There's a story he tells, about helping our father with the preparations for a backyard party. They were hosing off the lawn furniture. My dad (an engineer) turned off the spigot at the wall of the house. Dale was still holding the hose, but not spraying anything. Dad called out,"Okay, Dale, depress the nozzle and release the residual!"
"I knew what he meant, but I just couldn't resist," Dale recalls. "I called out, 'but Dad! There's water in this hose!'"
Image from page 208 of "New Bedford, Massachusetts:
Yesterday, Dale sent an email to the family about his word of the day: epergne.
According to the Merriam-Webster online dictionary (see citation below,) it's from the French word for saving: épargne. Epergne refers to "an often ornate tiered centerpiece consisting typically of a frame of wrought metal (as silver or gold) bearing dishes, vases, or candle holders or a combination of these."
Image from page 37 of "Examples of household taste"
I don't know how Dale came across that word. Maybe I'll ask him, next time I see him. In the meantime, I found some lovely images of epergnes on Flickr.com.
Tea sandwiches on an Epergne, from Jan's photostream on Flickr.com.
The Silver Epergne on opening night,