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From a story Story Set on December 27 (part 1) Login/Join
 
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Today, two days after Christmas, it seems apt to take our theme from a tale that took place on this same date many years ago. The tale’s first sentence tells us,
    ”I had called upon my friend Sherlock Holmes upon the second morning after Christmas, with the intention of wishing him the compliments of the season.”
    -- Conan Doyle, The Adventure of the Blue Carbuncle
We’ll find a week’s worth of words in this tale, and follow with a second week on the same theme with a twist.

jollification — lively celebration; merrymaking; festivity; revelry
    Peterson, who, as you know, is a very honest fellow, was returning from some small jollification and was making his way homeward down Tottenham Court Road. (from Blue Carbuncle)

    We expect Christmas to be a happy and joyous time— a time of merry-making, gift-giving, and extravagant jollification. And it is right and good that it be so.
    — Ashley Crane, The Paradox of Christmas, Denver Catholic, Dec. 26, 2020
 
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I love the Sherlock Holmes books... the originals and the many, many, many pastiches by other hands. The Blue Carbuncle is one of my favourite Holmes tales.

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"No man but a blockhead ever wrote except for money." Samuel Johnson.
 
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It sounds like a more archaic word, but it must not be since it was used in 2020. I like it!
 
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Here's an archaic one, Kalleh.

Scotch bonnet — a tam o'shanter hat
But nowadays you’ll never see that usage. Instead, Scotch bonnet is the name of a particular kind of very hot pepper, far hotter than a jalapeno, which is shaped somewhat like a tam o'shanter.

In the Blue Carbuncle story, an older gentleman, having lost his proper British hat, has only a Scotch bonnet to wear. He is most pleased when Holmes return his lost hat to him.
    “I am much indebted to you, sir, for a Scotch bonnet is fitted neither to my years nor my gravity.”
 
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huff — 1. to blow out loudly; puff 2. to express one's annoyance or offense.
also noun: — a fit of petty annoyance

From Blue Carbuncle: Choosing a live goose, from the gaggle, for Christmas dinner.
    “‘Never mind. I’ll have the other, and I’ll take it now,’ said I.
    “‘Oh, just as you like,’ said she, a little huffed. Which is it you want, then?’
    “‘That white one with the barred tail, right in the middle of the flock.’
    “‘Oh, very well. Kill it and take it with you.’
Bonus words:
skein — a group of geese, in flight
gaggle — a group of geese, on the ground
One is graceful and quiet; the other is clumsy and cacophonous.
 
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Originally posted by wordcrafter:

One is graceful and quiet; the other is clumsy and cacophonous.


Hmm. Sounds like our opposition leader and our prime minister. In that order. Fill in the US politicians of your choice. Big Grin


"No man but a blockhead ever wrote except for money." Samuel Johnson.
 
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One is graceful and quiet; the other is clumsy and cacophonous.

Since when are flying geese quiet? Have you not noticed there's a coxswain goose honking out the strokes as they fly?
 
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grizzled — partly gray or streaked with gray
    He was a large man with rounded shoulders, a massive head, and a broad, intelligent face, sloping down to a pointed beard of grizzled brown.
    Blue Carbuncle
My sense is that this term is used only for hair that is streaked with gray due to aging. (That is, you would never refer to a grey-streaked wallpaper pattern as being “grizzled”.) But I can’t find this in any dictionary.

What say you?

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I have a feeling that I may have heard it in other contexts but can't think of any right at the moment.


"No man but a blockhead ever wrote except for money." Samuel Johnson.
 
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nipper — a child, especially a small boy
    “Fine birds they were, too. Now where did you get them from?”
    To my surprise the question provoked a burst of anger from the salesman.
    “Now, then, mister,” said he, with his head cocked and his arms akimbo, “what are you driving
    at? Let’s have it straight, now. Well then, I shan’t tell you. So now!”
    “Well, said Holmes carelessly. “if you won’t tell us the bet is off, that is all. But I’m always ready to back my opinion on a matter of fowls, and I have a fiver on it that the bird I ate is country bred.”
    “Well, then, you’ve lost your fiver, for it’s town bred,” snapped the salesman.
    “It’s nothing of the kind.” “I say it is.” “I don’t believe it.” “D’you think you know more about fowls than I, who have handled them ever since I was a nipper? I tell you, all those birds that went to the Alpha were town bred.” “You’ll never persuade me to believe that.” “Will you bet, then?” “It’s merely taking your money, for I know that I am right. But I’ll have a sovereign on with you, just to teach you not to be obstinate.”
    The salesman chuckled grimly. “Bring me the books, Bill,” said he.
 
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I don't know if it's a word that's just not used in the US but Nipper is an extremely common word over in the UK.


"No man but a blockhead ever wrote except for money." Samuel Johnson.
 
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disjecta membra — scattered remains

From Stabroek News, January 23, 2011, discussing the poem Ozymandias by Percy Bysshe Shelley:
    Shelley brings all such vain hopes crashing down to earth (or to sand). He calls the remains of Ozymandias a “colossal wreck” and immediately after the king’s boast about looking on his mighty works the poet says “nothing besides remains.” He also uses the word “decay” in reference to the fact that these lowly and anonymous remnants, half buried in dust, are the lowly remnants, disjecta membra of supposed power and greatness.

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Nipper was once common in the USA, but I've not heard it for half a century. But, being odd, when I saw the word posted here, I thought not of a child but a car: https://www.google.com/search?...536&bih=775&dpr=1.25
 
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Thank you for “grizzled”, wordcrafter! I see all these years I’ve been mentally adding in that messy crinkled curl so often seen in untrimmed beards. Had I ever noticed the word root-- ‘gris’ is gray in both French and Spanish [which turn out to be Germanic loan words]— perhaps I wouldn’t have thrown frizz in there.
 
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Loving this trip down memory lane. My mother gave me Doubleday’s 2-vol “The Complete Sherlock Holmes” (1965 printing) for my birthday just before I started college. Often retreated into those warm, familiar pages during study breaks.
 
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