Saturday, June 12, 2010


Pounce: Pounce (noun) shares its etymology with punch, as in the ubiquitous 3-hole punch used by school children. The sharp, cutting tool, pounce (noun), was metaphorically applied to the claw or talons of carnivorous birds. Eventually, the term became applied to the act of hunting by these bird, and ultimately the common use of pounce (verb) today, as in the cat pounced on the mouse.

Those big claws are called pounces. The ones at the back are called talons - the ones they carry the prey off with.
A Book for Today: Unseen Academicals by Terry Pratchett

Friday, June 11, 2010


Pavane: The pavane is a courtly, formal dance from the Italian Renaissance, that survives today in the hesitation step used in weddings and various metaphorical and fantasy references.
And now they were milling backwards and forwards in a ghastly pavane.
A Book for Today: Unseen Academicals by Terry Pratchett
From the wings I heard and watched the pavane of tragedy move steadily towards its climax.

A strange tune began, a slow pavane that seemed to come from inside his own head. The beat grew more insistent, the dance that would end only when he, along with Melody and Sofia, were at the center of the maze.
Quotation from:

Thursday, June 10, 2010


Louche: Moral decadence.
You're thinking we're a couple of louche evil clowns who booze away in a world of smoke and mirrors.
A Book for Today: Unseen Academicals by Terry Pratchett
Rather than sophistication and tolerance, the profession was intent on strangling secular humanism, if that meant some louche tolerance of wandering affections and legal separations.

I was reasonable experienced in that area for an undergraduate, but this was for me a new expansive level of the louche - Gibsons and naked girls in the broad light of day.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010


Bledlow: This is a Discworld neologism for the Unseen University police.
Beside them, and looking extremely embarrassed, were two of the university's bledlows, not knowing what to do with their feet and wishing they were having a quiet smoke somewhere in the warm.
A Book for Today: Unseen Academicals by Terry Pratchett

Tuesday, June 8, 2010


Fettle: Fettle (noun): condition or state (usually of health) and fettle (verb): to prepare a furnace for smelting ore evidently derive from independent sources. Fettle (verb) shares its etymology with fetch, as in fetch the sand to line the furnace.
Everywhere he went, men stopped work to show him how to plane and carve and mould and fettle and smelt iron and make horseshoes - but not how to fix them, because any horse went mad when he entered the stables.
A Book for Today: Unseen Academicals by Terry Pratchett