Word of the Week 1: Yokelry
Welcome to my debut post of Wednesday Word of the Week, a hump-day cyber celebration of skillful and felicitous word choice selected from my current reading.
This week’s word comes from Bring the Jubilee, Ward Moore’s 1953 alternative history in which the Confederacy won the “War of Southron Independence” after the surrender of the United States of America in 1864.
The year is 1940. Barbara, a brilliant beautiful physicist, cold-hearted cynic, and emotionally volatile polyandrist, has Hodge, the country rube of a protagonist and budding historian, in her grip. When Hodge questions the viability of Barbara’s scheme to translate matter-energy into terms of space-time, thus making time travel possible, Barbara strikes back with a typically brittle and demeaning observation:
“Thank you. It’s always nice to know one has amused the yokelry.”
Ouch! Kudos to the author, Ward Moore. I had not read him before but reveled in the power of his Dickension vision of a defeated and impoverished United States in mid-twentieth century.
I invite other examples of a particularly adept use of “yokel” or “yokelry,” or other words like it. Have you encountered a use of a word or phrase that has stopped you in your reading tracks this week? If so, consider sharing it here.