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Words from Hope Mirrlees' Lud-in-the-Mist Login/Join
Lud-in-the-Mist is a fantasy written by Hope Mirrlees and published in 1926. I kept a list of words and phrases from the book and thought they might warrant a post here. I could use help for some of these.

  • riband - Ribbon
  • propinquity - Nearness or similarity
  • pleached - Interlaced branches shaped to form an arbor, hedge, or in one example in the book, a tunnel-like walkway.
  • cockchafer - A large beetle. This beetle is noted for its aimless bumbling flight where it bangs into objects and thus is often presented as a metaphor or simile for random bumbling ineffectiveness.
  • rubicund - Healthy rosiness. Ruddy.
  • chiaroscuro - Play of light and darkness or shading in pictures and drawings.
  • cozeners - Deceivers.
  • plangent - Loud. Expressing sadness. Plaintive, mournful.
  • kine - Archaic plural of cows.
  • churchwarden - A long stemmed pipe.
  • squill - Sea onion. Lily-like plant with racemose flowers.
  • doitered - I did not find this, but it is similar to doited, a Scottish word for childish behavior resulting from advanced age/senility. This was the way it was used in the text as well.
  • syllabub - Milk or cream curdled with an acidic liquid like wine or cider.
  • greengage - A green or yellowish-green plum.
  • Aunt Sally - An object of criticism. From a fairground target traditionally shaped as the head of a woman with a clay pipe in her mouth.
  • carminative - Relieving flatulence or colic by expelling gas. Noteworthy is the Latin root carmin- "song".
  • tuftaffity - Did not find this. This was a description of fairy fruit in the book. However in the book, fairy fruit was so taboo that it was often euphemistically referred to as some form of fabric. Hence tuftaffity is reasonably close to tuft-taffeta, a silk fabric formerly in use, having a nap or pile.
  • grograines - Again a fairy fruit description. Very close to grosgrain, a heavy corded silk or rayon fabric often used in ribbons.
  • kittle - Ticklish, touchy (Scot.)
  • barratine - I did not find this one. It seemed to be an adjective used to describe fairy fruit. Might have something to do with "sweet talking"?
  • fustian - Cotton-linen cloth. Pompous or pretentious speech or writing. Curiously the word was used twice within two pages of each other using both meanings.
  • quinsy - Severe inflammation of the throat. [14th century. Directly or via French< medieval Latin quinancia< Greek kunagkhē, literally "dog-strangling" < kuōn "dog" + ankhein "to squeeze"]
  • perdurable - Enduring continuously; permanent.
  • gammon and spinnage - The phrase is used by Dickens in a couple books. I did not find an explicit meaning for it though. It seems it can range from "fun and games" to "deceit and lies", though I think it is closer to the latter. Some sort of facade seems to be implied.
  • linsey-woolsey - Coarse woven fabric of cotton or linen and wool. Somtimes associated with impoverished conditions.
  • catechumens - One being instructed at an elementary or basic level.
  • purblind - Poor vision; nearly blind. Slow in understanding.
  • rosalgar - Realgar; a toxic sulfide of arsenic.
  • cantharides - Plural of cantharis, a toxic preparation of crushed green blister beetle also known as Spanish fly.
  • cicerone - A guide for sightseers.

This message has been edited. Last edited by: Myth Jellies,

Myth Jellies
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Great list, Myth Jellies!


Latin carmen, carmina, is an interesting word. It has two separate and unrelated meanings: 'song, tune, verse; prophecy' and '(wool or flax) card'. Both are neuter nouns of the third declension, but the second word is from a relatively rare verb caro, carere 'to card'.

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