Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Vocabulary lesson

Today's vocabulary word is:

Rondeur~French rondeur, roundness, from Old French, from ronde, round; see round.

ron·dure~ Anglicized version of the above. n. A circular or gracefully rounded object.

Rond (French-round).
-Used to describe wines which are harmonious, full and supple. According to one French wine writer, the rondeur of a great wine only appears after eight to ten years, whereas the time for ordinary wines is after their second year.

Rondeau (s.), Rondeaux (pl.) Well-established by the 13th-century, in the 14th- and 15th-centuries, the most enduring of the formes fixes, popular with the troubadours, characterised as a song with a refrain. The rondel and virelai are two types of rondeaux and are thought to have been dances. See formes fixes; Rondeau; (French) rondo

I came across this word while reading Kushiel's Scion by Jacqueline Carey. Ms. Carey uses it in reference to the mother of one of the female characters. For me, though, rondeur implied more than a motherly or matronly figure, it also implies a sense of lushness and sensuality. TheFrench dictionaries I have say that rondeur can also mean simply obesity depending on context.

Intrigued, I hunted up a few other definitons. One refers to wines, the other to medieval dance and music forms.


Kate R said...

ha, and I thought rondeur was some kind of platter of food.

OT: Since you read Wodehouse--did you ever read To Say Nothing of the Dog?

Bookwormom said...

Hi Kate- Can't say I've ever come across that one, TBH. Is it a Psmith? Or a duffer story? One of the schoolboy series??