words I ran across a couple new-to-me words this week. They’re both from The Mystery of Alligator Swamp (Boxcar Children Special # 19) created by Gertrude Chandler Warner.

pirogue– in its simplest form, a dugout made from one log, but also a number of more elaborately fashioned boats, including various native canoes, the structure and appearance of which generally resemble those of a dugout. The pirogue is widely distributed and may be found as a fishing vessel in the Gulf of Mexico; as a shallow-draft boat that is used to maneuver through the Louisiana swamplands; and as a boat used by the Indians of Guyana.

“It’s Billie’s old pirogue,” he said. “The one made out of the hollow cypress log.”

leucistic– a condition characterized by reduced pigmentation in animals. Unlike albinism, it is caused by a reduction in all types of skin pigment, not just melanin.

“Marshmallow’s not an albino,” Eve explained. “She’s a . . . leucistic alligator, like the ones in the zoo in New Orleans.”

Play along at Bermudaonion’s Weblog.