a gap or missing part, as in a manuscript, series, or logical argument; hiatus.
In Latin lacūna means “ditch, pit, gap, deficiency, hole, hole where water collects.” Modern French lagune “lagoon,” Italian laguna “lagoon,” and Spanish laguna “lagoon, gap” are obvious developments from lacūna. Lacūna in turn is a derivative of lacus “basin, tub, cistern, pond, lake,” the source (through Old French) of English lake. Latin lacus is also related to Scots Gaelic and Irish loch. Lacuna entered English in the 17th century.
I hardly know what to say after that, for there is a lacuna in the story, a line of verse missing from the elegy.
Attending to the mundane and the momentous, they punch in on the dark side of the clock, bridging the quiet lacuna between rush hours.
a hodgepodge; jumble; confused medley.
Gallimaufry is an unusual but delightful word for “a hodgepodge; jumble; confused medley.” It was borrowed into English in the mid-1500s from Middle French galimafree, a kind of stew or hash, apparently concocted from a mishmash of ingredients. Galimafree may be its own etymological jumble, probably a conflation of French galer “to amuse oneself” and Picard mafrer (Picard is a language spoken in northern France) “to gorge oneself.” Like gallimaufry, other terms for a “confused medley” originally named food items composed of a mix of ingredients, including farrago, hodgepodge, and potpourri.
Luncheons at Retta’s home were ridiculous affairs … There would be a gallimaufry of ices and trifles and toasts ….
Yet this gallimaufry of satire, real history, fake history, and score-settling … never loses that relentless, fatiguing quality that is the hallmark of all books written out of an obsession.
something for which a person is responsible; duty.
Devoir “something for which a person is responsible; duty” is an archaic word commonly found in the construction to do one’s devoir, as in, “She did her devoir as queen to ensure peace in the kingdom.” While its spelling and pronunciation have varied since it was recorded in Middle English (by the 1300s), devoir is ultimately from Old French devoir, from Latin dēbēre “to owe,” source of English debt. Devoir also appeared in the Middle English phrase putten in devoir “to make an effort, assume responsibility.” This phrase produced the verb endeveren, which became endeavor.
Mightily he strove to do his devoir in the field, for the fairer service and honour of his lord.