Time for another foray into the wondrous world of words we haven’t seen before. This is the Wednesday meme, begun by Kathy at Bermudaonion’s Weblog, where we post new words we’ve encountered in the past week’s reading, along with their definitions and the context in which we read them.
I have a couple from The Know-it-All, by A.J. Jacobs, which I’m still working my way through as a bedtime book. One is a short phrase where the words aren’t new, but what they’re describing is. Another is a word I hadn’t seen before — probably because it’s Babylonian. And the other is a word I’ve seen around, but never knew (or at least never remembered) the meaning of:
1) patch box – This is exactly what it says, though that doesn’t explain anything. But it’s a box — that holds patches. In the days of Louis XV of France, little patches to put on the face were very fashionable. That’s right: beauty spots! And apparently, the people at court really went to town with the things, making some of them quite decorative.
As A.J. Jacobs writes, “Placement was also important, seeing as these patches had their own language: a patch at the corner of the eye sumbolized passion, while one at the middle of the forehead indicated dignity. Women carried their patch boxes with them, in case they wanted to slap on a fresh one during the royal ball.” (p. 252)
2) qa – A Babylonian liquid measurement. (Jacobs doesn’t say how big the measurement was.)
3) quodlibet – A free-ranging conversation on any topic that pleases you. Hm, that seems to describe almost every conversation in which I engage.
Got any Wondrous Words of your own?