The Quaint Enlightening

Post EG



1. Picturesque
2. Scenic woodland.

‘The drab buildings creating a concrete jungle were once a boscaresque painting of supreme green beauty.’

A very rare word. Strange and unusual. We don’t know a great deal about this word. Several poets used it, sparingly, once or twice. But beyond those classic days, the word just… vanished. Even the definition became convoluted. Whilst it’s commonly believed to mean ‘picturesque’, a more precise definition would be ‘scenic woodland’. But, somehow, we ended up with both. Don’t know how that happened. So here it is. A brilliantly odd little word that you can use, in the spirit of the poets, now and again, to confound and puzzle those not in this little secret circle. It’s that kind of marvellous word.

The word is a combination of the word picturesque, “visually vivid and pleasing”, and bosky, “covered with bushes”, suggesting the original author was going for the pleasing woodland angle. It’s a lovely old word.

Boscaresque. Picturesque; scenic woodland.



An enlightening explanation of something that has hitherto been obscure or inexplicable.

‘But after her courage failed, or some other sentiment impeded her seeking an éclaircissement’, Rob Roy [XVI] (1817), Walter Scott.

Dear France, stop shouting at me. I failed in my attempts to learn your language and Google often doesn’t seem to acknowledge you exist. So, I have no natural clue as to how to pronounce this grand word and Google won’t seem to give me one either, something I often encounter with French words. I sincerely apologise. French is a very hard language to grasp so in the phonetically spelt section underneath the word, I have had to guess. If it’s wrong, sorry, feel free to correct me, please don’t start a verbal war. Although if history is anything to go by, you wouldn’t win it in any case…

It’s a thing that might sound a bit ‘out-there’ for us commoners, but actually, it’s quite an everyday thing. When something you just can’t understand suddenly ‘clicks’. Something is suddenly made clear. Or something that didn’t make sense is suddenly made clear. Or when you piece something together and some puzzle suddenly becomes clear. A sudden enlightening explanation of something previously obscure. Brilliant, huh?

It comes from the French éclaircir, meaning, “clear up”.

Éclaircissement. An enlightening explanation of something that has hitherto been obscure or inexplicable.


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Please feel free check out the latest posts from my other two blogs:

The Indelible Life of Me
New Post Every Sunday
Click Here to Read the Latest Post

To Contrive & Jive
New Post Every Monday, Wednesday and Friday
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