Word Wednesday.

Scapegrace / Lucubrations / Odium

Scapegrace, noun: an incorrigible rascal; a habitually unscrupulous person; a complete rogue.


“In 1890 and 1891, the scapegrace Walter James Chadwick lived in Hulme, Manchester.”

Lucubration, noun: laborious or intensive study; also: the product of such study, usually used in the plural.

[Origin: Latin lucubration-, lucubratio study by night, work produced at night, from lucubrare to work by lamplight; akin to Latin luc-, lux.]

“There were some initial police lucubrations that it might not be a case of murder at all, since the drunk Annie Yates might have slipped and struck her head against the furniture; when she wanted to bandage her wound with the towel, she had passed out, and been suffocated by the towel slipping over her nose and mouth.”


Odium, noun.

1: the state or fact of being subjected to hatred and contempt as a result of a despicable act or blameworthy circumstance.

2: hatred and condemnation accompanied by loathing or contempt: detestation.

3: disrepute or infamy attached to something: opprobrium.

[Origin: Latin, hatred, from odisse to hate; akin to Old English atol terrible, Greek odyssasthai to be angry.]


“Two professional translators were employed to prepare French and German versions of the police placard, for insertion in the main newspapers of those countries; there was odium when the German version was found to contain a long list of linguistic lapses, and Dr. Althschul, the professional translator, had to submit a ten-page memorandum in his defence, saying that it was all just jealousy from colleagues who envied his position.”

All from Rivals of the Ripper: Unsolved Murders of Women in Late Victorian London, Jan Bondeson.

Poe: Colour Plate 8.

The Illustrations to Tales of Mystery and Imagination, by Edgar Allen Poe, by Harry Clarke, 1919.  Click for full size. There will be a break from here to the next set of Horton; I apologize, but my schedule is bordering crazy right now, and it’s going to get much worse over the next couple of weeks. I simply have had not had enough time to get the Andersen fairy tales set up, because like the Poe, I had to buy the books so I could relate the images to the proper story, and I need time to do all that. I’ll do my best to pull myself together over the weekend.


The latest book in Genevieve Cogman’s Invisible Library series is out, as is the second book in Neal Shusterman’s Scythe series. I had only mentioned Cogman’s book in a thread it seems. If you haven’t picked up the series, I recommend it. Cogman has the gift of good storytelling, and there’s nothing quite like the satisfaction that comes with good storytelling. The books are fast paced with intriguing characters, the principals being Irene, a librarian, her assistant Kai, a dragon, and Vale, a version of Sherlock Holmes on one of the alternate worlds. There is a nebulous, overarching villain of course, and plenty of minor villains to keep everyone busy trying to stay out of trouble. The Lost Plot is the fourth book, the first one is called The Invisible Library.

Word Wednesday.

We have two words today, because they are both from the same book, and I did not wish to choose between them.

Salubrious / Obliquity

Salubrious, adjective: favourable to or promoting health or well-being.

-salubriously, adverb.

-salubriousness, noun.

-salubrity, noun.

[Origin: Latin salubris; akin to salvus safe, healthy.]


“Bloomsbury to the north and Soho to the west were far from salubrious parts of London, but St. Giles’s remained one of the worst blackspots on the London map until the 1890s.” – Rivals of the Ripper: Unsolved Murders of Women in Late Victorian London, Jan Bondeson.

Obliquity, noun, plural -ties.

1: deviation from moral rectitude or sound thinking.

2a: deviation from parallelism or perpendicularity; also: the amount of such a deviation. b: the angle between the planes of the earth’s equator and orbit having a value of about 23°27′.

3a: indirectness or deliberate obscurity of speech or conduct. b: an obscure or confusing statement.

[Origin: Middle French obliquité from Latin obliquitatem slanting direction, obliquity.]

(15th Century)

“The Era newspaper blamed the police for their hounding of Smith and insisted that ‘the mental obliquity and professional incapacity displayed by the police in getting up the case against Smith, for the Cannon Street murder, shows more than ever the absolute necessity that exists for the establishment of a public prosecutor’. – Rivals of the Ripper: Unsolved Murders of Women in Late Victorian London, Jan Bondeson.

These two words definitely do not belong together, but I love the way they sound together: Salubrious Obliquity.