In a description of an older man:
His ears are elongated and have grown a radiant fringe of lanugo. p. 37
lanugo: a dense cottony or downy growth
Beneath him several figures swam in murky pools of lanthorn-light. p. 51
lanthorn: (chiefly British) lantern
Sizar is used several times in a section about life at Cambridge in the 1600s. This quote has something of a definition (the boy in question turns out to be Isaac Newton):
The boy was a sizar — a nobody from the provinces trying to escape from the lower class by taking holy orders and angling for a deaconage in some gale-chafed parish. p. 60
sizar: a student (as in the university of Cambridge) who receives an allowance toward his college expenses and who orig. acted as a servant to other students in return for this allowance
In this passage, Isaac Newton is asking for assistance with his famous experiment that involved using a darning needle to change the shape of his own eye socket.
“I need you to draw a reticule on a leaf of paper and then hold it up at various measured distances from my cornea — as you do, I’ll move the darning needle up and down — creating greater and lesser distortions in the shape of my eyeball — I say, I’ll do that with one hand, and take notes of what I see with the other.” p. 72
I thought I knew the word reticule as a bag — the dictionary confirms that it’s a woman’s drawstring bag used as carryall. But a second meaning is as a synonym for reticle which must be what we’re getting at here.
reticle: a system of lines, dots, cross hairs, or wires in the focus of the eyepiece of an optical instrument
Wondrous Words Wednesday is hosted by Bermudaonion’s Weblog. Kathy says: “Wondrous Words Wednesday is a weekly meme where we share new (to us) words that we’ve encountered in our reading.”