maine chance

I have moved my body through time and space again, this time to a pond in Maine where my daughter and her husband have a "camp". In Manitoba we called it a cottage, a term I am most familiar with, and a way of life I adapt to very quickly.  But there's wifi and there's Alexa so I am not very rustic.  Again, I promise more than I am delivering today, because I am going to have an afternoon nap.


But I'm awake in time to ponder a few words before I start drinking.

corso noun (pl.corsos)(in Italy and some other Mediterranean countries) a social promenade.• a street used for social promenades, or where races and parades were formerly held.   ORIGIN Italian, ‘main street’, from Latin cursus ‘a course’.[So guess who is still reading Black Eagle and Grey Falcon? Fewer than a hundred pages to go.]

fiacre  fɪˈɑːkrə, -noun historical  a small four-wheeled carriage for public hire.  ORIGIN late 17th cent.  from French, named after the Hôtel de St Fiacre in Paris, where such vehicles were first hired out. [I sort of knew that, in context.]

appanage  ˈap(ə)nɪdʒ| (also apanage) noun: historical provision made for the maintenance of the younger children of kings and princes, consisting of a gift of land, an official position, or money;  archaic , a benefit or right belonging to someone; a perquisite: the appanages of her rank.   ORIGIN early 17th cent.: from French, based on medieval Latin appanare ‘provide with the means of subsistence’, from ad- ‘to’ + panis ‘bread’.  [BE&GF is a history book, as well as travelogue,  biography and cultural exploration.]

sipper |noun:  a small piece of bread or toast, used to dip into soup or sauce or as a garnish.   ORIGIN mid 16th cent.: apparently a diminutive of sop.  [One could guess the meaning, but its it a nice word?]

hugger-mugger |adjective: 1 confused; disorderly: a spirit of careless frivolity where all was hugger-mugger.  2 secret; clandestine. there was no longer the hugger-mugger anecdote, or any juicy elbow-gripping gossip.noun [ mass noun   ]1 disorder or confusion. the vast hugger-mugger of alleys.  2 secrecy or secretive behaviour. he declared war on hugger-mugger and conspiracy, clandestine deals sealed in back rooms.   ORIGIN early 16th cent. (in sense 2 of the noun): probably related to huddle and to dialect mucker‘hoard money, conceal’. This is one of a number of similar formations from late Middle English to the 16th cent., including hucker-muckerand hudder-mudder, with the basic sense ‘secrecy, concealment’.  [Now I love words like this, with the meanings and history.  I found a Shakespeare glossary online and hugger-mugger is in it,  just given one definition (secrecy).  It seems to me that poor old Polonius was buried hugger-mugger.]

  caponing and curveting  I couldn't find caponing but I did find curvet:  verb (curvets, curvetting, curvetted or curvets, curveting, curveted) [ no obj. ](of a horse) perform a. Barney and Dolly curvetted for grandma's benefit.• leap gracefully or energetically.  noun: a graceful or energetic leap. "he sprang from the ice in a swift, frisky curvet."  ORIGIN late 16th cent.: from Italian corvette, diminutive of corva, earlier form of curve ‘a curve’, from Latin curves ‘bent’.  [Rebecca West is contemporary in so many ways, but or and?  her vocabulary is multi-faceted, contemporary and learned. Wow.]

anfractuous  ənˈfraktjʊəs| adjective : rare sinuous or circuitous. the line of gold extends and becomes anfractuous.  DERIVATIVES  anfractuosity noun  ORIGIN late 16th cent.: from late Latin anfractuosus, from Latin anfractus ‘a bending’.

hellebore a poisonous winter-flowering Eurasian plant of the buttercup family, typically having coarse divided leaves and large white, green, or purplish flowers.●Genus Helleborus, family Ranunculaceae: several species, including the Christmas rose.• a false helleborine.  ORIGIN Old English (denoting various plants supposed to cure madness), from Old French hellebore, elebore or medieval Latin eleborus, via Latin from Greek hellebores .  [I sort of knew this one but I never used it in sentence: "I admired my teacher but he was pedantic and a hellebore."]

apices plural form of apex.apex  noun:  (pl. apexes or apices |ˈeɪpɪsiːz| )1 the top or highest part of something, especially one forming a point: the apex of the roof | figurative : the central bank is at the apex of the financial system.• Geometry the highest point in a plane or solid figure, relative to a base line or plane.• Botany the growing point of a shoot.2 the highest point of achievement; a climax: the apex of his career was in 1966 when he hoisted aloft the World Cup for England.3 Motor Racing the point in turning a corner when the vehicle is closest to the edge of the track.  verb:  1 [ no obj. ] reach a high point or climax. melodic lines build up to the chorus and it apexes at the solo.  2 [ with obj. ] Motor Racing turn (a corner) very close to the edge of the track. he understands when to apex a corner.  ORIGIN early 17th cent.: from Latin, ‘peak, tip’.                                             [I guessed what apices was but I never saw apex used as a verb.  Learn something every day.

viscid  adjective:  having a glutinous or sticky consistency: the viscid mucus lining of the intestine.                              DERIVATIVES   viscidity noun:  ORIGIN mid 17th cent.: from late Latin viscid us, from Latin viscum ‘birdlime’.viscid.                      [I thought it was related to viscous, which I will look up now....

viscous adjective:  having a thick, sticky consistency between solid and liquid; having a high viscosity: viscous lava.  DERIVATIVES  viscously adverb;  viscousness noun.  ORIGIN late Middle English: from Anglo-Norman French viscous or late Latin viscous, from Latin viscum ‘birdlime’. {Yes, related - to birdlime.]

 inspissate verb,  (usu. as adj. inspissated):  )thicken or congeal: inspissated secretions.  DERIVATIVES  inspissation, noun            ORIGIN early 17th cent.: from late Latin inspissat- ‘made thick’, from the verb inspissate (based on Latin spissus ‘thick, dense’).  [Okay. I wonder if anyone would be put off if I talked about inspissating a pudding?  Fortunately, I never make pudding so it won't be put to the test.]

withies:    withy noun (pl.withies or withes):  a tough, flexible branch of an osier or other willow, used for tying, binding, or basketry. it is fixed with withies tied to the common rafters. [ as modifier ] : a withy basket.• another term for osier.              ORIGIN Old English wīthig, of Germanic origin; related to German Weide .  [Well, I read Old English' so I knew this one.]

camber noun:  the slightly convex or arched shape of a road or other horizontal surface. a bend where the camber of the road sloped to a ditch. a flat roof should have a slight camber to allow water to run off.• Brit.a tilt built into a road at a bend or curve, enabling vehicles to maintain speed.• the slight sideways inclination of the front wheels of a motor vehicle. suspension changes include a wider front and rear track with increased negative camber for better cornering grip.• the extent of curvature of a section of an aerosol.  DERIVATIVES   cambered, adjective: a steep, badly cambered turn   ORIGIN late Middle English: from Old French camber, dialect variant of chamber ‘arched’, from Latin camurus ‘curved inwards’.  [Npw, I should have known this one and I bet drivers know it well. I'm going to use this one.]

levigate |verb [ with obj..]   archaic: reduce (a substance) to a fine powder or smooth paste. this clay, carefully levigated, yielded a red ware.    DERIVATIVES   levigation,  noun.    ORIGIN mid 16th cent.: from Latin levigat- ‘made smooth, polished’, from the verb levigate, from levis ‘smooth’.  [This is another good one to use.  Is his helping you as mch as it is me?  Do you love words? Are you still with me? I have one more,I think...]

marmoreal adjective literary:  made of or compared to marble: the marmoreal skin took on the flush of colour.        DERIVATIVES  marmoreally  ORIGIN late 18th cent.: from Latin marmoreus (from marmot ‘marble’) + -al. [I've looked at this one before.  Not in my usual territory,but a lovely word.]

With any luck ere won't be any more words before I finish this book. 

Anon, anon.