This week’s words all come from The Mermaid Chair by Sue Monk Kidd (See this week round-up at BermudaOnion’s blog!)
I parked in front of Kat’s gift shop, where Max sat beneath the blue-and-white-striped awning
Awning: n.a sheet of canvas or similar material stretched on a frame and used to shelter a shop window or doorway.
Never heard of this one, though it was clear from the context:
Hepzibah was wearing an ebony shift
Shift: n. a straight dress that hangs from the shoulders and is not fitted at the waist.
I didn’t know this meaning at all!
He pointed to a flash of mullet, to several wood storks lifting out of the grass, to an osprey nest perched atop a dead pine.
Mullet: n. a family of ray-finned fish found worldwide in coastal temperate and tropical waters, and in some species in fresh water.
Osprey: n. a diurnal, fish-eating bird of prey.
*Both definitions come from Wikipedia
She was the only person I knew more fearless than Kat, someone who could, if she wanted, clean Kat’s Clock, as they say.
To clean someone’s clock: N. Amer. informal beat or decisively defeat someone.
I’d have never guessed. It would be nice to know how this saying came into use.
The room was painted the color of pluff mud – a rich, fermenting brown – and there were mermaid doodads everywhere.
Doodad: informal an object that the speaker cannot name precisely.
Another one I would never have guessed.
We were going to stand in this little room – no longer suffused in wan, romantic hues but only in ordinary dimness – and use innocuous conversation as a defense.
Wan: adj. (of light) pale; weak
This I had completely misunderstood. I had connected it to “wanton”, but it is not so. I wonder.
(All definitions are taken from the Concise Oxford English Dictionary © 2008 via WordReference.com unless otherwise stated.)