10 words I liked

More than ten words on Dan Yack

I found these words in a book entitled Dan Yack, by Blaise Cendrars. The novel was published in 1927 and has been around the house for years. It is 144 pages and I picked it up for it’s length. I wanted a quick read over the weekend.

It was. I was quickly pulled into Dan Yack’s world. And some of that was accomplished via the words on the list below. I hope you like them.

As for the book itself, it would be dismissed by a lot folks today as it is not politically correct. Not even close. While there may be something to that, I found that the book was written without affectation or even a thought of having to defend it to anyone. Cendrars put something into every word in the novel and it is still there 100 years later. The world he builds is not one that is believable but he believes in every bit of it. That is all I, for one, am going to ask of any author.

The ten words


  • dottle – the plug of half smoked tobacco at the bottom of a pipe
  • flense – the strip the blubber or skin from a whale
  • ventricose – swollen, especially on one side
  • gimbal – a contrivance consisting of a base that allows something to tilt freely, such as a ship’s compass
  • arrack – distilled spirits from fermented palm sap
  • friable – easily crumbled or reduced to powder
  • scurf – the scales or small shreds of skin that are continually exfoliated from the skin
  • heteroclite – irregular or abnormal
  • automata – plural of automaton
  • matutinal – pertaining to or occurring early in the morning
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“This novel is not a work of intelligence, or even of the sensibilities, but one of brute instinct”- B.C from the dedication
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