Monday, January 11, 2010

I learned some new words lately

Well, not really new, but I polished up on the meanings.

verisimilitude from
1. the appearance or semblance of truth; likelihood; probability: The play lacked verisimilitude.
2. something, as an assertion, having merely the appearance of truth.

inveigle again, from
verb (used with object), -gled, -gling.
1. to entice, lure, or ensnare by flattery or artful talk or inducements (usually fol. by into): to inveigle a person into playing bridge.
2. to acquire, win, or obtain by beguiling talk or methods (usually fol. by from or away): to inveigle a theater pass from a person.

This is a word for which I can't find a precise definition. It appears to be a kind of fabric. I find many references to it, particularly in the context of costumes and historical clothing styles.

I did find a definition (for a tarlatan with an "a" in the final syllable) that is a crisp muslin. Now here is a vocabulary mystery. I find definitions for tarlatan with a variant of tarletan (with an "e" in the middle syllable).

In the book I'm reading, A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, it was referring to a kind of petticoat, so this all seems to hold together. All must be the same word. But why is tarlaton (with an "o") not listed as an optional spelling, when obviously it is a frequently used spelling.

Anyone know more?

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