11 March 2014

"Call Me Ishmael"

So I finally finished Moby Dick.  Whew, a long read.  The author aptly writes in it, "To produce a mighty book, you must choose a mighty theme."  This was most definitely a mighty book. 
Good story but the book is so thorough and detailed that it takes quite a while to get through.  Happy to have read it and it will look fabulous on my book shelf! 
I did make a list of words I wasn't sure on the meaning of, so I thought I'd share them here...

higgeldy-piggeldy (I knew what this one meant, just put it on the list because I was happy to read it.)
cetology: the study of Cetacea (whales, dolphins, etc)
sallow: unhealthy yellow complexion
hie: to go quickly
ibid.: in the same source (used to same space) [see: Good Will Hunting]
impetus: the force with which something moves
obstreperously:  unruly or resisting restraint
desirous: having desire
connexion: different spelling of connection
farrago: a confused mixture, jumble
indecorous: not in keeping good taste, improper
ablutions: act of washing one's self
patrician: aristocrat, nobleman
scoria: a type of lava, frothy & cindery
brevet: type of military commission
verdure: lush, green vegetation
cupidity: greed for money & possessions
obliquity: astronomy term re: difference in angles of equatorial and orbital angles
confabulations: memory disturbance
vitiated: spoiled
ignomity: public shame or disgrace
nonce: a word coined for a singular occasion
spile: wood peg for stopping a kask
sagacity/sagacious: showing keen mental skills or good judgment
celerity: swiftness in movement
apoplexy: incapacity from cerebral hemorrhage
prate: talk foolishly or tediously
tierce: old liquid measure
palavering: talk at length unnecessarily
succor: give assistance to
puissant: having great power or influence
tain: thin tin foil, behind mirrors
craven: cowardly
mizen: part of a ship's mainmast
binnacle: housing for a ship's compass
scuttle: metal container for storing coal
abstemious: not self-indulgent, esp while eating
cypher: a code, or a zero
miasma: highly unpleasant smell
veracity: conformity to facts, accuracy
irascible : easily angered
vacuity: empty-headedness
perfidious: untrustworthy
portentousness: sign or warning, ominous
argosy: large ship
scaramouch: an Italian clown/comedian?



  1. Congratulations. I've only listened to it, and that took me a long time & a lot of driving. But worth it. Now, since your old enough, I can recommend Dante's Comedia (a/k/a The Divine Comedy). Really great and enthralling, although I recommend a translation that includes good notes, as many of the references will be unfamiliar. The descriptions, however, stand by themselves. If you stick with it, you get to Heaven (Paradiso)!

  2. My brain hurt from reading the list. :)