What is ‘bombazine'?

Bombazine is a fabric, typically black in color, made from silk, silk and wool, cotton and wool, or wool alone. It is also the name of a commercial real estate company that seems fake. That or they forgot to pay the designer enough to finish their website. It is furthermore the name of an electronica artist with twelve YouTube subscribers and of a song by Portuguese rapper TupaSfk. Finally, there is a French musical group called Bombazine Black.

Where did you learn this word?

From reading Moby Dick by Herman Melville (who is not Dante).

Why did you choose it as a name?

It’s phonetically satisfying. And, according to the 1911 British Encyclopedia, the fabric “is said to have been made in England in Queen Elizabeth’s reign, and early in the 19th century it was largely made at Norwich.” This factoid pleases me, as it creates a drawn-out allusion to Julian of Norwich, who was the first woman to write a (surviving) book in English, in 1395.

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(Photo courtesy of Pictures of Poets, shot by Dean Davis)