Aesculapian
relating to Aesculapius, the Roman god of healing and medicine
affidavit
a written declaration upon oath made before an authorized official
allegro
brisk in tempo (Italian)
ankh
A cross shaped like a T with a loop at the top, used as a symbol of life.
anthracite
a kind of coal that burns almost without flame
Antonines
of or relating to the emperors Antoninus Pius and Marcus Aurelius Antoninus
armoire 
a large wardrobe with doors and shelves
Bedlamite
a resident of Bedlam, formerly an institution for the mentally ill
bête noire
translates from the French as 'black beast' and used to refer to something that is particularly disliked or avoided
blandishment
a speech designed to flatter
bon gré mal gré
whether willing or not (French)
bowsprit
a spar that protudes from the front of the ship
brazier
a metal receptacle for holding hot coal
Bristol fashion
in first-class order (built to withstand the tides of Bristol's seaport)
cadenza
ornamental flourish, often towards the end of a composition
cara
'dear one' (Italian)
carapace
a bony shield or shell covering some or all of the dorsal part of an animal - a turtle, for example
caravanserai
a large inn or hotel
careening
heel over or list
carillon
a set of horizontal metal plates, struck by hammers, used in an orchestra.
cause célèbre
a controversy that attracts public attention
celeste
percussion instrument resembling a small piano, where each small metal bar is struck by a hammer to produce a note
Cetacean
relating to an order of aquatic mammals, including dolphins and whales
cherchez la femme
'seek the woman' (French) that is, a woman is usually found to be the cause of misguided behaviour
chervil
a herb of the parsley family
circumvallated
surrounded
conquistadores
conquerors (Spanish)
copra
the dried kernal of a coconut
Cordova
a coarse wool from Argentina
Crêpe De Chine
light and fine dress fabric made of silk
cri de coeur
a cry from the heart (French)
demisemiquaver
a note played for 1/32 of the duration of a whole note
dendroglyphs
tree carvings unique to the Chatham Islands (see Bookmarks p.21)
Diomedes
a hero in Greek mythology and one of the first warriors to enter the Trojan horse before the sack of Troy.
dolce per niente
sweet nothing (Italian)
Eldorado
translates from the Spanish as 'the golden one', is has become shorthand for a lost city of gold
émigré
someone who has fleed from his or her native land for political reasons
entropy
the doctrine that a decline in civilized standards is inevitable
erysipelas
disease of the skin causing fever
étude
an instrumental composition intended to practise a point of technique, from the French for study
ex juris
in this context not employed by the state but by the owners of the power station (Latin)
fo'c'sle
a deckhouse located towards the front of the ship
gnossiennesque
relating to the compositions coined 'Gnossienne' by French composer Erik Satie
goitre
an enlargement of the thyroid glands on the sides of the neck, possible from lack of iodine
gourmand
someone who is fond of good eating, often to excess (French)
hawser
heavy rope used for mooring or towing
ideogram
a written symbol that represents an idea or object
imprimatur
sanction or approval
jamais vu
never seen (French)
jibboom
a thick pole used to support the rigging of a ship
Jocasta
from classical mythology - queen of Thebes and the mother, later the wife, of Oedipus
Jonah
something or someone bringing bad luck, after the Biblical Jonah who was swallowed by a whale
kanakas
South Sea islanders
kedging
to pull a ship along by hauling on the cable of an anchor carried out from the ship and dropped.
La Duca
name for a member of the household of a duke (Italian)
lento
in a slow tempo
lex loci
the law of a place (Latin)
mal de mer
seasickness (French)
marling-spike
a pointed tool used to pick apart rope to produce oakum
memento mori
a reminder of death (Latin)
Meronym
comes from the Greek (meros=part and onoma=name) meaning a constituent part of something larger
miscegenous
of mixed race
Morpheus
the god of dreams in Roman and Greek mythology
motet
a vocal composition in polyphonic style, for use in a church service.
mulatto
the offspring of one white parent and one black parent
mummery
a performance regarded as false, absurd or showy
muscatel
a kind of raison or grape from Muscat, the capital of Oman
Neptune
the god of water in Roman mythology
oakum
loose fibre made by picking apart old ropes
pakeha
early European settlers in NZ (Māori)
paregoric
a medicine that soothes pain
parvenu
someone with newly acquired wealth
pax
an historical period of relative peace, usually imposed by a dominant power
Pea-jacket
a heavy woolen navy-coloured overcoat, formally worn by sailors
Petrine
of or relating to the apostle Peter or his Epistles
picaresque
a fiction describing the humorous adventures of a roguish hero
pisco
a south American liquor made from grapes
più fortissimo
more strong (Italian)
pleurisy
an affliction that causes painful dry coughs and breathing, chills and fever.
pleursiy
an affliction that causes painful dry coughs and breathing, chills and fever.
plutocracy
a government in which the most wealthy rule
polyp
a usually nonmalignant growth or tumor protruding from the mucous lining of an organ such as the nose, bladder, or intestine
reductio ad absurdum
a reduction to an absurdity (Latin)
salt-horse
salted beef
sangfroid
composure, from the French for 'cold blood'
scrimshandered
whittled from wood or bone, often by sailors on long voyages
scuttlebucket
slang for rumour or gossip, from the nautical term for an open cask of drinking water
skiffs
small rowing boats
sotto voce
in a soft voice so as not to be overheard (Italian)
stevedore
an individual whose job it is to load or unload a ship
storiate
to ornament with historical designs
succubus
an evil spirit or demon
tatterdemalion
someone dressed in tatters, a raggamuffin
toccata
a virtuoso composition designed to exhibit the performer's skill
tournure
a device worn by women to widen the width of their skirt below the waist
tranche
slice (French)
trentuno
translates as thirty-one (Italian) - a card game in which the object is to obtain a hand closer to 31 than that of your opponents
ursine
bearlike
vespers
a religious service more usually held in the evening
Visogoth
a barbarian, someone who lacks an appreciation of art or culture
zazen
meditation in a cross legged posture