This week’s words all come from Merlot Murders by Ellen Crosby. There were plenty of words for me to check in this book. Here are just the ones I found most interesting. And I’m leaving all wine-related words for next week’s post! (See this week round-up at BermudaOnion’s blog!)
The massive bank of lavender along one side of the pool was dark and dense against a blue-black sky filled with windblown stars.
windblown: adj. blown by the wind; especially having a permanent set or character of growth determined by the prevailing winds: windblown trees
*Definition from the Merriam-Webster Dictionary online
I did know this definition, but I don’t really see how it could be applied at the stars. Unless it’s to say that the sky was windblown, making the stars shine clearer?
“Well, yes,” she said, “but I just hired two new girls and they’re a little green behind the ears.”
Anyway, this was clear from the context.
His eyes were sparrow-bright and twinkling
I didn’t find anything at all about this one 😦 If you know, can you please share?
As I tripped, I knocked into one of the torches. It went down with me and hit the ground as I did, sending sparks shooting like a miniature Catherine wheel.
Catherine wheel: n. Brit. a firework in the form of a spinning coil.
I wouldn’t have known this one in Italian either. I know fireworks, but not their specific names. And here’s how a Catherine wheel looks in action:
(Photo credits: Michael Keen on Flickr)
Yellow jackets, excited by the newly released sugar liquid, dive-bombed us and strafed the vines.
yellow jacket: n. N. Amer. informal a wasp or hornet
I knew it was an insect, just what kind of an insect was a mystery to me. I was thinking about may bugs, instead they are like this:
You’re bound to scandalize the blue-rinse crowd and kock a few peacemakers out of kilter.
blue-rinse (brigade): elderly middle class women
See this explanation on Wikipedia.
Dust bunnies the size of small boulders rolled across the floor like tumbleweed in the prairie.
tumbleweed: n. N. Amer. & Austral./NZ a plant of arid regions which breaks off near the ground in late summer, forming light spherical masses blown about by the wind. [Several species in the genera Salsola and Amaranthus.]
OK, of course I knew what tumbleweed are! But I suddenly felt the need to look up the definition and discover what kind of plants creates that phenomenon. And I wanted an excuse to share this video…
(All definitions are taken from the Concise Oxford English Dictionary © 2008 via WordReference.com unless otherwise stated.)