Tuesday, 28 August 2007


I like words. I'm not always sure about definitions and usage and, when I was reading the awful 'Wives of Bath' by Wendy Holden, I made a note of things to look up. Here's my list with words in context and my consequent conclusion.

Obduracy - '...as the bus, with it's customary obduracy, failed to materialise'. I think this is used in the wrong context but could be allowed if one were feeling generous.

Papped - "...because someone from Intercorp's papped their penis?" I have had to guess this meaning as I haven't found anything adequate. I guess authors can invent words so this could be allowed but the apostrophe for Intercorp seems wrong, but I am no Lynne Truss.

Sinecure - 'What a sinecure she'd had there.' This is, to my mind, an obscure term that is, however, correct in context.

Dandling - '...dandling angelic infants...'. From Shakespeare no less, but new to me.

Hunkers - 'Jake dropped on his hunkers...'. This sounds about right, and is.

Mewling - 'And Rosa, currently mewling on the kitchen floor, ...'. Shakespeare again apparently, a faintly onomatopoeic addition to my vocabulary.

Odour - 'Following the disastrous dog incident, he was in worse odour than ever at Dunn and Dustard.' This sounded plausible but it was the first time I recalled seeing odour used in this context. Holden was right though - no fault found.

1 comment:

RNB said...

I feel that I should comment here, you know this is one of my favourite topics too :)

But it's probably bad form to link to what I wrote just a month ago, I'm sure you can find it. I'll just say that with appropriate context you can make words suggest whatever you want them to - it's great that you are no Lynne Truss!