When reading (or trying to read) a Macedonian book, I encountered a cool looking word, игроорец (igroorets; in the New Yorker's orthography, that could be transcribed igroörets). Looking it up in the dictionary, I saw that its meaning was just what I'd expected from the context, "Тој што добро игра во оро", i.e. "one who is good at dancing horo [a Balkan folk dance]". The word also exists in the Bulgarian spelling, игрохорец. (Macedonian frequently drops the h found at the beginning of Bulgarian words and word roots).
A web search confirmed that it's a real word, in fairly active use. Among the top search results was a 2008 article from the (now defunct) Macedonian Service of the BBC, Најстариот игроорец во Македонија (The oldest horo dancer in Macedonia), about one Dimitar Stanoevski (Димитар Станоевски) from the village called Dramche Delchevo (Драмче Делчево). At the time of writing, Dedo Dimitriya (Granddad Dimitar) said that he was 94 by his own account, even if other people said he was only 92. He had first organized a horo troupe in 1951, performing at numerous festivals in Yugoslavia and abroad, and taught many horo dancers over his career; at the time of the publication, his troupe only included 6 people.
In 1984, he had one of his kidneys transplanted to his daughter. He attributes his longevity to the clean air and milk of his village.
The article also taught me another cool word, ороводец (orovodets), "one who leads the horo", which can also be used figuratively.


More on Mears

I mentioned Lt. Arthur Mears, of Britain's Indian Army, who in 1898 published a small English-Russian / Russian-English military dictionary. For the curious, here is his biography, in The Cyclopedia of India (1908). By that time he was already a major - and he certainly had had an interesting service record! (Born in Madras, trained at Sandhurst, sent to study Russian in Russia, doing survey work in Burma...).

A genealogy site mentions that apparently the same Arthur Mears died in 1941 in England. So he well may have served in WWI in his late 40s, and lived into the early years of WWII.


Ahead of its day

From the OUP blog, thanks to Language Hat:
One of these [dictionary proposals] ... was decidedly for a niche market. “A Russian-English and English-Russian Military Vocabulary” was proposed in 1896 by a Lieutenant A. Mears. .. [A]ccording to the files the proposal was declined “in the absence of any intimation that such a work would receive the patronage of the War Office”.

One can't help thinking that the War Office was rather myopic nixing Lt. Mears' proposal - just 8 years before the Russian-Japanese War (of considerable interest to British and American observers) and 18 years before the outbreak of WWI (which was to be followed, of course, by the British and US involvement in the Russian Civil War...). Frederick Gustavus Burnaby (1842-1885) (of the Ride to Khiva fame), had he been alive, probably would not have appreciated that!

UPDATE: Actually, it appears that Arthur Mears was successful with publishing his dictionary, after all! At least Google Books is aware of it: Arthur MEARS, English and Russian Military Vocabulary, London, 1898. 127 pages The text of the dictionary is not available for viewing on Google Books, but here's a contemporary one-page review by Arthur A. Sykes.

It is mentioned elsewhere that the cloth-bound volume, published by David Nutt, could be purchased for 5 shilling.