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Today’s CoBloWriMo prompt is vocabulary, which in my case usually means blue, NSFW, or unprintable in the New York Times according to their Style Guide, (but now OK in the New Yorker, thank you Tina Brown).

Captain Haddock proclivities aside, I find myself trying to remember to use period-correct terms as I work, which means trying to figure out what the terms mean. It isn’t always easy, but there are number of printed and online sources.

Here, for example, is the Robe de Marcelline fashion plate I’ve been obsessed with since at least 2011, when Sabine made hers. I finally tracked down some dark green gingham fabric in Framingham, but, d’oh! It’s cotton and not marcel(l)ine.

Google Books provides many useful lookups, through dictionaries and, best of all at the moment, The Dictionary of Fashion History, which helpfully illuminates marceline as “a brilliant but slight kind of sarcenet.” That helps narrow down “lining fabric for women’s clothes,” and confirms that this is a lightweight, probably plain weave, silk.

That doesn’t solve my fabric issue, but given that I am still lack full-time work outside the house, Imma stick with my remnant table cotton. But at least I know what I *should* be using, and have expanded my vocabulary along the way.