Monday, December 21, 2009


Words of the day

I couldn't pick just one, so here are two. First, from Pepys's Diary, Volume IV:

"feoffees" (p.410) Had to look it up. Trustees of a legal sort, no longer in usage anywhere in the world, except, it seems, in a famous library in Manchester, England, in reference to the governors of the board. Good for book people, for keeping an obscure term alive. My, all those fs in one word.

And second, from Volume V:

"sprankle" (p.124) Turned to the excellent glossary in the back of the book and read "sparkling remark, bon mot." How odd. Not a light and airy word, as one might wish a bon mot to be composed of. Instead, clunk.

I wonder if either of these is allowable in Scrabble.

Whilst searching for the ever-elusive Volume VIII (still no luck) I came across many other Pepys-related titles, but the one that takes the leftover birthday cake is entitled Peeps into Pepys, this copy with a Sangorski and Sutcliffe binding. If I ever were to buy it, I would shelve it with my copy of the similarly euphonious Carolyn Wells book Idle Idylls.

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