The Unfamiliar Word
"Nero Wolfe talks in a way that no human being on the face of the earth has ever spoken, with the possible exception of Rex Stout after he had a gin and tonic," said Michael Jaffe, executive producer of the A&E TV series, A Nero Wolfe Mystery. Nero Wolfe's erudite vocabulary is one of the hallmarks of the character. Examples of unfamiliar words — or unfamiliar uses of words that some would otherwise consider familiar — are found throughout the corpus, often in the give-and-take between Wolfe and Archie.
- Ortho-cousin, chapter 1. Wolfe to Archie:
- More transparent was the reason for Mr. Frost's familiarity with so strange a term as 'ortho-cousin,' strictly a word for an anthropologist, though it leaves room for various speculations. ... Ortho-cousins are those whose parents are of the same sex — the children of two brothers or of two sisters; whereas cross-cousins are those whose parents are brother and sister. In some tribes cross-cousins may marry, but not ortho-cousins. Obviously Mr. Frost has investigated the question thoroughly.
- Spiff, chapter 3. Archie:
- He stopped, smiling from Wolfe to me and back again like a haberdasher's clerk trying to sell an old number with a big spiff on it.
- Yclept, chapter 8. Archie:
- Boyden McNair, with his right elbow on his knee and his bent head resting on the hand which covered his eyes, sat near Wolfe's desk in the dunce's chair, yclept that by me on the day that District Attorney Anderson of Westchester sat in it while Wolfe made a dunce of him.
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Other articles related to "the unfamiliar word, unfamiliar word, word, words":
... In most Nero Wolfe novels and novellas, there is at least one unfamiliar word, usually spoken by Wolfe ... The word "cogitable" appears in chapter 5, in Archie's reply to a question about whether Mrs ... Wolfe would say it's 'cogitable.' He likes words like that." ...
... "The word has never become more than a marginal addition to the language, a source of obscure scholarly humour rather than a term of utility," wrote etymologist Michael Quinion ... "This rare word turns up in one of Rex Stout's delightful mystery novels featuring the fat detective Nero Wolfe — in a book entitled 'Poison a la Carte'." ...
Famous quotes containing the words unfamiliar word, word and/or unfamiliar:
“Avoid an unusual and unfamiliar word just as you would a reef.”
—Julius Caesar [Gaius Julius Caesar] (10044 B.C.)
“I am a dreamer of words, of written words. I think I am reading; a word stops me. I leave the page. The syllables of the word begin to move around. Stressed accents begin to invert. The word abandons its meaning like an overload which is too heavy and prevents dreaming. Then words take on other meanings as if they had the right to be young. And the words wander away, looking in the nooks and crannies of vocabulary for new company, bad company.”
—Gaston Bachelard (18841962)
“Television programming for children need not be saccharine or insipid in order to give to violence its proper balance in the scheme of things.... But as an endless diet for the sake of excitement and sensation in stories whose plots are vehicles for killing and torture and little more, it is not healthy for young children. Unfamiliar as yet with the full story of human response, they are being misled when they are offered perversion before they have fully learned what is sound.”
—Dorothy H. Cohen (20th century)