Category: Word Nerd

Word Nerd 2.5 – Ectoplasm

In the Book: The October Country by Ray Bradbury, page 261, from the short story “There Was an Old Woman”

In Context: “‘Tell you what. I’m settin’ here for the next two hunderd years. You listenin’? And every time any of your customers come by, I’ll spit ectoplasm right squirt up their nostrils!'”

In Their Words: 

1the outer relatively rigid granule-free layer of the cytoplasm usually held to be a gel reversibly convertible to a sol

2a substance held to produce spirit materialization and telekinesis

https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/ectoplasm

Ectoplasm (from the Greek ektos, meaning “outside”, and plasma, meaning “something formed or molded”) is a term used in spiritualism to denote a substance or spiritual energy “exteriorized” by physical mediums.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ectoplasm_(paranormal)

In My Words: A made-up substance that either results from or enables psychic communication and interaction with ghosts.

In Pictures:

Word Nerd 2.4 – Integumented

Source: The October Country by Ray Bradbury, page 78, from the short story “Skeleton”

In Context: “On Tuesday and Wednesday it bothered him terrifically that his epidermis, hair and other appendages were of a high disorder, while his integumented skeleton of himself was a slick clean structure of efficient organization. Sometimes, in certain lights with his lips drawn morosely down, weighted with melancholy, he imagined he saw his skull grinning at him behind the flesh.”

It’s worth mentioning that Bradbury is either unknowingly or creatively misusing this word here. An “integument” is a cover, so when he says his bones are “integumented” he’s saying they’re covered with skin. The word “integumented” isn’t strictly a word.

In Their Words:

in·​teg·​u·​ment | \ in-ˈte-gyə-mənt  \ noun
something that covers or encloses
an enveloping layer (such as a skin, membrane, or cuticle) of an organism or one of its parts

 

In My Words: A thin covering that cover the entire object underneath. 

In Pictures:

Word Nerd 2.3 – revetments

Source: The October Country by Ray Bradbury, page 76, from the short story “Skeleton”

Context: “He stood upright because he could not bear to remain seated. Inside me now, he grasped his stomach, his head, inside my head is a–skull. One of those curved carapaces which holds my brain like an electrical jelly, one of those cracked shells with the holes in front like two holes shot through it by a double-barreled shotgun! With its grottoes and caverns of bone, its revetments and placements for my flesh, my smelling, my seeing, my hearing, my thinking!A skull, encompassing my brain, allowing it exit through its brittle windows to see the outside world!”

In Their Words:

re·​vet·​ment | \ ri-ˈvet-mənt  \ noun
1a facing (as of stone or concrete) to sustain an embankment
2EMBANKMENT especially a barricade to provide shelter (as against bomb fragments or strafing)

 

In My Words: kind of like a retaining wall, propping up one side and keeping the other side secure or safe

In Pictures:

Word Nerd 2.2 – Carapaces

Source: The October Country by Ray Bradbury, page 76, from the short story “Skeleton”

Context: “He stood upright because he could not bear to remain seated. Inside me now, he grasped his stomach, his head, inside my head is a–skull. One of those curved carapaces which holds my brain like an electrical jelly, one of those cracked shells with the holes in front like two holes shot through it by a double-barreled shotgun! With its grottoes and caverns of bone, its revetments and placements for my flesh, my smelling, my seeing, my hearing, my thinking!A skull, encompassing my brain, allowing it exit through its brittle windows to see the outside world!”

In Their Words:

car·​a·​pace | \ ˈker-ə-ˌpās  ˈka-rə-\ noun
1a bony or chitinous case or shield covering the back or part of the back of an animal (such as a turtle or crab)
2a protective, decorative, or disguising shell

 

In My Words: a rounded covering or shell

In Pictures:

Word Nerd 2.1 – Calliope

Source: The October Country by Ray Bradbury, page 32, from the short story “The Next in Line.”

Context: “Marie turned and shot her vision far down to where the spiral steps walked up into sunlight. How talented was death. How many expressions and manipulations of hand, face, body, no two alike. They stood like the naked pipes of a vast derelict calliope, their mouths cut into frantic vents. And now the great hand of mania descended upon all keys at once, and the long calliope screamed upon one hundred-throated, unending scream.”

In Their Words:

noun

Also called steam organa musical instrument consisting of a set of harsh-sounding steam whistles that are activated by a keyboard.

In My Words:

A musical instrument made up of pipes, kind of like an organ, powered by forced air, either from steam power or air compression.

In Pictures:

Word Nerd 1.4 – Eldritch

Source: The Sacrifice Box, by Martin Stewart, page 342

Context: “The forest exploded in eldritch shrieks and green light as the Roxburgh-thing screamed–and they ran again, agony filling every part of Sep until it took him over completely and he didn’t know, couldn’t imagine, where it might end.”

In Their Words:

eldritch

adjective

el·​dritch | \ ˈel-drich  \

Definition of eldritch

strange or unnatural especially in a way that inspires fear WEIRDEERIE

In My Words: freaky and frightening; strange and weird; creepy

In Pictures:

Word Nerd 1.3 – New Romantics

Source: The Sacrifice Box by Martin Stewart, page 77

Context: “A carload of New Romantics rumbled past, their sleeves and music wafting through the hot breeze.”

In Their Words:

The New Romantic movement was a pop culture movement that originated in the United Kingdom in the late 1970s. The movement emerged from the nightclub scene in London and Birmingham at venues such as Billy’s and The Blitz.[1] The New Romantic movement was characterized by flamboyant, eccentric fashion inspired by fashion boutiques such as Kahn and Bell in Birmingham and PX in London.[2] Early adherents of the movement were often referred to by the press by such names as Blitz Kids, New Dandies and Romantic Rebels.[3][4]

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_Romantic

In My Words: A British music and fashion movement of the late ’70s and early ’80s in which everyone wore makeup and frilly shirts.

In Pictures:

Word Nerd 1.2 – Redolent

Source: Grendel’s Guide to Love and War, by A.E. Kaplan, page 121.

Context: Ed grabbed the note out of the cup holder, where I’d shoved it. Willow was in the back, and the entire car was redolent of wet dog.

In Their Words:

Definition of redolent

1exuding fragrance AROMATIC
2 afull of a specified fragrance SCENTED air redolent of seaweed

https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/redolent

In My Words: Totally smells like something or totally reminds people of something. Full of a sense of something.

In Pictures:

Word Nerd 1.1 – Palpated

Source: Grendel’s Guide to Love and War: A Tale of Rivalry, Romance, and Existential Angst by A.E. Kaplan, page 27

Context: “I palpated my head for signs of trauma. ‘Like a hole in head,’ I agreed.”

In Their Words:

palpate

transitive verb

to examine by touch especially medically

In My Words: To feel around for an injury or broken bone,

In pictures:

Word Nerd 1.1 – Mucilaginous

Source: Rabbit & Robot by Andrew Smith, page 300

Context: “I’m the real victim here, not you! Not you! Parasite! Thieving capitalist! Impostor! Fraud!” said another cog that was just a head and torso belching out anger and mucilaginous creamy goo from multiple wounds where arms and legs used to be.

In Their Words:

adjective
2: of, relating to, full of, or secreting mucilage

In My Words:

Sticky and slimy liquid, kind of like the trail a snail leaves behind.

In Pictures: