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chartreuse (shahr-TROOZ, -TROOS) noun

1. A light, yellowish green.

2. An aromatic, usually yellow or green liqueur, originally made by Carthusian monks in Grenoble, France.


Having a light, yellowish green color.

[From French, after La Grande Chartreuse, the name of Carthusian monastery near Chartreuse mountain where this liqueur was first made.]

"Lost with the sun in a chartreuse wood, afflicted
by associations, flies, thirst, and by
a growing chill my clothes cannot keep out ..."
Eleanor Wilner, Reversing the Spell: New and Selected Poems, Feb 1998.

"I must have been 7 or 8, squatting on the summer-hot pavement with my sister, scrawling disappearing messages on the concrete with snapped leaves of an ice plant, when it occurred to me that people could agree on the name of a thing, in this case, a color -- the green of the translucent fluid that oozed from the leaf, which we determined was chartreuse -- while seeing it very differently. I understood that when my sister agreed on the name chartreuse, she might, in fact, be seeing what I call red or yellow or blue. I began to see language less as a bridge between people than as a threadbare rope tossed from one edge of a precipice to open hands at another."
Allison Hoover Bartlett, An Ear For Color; Exploring the Curious World of Synesthesia, Where Senses Merge in Mysterious Ways, The Washington Post, Jan 22, 2002.

This week's theme: toponyms, or words derived from names of places.


What is art but a way of seeing? -Thomas Berger, writer (1924- )

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