Thursday, 24 April 2014

Chez - At the House Of

A cartoon cottage
(image from Clckr)


Preposition. Mid-18th century.
[French from Old French chiese from Latin casa cottage.]

At the house or home of.

Going to stay with Grandma for the summer? Or visiting Mum & Dad at the weekend? Then why not jazz it up a bit by saying your summering chez Grandma, or passing the weekend chez Mama & Papa? Sounds much better, doesn't it? And it saves you characters on Twitter too; that alone is reason to start using chez.

 Do you stay or do you chez?

Do please leave your homeliest comments in the box below.

Wednesday, 23 April 2014

Cheville - A Word Peg

Some poems are so bad they just have to be plugged
(image by Martijn)


Noun. Plural pronounced same. Late 19th century.
[French = peg, pin, plug.]

1 A meaningless or redundant word or phrase inserted to round off a sentence or complete a verse. L19

2 A peg in a stringed musical instrument. L19

When writing poems
If your metre's not tight
Just add a cheville
And it'll all add up right

That's my hastily written example of a cheville.

Do you know of any others?

Tuesday, 22 April 2014

Chevaline - Horsing About


Adjective. Rare. Mid-16th century.
[French, feminine of chevalin, from CHEVAL.]

Or or pertaining to horses.

Argh! The horror of dodgy Carpathian WiFi has struck again, so today you will have to be content with just the word - no picture, no rambling commentary, and no probing questions (my mobile data is too limited to allow for such luxury). Chevaline is a particularly lovely word though, is it not? Will it do? Just until I'm back into the land of unlimited, wondrous, luxuriant WiFi, at which point I will return to this word to complete it with all of the bells and whistles of my usual posts. I think it will.

PS: Transylvania is stunningly beautiful. Today I got lost in a graveyard, saw Vlad the Impaler's birthplace, and bought a drawing of tulips from a young Roma girl who had the most stunning eyes I've ever seen.

Monday, 21 April 2014

Cher maître - Dear Master Writer


Noun phrase. Plural cheres maîtres (pronounced same). Early 20th century.
[French, literally 'dear master'.]

(A flattering form of address to) a famous writer.

If I were to address any writer as cher maître, it would probably be Sir William Golding, author of Lord of the Flies (not that I would expect him to care too much whether I addressed him as master or not, seeing as he won the Nobel Prize for Literature). Whether or not one actually ever addresses a writer as cher maître, I do like the idea of considering one as such, in admiring and seeking to emulate (perhaps even surpass) their skill, artistry and dedication.

Who would you address as cher maître?

How would you feel if you were addressed as such?

Do please leave your most literary comments below.