Tuesday, January 7, 2014

nonpareil



nonpareil [nɒnpəˈrɛl] a.

1.) Having no equal; unequalled, peerless.

nonpareil [nɒnpəˈrɛl] n.

1.) A person or thing having no equal; something unique.
2.) Printing. A size of type intermediate between emerald and ruby (in America, between minion and agate).
3.) A kind of comfit.
4.) A kind of apple.
5.) A small beautifully coloured finch of the southern United States, Cyanospiza (Emberiza) ciris.
6.) The rose parrakeet, Platycerus eximius.
7.) A kind of wheat.
8.) A name for several beautiful moths (O.E.D. 2nd Ed.).

Etymology: Middle English nounparalle, from Old French nonpareil: non- + pareil, equal (from Vulgar Latin pariculus, diminutive of Latin par, equal.

"For Whom, intoned, toneless, zombily stoned; and the little For Whom jingle—J.D. Steelritter has an ear nonpareil for jingles—has stuck and sunk through that sleep-deprived ear and is there, rattling, unfindable-penny-in-drier-like, in the head of J.D. Steelritter, a head that is fine, perfectly round, freckled of brow, scimitarred of nose, generous and wet of lower lip, quick to center on anything oral" ("Westward the Course of Empire Takes Its Way," David Foster Wallace, 1989).


(Helen of Troy, Edward Poynter, 1881)

3 comments:

Bibi said...

Such a sad sad painting. Makes me weep, almost. She looks so terribly distraught. Put it away, it makes me feel depressed.

"Nonpareil" sounds like a word my grandma would use. But she didn't speak Dutch very regularly until well in her teens so yeah, there's that. She wouldn't use it to describe parakeets, apples or wheat though. How can one word mean so many things?!

Debra She Who Seeks said...

Nice to see you back in the blogosphere!

Evi @ sexta-feira said...

Hello Mr. -E-,

Thank you for your visit over to my blog. I changed my header picture in October and apparently that little typo, the extra l, has been there for almost 3 months. I'm mortified. I wonder why I or anyone else didn't notice it. Thank you so much for pointing it out. I've been trying to fix it, but the new picture doesn't fit despite all the resizing. Until I find a new one that has the right dimensions, the typo will stay. (Shhh, please don't tell anyone!)

p.s: You should post more often.

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