Wednesday, September 07, 2011

Thursday Thirteen 218: Vocabulary, Dracula Style

As you saw in last week’s post, I recently read Dracula by Bram Stoker. One thing that is true about the classics is that they are terrific vocabulary builders. Here for all those heading back to school, or who have kids returning, I offer thirteen of dozens of great words from Dracula. Examples and page numbers are from the “Enriched Classic” edition pictured at right, published by Pocket Books (Oct 2003).

1. cerebrate, verb intransitive: to use one’s brain; think (noun: cerebration)
“It will be a whole idea soon, and then, oh, unconscious cerebration!” (pg 87)

2. adduce, verb transitive: to give as a reason or proof; cite as an example
“There is no evidence to adduce; and whether or not the man himself committed the murders there is now none to say.” (pg 106)

3. slewed, verb transitive (also, slued): to turn or swing around, as on a pivot or fixed point.
“I slewed round a little, so as to see Lucy well without seeming to stare at her, and saw that she was in a half-dreamy state, with an odd look on her face that I could not quite make out…” (pg 116)

4. quondam, adjective: that was at one time; former
“The animal itself was as peaceful and well-behaved as that father of all picture-wolves, Red Riding Hood’s quondam friend, whilst seeking her confidence in masquerade.” (pg 170)

5. stertorous, adjective: loud, raspy, labored breathing, or snoring, caused by obstructed respiratory passages.
“There was no need to think them dead, for their stertorous breathing and the acrid smell of laudanum in the room left no doubt as to their condition.” (pg 177)

6. polyandrist, noun: a woman having two or more husbands at the same time
“If so that, then what about the others? Ho, ho! Then this so sweet maid is a polyandrist…” (pg 211)

7. callous, adjective: lacking pity, mercy, etc; unfeeling
“With a careless motion, she flung to the ground, callous as a devil, the child that up to now she had clutched strenuously to her breast, growling over it as a dog growls over a bone.” (pg 253)

8. militate, verb intransitive: to be directed (against); operate or work (against to, rarely, for): said of facts, evidence, actions, etc. [You’ll see this used a lot in legal briefs, or movies and programs about lawyers.]
“As he saw that the very excess of his emotion was militating against him, by restoring us more to our old relations, he became still more demonstrative.” (pg 295)

9. lugubrious, adjective: very sad or mournful, esp. in a way that seems exaggerated or ridiculous.
“The dogs dashed on, but at the threshold suddenly stopped and snarled, and then, simultaneously lifting their noses, began to howl in most lugubrious fashion.” (pg 302)

10. implacable, adjective: 1. that cannot be appeased or pacified; relentless; inexorable. 2. (Rare) that cannot be eased, lessened or allayed. SYN: inflexible
“Not a word more would he say, but sat in his implacable sullenness as indifferent to me as though I had not been in the room at all.” (pg 306)

11. arrogate, verb transitive: 1. to claim or seize without right; appropriate (to oneself) arrogantly 2. to ascribe or attribute without reason
“Far be it from me to arrogate to myself the attributes of the Deity.” (pg 321)

12. vivify, verb transitive: 1. to give life to; make come to life; animate 2. to make more lively, active, striking, etc. (noun: vivification)
“There have been volcanoes, some of whose openings still send out waters of strange properties, and gases that kill or make to vivify.” (pg 382)

13. laconic, adjective: brief or terse in speech or expression; using few words; SYN: concise
“Dr Van Helsing is laconic; he tells the farmers that he is hurrying to Bistritz, and pays them well to make the exchange of horses.” (pg 430)

LINKS TO OTHER THURSDAY THIRTEENS:(Please leave your link if this is your first visit!)
Alice Audrey * Xakara * Gel * iBeati * Colleen
Caridad Pineiro * Hazel * CountryDew
Paige Tyler * Kimberly Menozzi * Sherilee
Tatiana Caldwell * Darla M Sands * Sidney Bristol


Kharisma Rhayne said...

Oh now that's a really cool 13. I'm going to have to dig this book out of the shelves somewhere and read it again.

Mia Celeste said...

I like stertorous--just the way it sounds. :) Very vampiric.

Heather said...

Kharisma: Happy to inspire someone to read or reread a classic! *G*

Brenda: Isn't that a great word to say out loud?!

Alice Audrey said...

I'm kind of relieved to recognize most of these. I'm pretty sure they weren't in the movie.

Xakara said...

I feel bad that I only use four of the words and only recognized seven in total. But it's out of thirteen, so that's still a majority. *grin*

Vivify is a favorite, I named a club that in one of my stories. And polyandry comes up often, whatever that may say about me. *wink*

Happy T13,

13 Random Songs

Gel said...

Awesome posts. I am a word nut who gobbles up posts like this. Or should I say, "sucks the blood out of such neck-kid" posts."...

Believe it or not, I looked up lugubrious last night, even though I should know the word, I had forgotten its meaning. Lots of cool words here. Creative post!

i beati said...

bloomer below is gorgeous =ligubrious a favorite

Caridad Pineiro said...

Very cool, 13. Will have to keep those in mind for future writing.

colleen said...

I only knew 2 of the words! Is that becasue I don't read vampire books?

Here's a cool possible new word: quinkier. I'm reading it below from the word verification spot.

Hazel said...

Nos. 1,4, 5 and 6 are new to me. My cerebrum needs to cerebrate.

CountryDew said...

Those are great words. You're right, the classics are good vocabulary builders. I'd never really thought about that before.

Paige Tyler said...

I've know the word laconic, but that's all! Great TT! LOL!


Heather said...

Alice: I haven't seen any of the movies, so no idea if any of the words appear in those scripts.

Xakara: I'd say if you recognized seven out of thirteen you have a pretty strong vocabulary, no matter what your penchant for "polyandry" says about you. ;-)

Gel: I think we all come across those words we recognize and should know from time to time. It's good to look them up and wake up the brain!

Heather said...

I beati: Thanks for your comment on the flower do rtealize you just misspelled a favorite word? *VBG*

Caridad: Thank you! : )

Colleen: I don't think it has anything to do with vampire books. I've found the classics in general are great vocabulary builders. I did anothe rone of these for 1984. Of course, I also had one for the mystery Murder in the Queen's Armes. This one also had words taken from general reading. ;)

Heather said...

Hazel: Have fun cerebrating! *G*

Thanks, Anita!

Paige: Funny, I never would have associated the word "laconic" with you. *G*

Kimberly Menozzi said...

Ahhh... You know I love posts like this. They're like candy to language enthusiasts! :)

Heather said...

Kimberly: I had a feeling you might approve. And yay - you're back! *g*

Xakara said...

Heather: Words that are fun, or that immediately associate with other words I like, they just stick with me. And growing up on classic sci-fi among other genres, I've seen many of the words before and for some, I retained recognition and gist, if not direct definition.

Cerebrate, Adduce, and Implacable, I recognized and I was pretty close when I tried to remember what they were.

Slewed, Quondam and Arrogate, all looked familiar, but I couldn't define them.

Polyandrist, Callous, Implacable, Vivify and Laconic, I've actually used and am comfortable with. All that reading has paid off! *grin*

Happy T13,

13 Random Songs

I am Harriet said...

I can really point some of those in different directions.

Have a great Thursday!

Darla M Sands said...

Great list! I really like lugubrious.

Heather said...

Harriet: Different directions? I'm intrigued. ;)

Darla: Thank. You. *g*

sherilee said...

Great vocab words--you're the second Thursday 13 participant I've visted today who has expanded my vocabulary! I feel smarter already!

Happy TT!

Tatiana Caldwell said...

Great list. 7 of these words I knew, 6 of them I didn't. Love learning new words!

Heather said...

Sherilee: I have to go in search of the other vocab post! *g*

Tatiana: You are just too smart, woman! *G* Glad you liked this post.

Jana said...

Dearest Trixie, My cerebration slewed round a little at the callously lugubrious use of this laconic vocabulary.

Love, You're Implacable Friend

BTW? Word verificaction on this is "plart." Sounds suspicious to me. ;-)

Heather said...

Jana: ROFL! You definitely earn extra credit today. Way to show up all the writers on the list! *VBG*

Maggie Nash said...

That's fantastic H. You are wasting your talent you know. You should do something with it!

The quondam Margie from Oz aka Maggie :-)

Alice Audrey said...

Really? Bram Stoker's Dracula is pretty good, though ironically it doesn't follow the book as closely as some of the movies.

Heather said...

Really. Have not seen a single version. I tend to steer clear of the horror genre, ya know?