I just finished Goodbye Lemon by Adam Davies, about a guy coming to terms with his past, including a dead brother, and with his dad, who has become totally paralyzed due to a stroke. It was a good book, though I thought it ended a bit simplisticly and somehow didn’t have the scenes I expected with the dad.
About half-way through the book I realized there were a lot of words in it that I didn’t know. I started writing down these words, and ended up with 19:
- numinous: not in the dictionary!
- lanceolate: shaped like a lance. Usually used to describe leaves, he was talking about fingers.
- scarified: to make a series of small cuts, to criticize sharply.
- brady: to move slowly?
- hypnogogic: not in the dictionary!
- cloacal: pertaining to the cloaca, a sewer-like cavity in many lower animals.
- macerated: wasted away.
- diluendo: diminuendo, gradually diminishing the volume of music.
- thrombus: a blood clot.
- shogunate: the government of a shogun (used in the book to describe a crowd of people?)
- reticulate: formed of a network.
- indurate: hardened.
- spavined: affected with spavin, a disease causing lameness in horses.
- glozing: from gloze: specious talk or flattery.
- ineluctable: not to be resisted by struggling, inevitable.
- trippant: from heraldry, portraying an animal with one foot lifted off the ground.
- addorsed: also from heraldry, two figures back-to-back.
- desiderate: to want.
- empurple: not in the dictionary, so I guess he meant to turn purple.
The definitions are my understanding, taken from the 2000-page Webster’s New Twentieth Century dictionary. Some of the words were fancy words for precise meaning (lanceolate), some seemed almost misused (glozing, shogunate), as if he dived into a thesaurus for a fancy word and didn’t bother to look it up to see if it really fit.