Wednesday Wordage – Nacreous


Say: náykree əss

I actually encountered this word whilst reading the book I just reviewed in my last post called Mirror Sight. Essentially, the word describes the iridescent quality and or colour that is typical of mother of pearl. It was actually used to describe a characters eyes, and despite it describing something quite nice, Kristen Britain uses the word to make a character seem more malicious, maybe due the way it rolls off the tongue.

It’s first known use was circa 1828.

Some synonyms include: iridescent, opalescent and pearlescent.

So how has it been used..?

Nacreous  pearl light swam faintly about the hem of the lilac darkness; the edges of light and darkness were stitched upon the hills.

Thomas Wolfe, Look Homeward Angel

For the first time in his life Stephen found that he and Rubens were of one mind, particularly as their generous decolletes and their diaphanous gowns showed expanses of that nacreous  Rubens flesh that had so puzzled him before.

Patrick O’Brian, The nutmeg of consolation

One thought on “Wednesday Wordage – Nacreous

  1. Oooh, thanks for teaching me something new! 😊 I have to say that “opalescent” sounds so much prettier though… 😛 Also, just from that small excerpt, I’m thinking “The Nutmeg of Consolation” probably has a lot of vocabulary-expanding wordage in it. Diaphanous? *goes to find a dictionary* 😊

    Liked by 1 person

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