Welcome back, wordy friends!
Wondrous Words Wednesday is hosted by BermudaOnion each week. It's an opportunity to share new words you've encountered in your reading, or highlight words that you particularly enjoy.
Here are three of my favorite new-to-me words from How Green Was My Valley by Richard Llewellyn. The first and third definitions are from Dictionary.com.
1. besom. "'God damn,' Iestyn said, and went round our back as though witches were at him with besoms."
a broom, especially one of brush or twigs.
Pretty straightforward! I think this is an old-fashioned term though.
2. cribban. "But I thought they had stopped to use the cribban. I had my knuckles hit bloody for talking Welsh in school, but no matter."
No definition was listed for this word at dictionary.com, but I did find a site discussing Welsh language that said:
"Welsh was forbidden in schools in the early twentieth century. Anyone caught speaking Welsh had to wear a "Welsh Not", a piece of wood on a leather strap, known as a cribban, that would be passed on if someone else was heard speaking the language. At the end of the day, the child still wearing the cribban was beaten."
Good Lord. The Brits knew how to punish back in the day, eh?
3. woad. "Welsh never was a language, but only a crude means of communication, between tribes of barbarians stinking of woad."
noun1. a European plant, Isatis tinctoria, of the mustard family, formerly cultivated for a blue dye extracted from its leaves.
2. the dye extracted from this plant.
Apparently the dictionary forgot to mention that this plant stinks.