Monthly Archives: July 2008

fortune [archive]

Avert misunderstanding by calm, poise and balance. Continue reading

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a Geoffrey Chaucer vocabulary lesson [archive]

imprecation
n. the act of calling down a curse that invokes evil (and usually serves as an insult);
“This Sultaness (on whom my imprecation!)”

harridan
n. a scolding (even vicious) old woman;
“The day appointed came, the Sultaness,
Old harridan, fixed the feast of which I told”

foison
n. rich harvest; plenty; abundance;
“Five loaves and two small fishes overpriced
The needs of the five thousand; so indeed
God’s foison came to Constance in her need.”

goshawk
n. large hawk of Eurasia and North America used in falconry;
“And he was great at hunting deer
And hawking down along the mere
With goshawk on his hand”

blain
n. an inflammatory swelling or sore;
“God smote him for these menacing recitals
With an invisible and cureless blain
That carved his guts and bit into his vitals.”

leonine
adj. of or characteristic of or resembling a lion;
“Save wine and women there was naught could part
Him from his high designs or take their place,
He was a man so leonine of heart.”

bandy
v. discuss lightly;
“He’ll say the Schools are filled with altercation
On this vexed matter of predestination
Long bandied by a hundred thousand men.”

lissom
adj. gracefully slender; moving and bending with ease;
“her limbs so lissom she
Had touched with colour where they ought to be.”

burnish
n. the property of being smooth and shiny;
“Phoebus her mass of tresses with a gleam
Had dyed in burnish from his golden stream”

pelf
n. informal terms for money;
“The curse of avarice and cupidity
Is all my sermon, for it frees the pelf

exordium
n. (rhetoric) the introductory section of an oration or discourse;
“Believe me, many a sermon or devotive
Exordium issues from an evil motive.”

cosset
v. treat with excessive indulgence;
“Some said that women wanted wealth and treasure,
‘Honour,’ said some, some ‘Jollity and pleasure,’
Some ‘Gorgeous clothes’ and others ‘Fun in bed,’
‘To be oft widowed and remarried,’ said
Others again, and some that what most mattered
Was that we should be cosseted and flattered.”

calumniate
v.charge falsely or with malicious intent; attack the good name and reputation of someone;
“Poverty is, though wanting in estate,
A kind of wealth that none calumniate.”

rive
n. tear or be torn violently;
“Ah, my good Host, I have been wedded now
These two months past, no more than that, I vow,
Yet I believe no bachelor alive,
Not if you were to take a knife and rive
Him to the heart, could tell of so much grief
As I could tell you of”

stole
n. a wide scarf worn about the shoulders by women;
“Out came the priest, with stole about his neck”

doxology
n. a hymn or verse in Christian liturgy glorifying God;
“Hold thou thy peace, O poet Martion,
Give us no more thy marital doxology
For Mercury on wedding with Philology!”

caracole
v. make a half turn on a horse, in dressage;
“This horse began to dance and caracole
Under its master’s hand that held the rein”

contumaciously
adv. in a rebellious manner;
“‘Well, you begin most contumaciously,’
He said, ‘and you continue turbulent.'”

crupper
n. a strap from the back of a saddle passing under the horse’s tail; prevents saddle from slipping forward;
“A wallet on the crupper, doubled tight,
Was fastened and it seemed he travelled light
To suit a summer day, this worthy man.”

besotted
adj. very drunk;
“Was that besotted cleric overjoyed?”

mountebank
n. a flamboyant deceiver; one who attracts customers with tricks or jokes;
“And off he went, this prince of mountebanks

psaltery
n. an ancient stringed instrument similar to the lyre or zither but having a trapezoidal sounding board under the strings;
“And all his instruments of minstrelsy
He broke in sorrow for it, psaltery,
Lute, harp, guitar, and then he broke his bow
And arrows, and he thus addressed the crow”

screed
n. a long piece of writing;
“He could dictate defences or draft deeds;
No one could pinch a comma from his screeds

bream
n. any of various usually edible freshwater percoid fishes having compressed bodies and shiny scales; especially (but not exclusively) of the genus Lepomis;
“He kept fat partridges in his coops, beyond,
Many a bream and pike were in his pond.”

blancmange
n. sweet almond-flavored milk pudding thickened with gelatin or cornstarch; usually molded;
“As for blancmange, he made it with the best.”

abstruse
adj. difficult to penetrate; incomprehensible to one of ordinary understanding or knowledge;
“All versed in the abstrusest legal knowledge”

arrears
n. the state of being behind in payments;
“No one had ever caught him in arrears.”

carbuncle
n. an infection larger than a boil and with several openings for discharge of pus;
“There was a Summoner with us at that Inn,
His face on fire, like a cherubin,
For he had carbuncles.”

scurrility
n. foul-mouthed or obscene abuse;
“And Christ Himself spoke broad in Holy Writ,
Yet there is no scurrility in it”

spry
adj. moving quickly and lightly;
“Truly, gentleman,
You’re very welcome and I can’t think when
-Upon my word I’m telling you no lie-
I’ve seen a gathering here that looked so spry

targe
n. a shield or target;
“The figure of red Mars with spear and targe
So shone upon his banners white and large”

equerry
n. a personal attendant of the British royal family;
“This is the man that mocked you many a year,
And you have made him chief equerry here.”

cithern
n. a 16th century musical instrument resembling a guitar with a pear-shaped soundbox and wire strings;
“In her right hand a cithern carried she”

cerris
n. a species of oak (Quercus cerris) native in the Orient and southern Europe;
“Her shining hair untressed upon her cloak
They combed and set a crown of cerrial oak.”

caterwaul
n. the yowling sound made by a cat in heat
v. utter shrieks, as of cats;
“A tumult of rejoicing filled tall space
From every throat in such a caterwaul
It seemed as if the very lists would fall.” Continue reading

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refreshed [archive]

yesterday, i woke up really early at 10am, and in no time at all i was taking my dad to the airport (he’s now in las vegas with my mom, how sweet).

later that day, i read some chaucer and took a pleasant nap

upon waking, i finished chaucer, and later spent my last few minutes with tori (for the present, anyway).

after getting back home. i stayed up all night talking with meryl. it was more pleasant than other conversations we’ve had recently. i think so at least. she makes me smile. i need to see her’s.

after i got off the phone with her, a little less than an hour ago, i came upstairs to blast some jimi hendrix and make a 2-egged monterey jack bagel melt, which was delicious.

now i’m about to go outside to water the lawn, after which i’ll shower, and then the day will really begin.

i leave for nicaragua really soon!!!! Continue reading

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