Saturday, June 22, 2013

Increase Your Word Power with Patrick O’Brian – 2013

What am I to say about volumes 15 and 16 in a series of novels with a devoted following? Yes, I could talk about the fascinating character of Clarissa Oakes and Dr Maturin’s relationship with her. Or I could talk about a chase through a field of icebergs or a climb through the Andes. But if you’ve read these books, you love them and don’t need my view of them, while if you haven’t read them, it will take you a while to get here. (And by the way, if you like history, adventure, sailing, anatomy, geology, zoology, anthropology, world travel, human geography, religion, political science, espionage, music, literature, humor, and drama, start reading Master and Commander as soon as possible.)

But last year I posted a vocabulary quiz that the online O’Brian community seemed to enjoy. So this year, I’m offering a new challenge, with twenty-five words I encountered these last ten days in The Truelove and The Wine-Dark Sea. Match each word in the numbered list with a definition from the second, lettered list. Answers are given below.

1. advowson
2. atrabilious
3. casuistical
4. cholagogue
5. contund
6. coruscate
7. crapulous
8. crepitation
9. daedal
10. farinaceous
11. firkin
12. gelid
13. gimbals
14. glebe
15. hieratic
16. idoneus
17. mephitic
18. objurgation
19. pantisocratic
20. scelerate
21. scoria
22. subjacent
23. supererogation
24. temerarious
25. thaumaturge

a. to give off bright light
b. melancholy; peevish
c. priestly; highly formal
d. notably wicked
e. a substance that promotes the flow of bile
f. icy
g. skillful
h. rebuke
i. the refuse from melting metals; cindery lava
j. having a mealy surface
k. pound, bruise
l. performance of more than is required by duty
m. a suspended support that allows an object to remain level during transport
n. the right to present a nominee for a benefice
o. a crackling sound
p. suitable
q. foul-smelling
r. land yielding revenue to a parish church
s. marked by specious or rationalizing argument
t. magician
u. presumptuous
v. lower than though not directly below
w. marked by intemperance in food or drink
x. characterized by (or believing in) universal equality in government
y. a small vessel with a capacity equal to 1/4 barrel

Don’t scroll any farther until you’re ready!



1-n, 2-b, 3-s, 4-e, 5-k, 6-a, 7-w, 8-o, 9-g, 10-j, 11-y, 12-f, 13-m, 14-r, 15-c, 16-p, 17-q, 18-h, 19-x, 20-d, 21-I, 22-v, 23-l, 24-u, 25-t

1 comment:

  1. 22/25: 2. and 4. back to front; 6. omitted by mistake.

    Tolerably difficult . .