13 June 2009

The Dictionary Game... revisited

One of my favorite memories of my days (years) in Spain was dinners with friends, and one of my favorite memories of those dinners was playing The Dictionary Game, always played at the home of a dear Argentinian friend. When the gossip and the wine
dried up, but the coffee and the dry wit were still going strong, the dinner table became a lively battlefield of outwitting each other. The guests were generally an eclectic mix of other Argentinians, Spaniards and... "non-native" speakers. We in the non-native group had to scramble to keep up with the rest. My goal was not so much writing a convincing definition for a fake word that everyone would vote for, so much as writing something that would not be laughed at for its language errors.

Lately I have been intrigued by the word verfication words in the comment section of blogs. They used to be hopeless mixes of mostly consonants that were annoying to key in, such as gxlzzyrkj, but recently blogspot has started using verification words that... kind of look as if they could be real words. So here is your challenge: One of the words below and its definition is real. The rest are "word verfication" words with my fake definitions. Which one is the real word?

doremitt: silicone oven mitt named after French chef Jean Doré

calrattan: original and/or alternate name of rattan furniture made from the tough stems of climbing palms from the genus calamus

conaling: rapid conoid movement employed in glass blowing to produce perfect cone-shaped vessels for wine and champagne glasses

sfumato: the subtle gradation of color used to blur the contours of a form in painting

sunshe: Chinese beach parasol consisting of a double-mounted umbrella with expandable widths, its name being taken from the English "sun shade."

Spoiler Alert: The answer is now in the comment section.