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By January 29, 2009August 8th, 20193 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.


  • 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.