Thursday, September 12, 2019

Word of the day: fuliginous

The Oxford English Dictionary Word of the Day is fuliginous. It’s a word I immediately associate with David Foster Wallace’s Infinite Jest, where it appears in its 2.a. meaning in the story of Barry Loach trying to get a handshake outside Park Street Station.

Other words, other works of lit
Apoplexy, avatar, bandbox, heifer, sanguine, sempiternal : Artificer : Expiate : Ineluctable : Iridescent : Magnifico : Opusculum

comments: 2

misterbagman said...

I backed into "fuliginous" by way of Gene Wolfe's excellent Book of the New Sun series, whose protagonist, Severian, a member of the Brotherhood of Truth and Penitence (a professional guild of torturers and executioners), wears the traditional garb of his vocation: a leather mask and a cloak described repeatedly through the series as "fuligin, the color blacker than black."

If you're familiar with Gene Wolfe's writing I'd be curious to know your thoughts; and if you are not, hie thee to the library, sir, and dig in.

Michael Leddy said...

No, I don’t know that name. That’s a smart way to use an unfamiliar word, making it clear from context but almost daring the reader the look it up and see if it’s real (and it is!).