From the Archives to Hardy

04 Dec

I just love it when words from past novels come back to greet us and I a) notice that we’ve had the word before, and 2) remember what it means.

In honor of this occurrence I’m rerunning this little CWOTD post from Crime and Punishment.  In ROTN, besoms come into play when we meet the civil minded Olly Dowden.  She’s a besom maker.  According to my glossary, her besoms would have been made of heather and birch.  That sounds like the loveliest broom ever.  Please put one on my Christmas list.

besom – n.  a broom made of a bundle of twigs tied together

Classical Usage:  Nastasya, the cook and cleaning girl for Raskolnikov’s room, and I have similar sweeping ethics, . . . only once a week, just by accident, she would sometimes take a besom to it.

Classically Mad Usage:  I may not be using this word with any regularity right now, but you can bet in two years it should become a staple in the house.  You see, I enjoy the Summer Olympics, but I really, really enjoy the Winter Olympics.  In particular, I love watching the curlers strategically use their besoms to gain a win.

1 Comment

Posted by on December 4, 2012 in Anna Karenina, Crime and Punishment


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One response to “From the Archives to Hardy

  1. Christine

    December 7, 2012 at 4:10 pm

    It was kind of you not to mention that I was the delinquent WEMer who couldn’t remember what a besom was and prompted this reposting. (my kindle didn’t know either). I can imagine how my little hut on the heath would smell after being swept with a heather besom. Ahhh


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