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.