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Tag: New Words (Page 1 of 16)


Bivouac – the guard or watch of a whole army, as incases of great danger of surprise or attack

“In the world’s broad field of battle,

In the bivouac of Life,

Be not like the dumb, driven cattle!

Be a hero in the strife!

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, A Psalm of Life


Pelf – money; riches; but it often conveys the idea of something ill gotten or worthless

“The writer of this legend then records

Its ghostly application in these words:

The image is the Adversary old,

Whose beckoning finger points to realms of gold,

Our lusts and passions are the downward air;

The archer, Death; the flaming jewel, Life;

Terrestrial goods, the goblet and the knife;

The knights and ladies, all whose flesh and bone

By avarice have been hardened into stone;

The clerk, the scholar whom the love of pelf

Temps from his books and from his nobler self.”

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Morituri Salutamus


Oracular – uttering oracles; having the nature of an oracle (a divine announcement)

“Patience!” whispered the oaks from oracular caverns of darkness:

And, from the moonlit meadow, a sigh responded, “Tomorrow!”

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Evangeline


Cidevant – former, recent, previous

“Much they marvelled to see the wealth of the cidevant blacksmith,

All his domains and his herds, and his patriarchal demeanor.”

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Evangeline


Thole – a pin, or either of a pair of pins, made of metal or wood and set vertically in the gunwale of a boat to serve as a fulcrum for an oar

“After the sound of their oars on the tholes had died in the distance…”

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Evangeline


Tenebrous – dark, gloomy, obscure

“Over their heads the towering and tenebrous boughs of the cypress

Met in a dusky arch, and trailing mosses in mid-air

Waved like banners that hang on the walls of ancient cathedrals.”

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Evangeline


Cumbrous – cumbersome

“It was the month of May. Far down the Beautiful River,

Past the Ohio shore and past the mouth of the Wabash,

Into the golden stream of the broad and swift Mississippi,

Floated a cumbrous boat, that was rowed by Acadian boatmen.”

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Evangeline


Gleeds – a glowing coal

“Then as the wind seized the gleeds and the burning thatch, and, uplifting,

Whirled them aloft through the air, at once from a hundred house-tops

Started the sheeted smoke with flashes of flame intermingled.

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Evangeline


Refluent – flowing back, ebbing as the tide

“Half the task was not done when the sun went down, and the twilight

Deepened and darkened around; and in haste the refluent ocean

Fled away from the shore, and left the line of the sand-beach

Covered with waifs of the tide, with kelp and the slippery seaweed.

Henry wadsworth Longfellow, Evangeline

Tocsin’s Alarum

Tocsin’s Alarum – an alarm bellow the ringing of it; a warning signal

“Deep were his tones and solemn; in accents measured and mournful

Spake he, as, after the tocsin’s alarum, distinctly the clock strikes.”

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
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