The Amazing Mirvana

Travels, and makes stuff.

Archive for the tag “words”

wet rents:

…income from the sale of drinks at a …place of entertainment. credit


Enchained or disabled by the tap.  –Robert Nares’s Glossary of the Works of English Authors, 1859

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Word of the day

detritus \dih-TRYE-tus\ noun

1 : loose material (as rock fragments or organic particles) that results directly from disintegration
2 a : a product of disintegration, destruction, or wearing away : debris *b : miscellaneous remnants : odds and ends

Example sentence:
“The blog originated … as a catch basin for mental detritus, for the kind of stuff not good enough for print, but too good to waste on casual conversation.” (Joel Achenbach, The Washington Post, August 21, 2005)

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Cynthia’s Lamp:

The moon.

–James Haliwell’s Dictionary of Archaic Provincial Words, 1855

The forgotten English of Valentine’s Day

Smeerkin: The sweetest of all kisses; the kiss one lover gives another when they are quivering in one another’s arms. Few joys exceed a smeerkin. –John Mctaggart’s Scottish Gallovidian Encyclopedia, 1824.

“Among the gratuities distributed are the usual batch of bright new sixpences, one of which is given to every child in the parish who presents himself or herself at the Ware farm at eight a.m. on Valentine’s Day. In East Anglia, it is customary to leave small presents on the doorstep, to ring the bell violently, and then run away. It is not always easy to transplant old customs, and I can well remember the trouble which a Suffolk doctor brought upon himself who, on removing to a northern county, tried to gain the affectations of his new patients by introducing this harmless pleasantry. The natives did not understand the custom, and thought it might be connected with the first of April.” –Peter H. Ditchfield’s Old English Customs, 1896.

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