The obscure word of the week is refulgent

This week’s obscure English word is refulgent.

It’s a word used by Edward E. ‘Doc’ Smith in his 1930s deco-punk space operas. For instance, in Spacehounds of IPC he wrote: ‘from the bright liquid of the girdling moat there shot vertically upward a coruscantly refulgent band of intense yellow luminescence.’

The problem is that ‘coruscant’ and ‘refulgent’ both mean the same thing – ‘luminescent’. Although, to give Smith his due, ‘coruscant’ also implies ‘sparkling’. In short, Smith’s prose actually reads: ‘from the bright liquid of the surrounding moat there shot vertically upward a luminescent sparkling bright luminescent band of intense luminescence’. Note that it went vertically up, as opposed (I guess) to vertically sideways, or at an angle of 3.2 degrees or something.

Your challenge: write a sentence or two in the comments using this word.

Copyright © Matthew Wright 2020

4 thoughts on “The obscure word of the week is refulgent

    1. He was definitely on the purpler side of the prose spectrum! Why use one adjective when you can have three? Another of his favourites was ‘ravening’, which I am tackling this Saturday because he used it to describe the behaviour of that classic deco-era sci-fi weapon, the ‘ray’ – I have a post coming up about ‘ray guns’.

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    2. Can’t see a way to just like a comment, so I’ll just have to say that I enjoyed the way you used refulgent there – it made me smile.

      I’d be embarrassed now to to try and use the word in a sentence myself now, so I’m going to be cheeky and say that technically I have just used it in the previous sentence.

      Excellent post by the way Matthew. Most enjoyable.

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