(VUR joos) noun
Verjuice, literally, is the sour juice of unripe fruits, especially crabapples and grapes. Figuratively, verjuice is sourness of temperament, disposition, or expression. It is the hallmark of a curmudgeon, itself an interesting word, generally described in dictionaries as of unknown origin though Samuel Johnson (the English lexicographer, 1709-1784) says in his Dictionary: “It is a vitious [the old spelling, based on Latin vitiosus] manner of pronouncing coeur méchant [ French for wicked heart ]. . .”
My example: Grapes of wrath make for vintage verjuice, don’t they, Mr. Reid?
From the book, “1000 Most Challenging Words” by Norman W. Schur, ©1987 by the Ballantine Reference Library, Random House. I post a weekly “Challenging Words” definition to call more attention to this delightful book and to promote interesting word usage in the blogosphere. I challenge other bloggers to work the current word into a post sometime in the coming week. If you manage to do so, please leave a comment or a link to where I can find it. Previous words in this series can be found under the appropriate Category heading in the right-hand sidebar.