Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Wondrous Words Wednesday 19

Wondrous Words Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Kathy at the Bermuda Onion where you "can share new words that you’ve encountered or spotlight words you love. Feel free to get creative!

Waiting on a conference call - so here are some random words from Lady of Devices by Shelley Adina that I wanted better images of in my mind.  

... onto the pristine sailor collar of her middy blouse, and thence, gravity having its inevitable effect, down the blue seersucker of her uniform's skirt to the floor.  

middy  /ˈmidē /  (plural middies)
1: informal A midshipman.
2: (also middy blouse) historical A woman’s or child’s loose blouse with a collar that is cut deep and square at the back and tapering to the front, resembling that worn by a sailor.

seersucker /ˈsi(ə)rˌsəkər/
A printed cotton or synthetic fabric that has a surface consisting of puckered and flat sections, typically in a striped pattern.
Origin: early 18th century: from Persian šir o šakar, literally 'milk and sugar', (by transference) 'striped cotton garment'.

So putting that together, it appears that the girls were wearing school uniforms that looked something like this (but sans the hat).

 Over the ten-foot granite wall that separated the sheltered young ladies from the bustle of London, the rattle of carriages and jingle of harness could be heard on the road, along with the voices of passers-by and the occasional distinctive chug of a new steam landau

originally a coachbuilding term for a for a type of four-wheeled, convertible carriage transferred over to automobile usage.

1909 Stanley Model R Roadster (source) Yes this really ran on steam - it was a Stanley Steamer
This is the closest thing that seems to still be a landau. 

Robert E. Wilhelm's 1918 Model 735B 7-passenger Touring Stanley Steam Car (source) - but this is more like what I keep picturing. This isn't a landau - this is a roadster.

"Twelve new variations of the mazurka are the rage this Season, and we have all learned them."

A lively Polish dance in triple time.
Origin: early 19th century: via German from Polish mazurka, denoting a woman of the province Mazovia.

I'm sorry but the thought of a ballroom full of that going on makes me want to giggle something fierce.


  1. I knew seersucker - it's still popular in the south.

  2. I love it that you included pictures for all of your words - very helpful for this visual learner! Thanks.

  3. Definitely knew Mazurka and seersucker.

  4. Middy blouse and seersucker were familiar to me. That may be dating me a bit, but don't tell anyone!
    Landau I had heard before but had forgotten it's definition and mazurka is completely new! Thanks for sharing and I love your visual aids! :)

  5. My mum sewed all the time, so I knew the first 2 quite well and my piano lessons payed off for the last one!

    I love the pictures to highlight the words - I like to do that too :-)

  6. I enjoyed learning the meaning of mazurka. I also liked watching the dance. I have two left feet.(:


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