Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Faerie Vocabulary

Brownie: Sith.

Fey: Brownie.

Faerie: Fey

Fairy: Faerie.

Sidhe: (pronounced shee) Fairy.

Sith: Sidhe.

Slaugh: Fairy spirits.

Sunday, January 25, 2009


Tinned: A police officer is tinned when an officer from another jurisdiction flashes his tin (badge) to request/demand special treatment as a fellow law enforcement professional.
"Your kid, the older one, he tinned us, right? What kind of cop is he?"

Also used in the same sense in:


Hypnagogic: The state between being asleep and being awake.
Eric dutifully did as he was told and immediately drifted off into a hypnagogic limbo.


Paradiddle: When drumming, a sequence that uses the same hand twice consecutively is called a diddle (e.g LL, using the left hand twice). A paradiddle alternates hand and ends with a diddle.

Paradiddle: LRLL RLRR
Double Paradiddle: LRLRLL RLRLRR
Triple Paradiddle: LRLRLRLL RLRLRLRR
Matty [was] stuck paradiddling a pencil on his blotter.
Eric sighed, paradiddled the wood under his fingers.

Fish Priest

Fish Priest: A club used to kill a fish after it has been caught. This is the Britsh term; the American term is fish whacker. Fishing supply houses sell fancy fish priests made from hard woods and brass.
Within seconds, one of the Yemeni brothers erupting from the store, a sawed off fish priest cocked over his left shoulder like a baseball bat.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009


Puttee: A long strap of cloth or leather wrapped around the lower leg for protection, worn by British military instead of high boots. This is an English example of a word based on a Hindi word. Bungalow is another.
He wore khaki breeches with puttees and heavy brown leather boots.


Yegg: Safecracker.
"I worry that by now he may have found the note. I worry about our yegg. An I worry about you."

Sunday, January 11, 2009


Chrism: Holy oil - made from a mixture of olive oil and balsam. Metaphorically it also refers to the blessing conferred using the oil.
A glory and a chrism of bright genius rest upon you.


Parfit: Perfect.
He was a very parfit gentil knight.


Pellucid: Clear, transparent.
Two smoking globes of brine welled from the pellucid depths of her pure eyes and fell with a hot splash on his bronzed hand.


Flensing: To strip the blubber or skin from an animal, such as a whale or seal.

Sometimes, I have no idea what the author intended.
"I hope you always have something to use [this heavy set of carving steels] on," Said Will, flensing his hand, and winking at Joe Gambell.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Phthisic, Phthisis

Phthisic, Phthisis: (Archaic) An illness of the throat or lungs, usually tuberculosis. Also any wasting disease.
... an angel poised upon cold phthisic feet, with a smile of stone idiocy ...

Slattern, Sloven, Sloppy, Slut

Slattern: A dirty, untidy woman.
Sloven: An untidy person.
Sloppy: Untidy.
Slut: A slovenly woman, a slattern.
The seed of our destruction will blossom in the desert, the alexin of our cure grows by a mountain rock, and out lives are haunted by a Georgia slattern, because a London cutpurse went unhung.
As he stared out the wndow and saw the fallow unworked earth, the great raw lift of the Peidmont, the muddy red clay roads, and the slattern people gaping at the stations.
Eugene was intrusted almost completely to a young slovenly negress. He remembered vividly her tall slattern figure, her slapping lazy feet, her dirty white stockings, and her strong smell, black and funky.


Bijou: A small gem, usually used metaphorically.

Speaking of an essay "What the Well-Dressed Man is Wearing."
"Yes, indeed, Jeeves. I've rather extended myself on this bijou. There's a bit about socks that I think you will like."

Friday, January 2, 2009


Nacreous: Iridescent, from nacre which refers to mother of pearl.
He had just bought the guitar that day. He couldn't play it yet and, in fact, never learned to play it. It was a nacreous pink.