Here is a wide variety of words picked up from my recent TLS reading. As usual I knew some of them but check them again for accuracy. Fun.
jerboa noun: a desert-dwelling rodent with very long hind legs that enable it to walk upright and perform long jumps, found from North Africa to central Asia. ORIGIN mid 17th cent.: modern Latin, from Arayarbū‘ .
paratext ˜ Not in the online dictionary but my guess is that it's related to paraphrase:
paraphrase verb [ with obj. ]: express the meaning of (something written or spoken) using different words, especially to achieve greater clarity: you can either quote or paraphrase literary texts. noun: a rewording of something written or spoken. scattered here and there in the text are frank paraphrases of lines from Virgil, Cicero, and Quintilian. [ mass noun ] : it is characteristic of poetic metaphors that they are not susceptible to paraphrase. DERIVATIVES paraphrasable adjective, paraphrase: adjective ORIGIN mid 16th cent. (as a noun): via Latin from Greek paraphrases, from paraphrazein, from para- (expressing modification) + phrazein ‘tell’.
pangolin noun: an African and Asian mammal that has a body covered with horny overlapping scales, a small head with an elongated snout, a long sticky tongue for catching ants and termites, and a tapering tail. Also called scaly anteater. ●Family Manidae and order Pholidota: genera Manis (three species in Asia) and Phataginus (four species in Africa). ORIGIN late 18th cent.: from Malay peng-guling, literally ‘roller’ (from its habit of rolling into a ball). [Just think ant-eater.]
I think I looked this one up quite recently. Do you remember it? bricolage noun (pl. same or bricolages) [ mass noun ]: (in art or literature) construction or creation from a diverse range of available things. the chaotic bricolage of the novel is brought together in a unifying gesture. • [ count noun ] something constructed or created from a diverse range of things. bricolages of painted junk. ORIGIN French.
bibliotherapist This also is not in the online dictionary but I think the meaning is clear? I might be in need of one.
fettle noun [ mass noun ]condition: Marguerite was in fine fettle. verb [ with obj. ]trim or clean the rough edges of (a metal casting or a piece of pottery) before firing.• N. Englishmake or repair (something). ORIGIN late Middle English (as a verb in the general sense ‘get ready, prepare’, specifically ‘prepare oneself for battle, gird up’): from dialect fettle‘strip of material, girdle’, from Old English fetel, of Germanic origin; related to German Fessel ‘chain, band’.
Okay: we've all used the phrase 'fine fettle', haven't we? But I never knew the meaning of the verb it comes from. Learn something every day. Can you use it?