raven_in_the_woods has looked up 6716 words, created 6 lists, listed 1218 words, written 134 comments, added 0 tags, and loved 52 words.

Comments by raven_in_the_woods

  • A bare hill. After a mountain in N. Wales.

    April 23, 2014

  • A monk and a nun living together without carnal knowledge of each other. Found in Isabel Colegate's A Pelican in the Wilderness

    April 19, 2014

  • Avgs. about 416 acres

    February 27, 2014

  • Albe — the dear capricious, fascinating Albe — has left this desart world!...God grant I may die young!

    -Mary Shelley's Journal of Sorrow

    December 29, 2013

  • "But how do the luckless feel
    and how do the calloos think?"
    - The Kalevala, by Elias Lönnrot, trans. Keith Bosley

    December 5, 2013

  • In the fifth stanza of Robert Browning's "Soliloquy of the Spanish Cloister"

    November 17, 2013


  • A dead-end idea.
    Found in I Capture the Castle by Dodie Smith

    September 25, 2013


  • Hiberno-Eng. The boundary ditch or fence between two farms.

    April 29, 2013


  • Hiberno-Eng. Also meadar, maddor. A drinking-vessel.

    "Shorty, stooping among the offerings, was engaged with earthen jars and kegs and wax-crusted green bottles, fondling and opening them and pouring dusky libations into medhers of old thick pewter."

    from At Swim-Two-Birds by Flann O'Brien

    April 29, 2013


  • Found in At Swim-Two-Birds by Flann O'Brien

    April 12, 2013


  • Z: Midget. Crapper.
    M&C: Yes, O Zoot?
    Z: Prepare a bed for our guest.
    M&C: Oh thank you, thank you...
    Z: Away, away varletesses.

    Monty Python and the Holy Grail

    April 9, 2013


  • Irish moonshine, distilled from wheat or rye. Found in Daimons by Nina FitzPatrick

    March 7, 2013


  • A woman's loose-fitting dressing gown or sack. Also peignoir. Found in Dylan Thomas's Rebecca's Daughters

    March 2, 2013


  • "...the alembicated Donne..." found in The Stuffed Owl by DBW Lewis and C Lee

    February 28, 2013


  • Prudish. Found in the preface to The Stuffed Owl, an Anthology of Bad Verse by D.B. Wyndham Lewis and Charles Lee

    February 28, 2013


  • Scarred

    February 19, 2013


  • Found in Jane Eyre

    February 19, 2013


  • Fr. to travel mentally

    February 18, 2013


  • the Mormon word for honeybee.

    January 30, 2013


  • The dormouse drowsy to the soul
    In warmth of mossop where he lies,
    Uncurls his beech-nut-battened roll,
    And is all dart and is all eyes

    -sung by the missel-thrush in John Masefield's The Box of Delights

    December 18, 2012


  • early 19th c. Newfoundland fishing vessel with a squared stern

    October 26, 2012


  • a sailor's straw bed

    October 26, 2012


  • alternative spelling of spillikin

    October 25, 2012


  • found in Hugh Walpole's Portrait of a Man With Red Hair

    October 15, 2012

  • votes collected?

    October 11, 2012


  • a British boiled sweet made from sugar and pear flavourings

    October 11, 2012


  • found in Joyce Cary's The Horse's Mouth

    October 11, 2012


  • found in Joyce Cary's The Horse's Mouth

    October 11, 2012


  • found in Rainer Maria Rilke's
    The Notebooks of Malte Laurids Brigge

    September 11, 2012


  • Found in E A Poe's poem "Ulalume—A Ballad"

    These were days when my heart was volcanic
    As the scoriac rivers that roll—
    As the lavas that restlessly roll

    September 3, 2012


  • found in Daniel Hoffman's book
    Poe Poe Poe Poe Poe Poe Poe

    August 31, 2012


  • fear of sea swell.
    from Schott's Original Miscellany

    August 31, 2012


  • broken pieces of cast iron used as shot.

    found in Joyce Cary's To Be a Pilgrim

    "My God, I remember when I stopped that potleg in Ashanti, how i longed for a pipe."

    August 22, 2012


  • Nonsense word by Joyce Cary. Found in the book Herself Surprised from his First Trilogy

    August 6, 2012


  • A governess cart is a small two-wheeled horse-drawn cart. Their distinguishing feature is a small tub body, with two opposed inward-facing seats. They could seat four, although there was little room for four large adults. The driver sat sideways on one of these seats. The centre rear of the body was lowered, or else had a small hinged door, and there was a step beneath. The wheels were of moderate size, always fitted with mud guards, and usually carried on elliptical springs. The axle was either straight or dropped, giving a low, stable, centre of gravity.
    From Wikipedia

    August 6, 2012


  • An unknown bird from the 15th c. Found in John Skelton's poem The Requiem Mass

    August 4, 2012


  • slang. a maidservant
    found in Jerome K. Jerome's Three Men in a Boat, to say nothing of the Dog!

    July 20, 2012


  • pertaining to or inhabiting caves

    June 18, 2012


  • I am writing on behalf of a friend who is reading Invitation to a Beheading. He came across the term "fried chuckrick" and could not find a definition. I always assumed that it was a made-up word meant to convey something folksy-crude and fried (something like "ponchiki", I imagined), but there have been others who assumed VN made up words, only to be shamed by his unabridged dictionary, so now I wonder... (I don't have Dal' handy.)

    Editor's Note.
    I do have Dal' handy and it defines "Khukhrik" or "huhrik" ( in VN's transliteration) as a dialectical word meaning "shchegolek. i.e., a "fop" or "dandy"--which doesn't get us very far. "Shchegolek," however, comes from the (possibly different) root(s) shchegOl-/shchOgol' (the
    capital "O's" = stress), the first, "shchegOl" now meaning the "Eurasian Goldfinch" (Carduelis carduelis) and the latter, "shchOgol'" a "Spotted Redshank," (Tringa erythropus) related to snipe and woodcock. Both are common in Northern Europe. (On my bird life list as Goldfinch: Lagos, Portugal 10 Dec. 1978 & Spotted Redshanks: Minsmere, England Jun 10, 1992). Small passerines like sparrows (or finchs?) are roasted and eated in Spain, but I have not seen them consumed elsewhere in Europe; nor do I know whether "Spotten Redshanks" are eaten although their kinship with snipe and woodcock suggests that such might be the case. So, to conclude: my guess is that Nabokov's characters are eating a game bird resembling a snipe.

    As an irrelevant aside, I suggest (and I do not have Vasmer's etymological dictionary at hand) that the meaning "fop" or "dandy" linked with the root derives from the "goldfinch" meaning since the bird (unlike the "Spotted Redshanks) is extremely colorful. Note too that the English "popinjay" (fop) is a "folk etymology" coming from the same source as the Russian "popugai" (parrot).

    (found on listserv.ucsb.edu)

    June 18, 2012


  • an overly costly middleman in the tea trade

    June 18, 2012


  • n. Latin. warrior, fighter, soldier

    June 18, 2012


  • n. the entire water content of the soil

    April 17, 2012


  • peasant girls; farmgirls; countrywomen
    contadine-partners found in The Marble Faun by Hawthorne

    April 16, 2012

  • the bleating of a sheep

    April 6, 2012

  • the bellowing of a bull

    April 6, 2012

  • the practice of watching through the night by the side of a corpse

    April 6, 2012


  • unable to cry.
    Mrs. Byrne's Dictionary of Unusual, Obscure, and Preposterous Words

    March 22, 2012


  • also, slammerkin
    n. a slovenly female, a sloven, a slattern
    adj. untidy, slovenly

    "a female sloven, one whose clothes seem hung on with a pitch fork, a careless trapes."
    -A Classical Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue

    February 21, 2012

  • the goji berry or wolf berry

    January 8, 2012

  • landslide?

    January 5, 2012

  • Welsh. navel; boss, hub; the hub of a piece of hardware

    January 2, 2012

  • a taxi in any form

    January 2, 2012

  • a runny sheep's milk cheese

    January 2, 2012

  • concrete reinforced with chicken wire

    January 2, 2012

  • the god Hephaestus or Vulcan

    December 21, 2011

  • a slang term for a cannon

    December 21, 2011

  • armies; hosts
    Blackie's Standard Shilling Dict.

    September 13, 2011

  • the combination of Greek letters upsilon and lambda, nonsensically created by Nabokov.
    appears in Invitation to a Beheading

    September 13, 2011

  • lovely.

    September 5, 2011

  • found in Mervyn Peake's Mr Pye

    September 5, 2011

  • someone who performs in the halma. found in Mervyn Peake's Mr Pye

    August 31, 2011

  • a special musical instrument created for the playing of the shepherd's pipe part of Act III of Wagner's Tristan

    August 31, 2011

  • long-toed shoes whose points curl upward and back upon themselves

    August 31, 2011

  • sexual intercourse. found in Serenissima by Erica Jong

    August 31, 2011

  • a female attendant in a bath.

    July 21, 2011

  • a bath superintendent.

    July 21, 2011

  • red chalk used to mark trees.

    July 18, 2011

  • a light Spring rain. Found in The Jungle Books Vol. 1

    July 17, 2011

  • I'm trying to deal, but I found the Old Interface to be the best anywhere. This new scheme looks like the cover art for Hector and the Search for Happiness. Not so good; help.

    June 18, 2011

  • raisins

    April 13, 2011

  • found in Smilla's Sense of Snow, when she takes Isaiah to the zoo

    January 4, 2011

  • the story

    November 22, 2010

  • found in H. G. Wells' The Invisible Man

    November 22, 2010

  • a hunting district.

    November 22, 2010

  • a large pearl.

    November 22, 2010

  • a large pearl

    November 22, 2010

  • a name for a cannon.

    November 22, 2010

  • a book by Thomas Love Peacock, Rhododaphne: or the Thessalian Spirit.

    rhododaphne: the oleander

    November 22, 2010

  • a unicorn The Anatomy of Melancholy

    November 22, 2010

  • a distillation from mummies or dead bodies The Anatomy of Melancholy

    November 22, 2010

  • You're doing so well, dar.

    October 21, 2010

  • useful.

    October 13, 2010

  • I'd say it's too late. Hopefully he's a little pacified.

    October 13, 2010

  • god, that's almost gentenmann's!

    October 12, 2010

  • the presence of hairs in the urine.

    October 12, 2010

  • Steal more. Eek!

    October 7, 2010

  • ha.

    October 3, 2010

  • "You remember, of course," resumed the soi-disant de Worms, pulling his beard and looking out of the window, "that when we broke up rather hurriedly the whole arrangements for the atrocity were left in the private hands of the Marquis and Dr. Bull."

    -The Man Who Was Thursday by G. K. Chesterton

    September 30, 2010

  • found in the Coastal Northeastern North Carolina vernacular to mean a large bird, usually a Great Blue Heron, or a similar bird of the family Ardeidae, and based on the eerily prehistoric sound it makes upon being startled, "QUORK!"

    September 22, 2010

  • play here please.

    September 21, 2010

  • lord.

    September 21, 2010

  • pertaining to a condition characterized by an excess of watery fluid collecting in the cavities or tissues of the body; having dropsy

    September 20, 2010

  • sic. Hilary Mantel

    September 16, 2010

  • found in The Giant, O'Brien by Hilary Mantel.

    September 16, 2010

  • consumption

    September 16, 2010

  • cups, tumblers, bowls, etc; see hollow-ware; as opposed to flat-ware

    August 29, 2010

  • illustrated with prints; see grangerism

    August 29, 2010

  • the third order of angels in the Christian hierarchy, "beryl-coloured wheel-within-a-wheels covered with hundreds of eyes;" ophanim

    August 27, 2010

  • a Robin Redbreast; same as ruddock

    August 27, 2010

  • same as amphigory.

    August 5, 2010

  • so agreed!

    August 5, 2010

  • Elops saurus. the ladyfish.

    August 3, 2010

  • kudos to you abraxetc. for your knowledge of the Ococker vernacular.

    August 2, 2010

  • also, a facepaint used in India.

    August 1, 2010

  • found this in the amazing Blackie's Standard Shilling Dictionary!

    August 1, 2010

  • acting as a lawyer in petty cases.

    August 1, 2010

  • Slang. a flounder.

    July 31, 2010

  • in The Wind in the Willows, when Water Rat and Mole are rowing, Grahame refers to the bank as "the selvedge." love it.

    July 31, 2010

  • a perfumer.

    July 31, 2010

  • a table-napkin.

    July 31, 2010

  • an orgy.

    July 31, 2010

  • a pie containing a suckling pig baked whole therein.

    July 31, 2010

  • a woodland pig pasture.

    July 31, 2010

  • tall and lean.

    July 31, 2010

  • an Alaskan hummingbird. ha. whatev.

    July 31, 2010

  • a coil of rope.

    July 31, 2010

  • the last armful of grain cut at harvest; often kept and hung above the fireplace.

    July 31, 2010

  • an aquamanile.

    July 31, 2010

  • a mixed-grey or mustard wool cloth.

    July 31, 2010

  • Says Plowdon, the whale so caught belongs to the King and Queen, "because of its superior excellence." And by the soundest commentators this has ever been held a cogent argument in such matters.

    But why should the King have the head, and the Queen the tail? A reason for that, ye lawyers!

    In his treatise on "Queen-Gold," or Queen-pin-money, an old King's Bench author, one William Prynne, thus discourseth: "Ye tail is ye Queen's, that ye Queen's wardrobe may be supplied with ye whalebone." Now this was written at a time when the black limber bone of the Greenland or Right whale was largely used in ladies' bodices. But this same bone is not in the tail; it is in the head, which is a sad mistake for a sagacious lawyer like Prynne. But is the Queen a mermaid, to be presented with a tail? An allegorical meaning may lurk here.

    -Moby Dick

    July 31, 2010

  • Chicamacomico comes through!

    July 31, 2010

  • I believe this is in The Wind in the Willows and Gardener's Nightcap.

    July 31, 2010

  • found this in Muriel Stuart's Gardener's Nightcap.

    July 31, 2010

  • A ridiculous burlesque, which in 1730 had an extraordinary run at the Haymarket theatre. So great was its popularity that a club called “The Hurlo-Thrumbo Society” was formed. The author was Samuel Johnson, a half-mad dancing master, who put this motto on the title-page when the burlesque was printed:

    Ye sons of fire, read my Hurlo-Thrumbo,
    Turn it betwixt your finger and your thumbo,
    And being quite undone, be quite struck dumbo.


    -Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894

    July 31, 2010

  • Cornish Dialect. This.

    July 30, 2010

  • a skin softening lotion.

    July 30, 2010

  • Nautical. a type of strong drink

    July 30, 2010

  • also, a collier or coal ship

    July 30, 2010

  • Old French. red fur neckpiece

    July 30, 2010

  • love that Chiefly British def!

    July 30, 2010

  • man-of-wars' pies; almost always plural. found in Melville's Whitejacket

    July 30, 2010

  • sailor's slang for a ship's purser. clever!

    July 30, 2010

  • a pitchfork used in haymaking

    July 30, 2010

  • I believe it was The Professor and the Madman that first tossed this word at me, but having the meaning "a small, limpid stream." I think. Leastways, I'm good with it.

    July 30, 2010

  • gnostic turpitude
    -V. Nabokov

    July 30, 2010

  • bees bees bees bees bees bees bees bees etc.

    July 30, 2010

  • these are not "words I detest"

    July 30, 2010

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