I’ve been reading the great classic Silas Marner by George Elliot. There are quite a few old words which are new to me. Here they are:
1. flail: “The questionable sound of Silas’s loom, so unlike the natural cheerful trotting of the winnowing-machine, or the simpler rhythm of the flail, had a half fearful fascination for the Raveloe boys who would often leave off their nutting or birds’-nesting to peep in at the wifow of the stone cottage . , ,”
A flail is a threshing tool consisting of a wooden staff with a short heavy stick swinging from it.
2. chary: ”But sometimes it happened that Marner, pausing to adjust an irregularity in his thread, became aware of the small scoundrels, and though chary of his time he liked their intrusion so ill that he would descend from his loom, and, opening the door, would fix on them a gaze that was always enough to make them take to their legs in terror.”
Chary is one of those old-fashioned words I thought I knew. But my idea didn’t fit the sentence. According to the dictionary chary means cautious or wary.
Wondrous Words Wednesday is sponsored by Kathy at Bermuda Onion.