I Learned A Word!

It’s always good to discover a word for something you know about but have always had to describe in the past, for want of knowing its name.

While working on the third draft of The Wound of Words, I discovered the word girandole. A girandole is a sort of decorative multi-branched candleholding apparatus, frequently wall-mounted rather than ceiling mounted (as with chandeliers), and sometimes backed with mirror for extra light-shedding and sparkliness.

Louis XV Giltwood Mirrored Girandoles

But wait! there’s more. It turns out that the word girandole can also refer to a kind of firework that turns as it goes, or a piece of jewellery that has three smaller pieces hanging from it.

In the usual manner of English words, it comes from French from Italian from Latin from Greek – the words further upstream having to do with circles and turning. Quite how the jewellery and candle-holder aspects fit with the circle/turning aspect, I have no idea, but Language Be Like That Sometimes.

Learned any good words lately?

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