Offbeat

Word Has It

A fincan is a Turkish coffee cup, without handles.
A fincan is a Turkish coffee cup, without handles.
A zarf.
A zarf.

“Horologicon,” a quirky book by Mark Forsyth, is a collection of words excavated from obscure dictionaries, which he describes as “too amusing to be taken seriously” and too punctilious to be common.

Someone, who’s only truly awake after midnight or sleeps during the day and labors at night is called a lychnobite. Somebody, who gives opinions on matters they know nothing about is an ultracrepidarian.

Granted, the first noun sounds like a pesky insect and the second, a type of dinosaur. Still, we do need words that convey our thoughts with greater clarity.

The brown cardboard sleeve that a coffee cup is wrapped in is, in fact, called a zarf. Originally, it denoted an ornately filigreed or jeweled holder for a Turkish coffee cup, without handles, known as a fincan. Any small coffee cup, the size of an espresso cup, with handles is called a demitasse.

h/t: TIME

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3 thoughts on “Word Has It”

  1. I sometimes am a Lychnobite myself. Only problem at my age, is that after too much Lychnobyting, one feels a bit like a “zarf”! 😦
    Thanks for the post!
    Brian

    Like

    1. Brian: If there’s word that describes the opposite of lychnobite, then, I’d like to know it.

      I agree with you wholeheartedly here: “only problem at my age, is that after too much lychnobyting, one feels a bit like a “zarf”!”
      Only, I’d feel worse: suffer a headache and feel spaced out.

      Like

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