Eva looked about her at the other clients: the businessmen, the lawyers, the politicians, she supposed eating, smoking, drinking, talking and at the elderly waiters bustling importantly to and fro with the orders and she realised she was the only woman in the room. It was a Wednesday: perhaps Belgian women didn’t go out to eat until the weekend, she suggested to Morris who was summoning the sommelier.
Who knows? But your refulgent femininity more than compensates for the preponderance of males, my dear.
Restless by William Boyd, paperback edition, p. 74.
Two words interested me in this passage: "sommelier", because I’ve always wondered why it doesn’t appear to bear any etymological relation to wine, and "refulgent", because I’d never come across it before.
A restaurant employee who orders and maintains the wines sold in the restaurant and usually has extensive knowledge about wine and food pairings.
From Old French, officer in charge of provisions, pack-animal driver, alteration of sommerier, beast of burden driver, from sommier, beast of burden.
Interesting, isn’t it?
Shining brightly; radiant.
Origin: 150010; < L refulgere to radiate light.