By John E. McIntyre
The Baltimore Sun
10:31 AM EDT, March 27, 2013
Each week The Sun's John McIntyre presents a relatively obscure but evocative word with which you may not be familiar, another brick to add to the wall of your working vocabulary. This week's word:
An excellent Inuit word for a game of fictionary, qiviut (pronounced KEE-vee-oot) is, the American Heritage Dictionary informs us, "the soft wool lying beneath the long coat of the muskox, valued for its use as a fiber."* Stump them with that.
Example: I first came across the word in a lovely poem by Marianne Moore, whose fondness for exotic words was matched by her fondness for exotic animals. In "The Arctic Ox (or Goat)" she writes:
"To wear the arctic fox / you have to kill it. Wear / qiviut--the underwool of the arctic ox-- / pulled off it like a sweater; / your coat is warm; your conscience, better.
"I would like a suit of / qiviut, so light I did not / know I had it on. ..."
*I am not making this up, you know.
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