged 1,250,000 per year! (Pink Floyd’s Dark Side Of The Moon has sold 50 million but having celebrated its 40-year anniversary this year it comes out with exactly the same average as FM’s Rumours.)

6. YLANG-YLANG (from Storms: My Life With Lindsay Buckingham & Fleetwood Mac by Carol Ann Harris)

It means: A tree from the Malay Archipelago & Peninsula. Also an oil distilled from its flowers. Intriguingly she used the expression to describe one characteristic of her first acquaintance with Stevie Nicks entering a room and going past her as she was sitting on the floor.

The next author has become somewhat of a favourite over recent years. With a cheery comedic style you are easily drawn into subject areas you initially might not think are that interesting. (If you’ve never read any of his stuff why not give it a try?) Previously Connelly has got me to read about the trials and tribulations of the National Football Team of Lichtenstein, the areas you hear about in the Shipping Forecast twice a day on Radio 4 & walks about historical events and the characters involved in them: Boudica, King Harold, Olaf the Dwarf, Owain Glyndwr, Mary Queen of Scots, Bonnie Prince Charlie, Flora Macdonald & The Doolough Famine Walk. Bring Me Sunshine is about weather related subjects and how our present day system of weather forecasting came about.

7. PETRICHOR (from Bring Me Sunshine by Charlie Connelly)

It means: The scent of rain on dry earth

A.N. Wilson is an author with over 30 books to his credit.

8. SCABROUS (from The Elizabethans by A.N. Wilson)

It means: Rough, harsh, beset with difficulties; bordering on the indecent

9. SELF-EXCULPATION (from The Elizabethans by A.N. Wilson)

It means: To absolve or vindicate oneself from the charge of a fault or crime

The author of this next book started his map collection at the age of six. I think that gives you an idea of how “into” his subject he is. Definitely a similar style to Connelly and just as enjoyable on the whole subject of maps and the Ordnance Survey industry.

10. OMPHALOUS (from Map Addict by Mike Parker)

It means: The navel; a boss; a stone at Delphi believed to mark the centre of the world; a centre

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