Sward Not only did I have no idea how it is pronounced, but I didn’t know what it meant and when I looked it up, I had trouble believing I had never met this seemingly quite common word.
sward, n : surface layer of ground containing a matt of grass and grass roots [syn: turf, sod, greensward]
pronounced like a sword in which you WOULD pronounce the W
My second word was provided by Doris Lessing whose autobiography, Under My Skin, I am currently reading. As she spent her childhood first in Persia and later in Southern Rhodesia, there are lots of words to be learnt. As it’s quite a fascinating book, I usually just read on for pleasure, but was stopped at one point by the word karosses, which definitely looked like it was some sort of garment, in the context, made of some animal hide, but I really didn’t see which part of clothing it could be.
The sentence went:
My shoes –veldschoen– smelled of hide, like karosses. But I refused ever to have a kaross on my bed, for a kaross was too close to the beast it came from (…)
A Kaross is a cloak made of sheepskin, or the hide of other animals, with the hair left on. It is properly confined to the coat of skin without sleeves and used to be worn by the Hottentots and Bushmen of South Africa. These karosses became replaced by a blanket. (…)
I also found a definition that described a kaross as a mantle or sleeveless jacket made of the skins of animals with the hair on, used by the Hottentots and other natives
So if I get this right, it something that can be either some sort of a bedcover or blanket or some sort of vest.
What an interesting word!
I’ll close this with the last four lines of English is Tough Stuff
I certainly never will!