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I found this on Bermudaonion’s blog, click on the button to the left to head on over to her site to find out more. Wondrous Words Wednesday is a weekly meme where we share new (to us) words that we’ve encountered in our reading.  If you want to play along, grab the button, and join the fun!  (Don’t forget to leave a link in the comments if you’re participating.)

This weeks words again come from Russian Winter by Daphne Kalorty.

  • argot — “His earliest poems celebrated the countryside of his youth with the direct simplicity of country folk, using humor and argot, playing with language while safely following official regulations of topic and tone; his lathe-turners were always handsome, his milkmaids always fair.”

Argot is a specialized vocabulary peculiar to a particular class or group or class of people.

  • isba — “She took pity on my mother and hid her–along with my grandmother and my aunt–in a isba in the woods.”

An isba is a traditional log house in rural Russia.

  • agitprop — “…and even in the Bolshoi concert hall, agitprop men from the Central Committee every now and then silently watching from dark seats all the at the back of the theater, while the poor director trembles his way through dress rehearsal.”

An agitprop is a person who is trained and takes part in agitation or propaganda.

  • kolkhoz — “The car bumps along in a cloud of dust, past the locals tending their gardens and kolkhoz peasants threshing barley.”

A kolkhoz is again Russian for a collective farm.

  • dacha — “At a partial clearing, bordered by a high fence and a rusty gate is a dacha.”

Dacha is a Russian term for an allotment of land.

  • coryphées — “Nina has heard this, been warned of a few people in particular, mostly the younger or less accomplished–character dancers, or perpetual coryphées who can’t quite break into the top tier.”

A coryphées is a member of a ballet company who dances as part of a group and ranks below a soloist.

  • parure — “A full parure around the time would have meant a bracelet on each wrist, plus a ring and another necklace that unclipped to become a brooch.”

A parure is a set of various items of matching jewelry popular in 17th century Europe.

  • aigrettes — “And depending on the era, some clasps and buttons, or aigrettes and hairpins.”

An aigrettes is a spray of gems resembling a tuft of plumes.

There were quite a few Russian, ballet, and jewelry terms I had to look up. I still have a little of this book left so we may be featuring more words next week.

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