castanets ˌka-stə-ˈnets noun
: a percussion instrument consisting of a pair of hollow pieces of wood or bone (usually held between the thumb and fingers) that are made to click together (as by Spanish dancers) in rhythm with the dance
The word castanets has appeared in six articles on NYTimes.com in the past year, including on Jan. 26 in the Opinion essay “A Seed in Darkest Winter” by Margaret Renkl:
NASHVILLE — For most of my adult life, I wore a red coat when the weather got cold. It started when I was 22 and searching for new outerwear during my first winter in Philadelphia. (It turned out to be my only winter in Philadelphia.) I kept being drawn to a bright red peacoat in a mail-order catalog. Perhaps it reminded me of home in Alabama, the color of the ubiquitous cardinals perched among green pine needles.
…. For decades afterward, I stuck with that red-coat cure for the wintertime blues, but four years ago the zipper broke on my latest red coat, and I couldn’t find a replacement I liked. Turns out it didn’t matter. Somewhere along the way I had stopped hating winter. I fell in love with the way the peeling bark and bare limbs of the sycamore reveal a ghost tree reaching for the sky, and the way the faded beech leaves cling to their branches and rustle in the wind like castanets. A shivering beech tree in a damp winter forest gives off its own light in the same way that dogwood blossoms in springtime look like tiny ground-borne suns.