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I'm cock-a-hoop about streaming Downton Abbey!

This summer I watched all six seasons of Downton Abbey. What took me so long, right, as to some of you this show is probably old news. I really enjoyed it, and now I see what all the hype was about!

What I especially enjoyed was learning new vocabulary. In each episode, there was a word used I hadn’t heard of before. I didn’t start writing down some of the unfamiliar words until half-way through watching, and I loved looking up each one.

Downton Abbey building with reflection

I turned on closed captioning for every episode so I could learn the character names better and so I also wouldn’t miss anything, in case I couldn’t occasionally understand the lovely British accent. I also wanted to see spellings and names of places. As a copyeditor, I read a lot, so it’s not hard to get used to closed captioning.

I also look up words often anyway. A good copyeditor reads often, and a better one looks to improve their knowledge in any way they can.

Merriam-Webster has an article, “7 Downton Abbey Terms Americans Are Not Familiar With,” but I have 14 more (two of mine are listed in the article – 15 and 16).

What do you think of these fun words?

  1. Heaven forfend = like “heaven forbid”

  2. Charlady = a cleaning woman

  3. Prolix = marked by or using an excess of words

  4. Parure = a matched set of ornaments (such as jewelry)

  5. Inveigled = to acquire by flattery, win over, entice

  6. Pernicious anemia = first known use in 1874; a severe megaloblastic anemia

  7. Toffs = chiefly British, disparaging, means dandy, swell. “The toffs were everywhere to be seen on opening day at Ascot.”

  8. Blub = blubber

  9. Cock-a-hoop = triumphantly pleased, boastful

  10. Ha’porth = half penny worth

  11. Ha’penny = half penny

  12. Volte-face = a reversal in policy; about-face

  13. Bally = used instead of a rude word such as “bloody” to express anger with someone. “I bally well hope he won’t be late.”

  14. Probity = adherence to the highest principles

  15. Marquess = a member of the British peerage ranking below a duke and above an earl

  16. Marchioness = wife or widow of a marquess

I used Merriam-Webster to look up most everything, but I also used Onelook, which searches all online dictionaries at once. Definitely bookmark Onelook!

If you also like looking up words, you might enjoy this article about key dictionaries and the differences among them.

I'll miss watching Downton Abbey, but I'll still be looking up words every day. Heaven forfend if I stop doing that.

Say it with Steele, x C