I came across a word which not only was new to me but was so new that I couldn’t guess what it meant. it was describing someone and called them a picaroon; was this positive or negative? I had no idea. I was reminded of other words ending with ‘oon’ – macaroon, maroon, racoon, typhoon… but the word is from the Spanish and actually means a rogue, thief, adventurer – particularly in the pirate sense.
There are an amazing number of words ending in ‘oon’, actually, not counting those 4-letter ones like soon and boon, or 5-letter ones like spoon… in fact as far as I can find out there are more than seventy! here is a tiny sample:
- gombroon – white pottery
- bradoon – a small ringed snaffle
- madzoon – Caspian sea yoghurt
- godroon – a rounded moulding
- matzoon – same as madzoon
- dahoon – an evergreen shrub
- gaboon – a viper
- ratoon – a new shoot
If by some chance, any of these unusual words should crop up in the quiz, then I hope I remember what they mean!!
And here are four contrabassoons: