Friday, September 21, 2012


Meaning: having crennelles (embrasures* - the notches in a castle's battlement); stretched poetically to describe anything notched, or even vaguely jagged (e.g. mountains, skylines). Only very slightly different to crenulated, a botanical term meaning notched or scalloped (i.e. the same thing, but of plants rather than castles).

Usefulness: 2 (depending on how often you visit castles, or require overly poetic terms for such things: "As you can see, the graph of last quarter's returns is unfortunately crenellated.")

Logofascination: 1 (possibly influenced by an overly romantic view of castle life)

In the wild: In far too many fantasy novels, and a New Yorker cartoon.

Degrees: 3

Connections: crenellated - crenel - kernel (an obsolete second definition of kernel, meaning crenelle or embrasure)

Which is used inThe Jewel (Ekskybalauron). Sir Thomas uses it metaphorically as he discusses the limitations of existing languages. 
"Even so, though these languages may be refined by some quaint derivatives and witty compositions, like the striking forth of new lights and doors, outjetting of kernels, erecting of prickets, barbicans and such like various structures upon one and the same foundation, yet being limited to a certain basis, beyond which the versed in them must not pass, they cannot roam at such random as otherwise they might, had their language been of a larger scope at first."

*Wiktionary's definition of embrasures is refreshingly circular, yet still helpful:
embrasure: (architecture, military) Any of the indentations between the merlons of a battlement.
merlon: (architecture, military) Any of the projections between the embrasures of a battlement.

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