WORD LISTS

"Stardust" by Neil Gaiman, Chapters 1–2

May 8, 2019
In this fantasy novel, Tristan Thorne ventures into the land of Faerie to find a fallen star for his beloved.

Here are links to our lists for the novel: Chapters 1–2, Chapters 3–4, Chapters 5–6, Chapters 7–8, Chapter 9–Epilogue

Here are links to our lists for other books by Neil Gaiman: American Gods, Coraline, The Graveyard Book
taciturn
The inhabitants of Wall are a taciturn breed, falling into two distinct types: the native Wall-folk, as grey and tall and stocky as the granite outcrop their town was built upon; and the others, who have made Wall their home over the years, and their descendants.
placid
Below Wall on the west is the forest; to the south is a treacherously placid lake served by the streams that drop from the hills behind Wall to the north.
cudgel
Even today, two townsmen stand on either side of the opening, night and day, taking eight-hour shifts. They carry hefty wooden cudgels.
transpire
The events that follow transpired many years ago.
upbraid
Queen Victoria was on the throne of England, but she was not yet the black-clad widow of Windsor: she had apples in her cheeks and a spring in her step, and Lord Melbourne often had cause to upbraid, gently, the young queen for her flightiness.
flighty
Queen Victoria was on the throne of England, but she was not yet the black-clad widow of Windsor: she had apples in her cheeks and a spring in her step, and Lord Melbourne often had cause to upbraid, gently, the young queen for her flightiness.
disdainfully
Had you mentioned magic or Faerie to any of them, they would have smiled at you disdainfully, except, perhaps for Mr. Dickens, at the time a young man, and beardless.
wistfully
He would have looked at you wistfully.
warren
Mr. Bromios's inn, the Seventh Magpie, normally a warren of empty rooms, had filled a week earlier, and now the strangers had begun to take rooms in the farms and private houses, paying for their lodgings with strange coins, with herbs and spices, and even with gemstones.
restive
The guards on the gate, at the sides of the wall, were restive and nervous.
endearment
"Why, whatever has he done to you, my sweet?" she asked, and mopped the mud from his face with her apron and called him all manner of endearments.
averse
And Daisy Hempstock would walk into her house, and remove her bonnet, and say, "I do so wish Mister Thorn would make up his mind to propose. I am sure Papa would not be averse to it."
thatch
It began to rain then, a gentle pattering on the thatch above them.
testy
"Oh, very well," said the tall gentleman, a trifle testily, "a miracle, a wonder. Tomorrow, you shall attain your Heart's Desire. Now, here is your money," and he took it from Dunstan's ear, with one easy gesture.
nostrum
"Swords of fortune! Wands of power! Rings of eternity! Cards of grace! Roll-up, roll-up, step this way!"
"Salves and ointments, philtres and nostrums!"
throng
Dunstan walked on, through the thronged market.
lugubrious
He passed a stall in which five huge men were dancing to the music of a lugubrious hurdy-gurdy being played by a mournful-looking black bear; he passed a stall where a balding man in a brightly colored kimono was smashing china plates and tossing them into a burning bowl from which colored smoke was pouring, all the while calling out to the passersby.
festoon
It was festooned with flowers: bluebells and foxgloves and harebells and daffodils, but also with violets and lilies, with tiny crimson dog-roses, pale snowdrops, blue forget-me-nots and a profusion of other flowers Dunstan could not name.
profusion
It was festooned with flowers: bluebells and foxgloves and harebells and daffodils, but also with violets and lilies, with tiny crimson dog-roses, pale snowdrops, blue forget-me-nots and a profusion of other flowers Dunstan could not name.
unwitting
"The chain? It binds me to the stall. I am the personal slave of the witch-woman who owns the stall. She caught me many years ago—as I played by the waterfalls in my father's lands, high in the mountains—luring me on and on in the form of a pretty frog always but a moment out of my reach, until I had left my father's lands, unwittingly, whereupon she resumed her true shape and popped me into a sack."
imprecation
"I no longer have a name. I am a slave, and the name I had was taken from me. I answer to 'hey, you!' or to 'girl!' or to 'foolish slattern!' or to many another imprecation."
chaste
"That I'll pay with goodwill!" said Dunstan, and with that he leaned across the stall, amid the twinkling jingling of the crystal flowers, and planted a chaste kiss on her soft cheek.
pine
...Tommy began to pine after the market himself, where even now (he rubbed his tender jaw) the lovely Bridget was undoubtedly being escorted by some huge and imposing gentleman with exotic clothes and a little monkey that chattered.
imposing
...Tommy began to pine after the market himself, where even now (he rubbed his tender jaw) the lovely Bridget was undoubtedly being escorted by some huge and imposing gentleman with exotic clothes and a little monkey that chattered.
tentatively
She said nothing. Dunstan pulled her toward him, wiping ineffectually at her face with his big hand; and then he leaned into her sobbing face and, tentatively, uncertain of whether or not he was doing the correct thing given the circumstances, he kissed her, full upon her burning lips.
moor
It was at the end of February, in lambing season, when the world was cold, and a bitter wind howled down the moors and through the leafless forest, when icy rains fell from the leaden skies in continual drizzling showers, at six in the evening, after the sun had set and the sky was dark, that a wicker basket was pushed through the space in the wall.
leaden
It was at the end of February, in lambing season, when the world was cold, and a bitter wind howled down the moors and through the leafless forest, when icy rains fell from the leaden skies in continual drizzling showers, at six in the evening, after the sun had set and the sky was dark, that a wicker basket was pushed through the space in the wall.
parchment
And there was, attached to the baby's blanket with a silver pin, a scrap of parchment, upon which was written in an elegant, if slightly archaic, handwriting the following words:
Tristran Thorn
archaic
And there was, attached to the baby's blanket with a silver pin, a scrap of parchment, upon which was written in an elegant, if slightly archaic, handwriting the following words:
Tristran Thorn
vermilion
Shortly afterward, the farm cat had three kittens: two black-and-white ones like herself, and a tiny kitten with a dusty blue sheen to her coat, and eyes that changed color depending on her mood, from green and gold to salmon, scarlet and vermilion.
goad
Louisa, his sister, would needle him about this as they walked to the village school in the morning, as she would goad him about so many other things: the shape of his ears, for example (the right ear was flat against his head, and almost pointed; the left one was not), and about the foolish things he said: once he told her that the tiny clouds, fluffy and white, that clustered across the horizon at sunset as they walked home from school, were sheep.
tutelage
The village school was a fine school, and under the tutelage of Mrs. Cherry, the schoolmistress, Tristran Thorn learned all about fractions, and longitude and latitude; he could ask in French for the pen of the gardener's aunt, indeed for the pen of his own aunt; he learned the kings and queens of England from William the Conqueror, 1066, to Victoria, 1837.
accede
Victoria Forester, however, was used to having her own way, and, if all else failed, or even if it did not, she would appeal to her father, and he would accede to her demands.
dapple
The afternoon sunlight dappled green and silver and gold through the leaves in the apple orchard.
opine
"Anyway," said Cecilia Hempstock, Louisa's cousin, "he has already been married. I would not wish to marry someone who had already been married. It would be," she opined, "like having someone else break in one's own pony."
sate
"That someone else would have removed the rough edges; broken him in, if you will. Also, I would imagine that by that age his lusts would long since have been sated, and abated, which would free one from a number of indignities."
abate
"That someone else would have removed the rough edges; broken him in, if you will. Also, I would imagine that by that age his lusts would long since have been sated, and abated, which would free one from a number of indignities."
blustery
It was a cold, blustery day in late October, of the kind that always seems about to rain but never actually does, and it was late in the afternoon.
gambit
Tristran read it to himself, looking for something about which he could begin to talk: a conversational gambit of some kind—any kind.
stave off
And then she smiled at him, and said, "Mother says that rice pudding in sufficient quantity will help to stave off chills and colds and other autumnal ailments."
myriad
They walked up Dyties Hill, not speaking; at the top of the hill they turned and saw beneath them the village of Wall, all gleaming candles and lamps glimmering through windows, warm yellow lights that beckoned and invited; and above them the lights of the myriad stars, which glittered and twinkled and blazed, chilly and distant and more numerous than the mind could encompass.
ford
"There is nothing I would not do for your kiss, no mountain I would not scale, no river I would not ford, no desert I would not cross."
grandiloquent
"For a kiss, and the pledge of your hand," said Tristran, grandiloquently, "I would bring you that fallen star."
mire
He stood up, unmindful of the mud and mire clinging to his knees and coat, and he bowed to her, and then he doffed his bowler hat.
doff
He stood up, unmindful of the mud and mire clinging to his knees and coat, and he bowed to her, and then he doffed his bowler hat.

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