Wednesday, February 18, 2009
Wondrous Words Wednesday (February 18)
Kathy at Bermudaonion’s Weblog has just starting hosting this weekly meme in which she asks us to share new words we’ve come across in our reading. Here are some new words I noticed as I was writing my review of Good to a Fault by Marina Endicott:
Petechiae – “The little bruises, those are petechiae” (p. 21).
This was the only word I couldn’t find in my dictionary. Wikipedia defines petechia (plural petechiae) as “a small red or purple spot on the body, caused by a minor hemorrhage (broken capillary blood vessels).”
Porphyry – “Porphyry, periphery, preface... He drew back from the precipice” (p. 25).
My Canadian Oxford Dictionary (2004)* defines porphyry as “a hard rock quarried in ancient Egypt, composed of crystals of white or red feldspar in a red matrix” or “an igneous rock with large crystals scattered in a matrix of much smaller crystals.” It comes from porphura, which means purple.
Locum – “The hospital chaplain was away all summer in English, locum at a parish in the Lake District” (p. 25).
Locum means “a temporary substitute, especially for a doctor, lawyer, minister, etc.”
Continuo – “As a running continuo underneath conversation, louder when he was alone, Paul heard his wife’s voice saying things to him, short sentences which were hard to bear” (p. 54).
Continuo is a musical term that means “an accompaniment consisting of a bass line and harmonies which are indicated by figures, usually played on a keyboard instrument.”
Redound – “Christian action doesn’t redound well when it’s done in public” (p. 128).
Redound means “make a great contribution to (one’s credit or advantage, etc.)” or “come as the final result to; come back or recoil upon.”
I was surprised to find so many words I didn’t know in this book, since the first time I read it I didn’t notice them!
What new words have you discovered lately? Share your Wondrous Words.
*Unless otherwise noted, all definitions are from this dictionary.