The Word-Hoard: Lapidary

August 22, 2018 Bushi 0

Lapidary: n. Someone whose job is cutting and polishing stones, especially precious stones.   adj. 1: Relating to the work of cutting and polishing stones, especially precious stones. 2: Clever but simple.   The root of “lapidary” is obvious enough to classical language scholars – lapis, the Latin word for “stone. […]

The Word-Hoard: Sybaritic

August 21, 2018 Bushi 3

Sybaritic adj. Fond of sensuous luxury or pleasure; self-indulgent.   The Emperor , of the Emperor’s Notepad, suggested that it might be interesting to explore the origins of some of these words while we’re tossing them into the vault. “Sybaritic,” then, is an excellent starting place. Sybaris was a wealthy […]


The Word-Hoard: Unguent

August 20, 2018 Bushi 3

Unguent: n. a thick substance, usually with a pleasant smell, used to treat skin problems or make the skin soft. “Unguent” is an excellent alternative to “ointment” and “salve,” should you think either of them too mundane or overused. Whether you’re talking about the fine-smelling oils that an aristocrat might […]

The Word-Hoard: Vertiginous

August 17, 2018 Bushi 0

Vertiginous: adj. 1 a : Characterized by or suffering from vertigo or dizziness b : Inclined to frequent and often pointless change ; inconstant 2 : Causing or tending to cause dizziness  3 : Marked by turning ; rotary    When you’re poised atop a celestial skybridge or climbing the […]

The Word-Hoard: Effulgence

August 15, 2018 Bushi 9

Effulgence: n. A brilliant radiance; a shining forth. “Effulgence” strikes me as a great word for that flood of light when the door is opened between a dark chamber and a well-lit one. Maybe the effulgence of light contrasts sharply with the black silhouette of a sinister villain. Or of […]

The Word-Hoard: Illusory

August 14, 2018 Bushi 11

Illusory: adj. 1. Causing illusion; deceptive; misleading. 2. Of the nature of an illusion; unreal. Phantasm and illusion spring up quite frequently in fantastical stories and weird tales. Often they wind up being real, and deadly. “Illusory” may not be that uncommon a word, but it’s one that can be […]

The Word-Hoard: Balustrade

August 9, 2018 Bushi 4

Balustrade: n. A railing or wall to prevent people from falling over the edge of stairs, a balcony, etc. If you’re anything like me, you’ve seen plenty of impressive or notable architectural features in your day without having the slightest clue what they’re called – like those latticed wooden structures […]

The Word-Hoard: Thew

August 8, 2018 Bushi 5

Thew: n. 1. (Usually thews) Muscle or sinew. 2. (Thews) physical strength.   “Thew” is one of those lean yet powerful words that fits so well into a good action-laden scifi/fantasy story. When muscle and sinew aren’t cutting it and you just need a little something extra, you can always […]

The Word-Hoard: a series

August 7, 2018 Bushi 0

The eldest one answered him, leader of the troop, unlocked his word-hoard. [source] – Beowulf   If the pen be mightier than the sword, then an author’s lexicon is the blade by which he aims to cut to the core of a reader. Of course this doesn’t mean thumbing through […]