Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Beautiful Words from Middlesex

On the whole write-down-the-words-you-don't-know and look-them-up-later, like-you-learned-in-high-school thing...and like other luscious works, like Lolita, there're some words in Middlesex what are even sexy when described at m-w.com.

Main Entry: gib·bous. Pronunciation: \ˈji-bəs, ˈgi-\. Function: adjective. Etymology: Middle English, from Late Latin gibbosus humpbacked, from Latin gibbus hump Date: 14th century.
1 a: marked by convexity or swelling b of the moon or a planet : seen with more than half but not all of the apparent disk illuminated. 2: having a hump : humpbacked.

Main Entry: bowd·ler·ize Pronunciation: \ˈbōd-lə-ˌrīz, ˈbau̇d-\ Function: transitive verb. Inflected Form(s): bowd·ler·ized; bowd·ler·iz·ing. Etymology: Thomas Bowdler †1825 English editor. Date: 1836
1 : to expurgate (as a book) by omitting or modifying parts considered vulgar 2 : to modify by abridging, simplifying, or distorting in style or content.

Main Entry: louche \ˈlüsh\. Function: adjective. Etymology: French, literally, cross-eyed, squint-eyed, from Latin luscus blind in one eye. Date: 1819.
: not reputable or decent.

...then use them in a sentence:

...the below is NOT from Middlesex, just some wiki-entry about absinthe...makes my eyes cross and I hope the part about me appearing gibbous gets bowdlerized...

Traditionally, absinthe is poured into a glass over which a specially designed slotted spoon is placed. A sugar cube is then deposited in the bowl of the spoon. Ice-cold water is poured or dripped over the sugar until the drink is diluted to a ratio between 3:1 and 5:1. During this process, the components that are not soluble in water, mainly those from anise, fennel, and star anise, come out of solution and cloud the drink. The resulting milky opalescence is called the louche (Fr. "opaque" or "shady"). The addition of water is important, causing the herbs to "blossom" and bringing out many of the flavors originally overpowered by the anise.

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