Lost Wor(l)ds 10


Catherine wheel or breaking wheel, is an instrument of torturous execution originally associated with Saint Catherine of Alexandria

Catherine wheel (firework), is a type of spinning firework

“It was at that moment that he rushed me. It was lucky that I had opened the door, or we should have gone through it. We did a Catharine-wheel together down the passage. Somehow we gathered up a chair upon our way, and bounded on with it towards the street.”

*I’m leaning towards the breaking wheel definition, as it probably goes back further and the source text was published in 1912 and it seems that the torture device goes back further, and also the bodies tangled in the chair could be reminiscent of the torture device.

**These 10 words in ~30 pages of reading were 1 days work.

Cutups - ILLUSIONS XI - The Breaking Wheel by cutups on SoundCloud ...Ring of Fire Catherine Wheel Firework - YouTube

Lost Wor(l)ds 9


: reproduction by development of an unfertilized usually female gamete that occurs especially among lower plants and invertebrate animals

“And that the germ plasm is different from the parthenogenetic egg?”


In context of the story the character is deliberately speaking pseudo-sciency mumbo-jumbo

Lost Wor(l)ds 7


A brand of an antibacterial medicated soap in use since 1865.



Arnica is a genus of perennial, herbaceous plants in the sunflower family

Early studies of topical homeopathic arnica gels and ointments for arthritis symptoms of the hand and knee — like pain and swelling — have been positive

“There’s some new stuff, cuticura or something, which is better than arnica.”

This is apparently a joke.

Lost Wor(l)ds 4


1 literature : to expurgate (something, such as a book) by omitting or modifying parts considered vulgar bowdlerize the text

2 : to modify by abridging, simplifying, or distorting in style or content

The answer was unprintable.”

“You don’t say?”

“Well, a bowdlerized version of it would run: ‘Professor Challenger presents his compliments to the President of the Zoological Institute, and would take it as a personal favor if he would go to the devil.'”

“Good Lord!”

Few editors have achieved the notoriety of Thomas Bowdler. In 1818 he published his Family Shakspeare [sic], a work in which he promised that “those words and expressions are omitted which cannot with propriety be read aloud in a family.” The sanitized volume was popular with the public of the day, but literary critics denounced his modifications of the words of the Bard.

All these definitions are owed to Miriam Webster, but this bit of etymology feels especially plageristic so I feel the need to give credit

Lost Wor(l)ds 3


1a : a journey or excursion undertaken for a specific purpose

b : the group of persons making such a journey

The object of my journey was to verify some conclusions of Wallace and of Bates, which could only be done by observing their reported facts under the same conditions in which they had themselves noted them. If my expedition had no other results it would still have been noteworthy, but a curious incident occurred to me while there which opened up an entirely fresh line of inquiry.

Lost Wor(l)ds 1

In this age of homeschooling, we assigned my son to read “The Lost World” by Arthur Conan Doyle, and to write down vocabulary words that he didn’t know and then look them up.

Some of them are doozies.


1 : teaching about God and the world based on mystical insight

2 often capitalized : the teachings of a modern movement originating in the U.S. in 1875 and following chiefly Buddhist and Brahmanic theories especially of pantheistic evolution and reincarnation


“I’m in love with somebody else,” said she.

It was my turn to jump out of my chair.

“It’s nobody in particular,” she explained, laughing at the expression of my face: “only an ideal. I’ve never met the kind of man I mean.”

“Tell me about him. What does he look like?”

“Oh, he might look very much like you.”

“How dear of you to say that! Well, what is it that he does that I don’t do? Just say the word,—teetotal, vegetarian, aeronaut, theosophist, superman. I’ll have a try at it, Gladys, if you will only give me an idea what would please you.”