Category Archives: Word of the Week

REH Word of the Week: shining

verb 1. to put a gloss or polish on; polish [origin: before 900; Middle English shinen; Old English scinan; cognate with Dutch schiljnen, German schelnen, Old Norse skina, Gothic skeinan HOWARD’S USAGE: I was a prince of China, lord of a million spears; You were a soak in Brooklyn, shining the bar for beers. I […]

REH Word of the Week: eld

noun 1. archaic; old times; antiquity [origin: before 12th century; Middle English, from Old English ieldo; akin to Old English ealdold] HOWARD’S USAGE: The dusk was on the mountain And the stars were dim and frail When the bats came flying, flying om the river and the vale To wheel against the twilight And sing […]

REH Word of the Week: felucca

(From great collections of papyrus paintings: Sailing felucca at the sunshind hour with vegetation on either side of the River Nile and three pyramids of Giza in the background.) noun 1. A small vessel propelled by oars or lateen sails or both, used on the Nile and formerly more widely in the Mediterranean region [origin: […]

REH Word of the Week: trystery

noun 1. archaic. a group of persons who rendezvous, usually for clandestine or mysterious purposes. origin: late Middle English (originally Scots): variant of obsolete trist ‘an appointed place in hunting’, from French triste or medieval Latin trista HOWARD’S USAGE: Night falls On ruined walls And towers hoary; A star gleams On vanished dreams— Forgotten glory. […]

REH Word of the Week: reck

(photo from verb 1. archaic. to pay heed to something [origin:  ca. 12th century; Middle English, to take heed, from Old English reccan akin to Old High German ruohhen to take heed] HOWARD’S USAGE: Eons before Atlantean days in the time of the world’s black dawn, Strange were the kings and grim were the deeds […]

REH Word of the Week: marge

noun 1. margin or edge [origin: archaic; 1548; Middle French, from Latin margo] HOWARD’S USAGE: A roar of battle thundered in the hills; All day our iron blades drank deep in blood; Till lighted with the flame the sunset spills We saw against our backs the river’s flood. Among its rocks the waters screamed and […]

REH Word of the Week: rote

noun 1. the use of memory usually with little intelligence; mechanical or unthinking routine or repetition [origin: early 14th century; Middle English] HOWARD’S USAGE: Men sing of poets who leave their sheets For the sighing dew to cool their brain, But I have tramped through the silent streets, Through tides of the midnight rain. What […]

REH Word of the Week: Dion’s-Rod

noun 1. a thyrsus: in ancient Greece and Rome a staff or spear tipped with an ornament like a pine cone, carried by god Dionysus and his followers. [origin: 1591; Latin, from Greek thyrsos] HOWARD’S USAGE: But I toiled and I cursed where the forge smoke hung. Then suddenly I turned, and you were standing […]

REH Word of the Week: strident

( adjective 1. characterized by harsh, insistent, and discordant sound; unpleasant [origin: ca. 1656; Latin strident, stridens, present participle of stridere, stridere to make a harsh noise] HOWARD’S USAGE: Then a demon came like a dream of sinning And the echoes gibbered my hollow cries; I saw how his evil jaws were grinning, His body […]

REH Word of the Week: card

(Nightbird photography by Jerry Uelsonmann) noun 1. a hand-held implement that has short, fine spikes set in leather with a stiff backing; it is used to brush, clean and disentangle the short fibers of wool, cotton, flax, etc. [origin: from Indo-European based an unverified form kars-, to scrape; association with Medieval Latin cardus, a card, […]