Thursday, May 21, 2015


The Refectory by Theophile Gide

If you live in a monastery or a convent of a religious school, you go to the refectory to eat your meals.  It seems like they could just call it a dining room, but I guess they wanted a more special name for it.  The word comes from the Latin reficere, which means "to remake or restore," by way of the Late Latin refectorium, "a place one goes to be restored."


A philter is a potion or a charm that is supposed to cause the person who takes it to fall in love.  Usually, they are meant to fall in love with some specific other person.  I don't know if a philter would work on a dog or not, but it might.

Any kind of magic potion could be called a philter.  If you remember that old song Love Potion Number Nine, you will realize that the song is talking about a philter.  And now you will also have that song stuck in your head all day!


Mom recently read a couple of really old books called The Iliad and The Odyssey.  In these books, the Greeks and Trojans worshiped a bunch of gods such as Zeus and Hera and Apollo.  In order to get these gods to help them out in battle, the warriors were always making sacrifices.  One kind of sacrifice was called a hecatomb.  This was a really major sacrifice that involved killing 100 oxen or cattle.  Afterwards, the warriors had a big feast and ate the meat, so at least it wasn't wasted.  I'm just glad they weren't sacrificing dogs!

Nowadays, the word hecatomb is mostly used to mean a slaughter or massacre with many victims.


A monteith was a big punch bowl, usually made of silver, and it had a bunch of notches around the rim.  The reason it had notches was so that wine glasses could be hung upside-down into the bowl to get chilled in ice water.

The name for this kind of bowl came from an eccentric Scotsman named Monteith (Monteigh), who always wore a cloak that was notched around the bottom.


Sartorial means something that has to do with tailoring, clothes, or style of dress.  For example, you can do sartorial work or dress in sartorial splendor.  When I wear my little Tommy Bahama doggy dress, I always feel that I am sartorially adorable.


If something nudiustertian happened, that means it was on the day before yesterday.  I don't know why more people don't use this word because it is so easy to remember and pronounce.  Plus you can almost always be sure that something worth talking about occurred on the nudiustertian.

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