Unusual Words

Because one of my favorite books of all time, The Last Legends of Earth by A.A. Attanasio, has such weird words in it, here is an Unusual Words post for you today.

  • tractate: treaty; essay; any book of the Talmud
  • ephemerides: plural of ephemeris
  • ephemeris: table showing positions of a heavenly body on a number of different dates in a regular sequence; or an astronomical almanac containing those tables; or any almanac or calendar
  • dolmen: two or more standing stones with horizontal stone across top (like in Stonehenge); usually regarded as a tomb
  • brindled: gray or tawny with darker streaks or spots
  • fraught: filled (with)
  • peristyle: colonnade surrounding a building or an open space; or an open space (e.g. courtyard) surrounded by a colonnade
  • opaline: opalescent
  • ferine: feral
  • supernal: from on high; heavenly; extremely good
  • talus: ankle bone or sloping mass of rubble at base of cliff, or just a slope
  • farouche: fierce
  • parlous: perilous
  • snuggery (British): a snug place or position, or a comfy room
  • tuff: rock made out of fine volcanic output, fused together by heat
  • pelagic: oceanic
  • orgulous: proud
  • stravaging (chiefly Scottish): roaming
  • And for last, a few beautiful compounds that Attanasio presumably made up: bootjawed, eaglebrowed, silkstone, sparkfly, planetshadows, and rootwoven.
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