I occasionally post new-to-me words discovered via my literary rambles. I do this for my own edification. If you happened to stumble across this post and you are a word nerd (like me), then you might enjoy discovering these as well. Following each word is a short definition, trailed by the context in which the word was found. (Learn how I easily capture these and why I started this series, here).
- diuturnity: the quality or state of being continuous or lasting | "But the path that leads to an understanding of concord as Carnac, says Throreau, necessarily takes you through a confrontation with and meditation on its very discrete facts - stone walls, those mossy monuments that to natives represent only some farmer’s lonely, back-breaking labor; the muddy, shallow river that unremarked runs through the fields and in flood time keeps the cattle out; the woods whose silent speech is of diuturnity - or was until they were cut down to feed the railroad: those very facts the writer had been patiently recording in his journals." - Frederick Turner, Spirit of Place
- autochthon: the earliest known inhabitants of a region | "The very next day, perhaps still in the heat of that September 4 entry, he wrote of his admiration for readers, far removed in time and geography, feel as if they were ‘autochthones of the soil’". - Frederick Turner, Spirit of Place
- churlish: having a bad disposition; surly | "With a sort of churlish consistency he refused opportunities for travel, entrees to the wider literary scene, lecture dates that would take him from Concord." - Frederick Turner, Spirit of Place
- nonpareil: model of excellence or perfection of a kind; one having no equal | "I have followed that advice assiduously, and not only at home through 56 years of a marital partnership nonpareil." - "Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s Advice for Living," The New York Times
- excrescence: something that bulges out or is protuberant or projects from its surroundings | "I believe that morning in the Bar Palermo was the only time he ever alluded, not jokingly but seriously, even dramatically, to what was undoubtedly a tragedy in life, even though he concealed it with such style and grace: the excrescence that made him a walking incitement to mockery and disgust, and must have affected all his relationships, especially with women." - The Storyteller, Mario Vargas Llosa | "Buildings are not excrescences on the face of the earth; they have become part of the landscape, baked into it by the synthesizing heat of the Provencal sun." - The Food of France, Waverly Root |
- vigorish: an exorbitant or unlawful rate of interest | "He knows that loneliness is our craft, that death is God’s vigorish." - Jack Gilbert, “Prospero Without His Magic”