Monday, February 25, 2013

Calefaction

Meaning: warming and heating, or being warmed and heated.

Usefulness: 1

Logofascination: 1 (Rabelais has the French ├ęchauffer, but Sir Thomas uses the English calefaction, which is from the same Latin root. Perhaps his coinages occurred where he felt he needed an equivalent to the French he was translating.)

In the wild: It's hard to go past the quote used in Wiktionary, from James Joyce's Ulysses:
What advantages were possessed by an occupied, as distinct from an unoccupied bed? The removal of nocturnal solitude, the superior quality of human (mature female) to inhuman (hotwaterjar) calefaction.
Try that as a pickup line: "James Joyce says that mature women are superior to hot water bottles."

Degrees: 1

Connections: n/a

Which is used in: G&P, Book the Third, LII: How a certain kind of Pantagruelion is of that nature that the fire is not able to consume it. Pantagruelion is a wonder-herb named after Pantagruel, as discussed previously in the Nenuphar post. Apparently as a test of this particular strain's fire resistance you could wrap some around an egg, and:
put it in the hot embers of a fire, how great or ardent soever it be, and having left it there as long as you will, you shall at last, at your taking it out of the fire, find the egg roasted hard, and as it were burnt, without any alteration, change, mutation, or so much as a calefaction of the sacred Pantagruelion.
This citation isn't in the OED for this work: I'll have to let them know.

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