1. distrait--"absent-minded, troubled, distracted", according to Wiktionary. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle used this word at least three times in The Hound of the Baskervilles, and though it was clear from the context the general territory of mental distress we were in, I was glad when I finally looked it up and got it settled to my satisfaction EXACTLY what he was saying.
2. ecarte--the name of a specific card game. Wikipedia says it is similar to Euchre.
3. pannikin--a drinking vessel or the beverage it contains. I don't know why "cup" didn't suffice, but then this is Sherlock Holmes we're talking about.
The remainder of my words this week come from a book on Egyptology, hence the sudden shift in topics.
4. puerperal fever--is apparently an infection of the uterus, and is usually contracted through childbirth.
5. uxorious--So the Latin word for wife is uxor. Who knew? Anyway, where I come from, our synonym for this term is "hen-pecked." Another phrase that describes the condition, of which Wiktionary helpfully reminded me, has to do with a man who is ruled by a certain female reproductive organ.
6. marcel(led)--to put lots of intricate waves in something. Apparently, the waves or ruffles for which two famous brands of potato chip are so well-known are actually marcel waves.
7. parure--a lavish set of matching jewelry that could literally allow one to be draped from head to toe in pieces that were all coordinated together. I'll take mine in sapphire and silver, please.
8. lappet--It's easiest to explain this one with a visual aid. No doubt you've seen this shimmering fellow before.
|Photo courtesy of Aikon at nl.wikipedia|
On his head, he's wearing the famous nemes headdress. See the material hanging down on each shoulder? Those are lappets.