Wondrous Words #166

Thanks for stopping by to check on the new words I’ve found in my reading this week. I’ve been reading another Agatha Christie and found a few new ones. The first new word for me is right in the title:

1. Murder In the Mews.

A mews is a British term meaning a  row or street of houses or apartments that have converted from stables or built to look like former stables.

2. squib: As they walked along, the sound of squibs was still heard periodically.

A squib is a small firework that burns with a hissing sound before exploding. I know I’ve heard the sound of a squib before. I expect to hear more this next week as our American fireworks holiday approaches.

3.  counterfoil: “And nothing on the counterfoil of the chequebook.

Counterfoil is another British term meaning the part of a check, receipt, ticket or other document that is torn off and kept as a record by the person issuing it.

4.  shagreen:  The case was unlocked. Inside it was fitted with shagreen brushes and toilet bottles.

Shagreen is sharkskin that is used as a decorative material or, for its natural rough surface of pointed scales, or as an abrasive.

Wondrous Words Wednesday is sponsored by Kathy at Bermuda Onion. Be sure to visit her for more new words.

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7 Responses to Wondrous Words #166

  1. Shagreen is a word that I’ve not heard before. Love those British words!

  2. Agatha Christie is always good for a word or two. The only one I knew is mews and I learned that when we were in London last year. I have a feeling we’ll be hearing squibs around here soon as well. Thanks for being such a loyal participant!

  3. Staci says:

    I will try to remember to use the squib next week as I’m watching fireworks with the family!!! 😀

  4. kaye says:

    Agatha always manages to get a few words in her books that I don’t know. Never heard of shagreen. Interesting words this week, Margot.

  5. Louise says:

    I was familiar with all these as words, but not totally up on what they meant.

  6. Care says:

    These are words that sound like I should know but would be hard pressed to give the accurate definition.

  7. YVONNE says:

    Hi Margot,

    ‘Shagreen’ was about the only one of your words that I have never come across before and it sounded so interesting that I had to take a closer look at it for myself. I am not so sure that I like the idea of a handbag made out of it, however I did find a bespoke kitchen and bedroom furniture company, just down the road from where I live, who uses shagreen as panel decoration in some of their bedroom and kitchen ranges. I must admit that it did look very opulent and lush, but probably has a price-tag to match!!

    We don’t use cheques an awful lot, here in the UK any more, however ‘counterfoil’ is quite an old word. You would be more likely to hear someone refer to it as a cheque ‘stub’ these days.

    We have a saying here, that something is like a ‘damp squib’, so as well as the obvious definition of it as a firework which fails to ignite because it has got wet, it is also used to mean ‘a situation or event which is much less impressive than expected’

    I hope that you all enjoy your fireworks, wish I was there, I love fireworks.


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