Monday, October 8, 2012

Have Words, Will Travel


There are some words so rich in personality and atmosphere they don't need pictures to accompany them. Here are a few.

Aperitifs.
Aesthetes.
Beaton.
Beerbohm.
Blotting paper.
Bohemians.
Brilliance.
Camellias.
Cap d’Antibes.

Just reading them causes my brain to flood with dendrites on a frantic quest to hook up and make high-speed connections. 

Caravansary.
Cocktails.
Country manors.
Crimson.
Crinolines.
Decadence.
Disarray.
Dunes.
Dusk.
Élan.
Ennui.

It doesn't matter that one minute ago I was consumed by carpools and deadlines and grocery lists and parking tickets and needing more cat food. 

Fete champetres.
Firesides.
Fog.
Gardens.
Gipsies.
Glamour.
Heath.
Hedgerows.
History.
Hunger.
Hydrangeas.

Now I'm outside Cecil Beaton's house in the English countryside drinking champagne in a velvet suit. Now I'm running barefoot across a bank of purple heather in the middle of the Scottish moors. Now I'm at an alfresco dinner party in East Egg surrounded by thousands of twinkling lights.

Imbroglios.
Insouciance.
Jam.
Jardinière.
Jetset.
Kilts.
Kiss.
Lavender.
Lilacs.
Lillet.
Loucheness.
Madeleines.
Marrakech.

Now I'm wrapped in lavender-scented sheets at an exotic European sanatarium high in the mountains. Now I'm on camelback, following a long line of dusty travelers across the North African desert. Now I'm sitting in a café near Biarritz in front of a small plate of golden madeleines.

Mirth.
Mitford.
Moonlight.
Moué.
Muscat.
Musk.
Nape.
Novellas.
Operetta.
Opium.
Pallor.
Picnics.

Buddha said, "All that we are arises with our thoughts. With our thoughts, we make our world." I find that enormously inspiring. If we are what we choose to think, then all of us can travel farther than any passport can ever take us.

Portmanteaus.
Queerness.
Quietude.
Red.
Rhubarb.
Regret.
Rickshaw.
Ripeness.
Ruffles.
Sheep.
Souks.
Submission.

I have a fantasy that if I lost all my worldly possessions in a fire, as long as I had my list of words, my life would still have beauty and meaning.

Tea.
Thistles.
Turbans.
Untidiness.
Verve.
Vivienne Westwood.
Weald.
Wellies.
Wit.
Yeatsian.
Yielding.
Zaftig.
Zen.
Zephyr.
  
By the way, do these words sound at all familiar? They should -- many of them came from you. In a blog post last year, I offered up my own small collection and asked you to add to it. I am forever indebted to you because of that. Some of your contributions (scrimshaw, turbans, caravansary, moué, scaramouche, brocade, muscat and more)  have woven themselves into the fabric of my being.

Okay now quick without thinking too much.

A word, please.

83 comments:

Ryann Plack said...

Sanctuary. xxxx

Lily said...

Oh Lisa I love this post! I have scribbled a list of such words in my journals, and look at them once in awhile like favorite jewels or miniatures...
And when I go to a faraway place, I'll write a word on a stone and cast it in the river, as an offering to the universe.
So here is my offering to you: Sargasso.
xx Lily

Jo said...

moxie

Lisa Borgnes Giramonti said...

Lily:
Of course you would say Sargasso! Love it!

Pat said...

I always pay attention to cashmere and writing paper.

Emily said...

REVEURS

Yes, I loved reading "The Night Circus", and I loved the use of the word Reveurs!

Janelle McCulloch said...

Exquisite. Which is what this list is.
xx

pigoletto said...

Effervescence! Crepe de Chine! Eggplant! Chinoiserie! Samovar!

Kathy Leeds said...

Sillage....

pve design said...

lackadaisical.
pve

jennifer said...

Gloaming

helen tilston said...

Having just returned from Ireland and reading on a long flight, two words come to mind immediately

"Sacre coeur"
"smithereens"

You are right Lisa, all can be lost except what we keep in our minds

Helen

tokyojinja.com said...

Indigo

Carol said...

Yacht
Macabre
Equipoise

Camille Farias said...

Spiced
Vellum
Gilded
Buttress
Scones
Chrysanthemum

Lisa Borgnes Giramonti said...

Lisa:
Oh you guys are SOOOO good.

Kelly@MySoulfulHome@etsy.com said...

Zelda

Pimm's and Lemonade said...

Benevolence

aubergine

Pimm's and Lemonade said...

benevolence

aubergine

EAC said...

Leather.

I am curious to see what you think of Mr. Penumbra's 24 Hour Bookstore...

ArchitectDesign™ said...

panache - of which you have plenty!

kstyle said...

Equipoise!

lucia martinez said...

sapphic!

House Of Hemingway said...

Sumptuous

Lovely list...

WWW.houseofhemingway.com

Kate @ Savour Fare said...

Terrace, Demimonde, Savoir Faire, Savile Row

Kelly said...

Gable.
Repast.
Sanguine.

Love this post!

Tricia Rose said...

Succulence. Perjinct.

KO said...

lushness
kerfuffle
plein air
cornbread
high dudgeon
languid
shimmer
cottage

Unknown said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Deborah Ginocchio said...

Passegiata
Ochre

Pamela Terry and Edward said...

Caledonia.
My favourite.
xo

Marsha said...

Farouche.

Pat said...

Thought of another: lapis lazuli.

Martha Burkert said...

Lagniappe

Denise said...

mimosa, jasmine, pinfeather, deepening, barouche, crepuscular

Melissa Kojima said...

Oh, oh! I loves words and word games too!

Ummmmm.....PANTALOON.

Hoolia said...

rDamask
Dandelion
Candelabra
Hortensia

amydawnrose said...

eau de nile
schadenfreude (not the nicest sentiment, but i still think it sounds terribly romantic:)

Tara said...

palanquin! what else does one need?

Marrabahia.com said...

Wonderful.......
Riad Median Marrakech

Jessica Jones said...

Donnybrook
Dissolute
Brochettes
Bias cut
Cloud Club
Rest cure
Diabolique

Jessica Jones said...

And...
Curious
Queer
Odious
Diadem
Cloche

Helen James said...

poltroon

Urmyfavoritething said...

Mansard

Jane said...

Scrumptious.
Vivacious
Babbling.
Serendipity.

The Foundling said...

soupçon
hoo-ha(h)
buffoon
tomfoolery
scythe
vilify

“Words have no power to impress the mind without the exquisite horror of their reality.” Edgar Allan Poe

Thanks for the inspiration on an otherwise unremarkable morning!

wild thyme flowers said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
wild thyme flowers said...

hove.

Just invited friends for Sunday lunch to which they replied "Would be delighted. What time shall we hove into view ?"

Had to look it up ! Old English....."to recieve into one's home". Thought you'd appreciate it. Margaret

Marshall Krantz said...

Palimpsest

Lisa Borgnes Giramonti said...

To All:
I'm getting no work done because I keep checking all these INCREDIBLY BEAUTIFUL words you've added!

My life is richer because of them. :)

And Wild Thyme Flowers, I think we all need to start using "hove into view"!

x/L

Serenknitity said...

Syllabub
Muscat de Beaumes de Venise (not a word, but a wonderful-sounding dessert wine).

Laurie Wilder said...

verdant
weevil (which is rarely used anymore-we used to have weevils in flour and such but no more...)
Love your blog-just found it recently!

Hallie Smith said...

Kornbluth

Chauncey

buckwheattobutter said...

moss
crepuscular
sanguine
chaff
fallow
suckling
bramble

what a lovely way to take a trip.

Melinda said...

zeitgeist
grenache
claret
scaramouche

xx Melinda

Hausfrau said...

Duvets, ink, Orient Express, pocket watch, tureen, Wodehouse.

Share my Garden said...

Alchemy!

Kimbo said...

crenellated
effluvium
visceral
epiphany

PP@pimpmybricks.wordpress.com said...

Susurrus. Unspool. Interstice. Strumpet. Deliquesce.

Bion said such words have penumbra. Which, of course, is another such word.

pimpmybricks.wordpress.com

Veronica Roth said...

Chatoyant...you need chatoyant in your list Lisa. From old Peter Chayney novels where the beautiful woman has chatoyant eyes. Changeable colour like the surface of a soap bubble.

colonygal said...

Happenstance

WMM said...

Constantinople
alabaster
kaleidoscope

jane said...

Tuberose
Penultimate
Louche

Jennifer said...

Oh, how I love words...
hypnagogic
syzygy
catafalque
labradorescence

debbie bailey said...

Verdigris

KO said...

Lollobrigidian.

An Italian dictionary contains the word Lollobrigidian. It's inspired by curvacious actress Gina Lollobrigida. It means a rolling landscape with prominent hills.

Lisa Borgnes Giramonti said...

Lollobrigidian is GENIUS!

JS LC said...

Simpatico

Lola Zabeth said...

What a fantastic list of words! One of my fave word lately is dowager (I've been catching up on past episodes of Downton Abbey). I love the way it gives dignity to what some would see as an irrelevant old lady who just happens to have a title.

Linda said...

This list would be a swell embroidery in your style. I have thought of doing my female ancestors mother to daughter.

Martha J Mountain said...

Indigo.

shari said...

happenstance
Godspeed

Oh, how I love reading these!! Great post! Thnak you...

Karen said...

Svelte (something I certainly am not, ha!)
Arabesque
Café au lait
illuminate
bruschetta
bibliotheque
liaison
pheasant
audubon
illustrious

catie said...

ballyhoo

crust

onomatopoeia

weft

feign

JudyMac said...

Bustluscious

KeyCottageMichigan said...

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2224582/New-book-built-working-days-reveals-host-absurd-evocative-English-words.html

Fun article launching The Horologicon by Mark Forsyth in the Daily Mail lends itself to your post...

Chimmy said...

zigzag
(because z and g are my favorite letters)

calamity
(it sounds to happy to be such a disaster)

scarce
(sounds so bare, simple and sexy)

cringe
(it tastes bitter on the tongue when you say it)

Camille Farias said...

Dossier
Intertwined

Heard these recently and remembered this post.

Sarah Faragher said...

Armoir.

Samarkand.

Portico.

Reverie.

Cat said...

authentic

Coulda shoulda woulda said...

Success is much funner to say than read.

bindu priya said...

A truly motivational and life changing book
"ONE BOOK FOR LIFE SUCCESS" .The writer has described in Plain English with lot of examples which is easy to understand...For More
Please watch the video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=biORjS8ngv0

Rylin Mariel said...

When I saw "Disarray", I immediately thought of my own favourite word for that state: "Deshabille"

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