Tuesday, 8 December 2009


Roughly speaking, this is pronounced "suh-ran" and I think it's a wonderful word. The definition feels very poetic:

serein n in the tropics, fine rain falling from an apparently cloudless sky after sunset [Origin French, from Latin serum evening, from serus late] Chambers, 1998


And good use of the word "apparently". I was close to replacing the meaning with "fantastic miracle performed by rain witch". Surely this must have cropped up in a David Attenborough documentary at some point? Being in London though, I suppose I'm less likely to have seen it on the weather.

In trying to learn all these words, I've found myself using the archive list of previous posts as a quick testing post for meanings. It feels a bit like being back at school, only at least now my mum isn't cutting my hair to look just like hers. I think mumpsimus is most likely to make it into my active vocabulary so far, though I'm trying to shove in as many as possible. Here's an attempt to use all the words I've learned to date:

Poor old Bob. He may only be a spoffish mumpimus with endless rodomontades, but his nights have been filled with floccillations ever since he found his beloved Fluffy, now no more than a morkin, under his back tyre. He thought Fluffy was irenic. His wife said Fluffy was just a flamfew.

It needs a bit of work, obviously...

1 comment:

  1. S'funny, I experienced something approaching that last night going home - the sky was clear but there was a very cold, fine texture in the air like a distortion behind your eyes that, on closer inspection, was tiny strands of water or snow.