stormy petrel

Pronounced: STOR-mee PEH-truhl, noun

Notes: I ran across this phrase in Sherlock Holmes. I knew the meaning from the context, but reading the definition gave me a surprise — there was a second meaning of which I was unaware. Do you know this phrase?

Yesterday’s word

The word pluvial means

  • of or relating to rain
  • characterized by abundant rain
  • (in geology) resulting from the action of rain
Background

In the early 1600s, clerics began wearing long cloaks known as pluvials for protection against the rain during processions. The word came from the Latin word for ‘rain’ — pluvia. By the mid-1600s, pluvial was used as an adjective meaning ‘or or related to rain’. The geological usage came into being in the 1800s; for example, ‘pluvial lakes’ (a lake formed by rain).

First usage

The word first showed up in the early 1600s.

Published by Richard

Christian, lover-of-knowledge, Texan, and other things.

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