My goodness, I'm overflowing with fascinating words today! I finished The Know-It-All between last week's post and this one, and it's always a good source of new vocabulary. The surprise source this week was the sweet little book called Betsy-Tacy and Tib, which contained a number of new words for me just because they've passed out of common use. Let us dive into the sea of loquacity,* shall we?
*I learned this one years ago from The Pickwick Papers; it just means wordy or talkative.
1. sybaritic--Apparently, Sybaris was an ancient Greek city inhabited entirely by people with a reputation throughout the ancient world for their abandoned self-indulgence. If the rest of the ancient Greeks (not counting the Spartans, of course) thought they took things a bit too far, I can only imagine what a Friday night was like in Sybaris!
2. limnologist--Someone who makes a career out of studying lakes. Did you know this job existed? I guess I sort of did, but I never thought about what the title for it would be.
3. selenographist--Someone who makes a career out of studying/mapping the moon. Don't you think this would have been a frustrating job to have before the age of space flight?
4. claque--This was a laugh track before the invention of sound recording. People were paid to go to the theater and make the appropriate sounds--clapping, laughter, tears--at the appropriate points in the performance, to encourage those around them to do the same.
5. axilla--Believe it or not, this is the medical term for "armpit."
6. erythrocyte--"Red blood cell" to people who just need extra syllables in their lives--like doctors.
7. insertion--We all know what this means, right? Except it also has another meaning I'd never heard of. It refers to decorations worked into a garment, of which Betsy, Tacy, and Tib were very proud.
8. saleratus--Baking soda. End of bulletin.
The things we learn on Wondrous Words Wednesdays!