Broadening my vocabulary

Would I describe him as uxorious? mmmm. I had to think. I read the sentence again and even in the context, I had a hard time coming up with an answer.

That’s one of the many joys of reading. I’m currently on Book 10 of a 17-book series by Roy Lewis featuring cop-turned-lawyer-turned-part-time-merchant-banker Eric Ward. While still a copper, Ward developed glaucoma. [I had no idea how serious that can be.] Knowing his days in the force were numbered, he goes and qualifies as a solicitor. More things happen and next thing you know, he’s on the board of a merchant bank in London with a reputation for being of an investigative mind.

The books are mostly set in Newcastle, a part of England I’d love to visit. I quite like my Geordies. His involvement in maritime matters gives insights into the days when Teesside and Tyneside were bustling ports. I’m learning Tyneside English, a variation of this wonderful language spoken in Newcastle upon Tyne and am struggling with the pronunciation of ‘knaa’ – ah or ay?

But back to uxorious. This is one of the many words I’ve either never come across before or have never registered their meaning.

  1. having or showing a great or excessive fondness for one’s wife.
    “he had always impressed me as home-loving and uxorious

Another one was fillip. I got that from the context but again, it’s a word I’d not met.

  1. something which acts as a stimulus or boost to an activity.
    “the halving of car tax would provide a fillip to sales”

My favourite so far has been termagant. That’s one I’m waiting to use, as in ‘she’s a right termagant!’

  1. a harsh-tempered or overbearing woman

Lewis is now 88. I’m not sure if he’s still writing but with more than 60 books to his name, he’s had good innings. A lawyer himself, he taught Law for ten years after which he was appointed as one of Her Majesty’s Inspectors of Further & Higher Education. And his three kids are lawyers, too. He writes about what he knows and has given me hours of enjoyment, not to mention doing what he can to broaden my vocabulary.

The bulk of the series is available in two box sets – 1-7 and 8-14. Kindle editions are currently $2.99 and $0.99, respectively. Silly money.

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