Definitions

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Of a light-green color, inclining to yellow.
  • In heraldry, same as vert. Also prasin.

Etymologies

From a combination of Anglo-Norman prame, Middle French prame (from Late Latin prasinus) and Middle French prasine (from Late Latin prasinum), both ultimately from Latin prasinus ("leek-green"), from Ancient Greek πράσινος, from πράσον ("leek"). (Wiktionary)

Examples

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Comments

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  • It's also an obsolete word for emerald, so Nabokov could have been referring to that.

    June 5, 2008

  • So she has "leeky" eyes! But it would be typical of Nabokov if he also intended a resonance with "porcine" inspired by the Slavic pras- root.

    June 5, 2008

  • Not at all nutty?

    June 5, 2008

  • It means "leek-green".

    June 5, 2008

  • Yes - you might be right - thanks for the great comment!

    When I read it I immediately associated it with praline and took it to indicate not brownness (she doesn't have brown eyes) but nuttiness, crunchiness - the eyes being the window to the soul. This is how I parse any word I don't know - I just let it flow through me, despositing whatever sediment it can.

    But I notice mollusque has it listed under Chromonyms, so it must be a colour of some kind.

    June 4, 2008

  • What does Nabokov mean by "prasine", yarb? Greenish? A particular kind of green?

    The word seems to be one of those animal adjectives, like equine, ursine, gamine, etc. In Slavic languages, the root pras- or poros- refers to swine (in Slovene, prasec means "pig", though it's usually used as a derogatory word for a man, like "you bastard!"; in Russian porosyonok means "piglet"), so I wonder if Nabokov might have chosen "prasine" because at the back of his Russian mind it echoed with "porcine"?

    June 4, 2008

  • He recalled, in passing, the sweetness in his lap, her round little bottom, her prasine eyes as she turned toward him and the receding road.

    - Nabokov, Ada, or Ardor

    June 4, 2008