Wondrous Words Wednesday: Gulbenkian

Wondrous Words Wednesday is a weekly meme where we share new (to us) and interesting (to us, again) words we encountered in our readings. See this week round-up at BermudaOnion’s blog!

My words for this week come from a visit to the Gulbenkian Museum in Lisbon, so there’s no context to them.


Fritware: n. a type of pottery in which frit is added to clay to reduce its fusion temperature. As a result, the mixture can be fired at a lower temperature than clay alone. Also known as Islamic stone-paste.
*This definition comes from Wikipedia

And, in case you are wondering:

Frit is a ceramic composition that has been fused in a special fusing oven, quenched to form a glass, and granulated.
*This definition comes from Wikipedia

Photo credits: rocor on Flickr


Mihrab: n. a niche in the wall of a mosque, at the point nearest to Mecca, towards which the congregation faces to pray.

Photo credits: dalbera on Flickr


Muraqqa: n. an album in book form containing Islamic miniature paintings and specimens of Islamic calligraphy, normally from several different sources, and perhaps other matter.
*This definition comes from Wikipedia

Photo credits: Walters Art Museum Illuminated Manuscripts on Flickr


(All definitions are taken from the Concise Oxford English Dictionary © 2008 via WordReference.com unless otherwise stated.)


12 comments on “Wondrous Words Wednesday: Gulbenkian

  1. @ Kathy: What puzzled me with fritware, was that it looked like pottery, and I would never guess what made it different 🙂
    (Also, I keep wondering whether the word frit has anything to do with ifrit, the djinn/spirits)

    @ Lisa: Thank you

  2. Great words and great museum ! I remeber having visited it twenty years ago and I think it is one of the best museums I saw !

  3. I have an MA in Near Eastern Studies, and you introduced me to some new words today, so thank you for that! There were some useful terms here. Mihrab is an old friend, but the others were new. I knew both items existed, but I didn’t know the terms for them. I especially must remember muraqqa.

  4. Hi Scribacchina,

    I checked out the museum on line and it looks like a fantastic place to visit.
    It actually turns out that we used to have a Gulbenkian Museum here in the UK. It was in the North of the country, close to the Scottish border, in the County of Durham and was part of the University of Durham campus. It has however, just recently undergone a make-over and has been re-named the Oriental Museum.

    The only couple of your words that I had heard of, were Frit and FritWare, although I could not have defined them to anyone.

    I love to explore new words and phrases, although how long the memory retains all this extra knowledge, is anybody’s business!!

    Thanks for sharing a great post.

  5. Thank you all for your comments. The museum was indeed interesting, if you ever visit Lisbon do check it out.

    @ Jennifer: muraqqa was particularly fascinating to me, or at least so were the items on show.

  6. I love the Gulbenkian Museum. The objects that always hook me for long periods of time are Lalique’s jewelry. Are they still there?

  7. Yes, definitely! I had never heard of Lalique, but when I entered that room I was hooked. The other things that I loved were manuscripts, and clocks. 🙂

Ditelo con parole vostre/Let your words be heard

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