Weird Word Wednesday, First Installment

Example of a chamfer.

Reading ceramics literature has brought to my attention several new and comical words–so, for our mutual benefit, I (and dictionary.com) will here define them, and use them in everyday sentences.

Chamfer

noun–a cut that is made in wood or some other material, usually at a 45° angle to the adjacent principal faces.  (Basically a bevel. Used in pottery to give a pot some visual “lift”, among other things, and to minimize the unglazed foot of the pot.)

verb–to make a chamfer on or in.

“I finish my teapots with a chamfer instead of a flourish.”

Swarf

noun–an accumulation of fine particles of metal or abrasive cut or ground from work by a machine tool or grinder.  (In my world, it is the annoying raggedy bits of clay that remain after I’ve punched holes for the strainer in a teapot.)

“Just sweep that swarf under the rug–he never notices.”

Thixotropy (aforementioned in this post)

noun–the property exhibited by certain gels of becoming liquid when stirred or shaken.  (Porcelain is thixotropic, which for practical purposes means it gets softer as you work with it.)

“Riding that roller coaster must have made him thixotropic, because he ran to the bathroom right afterwards.”

Blunge

verb (used with object)–to mix (clay or the like) with water, so as to form a liquid suspension.  Amalgamation of blend and plunge.  (When I found this word, it was referring to the practice of mixing glazes for pottery, using this sweet-awesome drill attachment that is about 2 feet long and could probably mangle your arm up to the elbow if you made the wrong move.)

“Susie, make sure to blunge that muffin batter really well!”

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I am convinced that knowing more weird words makes you smarter, cooler, and more attractive.  Memorize these and try them out on your friends–you will thank me later.

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