Words: zemblanity, n.

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The Independent Culture
ALTHOUGH THE novelist William Boyd did not long have the world believe that the artist Nat Tate existed, he has hopes of bringing a fugitive word recognition.

A section of Armadillo, by Boyd, meditates upon Horace Walpole's coining of "serendipity", from a cheerful fairy-tale whose title includes an earlier name for Ceylon. "What is the opposite of that happy and lush land Serendip?" asks Boyd. "The far north, barren, ice-bound, cold, a world of flint and stone. Call it Zembla. Ergo: zemblanity."

Zembla is in arctic Russia, and, according to the OED, last made an appearance in Shee's Rhyme's Art. "But it's also in Pope and Nabokov," says Boyd with a casual erudition sure to tantalise those who are labouring upon the third edition of that magisterial work, the OED.

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