Vocabulary: Love in the Time of Cholera

In my triumphant return to the land of pleasure reading, I've picked up a couple books about some serious disease: the first on the plague and the other about cholera. Why? I generally read books in a topical matter...Indians, hippies, sports and lately it's been disease. I won't review either book just yet, but I did want to look at a number of words from the book by Gabriel Garcia Marquez entitled, Love in the Time of Cholera. So far, the book is great and a wonderful love story. It is, however, a bit of a higher brand of fiction and comes with some words that I either haven't seen before or couldn't accurately define them. Here goes:
  • insipid - lacking flavor or zest; not tasty
  • belied - to picture falsely; misrepresent
  • camphor - an extract from the camphor laurel tree. Used in households to deter moths in cupboards
  • crepe - a type of very thin cooked pancake usually made from wheat flour. The word, like the pancake itself, is of French origin, deriving from the Latin crispa, meaning "curled
  • portico - a porch or entrance to a building consisting of a covered and often columned area
  • lugubrious - exaggeratedly or affectedly mournful
  • cisterns - an artificial reservoir (as an underground tank) for storing liquids and especially water (as rainwater)
  • ossuary - a depository for the bones of the dead
  • pastille - a small mass of aromatic paste for fumigating or scenting the air of a room
  • perfidious - of, or relating to the quality or state of being faithless or disloyal
  • landau - a four-wheel carriage with a top divided into two sections that can be let down, thrown back, or removed and with a raised seat outside for the driver
  • libertine - usually disparaging : a freethinker especially in religious matters
  • novenas - a Roman Catholic period of prayer lasting nine consecutive days
  • curlew - any of various largely brownish chiefly migratory birds (especially genus Numenius) having long legs and a long slender down-curved bill and related to the sandpipers and snipes

For most of these definitions I used Merriam-Webster Online, which was a very cool, clean and easy-to-use resource


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Mirza Ghalib said...

I had read better books than this one , it is mostly hype which makes this book popular. Its same old story of poor guy , rich gal just like old Hindi movies, Nothing significant will happen throughout book that you can not predict earlier. As for book quality, it is good enough to read, you wont need dictionary by your side to read this translation.