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What new words has reading brought into your vocabulary and where did they come from?
I learned the word, "sublated" in Blood Meridian, by Cormac McCarthy. It refers to something which changes and stays the same all at once. Very existential!
I saw someone do this on a book blog that I was reading over the weekend. She had a link to all the new words that she was learning, their definition and the book that they came from. I thought it was a cool idea and have thought about adding that to my book blog as well.
I'll also keep an eye out for the new to me words to add here as well. =)
interlocutor - one who takes part in a conversation. Tolstoy uses it a LOT (at least his translators do). It's the one that springs to mind right now while I'm at work....
amanuensis - One who is employed to take dictation or to copy manuscript. (American Heritage Dictionary)
This word was used in Cloud Atlas. I find it odd that I read this over a year ago and yet this is the "new word" that immediately came to mind when I read this topic!
I finished Blood Meridian only a week or so ago but didn't notice this word ("sublated") even though I didn't (until post #2) know what it means. I must (I hope) have grasped the general sense of the sentence in which it occurred.
Edited to add the word "sublated" to make more sense in a post that appears way down the list
Fyrefly - I agree with Teelgee, GREAT list. I keep a list too, it's over 40 pdf pages, but we only share two words: lugubrious and exegesis. I'm going to have to take some time to merge your words into my list. (I'd provide a link to my list, but it's not on the web anywhere).
Have you read the Disheveled Dictionary, by Karen Elizabeth Gordon? Fabulous for quirky people who like words.
fyrefly- Could you offer some guidance regarding setting up the vocab list on the blog site? I tried but couldn't figure out how to do it.
Also, new vocabulary fromThe War of the End of The World by Mario Vargas Llosa:
caparison: to dress richly
kepi: a French military hat
caracole: a half turn executed by horse and rider
#12 Nickelini: I checked my local library's website to see if they had the Disheveled Dictionary. They did not have that one by Gordon, but they have one called The Deluxe Transitive Vampire: The Ultimate Handbook of Grammar for the Innocent, the Eager, and the Doomed that I will have to check out just because I love the title!
>13 hemlokgang: My Vocab page is just a combination of table and unordered list tags. The tutorial that I used for help with making HTML tables is here.
For the interested, the code for one row of the table looks like this:
<table border="1" cellpadding="0" width="80&" align="center">
<th align="center"><a title="A" name="A"></a>A</th>
My links always go back to the page on my blog of the book where I encountered the word, which has the sentence it came from and the definition. Hope that's helpful!
I was just reading this thread last night, and coincidentally got an email from a friend this morning about vocabulary. At www.freerice.com, they have a really simple (and easily addictive!) vocabulary game. It's kind of an online version of Reader's Digest's vocab. page, but this automatically adjusts your level based on your right/wrong answers. I thought this might be an interested group of players :-)
I've wasted a lot of...er, donated a lot of rice on that site! On thing I like about it is that you can play at any level, so my 9 year old and I both enjoy it.
I've donated on Free Rice as well! It's fun.
fyrefly-Thanks for the info, but it is way over my head. I think I will have to just keep a list in a word document or something basic like that.
Okay, today's new words were:
simoniacal: making profit from sale of sacred objects
filicide: killing a son or daughter
quadrumanous: all four feet are adapted for use as hands
abattoir: a slaughterhouse
All from The War of the End of The World by Mario Vargas Llosa
I finished Dragonfly in Amber this afternoon, and I counted... 54 new words. It's going to take me a while to get them all on my blog. Yikes.
List this week from various books.
pinguid- fat, oily. Can't wait to call someone pinguid.
propinquity- nearness, kinship
peroration- concluding a formal speech with recapitulation
parousia- second coming, rapture
pulchritude- this one I know but keep forgetting to use it in speech or online.
Oops, edited to add my only non-p word of the week.
encomia- warm glowing praise
My Firefox spell checker doesn't like a lot of these words. It's underlining them in red.
These are words from pages 108 and 109 of Holy Disorders by Edmund Crispin. I could have picked any two pages and found 3-5 words I needed to look up, but mostly figure them out from context.
pudency Modesty; shamefacedness
antisepsis The prevention of infection by stopping the growth of bacteria by the use of antiseptics
perfervid Extremely or extravagantly eager; impassioned or zealous
divagation A message that departs from the main subject
atrabilious Inclined to melancholy. Having a peevish disposition; surly
>21 VisibleGhost: VisibleGhost - "encomium" was one of my 54 words from Dragonfly in Amber. :)
Here's a few from Opera and the Morbidity of Music:
sacralized -- to make sacred
postlapsarian -- pertaining to anything which follows a lapse or a failure
unitary --- having the nature of a unit; a whole
clerisy -- an educated or intellectual elite
illocutionary -- relating to or being the communicative effect of an utterance -(what is meant)
Where did you find that definition for "postlapsarian" from? While by extension I can see it meaning that, I've never heard it used that way. The only way I've seen it used is as defined my Merriam-Webster 11: : of, relating to, or characteristic of the time or state after the fall of humankind described in the Bible. And along those lines, prelapsarian is before the fall, or in Eden.
I got it from an online dictionary -- I don't remember which one. The essay I read it in used it in the context of the purported death of classical music.
I'm currently reading Martin Amis's memoir Experience, and he's used both "prelapsarian" and "postlapsarian" at different points in his book.
Prelapsarian and postlapsarian, you mean? Actually, I run into them all the time in literature studies. Just this afternoon in fact. They are part of a big theme in English lit. You can't read about Milton without tripping over those two words.
By the way, on the topic of online dictionaries, I have to recommend
as the dictionary of choice. It's the online version of Mirriam- Webster, 11th ed., which is the standard in the publishing industry and the standard for professional copyeditors who work in American English. (There are also British, Canadian, Australian etc. standards for professionals, but I don't know their websites except for the OED, and it requires a subscription. But I digress). One thing I love about the Mirriam-Webster website is that they have an audio option, so you can check the correct pronunciation of all those words that you recognize on paper but have no idea of how to pronounce.
Note: Edited to fix broken link.
Put a space before and after: http://www.m-w.com , and put the http.
I really was kidding in post #28. My students tell me all the time that they think I am making up words. It is nice to know there are others who like using big words.
I checked out the Merriam website. Great recommendation. Thanks Nickelini.
Ah, the http . . . that's what I was missing. I couldn't figure out why it wouldn't work. Thanks, Rdurick.
I really was kidding in post #28. My students tell me all the time that they think I am making up words. It is nice to know there are others who like using big words.
Phew. I thought you might be joking, but it's hard to tell. Last year I participated in a thread (not at LT) where a woman went ballistic because someone used the word "ephemera" and she had never heard of it (and seemed to think no one else should have either). Ya just never know.
New word for me today:
hypocaust: an ancient Roman central heating system with underground furnace and tile flues to distribute the heat
from The Queen of Attolia by Megan Whalen Turner
I don't usually look words up when I'm reading a book, because that would break my stride. Unless it's used often and I think of it in a reading pause. I do however look words up that are used on LT that I don't know. It's great, people on LT are well-read and not afraid to use 'difficult' words. Here's my list so far:
(Sorry, no definitions, I use the Dutch translation myself)
I read with a reading journal at my side , so I jot words down there and look them up later. I agree, Vonini, that it is fun to interact with folks who love words!
I tend to use receipts/envelopes/whatever scrap of paper is laying around as bookmarks, so I jot my words down on the back of those and look them up later. That way, I can leave the bookmark with the book, which is a nice reminder of what I was doing while I was reading it.
Okay, new words from As I Lay Dying:
cattymount - slang for catamount, which is a mountain lion
uninferent- not in my dictionary sources, any ideas?
Is it possible that Faulkner made up a word?
It is indeed possible that Faulkner made up the word. It's not in the Oxford English Dictionary (lucky me, I get an online subscription through the university), and they are supposed to list ever single word in English. Nor do they have "inferent". The words surrounding the spelling however are:
inferial - belonging to the lower world, nether, mundane, sublunary
and also different versions of "inference" (inferencer, inferentially, inferential).
Do any of these work in context?
Well, I went back through the second half of the book, perusing.........No luck. I have not been noting the page for vocab words, a practice I will not institute. I do remember checking it as I noted the word for spelling because it struck me as odd. Oh well.
16 - Jennifer24 - Thanks for posting the freerice.com link. It's very fun!
Great idea for a thread, hemlokgang!
I found this online in The Faulkner Glossary (google is your friend!) I don't know if Faulkner made it up or not, though.
Uninferant: without inference, with no hint of
"…so dreamlike so as to be uninferant of progress…" (As I Lay Dying, p. 108).
I learn something new everyday on LT. A Faulkner glossary, who would of thought? Obviously, not me. Thank you for the detective work aviddiva and Nickelini!
Three latest stumbled upon.
contumely- rudeness or contempt arising from arrogance. I always thought it just meant rudeness, and sometimes it can, but there's more to it than that.
kerygma- proclamation of a religious truth usually of the gospels (Christianity)
hectography- copying typed or written material by a machine employing a glycerin layer of gelatin.
Hectography - now there's a word I haven't seen for a long time! The early science fiction fanzines were produced by hectography or "jelly press" (for which, if you're really interested, see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hectograph). Later, fans moved on to using Gestetner duplicators - you "cut" a wax stencil, by hand or using a typewriter, and then used it to run off multiple copies. I once owned a quarter-share of a Gestetner duplicator; it was never the same after falling off a trailer and rolling down the road while being transported to a science fiction convention. Those were the days!
But just to get back on the theme, the most recent new word I've learned through reading is:
parataxis - the placing side by side of clauses without the use of conjunctions. A famous example is Julius Caesar's "I came; I saw; I conquered".
One new word is Sassenach from Outlander.
–noun an English inhabitant of the British Isles: used, often disparagingly, by the Gaelic inhabitants.
>48 hemlokgang: The definition I found for skutching (also spelled scutching) was extracting the long fibers from a plant (such as flax) by beating on it. That would seem to make sense of slang that meant nagging, or repeatedly bringing up a subject.
aviddiva- I am embarrassed to say that I found the same definition but did not make the connection. You are my vocab guru. Thank you.
for today, my new word is
trireme - a gallery with 3 rows or tiers of oars on each side, one above another, used chiefly as a warship
from The Scrambling for Africa by Thomas Pakenham
Gene Wolfe has a vocabulary that is genuinely frightening. While keeping a journal for my rereading of his Book of the New Sun, I've already filled 20 pages just with unknown words. As he says in the first appendix, despite the fantastical nature of the book, none of the them (except character names) are made up.
Here's a taster:
cacogen - an antisocial person
chiliad - a group of 1000
wildgrave - a head forest keeper
coffle - a group of animals, prisoners or slaves chained together in a line
Ascian - people who, at certain times of the year, have no shadow at noon (I kid you not)
Oh, and those are within the first three chapters of thirty-five chapter book...
Accretion-an increase in size as a result of accumulation or the growing together of separate things
This one was in professional reading (a class on information literacy program creation), but sometimes that's the best place to find new words-from academics showing off. :) (Which apparently, I did in my blog last week; I'd used the word inculcate-to fix something firmly in somebody's mind through frequent, forceful repetition- and later had to define it for my readers.)
#54- Gene Wolfe has a Brit twin in M. John Harrison. I'm reading Viriconium and the 462 pages is taking a long to get through due to looking up words. I've avoiding posting them here for fear of dominating this thread and boring people to death. The bad part is there are so many words unknown to me there is no way I'm going to remember even a small percentage of them. It may be time to have a photographic memory implanted in the remember zones of my brain.
#56: If you get a photographic memory implanted in the remember zone of your brain, can I get one, too? It's desperately needed here!
Some words from the first chapter of Middlemarch
plutocracy - (ploo-tok-ruh-see) - noun
1. the rule or power of wealth or of the wealthy.
2. a government or state in which the wealthy class rules.
3. a class or group ruling, or exercising power or influence, by virtue of its wealth.
Origin: 1645–55; venerate - (ven-uh-reyt) - verb
to regard or treat with reverence; revere.
I love "plutocracy". Back in my corporate career days I used to get sent on great business trips and my mother would always tease me about being a plutocrat. Always made me laugh.
As for Eliot's use of planetary words, I'm sure it is indeed intentional, because I believe there is a strong science metaphor running through the book (although I'm only on chapter 2, so what do I know)
#54 - if you wish it, help with Gene Wolfe's vocabulary is available, in the form of Lexicon Urthus by Michael Andre-Driussi.
My discovery for the day is the literal meaning of a common phrase: slush fund.
It's a nautical term - "slush" was a greasy substance obtained by boiling or scraping the fat from empty salted meat storage barrels, or the floating fat residue after boiling the crew's meal. In the Royal Navy, the cook had the perk of selling the slush, or exchanging it (usually for alcohol) with other members of the crew. (The slush was used for greasing rigging.)
The slush fund was the money thus accumulated by the cook.
afflatus - noun 1.inspiration; an impelling mental force acting from within. 2.divine communication of knowledge. 3. supernatural impulse
I came across it in Biblioholism when the author was discussing James Joyce
Ok, so I didn't know what a eunuch was.
Now I do...and I wish I didn't. :/
I'm a tad ashamed to admit that, when encountering new words, if I'm able to deduce the meaning through context, I usually don't bother with looking them up...or even marking them for later. However, when I read Steve Almond's Candyfreak: A Journey Through the Chocolate Underbelly of America, I encountered so many new words that I kept a dictionary by my side while reading. Initially I began by also recording them in my reading journal, but by page 57 I abandoned that task. However, in the first 57 pages, here are some I noted (with definitions from MW Collegiate 11th ed.):
exculpatory (exculpate): to free from alleged fault or guilt
ectomorph (ectomorphic): characterized by a light body build with slight muscular development
abstemious: marked by restraint especially in the consumption of food or alcohol
From Middlemarch, by George Eliot:
hustings: platform from which political speeches are made
sciolism: superficial knowledgeability
antipodes: living opposite one another on the globe
leveret: a young hare
And, although I knew it's meaning, I thoroughly enjoyed the word..........bigwiggism!
Which is why we Aussies are often referred to as "Antipodeans". Which only makes sense if you're British...though I think the actual antipode for my location is in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean somewhere near the Azores. But why let facts get in the way of a good story...
I learned a new one today in A Trip to the Stars by Nicholas Christopher.
quincunx: an arrangement of five things in a square or rectangle with one at each corner and one in the middle
aviddiva- Your posting made me realize I had read the book entitled, The Quincunx but never looked up the meaning of the title.........ah, those foolish days of youth!
Yeah, the word wasn't unfamiliar, but I'd never put a definition with it before.
I read an interesting discussion about a word and now I cannot find it so I guess I'll put my two cents here and maybe someone will recognize it and point me in the right direction. If not, at least I'll get it off my chest.
I know this will sound silly, but there are words, pretty ordinary in my book, that have had their meaning changed over time with use ( or should I say misuse) and that interests me. I listen to a radio program where callers can ask about a words proper use or cultural beginnings. I also like when literary magaines have a word court for people to put a word on trial for its life. Sort of like what happens when words are removed from established dictionaries. It is very entertaining.
Anyway, the word was aspiration ( or something close) and I remembered a clever debate over the word nonaspirational. It was used over a year ago in an article in Time magazine. It was a positive article about a TV personality and it called her ( from my notes) 'antisnob and utterly nonaspirational.'
Aspiration, medically speaking,has one meaning but in common parlance it means something else. The word comes from the Latin for breathe, its meaning is more often nearly 'desire.' Aspirational, from long ago, was tended to have to do with lofty spiritual desires. In recent years it refers mainly to material or status-related ones. People use it because it looks more kindly on these desires then such near synonyms as ambitious, covetous, or social-climbing. But in the passage quoted, nonaspirational is meant as a compliment-which goes to show that the near synonyms' negative connotations have started creeping into aspirational.
Thanks for letting me vent and please excuse any typos, it is Sunday morning.
I am impressed by your articulate argument for a Sunday morning!
My two new vocab words are:
catafalque - an enclosed structure used to display the dead at a funeral or during a funeral procession
reeve - an administrative agent for an Anglo-Saxon king
These three words aren't as exotic as many of those in this list so far, but here are my recent installments from Persuasion:
discomfited - thwarted (from one's plans, etc.) (I've seen this word quite a bit but never looked for the definition.)
profligacy - wild extravagance
retrench - reduce, cut away (as in 'spend less money')
I love light fiction sometimes bordering on puerile and read about one book diurnally, nonetheless, my sine qua non to push the envelope and search for the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow has increased rather than waned. LT is hopefully will provide facile and efficacious access of those ancient fustian and current tomes one never digests to the last morpheme
Therefore, I read cinctured by books (volumes with a starting date yet never one of completion), pen and paper, post-it tabs, and my trusty laptop. On the go my PDA serves as a lifeline. On my desktop lies an icon worn thin from habitual use. Trusty http://dictionary.reference.com/ loyal, hardworking, meeting and exceeding one’s expectations and free.
I always thought jujubes were a fruit flavored, gumdrop-like candy. Then I was reading along in The Mistress of the Art of Death which is set in 12th century England, and one of the characters offers the other a jujube. Time warp! Off to the dictionary.
A jujube is a drupaceous fruit from trees in the buckthorn family.
Okay, more 12th century vocab from The Mistress of the Art of Death..........
tabard: short, sleeveless tunic worn by a knight over his armor, with his coat of arms emblazoned on it
From my audiobook, Divisadero........the title word, divisadero has two meanings:
2) Position from which one can gaze afar
Interesting, because one of the three protagonists in this novel lives on Divisadero street, is estranged (divided) from her sister, and is an historian who gazes on the past from afar.
My new word of the days is from The Importance of Being Lazy: In praise of Play, Leisure, and Vacations-which is using more nickle words per page than one would expect from a book on laziness.
1. daily: a quotidian report.
2. usual or customary; everyday: quotidian needs.
3. ordinary; commonplace: paintings of no more than quotidian artistry.
4. (of a fever, ague, etc.) characterized by paroxysms that recur daily
Edited to fix the touchstone
My last word from The Mistress of the Art of Death.
paynim: Middle English referring to a pagan, particularly a Muslim
I first came across "garron" in one of Nigel Tranter's many historical novels about Scotland. Perhaps it adds a bit of flavour or colour but I got fed up of his style after reading about three of his books.
I love Dorothy Dunnett, but I always have to read her with the dictionary close at hand.
#81 aviddiva: This is the first book by Dunnett I have ever read, but I can certainly understand your keeping the dictionary close by.
There was a word in Candide by Voltaire that I very recently read that my co-worker helped me look up (it wasn't inlcuded in my Websters Dictionary). I'll have to go home and grab my copy of the book to remember what it was though.
That was a great book for introducing me to new words and quotes.
From Elizabeth Costello by J.M. Coetzee
dogsbody: a drudge, British naval slang for a junior officer
My last word from Medicus: a novel of the Roman Empire:
strigil: instrument used by Greeks and Romans to scrape moisture off the skin after bathing
FromLadies of Liberty: The Women Who Shaped Our Nation by Cokie Roberts:
encomium: an expression of warm praise
to frank: to mark with official indication that sender of mail does not have to purchase postage
#89...A strigil! Not too long ago I was trying to think of that word. (I think I first learned of it in a high school Latin class.)
Glad I could help, extrajoker. It's cool to think these vocab finds can be useful as well as interesting!
I already knew it, but No Country For Old Men reminded me just how kickass the word 'yonder' is.
From Ladies of Liberty: The Women Who Shaped Our Nation by Cokie Roberts:
cynosure: center of attention
From The Secret History by Donna Tartt:
Hey vocab fans...............I cannot find a definition for the word "telestic". It is in The Secret History by Donna Tartt. Any ideas?
#96, 97> That's funny. My old Chambers (1976) has a different meaning: "relating to the mysteries," from the Gr. telestikos, to fulfil, consummate, initiate, perform (a rite).
According to the OED:
telestic: Of or pertaining to the mysteries, or to a hierophant; mystical.
From Greek, first recorded English usage 1678. See telesm, which means: = TALISMAN 1; esp. in Byzantine Greece, and in Asia, a statue set up, or an object buried under a pillar or the like to preserve the community, house, etc. from danger.
Does that make sense in context? Great word, by the way.
Perfect! Thanks to all who did my work for me! The word fits in context perfectly!
From the opening paragraph of The Heat of the Day, by Elizabeth Bowen:
crepitating, crepitate: : to make a crackling sound : crackle
I read Lawrence Durrell's Justine ages ago, but still have the book, with its many underlined words. A few examples:
vulpine - resembling a fox, crafty
succubus -demon assuming female form to have sex with men in their sleep.
meretricious - tawdrily attractive
protean - readily resembling different forms
sophistry - plausible, but false reasoning
saturnine - gloomy or surly disposition
From The Dangerous Joy of Dr Sex by Pagan Kennedy:
saccade: A rapid intermittent eye movement, as that which occurs when the eyes fix on one point after another in the visual field.
I learned the word "nape" from The book of five rings. I know you already knew it or wanted to look it up for yourselves.
In Candide by Voltaire the word was "atrabilious", not found in the Webster's Dictionary. However, now I can't remember what it meant and will have to look it back up on Monday in the more comprehensive dictionary I have at work. I knew I should have written it down in my book comments when I looked it up before!!
"Atrabilious" was word of the day once at dictionary.com
From The Dangerous Joy of Dr. Sex and Other True Stories:
tendentious: having or marked by a strong tendency especially a controversial one
"Boston Marriage": Boston marriage was a term used in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries for households where two women lived together, independent of any male support. Today, the term is sometimes used when referring to two women living together who are not in a sexual relationship. Such a relationship may have intimacy and commitment, without sexuality.
It is, hemlokgang, isn't it? I never knew there was a term for that. A friend in GLBT studies said it's a fairly well-known term in that sphere, and there's a lot of debate about whether those relationships were sexual or not.
I first saw the term in a life of Sarah Orne Jewett whose Boston marriage actually was in Boston. Polite people of the time did not talk much about the sexual practices of other people. Everybody was in the closet.
From The Hobbit (you'd think I would have found all the new vocabulary in that one already, but no!)
glede: a live coal or ember
I didn't find a definition, but I did find this:
>while on the grass there were white chandnis and gaotakia (cushions) for the crowd
Have any of you tried Free Rice? It's a site built around donating rice for every vocabulary word you get right - they have vocabulary levels. I believe it goes up to level 60 (they say very few people get there), but I recognize quite a few words from this list in the vocab words they show.
It's a charitable thing, I'm not trying to spam, but I know when I need a 10-minute break from work, this site helps! As I tell my boss, it's not a game-game, it's me donating to charity!
Plus, they had one of my all-time favorite words from a book - Shoal. It was from Clive Barker's The Great and Secret Show. If you've read the book, the word is brilliant (and a new one for a gal that's mostly visited the ocean):
The dictionary.com definition doesn't do it justice, but a shoal is normally a sandbar that is only visible when you either hit it with your boat or at certain tide times. In the book, the shoal was everything that was hidden just beneath the surface...things that you would normally never notice.
#119, stephmo - I grew up near a community named Shoals after the number of shoals that made the river passage there treacherous. Until we moved there, I'd never heard that word.
>#117 SHAMBOLIC! Wow. That's used to describe the zombies in Shaun of the Dead, and until now I'd just assumed it was the movie's own neologism, built from "shambling."
>#119 I recently discovered "Free Rice" via Lynn Flewelling's livejournal...and it's frightening how much time I've spent there since!
From The Road:
mendicant: a member of a religious order owning no property
chary: discreetly cautious
From Oscar and Lucinda by Peter Carey:
apostasy (have seen many times, but decided to look it up): renunciation of a religious faith
From Elizabeth: The Struggle for the Throne by David Starkey:
accouchement - the time or act of giving birth
pinion - to disable or restrain by binding the arms
otiose - futile
From The Waves by Virginia Woolf: "I will continue to make my survey of the purlieus of the house in the late afternoon, in the sunset, when the sun makes oleaginous spots on the linoleum . . . "
purlieus: environs, bounds, haunts, neighbourhood
I like Woolf a lot, but I think oleaginous is a pretentious word. The perfectly clear "oily" would have had more oomph. But I'm sure that Woolf has her reasons.
These aren't words but grammatically correct sentences in English I read in Kluge. BTW, Kluge- A clumsy or inelegant solution to a problem. The first one twisted my brain for a bit.
People people left left.
Farmers monkeys fear slept.
From Careless in Red by Elizabeth George:
cenobite - a member of a religious group living together in a monastic community
From The Enchantress of Florence by Salman Rushdie:
lambently: softly bright or radiant
homunculus: a little man
Janissary: elite corps of Turkish troops
kerfuffle: to become disheveled
lachrymose: given to tears
affray: public brawl
concupiscent: strongly desiring
pulchritude: physical comeliness
Several of these are words I have read many times but had never sought the precise definitions.
Where did you get your definition for kerfuffle from, hemlokgang? I was always under the impression that it meant a commotion. In fact, you made me so worried that I'd been wrong all these years that I had to go look it up to be sure.
Exactly, varielle. Sorry that my imprecision caused such dismay. I love that you care deeply enough about words to question.
From Bleak House by Charles Dickens:
chancery: a high court of equity in England and Wales, also means in a hopeless predicament
sepulchral: a place of burial or tomb, also a receptacle for religious relics, particularly in the altar
From Bleak House by Charles Dickens:
purblind: lacking in vision, insight or understanding
prolixity: unduly prolonged or drawn out
I just visited this thread for the first time. What a lot of fun. (Especially when I could say "Oh, I knew THAT one!"). Laughed out loud at the seemingly innocent question "is it possible Faulkner made up this word?" If there wasn't one available that suited his purpose, he would certainly have made one up.
My favorite new word comes from the thread itself. Message No. 74 contains this information: "A jujube is a drupaceous fruit from trees in the buckthorn family." Tell me I'm not the only person who read that and had to go look up "drupaceous"... Well, I was pretty sure it meant "having drupes", but what in the world are drupes??
Out comes Webster's, where I read that a drupe is a "one-seeded indehiscent fruit having a hard bony endocarp, a fleshy mesocarp, and a thin exocarp that is flexible, (as in the cherry) or dry and almost leathery (as in the almond)." By this time, I'm snorting orange-spice tea up my nose, onto the dictionary, everywhere. "Indehiscent"????? Means "remaining closed at maturity", according to Webster's. I am less than enlightened. I google "indehiscent fruits"--find that it means they do not burst open to disperse their seeds. Finally, an explanation that means something to me. This is why several people here have noted that they don't look words up as they read--it interrupts the flow. I'll say.
I've already learned 2 new words in the first 50 pages of The Inheritance of Loss
borborygmus : a rumbling or gurgling sound caused by the movement of gas in the intestines
pusillanimity : the state or condition of being pusillanimous; timidity; cowardliness
Wonder how many more I'll learn before I finish it?
From Bleak House:
consanguinity: close relation
coxcomb:a conceited foolish person, or a jester's cap with a decorative red stripe on it
myrmidon: a subordinate who executes orders unquestioningly or unscrupulously
sagacious: keen in sense of perception
adjuration: earnest urging or persuading
A word I've read 100 times, but never looked up:
virago: a loud-voiced, ill-tempered, scolding woman; shrew
This is the kind of thing that makes me think a Kindle might be good idea so that a dictionary is always at hand. If I'm reading in my comfy chair, I have a dictionary next to me and usually look things up. However, I'm rarely reading in my comfy chair...
Me either, so I jot the words down in my reading journal, which is wherever my current book is. I started keeping the journal a while ago and now consider it a crisis if it isn't with my book!
I jot down the page # and the word on the back of whatever slip of paper I'm using as a bookmark, so that I don't have to totally interrupt the flow of my reading and can look it up later.
Yes, but what do you do if you've misplaced your pencil? As I seem to do all the time....
militant: a person engaged in warfare or combat; engaged in warfare; fighting
parsimonious: characterized by or showing parsimony; frugal or stingy
Two words I keep skipping.
I always read w/ a pen or pencil close at hand, and I use the blank pages at the back of the book to make notes about important passages, new vocab, etc....when I read something that doesn't have these extra pages, I go through the day's reading before bed and make notes on a legal pad, then I keep the paper in the book when I'm finished reading it. It's a weird system, but it works for me.
From A Little Learning by Evelyn Waugh:
advowson - the right in English law of presenting a nominee to a benefice
concatenation - to link together in a series or chain
subfusc - drab or dusky
Okay, big confession! If for some bizarre and inexplicable reason I find myself without journal and/or pen......I lightly turn down the teeniest corner possible to be discerned with the human eye, and return to it once the problem has been remedied.
>153 hemlokgang: hemlokgang - s'okay, I do that too, although I usually use the bottom corner... seems less conspicuous that way.
From Bleak House:
effluvia: a vague emanation, often related to waste
From a YA book I'm reading right now called Marked: words so far I didn't know...
consuetudinary: customary or traditional
sycophant: a self seeking, servile flatterer
From Bleak House:
encomium: glowing and warmly enthusiastic praise
escutcheon: a defined area on which armorial symbols are displayed, often in the form of a shield
Something that drives me crazy!
You say either and I say either - which is it and how does one decide?
Even tho' the word is being read without being spoken aloud, I still have to pause before deciding. It probably doesn't matter, but I wonder if anyone else has my (obviously curious) problem.
Same as I hate knowing the number of pages in a book that I'm reading, or how many minutes in a movie I'm watching.
From Bleak House:
pertinacious: stubbornly tenacious (why not just say so?)
propitiatory: relating or similar to an atoning sacrifice
ignominious: marked with or characterized by disgrace or shame
From The Good Thief:
resurrectionist- used as a more pleasant term than "body-snatcher".......it is all semantics
From Adventures with Purpose by Richard Bangs...an author far too in love with his vocabulary.
fetial: concerned with declarations of war or peace
heteroclite: abnormal or anomalous
feculence: foul, turbid or muddy
aperçu: a glimpse
schadenfreude: satisfaction at someone else's misfortune
fissiparous: reproducing by fission
proceleusmatic: animating or inspiring
furbelow: a bit of showy trim
synecdoche: a figure of speech in which a part is used for the whole or the whole for a part
irredentism: a member of an Italian association that became prominent in 1878, advocating the redemption, or the incorporation into Italy, of certain neighboring regions
apologue: A moral fable, especially one having animals or inanimate objects as characters
tardigrade: slow in pace or movement
From Nervous Conditions by Tsitsi Dangarembga:
Keening: “Keening. I remember keening that seemed to go on all through the night: shrill, sharp, shiny, needles of sound piercing cleanly and deeply to let the anguish in, not out.” (Meaning: funeral lament, or wail over the dead).
Aphasic: “The more time Nhamo spent at Babmukuru’s, the more aphasic he became and the more my father was convinced that he was being educated.” (Aphasia: dumbness, or loss of speech control, due to disease of the brain).
Oh I learned a good one today!
"Infinitesmal" meaning "Immeasurably or incalculably minute" by the Free Dictionary.
Kinda has a nice melody to it. I keep singing the word over and over again hehe.
TadAd: the Broadway musical Avenue Q has a fantastic song about schadenfreude...you'll never forget how to spell after that. I strongly recommend an immediate iTunes download.
I'll look for that song.
I'm glad this thread has prompted me to start looking up all words I'm not sure of.
I've probably read 'schadenfreude' a dozen times over the years and never looked it up because I sort of assumed what it meant from my smattering of German—I knew what the words 'Schade' and 'Freude' meant. I'm glad now that I know specifically.
I find myself doing that a lot. The trouble is, it works for things like 'tardigrade' (I had guessed that one correctly when reading it) because I can pick up 'tarde' from Spanish and 'grade' from words I know like 'retrograde'...but it's worthless when Bangs comes up with something like 'proceleusmatic' because I don't know enough Latin/Greek/French/German/Middle English to get all the root words of our language.
I hope this is a habit I keep. :-)
I love new words. This is a great place to even learn more. I recently finished Murder in Amsterdam and was bombarded by new words.
I have always looked in the dictionary and marked my new words off. At the same time I check out what other words I had already marked off.
Starting in Aug, that is this month, I have been writing down my new word and just today started putting them on my computer.
So someone else smart got this idea before I did. WTG.
You will be hearing from me I am sure.
From Infinite Jest:
Elegiac - of, relating to, or comprising elegy or an elegy; especially : expressing sorrow often for something now past an elegiac lament for departed youth
It's actually misspelled "elegaic" in my copy. Not that I really blame anyone for missing that.
Actually, there are a lot of potential vocabulary in this book, but this is the first I didn't really just kind of glaze over.
Word: De gustibus
Siting: Slate.com..."De gustibus and all that."
Meaning: It's a shortening of the phrase "De gustibus non est disputandum." Translated: "There is no disputing about taste," or "There's no accounting for taste."
I guess this is a situation of omnia dicta fortiori, si dicta Latina (everything sounds more impressive in Latin).
I liked the way kaelirenee wrote down her word, gave the meaning of it and then an example of it using the sentence in the book.
This gave a better idea of how it would be used.
Seems like folks are toying with a little more structure to this thread.....as founder i say go for it..........I like:
Citation from book:
Also, it's helpful to bold the word. See my example in post 128, above.
The song idea looks interesting. I used to stick post its on every page with new words but then my book ends up looking like an alien-ship so I decided to use THE MEMORY book idea of mnemonics. The song idea though sounds less exhausting.
being at rest; quiet; still; inactive or motionless
Hal sits on the floor, quiescent, chin on his chest, just thinking it's nice to finally breathe and get enough air. Infinite Jest p.97
"Quiescent" is a nice word, but wouldn't "quiet" have sufficed?
To bold a word type <b> before the word and </b> after the word
So it'll look like:
You know I am going to have to write that one down. Thanks for the help
I'm not sure sure quiet would have had the same impact as quiescent for me. When I read the former, I think of the primary definition of "making no noise or sound." When I read the latter, I think of the "being at rest; still" aspect of it. Of course, that could just be me.
And...of course...I'm now opening myself up to people telling me that words I think are unnecessarily esoteric actually convey different shades of meaning, also. Fair enough! I'm as guilty as anyone. :-)
From H.M.S. Surprise by Patrick O'Brian.
1) light bluish-green or greenish-blue
2) Botany: covered with whitish bloom, as a plum
She filled the spoon, guided it with fixed attention towards Stephen's mouth, poured the glaucous liquid in...
Some more big words from Mr. Wallace's Infinite Jest:
1. a surname.
2. any name, esp. a nickname.
He makes the companies that give him clothes and gear give him all black clothes and gear, and his E.T.A. cognomen is "The Darkness." p.100
of or pertaining to a meal, esp. dinner.
...Hal had invited Mario for a post-prandial stroll... p.121
1. swelling; slightly tumid.
2. exhibiting or affected with many ideas or emotions; teeming.
3. pompous and pretentious, esp. in the use of language; bombastic
...but why, within like 16 months or 5 sales quarters , the tumescent demand curve for "videophony" suddenly collapsed... p.145
All from The Hunchback of Notre Dame by Victor Hugo:
Definition: a military demolitions specialist
Example: If the bomb does not detonate, send in the sapper.
Definition: inherent baseness
Example: Incest is an act of moral turpitude.
Definition:a base, unprincipled person
Example: The thief was a varlet
Definition: a song or poem sung in honor of a bride or bridegroom
Example: The epithalamium at my daughter's wedding was memorable
I just discovered a new vocabulary word in a sentence defining a word. Somehow I think this speaks perfectly to the nature of Infinite Jest.
a specialized idiomatic vocabulary peculiar to a particular class or group of people, esp. that of an underworld group, devised for private communication and identification
That the term "vig" is street argot for the bookmaker's commission on an illegal bet, usually 10%, that's either subtracted from your winnings or added to your debt. p.204
Hemlokgang, I encountered a sapper (my first) in The English Patient, and your definition is spot on!
I have some new words for me.
Etymology: Late Latin indolent-, indolens insensitive to pain, from Latin in- + dolent-, dolens, present participle of dolēre to feel pain
1 a: causing little or no pain b: slow to develop or heal
2 a: averse to activity, effort, or movement : habitually lazy b: conducive to or encouraging laziness c: exhibiting indolence
Etymology: Latin, from neuter of decorus
1: literary and dramatic propriety : fitness
2: propriety and good taste in conduct or appearance
4 plural : the conventions of polite behavior
Inflected Form(s): pal·tri·er; pal·tri·est
Etymology: obsolete paltry trash, from dialect palt, pelt piece of coarse cloth, trash; akin to Middle Low German palte rag
1 : inferior, trashy
2 : mean, despicable
3 : trivial
4 : meager, measly
: a two-handed card game played with 32 cards
Etymology: Middle English, from Anglo-French, from Latin odiosus, from odium
Date: 14th century
: arousing or deserving hatred or repugnance : hateful
Etymology: Latin panegyricus, from Greek panēgyrikos, from panēgyrikos of or for a festival assembly, from panēgyris festival assembly, from pan- + agyris assembly; akin to Greek ageirein to gather
: a eulogistic oration or writing; also : formal or elaborate praise
Etymology: Middle English celerite, from Anglo-French, from Latin celeritat-, celeritas, from celer swift — more at hold
: rapidity of motion or action
Etymology: Latin alacritas, from alacr-, alacer lively, eager
: promptness in response : cheerful readiness
Date: circa 1727
1 a: rule by a despot b: despotic exercise of power
2 a: a system of government in which the ruler has unlimited power : absolutism b: a despotic state
Probably part of the reason they accepted me and my despotism with such good grace was that they simply had no energy left.
Date: circa 1727
1 a: rule by a despot b: despotic exercise of power
2 a: a system of government in which the ruler has unlimited power : absolutism b: a despotic state
Probably part of the reason they accepted me and my despotism with such good grace was that they simply had no energy left.
Definition: an allowance of provisions given as a charity
Example: When she went into the convent, she accepted a corrody from her children.
Do you ever have a word that your mind simply refuses to read properly no matter how many times you've repeated the definition to yourself?
I encountered crepuscular years ago and, when I stop to think, I know that it means "pertaining to twilight, dim, coming out at twilight, etc." Yet, to this day, every time I see it in writing I think "red".
Perhaps my mind cannot separate it from corpuscular and thinks about blood.
Wow...It sure is good to know that I am not the only one. Everytime I come across a word I don't know I check my dictionary and mark the word in pencil with a line. Above the line is the times that I have checked on the word. I sometimes shake my head because I should have known the word by now.
You are not alone. I have always had a problem with pronouncing certain words, even if I am familier with the word, I still say it the same old way that I have always said it. Hey, I know what it means, so what is the big deal, unless you are reading outloud to others and they all laugh at you.
At coffee this week with a bunch of literary minded people, Poe`s poetry came up in the discussion. My daughter threw out the term onomatopoeia, which blew my mind, but turned out to be very on target for several of Poe`s poems. It did take us a while to get the right spelling! (the use of a word whose sound suggests the sense) Isn`t this a great word! This all started as a result of a crossword puzzle needing the killer in the Murder in the Rue Morge. Reading this years ago, I couldn`t remember the orangutan. Ha!
I don't believe I saw that word Onomatopoeia. My son at the age of three was fasinated with words. He would try and use new words all the time. He never liked baby talk and would ask questions that I didn't have the answers to. One day he asked what was the biggest word I knew. I wanted to make this fun for him. I used onomatoppeia. He was fasinated with it right away. Always pointing out an onomatopoeia and would impress adults with this word, which many didn't even knew existed. I still have to smile when I hear or think of that word.
From The Dark Horse by Rumer Godden
gharry: a horse-drawn cab used in Egypt or India
After using it several times, the book finally provided a definition of the term...but I thought I'd go ahead and add it anyway.
From The Dark Horse by Rumer Godden
syce: (in India) a horse groom
From Remembrance of Things Past:
Definition: The Christian eucharist given to a person in danger of dying
Example: The viaticum was administered to Lavrans prior to his last breath.
Definition: an act of fraud
Example: I was guilty of cozenage when I told my husband how much I had spent.
Definition: A tall perennial grass often used in mats
Example: She gathered vetiver for use in her home arts
From Fear and Trembling:
Definition: Contained in or carried on in a series of letters
Example: I received an epistolary from my father, while I was in college.
Definition:refuse from melting metals
Example: All that remained from the mill was the scoria of the past efforts.
Definition: Disgrace following from an act considered vicious
Example: He accepted the opprobrium due him after beating his neighbor.
thanks to you I saw the word used again at Erlends death, Latin stays Latin even in translation ;-)
From Shakespeare's History Plays by E.M.W. Tillyard
very fervent; extremely ardent; impassioned: perfervid patriotism.
"for such tolerance is remote form the perfervid patriotism of the later age."
Unable to find definition. Any thoughts?
"In speaking of the creation he becomes theological and gives a fine account of the pre-lapsarian and post-lapsarian states."
Re: lapsarian, prelapsarian and postlapsarian . . . see posts 24-31, above. This word has come around once already.
I don't mind words showing up more than once. It's a new word to them and it helps others like me to help remember the word and its meaning
I don't mind words showing up more than once, either. I just wanted to point out the earlier conversation so that theTortoise gets that side of it too. But mostly, I thought that emaestra's comments were pretty funny.
Haven't read the whole thread but wondered who's read The Meaning of Tingo.
>213 Nickelini: Nickelini. I can't remember what I ate a week ago! How do you think I would remember from a post from April! Actually, looking back at it, I do remember reading it now! That pesky Alzheimers!
arachibutyrophobia- being petrified of peanut butter sticking to the roof of your mouth- from How the Mind Works, Steven Pinker.
#218: I haven't bothered to look up Pinker's book although I have it. I can't help feeling that lots of these "phobia/philia" words are purely artificial constructs which are never ever used in 'normal' English. They are really just "joke" words. Of course there are lots of technical words not used in normal English which are perfectly valid but here someone has seized on the ending 'phobia' and set out to derive a word for "fear of X". I haven't expressed this very well but I'm sure that there are people out there who can. I'm really just trying to say that some of these "phobia" words have no place outside lists of phobias.
I must admit that I, too, checked to see if it was really a word. Oh well.
From more than it hurts you by Darin Strauss:
1. Of little value or importance; paltry.
2. Petty; mean.
"What soothing visual music it became to see real live trees, however picayune and few, out the window." p. 67
A few nights ago, I was so close to getting out my dictionary when I read the word "eyetalian".
I would never have found this pronounciation in the dictionary for the word 'Italian. Silly me.
Definition: A type of chamois living in the Pyrenees
Example: There were signs of izards everywhere they looked.
1. a change or variation occurring in the course of something.
2. interchange or alternation, as of states or things.
3. vicissitudes, successive, alternating, or changing phases or conditions, as of life or fortune; ups and downs: They remained friends through the vicissitudes of 40 years.
4. regular change or succession of one state or thing to another.
5. change; mutation; mutability.
Has anyone come across that word lately?
From Dictation: A Quartet by Cynthia Ozick:
One who is employed to take dictation or to copy manuscript.
"At the close of the morning's dictation, Mary Weld, his young amanuensis, had gone out to the back garden with scissors in hand, to cut the thorny vines that clung to the heat of a surrounding brick wall." p. 3
From The Mysteries of Udolpho by Ann Radcliffe:
Definition: Radiant splendour, brilliance
Example: In the effulgence of the dawning sun I walked through the forest.
New thread: http://www.librarything.com/topic/49427&newpost=1#lastmsg
From Machiavelli's The Prince: rapine, the noun for pillage & plunder, in other words, the stuff you take when you rob someone.
"It is always possible to find pretexts for confiscating someone's property; and a prince who starts to live by rapine always finds pretexts for seizing what belongs to others."
I like this word, though being a law-abiding princess, I have no real need to use it. :-)
Another good word from The Prince, obviously from the same root as "rapine", above.
rapacious: inordinately greedy
"He will be hated above all if, as I said, he is rapacious and aggressive with regard to the property and the women of his subjects."
This is a new one on me---Machicolated---from Henry James the turn of the screw a machicolation if an opening between the corbels of a parapet for discharging missiles upon assailants below. Watch out if you are near any castles. LOL
From Umberto Eco's Baudolino -
moraines - geologic debris deposited by a glacier.
orpiment - a yellow mineral, an ore of arsenic.
anthropophage - man eating, used in reference to anthropophage dogs. Yuck
hypostases - a literal foundation or in metaphysics an underlying reality
blemmyae - a race of legendary headless monsters who lived in Africa and had their eyes and mouths on their bellies.
stylite - A religious ascetic who lives on a pillar.
Mr. E continues to throw new words at me, some of which he appeared to invent like Panotian referring to residents of an ancient and perhaps mythological continent.
Ecco is my favorite for vocab. I read Foucault's Pendulum and it sent me to the dictionary every chapter at least.
#72 - jesslyncummings:
My mother and I recently read Persuasion together, and we loved the usage of "retrench". I think there will be a lot of us doing that with the economy going the way it is!
animadvert — to consider (disparagingly), criticize, reprove
tendentious — having a tendency, partisan
Found in A History of Economic Thought by Lionel Robbins.
Found two today in ruth Rendell`s The Rottweiler
onomatopoeic--use of words whose sounds suggest the sense
From Rosemary Sutcliff's Eagle of the Ninth
cist - prehistoric sepulchral tomb or casket, usually with a stone lid.
From Joan Didion's The Year of Magical Thinking
1. a gap or missing part, as in a manuscript, series, or logical argument; hiatus.
2. Anatomy. one of the numerous minute cavities in the substance of bone, supposed to contain nucleate cells.
3. Botany. an air space in the cellular tissue of plants.
This was so far from the case that the general insistence on it came to suggest certain lacunae in the popular understanding of marriage.
I don't know if anyone has seen the movie The Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind but knowing the definition of this word makes the name of the mind-erasing company more significant.
As much as I disliked Ford Maddox Ford's Parade's End, it isn't all bad, as he introduced me to the word "purplishest."
"One of the window-panes was so old it was bulging and purplish. There was another. There were several. But the first one was the purplishest." (pg 656).
I love this word! It's not the same as "purplest" . . . who would have thought the English language needed a word to describe this? Of all those things that are kind of purple, this one is the most almost purple. How can something be more almost purple than another? When does it cross the line and become simply purple? This is simply delightful.
I'm looking for ways to slip this into conversation, and I realized I have the perfect opportunity, as my cat Violet is the purplishest cat I've ever seen.
This week I can also say something like "Of everyone in the angry mob at the G20, he had the purplishest face."
Definitely my current favourite word!
From Anthony Bourdain's Kitchen Confidential I picked up commis, meaning a chef's assistant.
#241...I love the colour purple. Ever since I found out that was Donny Osmonds colour. It would be delightful, as you say, to use that word in your everyday vocabulary. I don't think one can frown and say that word "purplishest" at the same time. It sounds like an uplifting fun word. Everyone ought to be saying it.
From Nickel Mountain
sillion - the soil which has been freshly turned by a plow
From Ye Will Say I am No Christian The Thomas Jefferson/John Adams Correspondence on Religion, Morals and Values
oestrum - a period of fertility
aristoi - the best, noblemen in ancient Greece who possessed the trait of Arete meaning a right nature.
canaille - riff raff, rabble, proletariat, the most low and vulgar people.
From an ER book Jeff Johnson's Tattoo Machine: Tall Tales, True Stories, and My life in Ink:
contrapposto - a representation of the human body in which the forms are organized on a varying or curving axis t provide an asymmetrical balance to the figure.
Having an eclectic reading habit, ostensibly, I am bound to come across words that are new because language is constantly evolving so new words are being given birth to. And old words like perchance fall out of favour and by the way side.
Being a Hypnotist I find it easy to memorise new words and always endavour to introduce them into conversations hehe Anamnesis anyone a delightful word from Plato. The concepet I aquiesce with much to th chagring and vextation of those who have a bent for the philosophy of physicalism.
Of course every scientific discipline from Anthropology to Zoology has its own particular vocabulary.
For example in hypnosis the word somnambulist does not mean the same as the traditional meaning given to it by medics i.e A Sleepwalker.
Oh no in hypnosis we hypnotists take it to mean a person who is easily hypnotised.
What I enjoy doing is constructing my own dictionary of those words that are new to me and then look to use them in my next game of scrabble!
Throw in some Latin terminology and reading becomes more enjoyable.
Quam quisque norit atem in ea se exerceat
Reading Maketh The Man
I'm reading a book review of the book I'm reading. The revieiwer uses the word:
fissiparous -reproducing by fission, or tending to break up into parts
example "...the fissiparous nature of a nation founded on the doctrine of states' rights."
Hmm... interesting word, not sure I like the usage though.
Apparently, if you want to go wild, it has related forms:
fissiparousness (noun) -- now that one might be hard to say numerous times in a row!
I just finished The Eagle and the Wolves in which Scarrow used the term sett for his description of a badger's den. I couldn't find a dictionary description of that use in reference to an animal's home, but since one of the meanings relates to weaving, specifically tartan weave, I assume that the sticks and leaves the animal used to make its nest must have inspired this use. Anyone with a better dictionary who can check this theory?
# 248...Thought I would look online to see if I could find that word you are looking for. Hope this helps
1. Also called pitcher. a small, rectangular paving stone.
2. Also called stake. a hand-held tool that is struck by a hammer to shape or deform a metal object.
3. Also, set. the distinctively colored pattern of crisscrossed lines and stripes against a background in which a Scottish tartan is woven.
This topic is not marked as primarily about any work, author or other topic.