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Nacreous

By January 29, 2009 3 Comments

Tee-hee. Hamish Macdouall just used the word “nacreous” in his Googlies & Grass Stains blog on Stuff. I venture it is the first time that word has appeared on Stuff ever, and that it wouldn’t have sneaked past a Dom-Post sub if it was going in the dead-tree edition. It’s rare that anyone these days uses a word with which I am unfamiliar but this was one I had to check. And the first definition offered by Google (via Merriam-Webster) is spectacularly unhelpful:

: possessing the qualities of, consisting of, or abounding in nacre ;

Well, yes, obviously.

3 Comments

  • Tom says:

    A lovely word. I know it mostly from so-called nacreous clouds, but I also remember reading about the design for the Marine Education Centre using a nacreous cladding for one of its walls.

  • Good grief man — nacre. Mother of Pearl. From which: nacreous — like to Mother of Pearl.

    It’s also little-known that we also get “nacred” from the same root word, and that the expression was originally “Nacred as a Blue-Jay” — referring to the pearly underbelly of said bird.

    I once saw the Queen Mother nacred as a Blue Jay. Pearl in your foul oyster, sir. Pearl in your foul oyster.

  • llew says:

    Something to do with oysters I believe.