Wednesday, February 25, 2009
Wondrous Words Wednesday (February 25)
Kathy at Bermudaonion’s Weblog hosts this weekly meme in which she asks us to share new words we’ve come across in our reading. I’m actually still rereading Good to a Fault by Marina Endicott, so I have a few more words from that book this week:
Suffragan – “His car not being completely reliable, Paul took the bus to the Diocesan office in Regina to see the suffragan bishop” (p. 96).
In the Anglican Church, suffragan is a term “designating a bishop appointed to help a diocesan bishop in the administration of a diocese; an auxiliary bishop.”*
Scotch – “He should have had the courage to scotch her stupid jealousy, for her own sake as well as his comfort” (p. 97).
In this context, scotch means to “put an end to,” a definition I gathered from the context, although I wasn’t familiar with this usage of the word.
Wow – “It [the kitchen table] had a wow in the middle and she was sick of it” (p. 151).
According to my dictionary, in addition to its well-known meaning, wow also refers to “a slow pitch-fluctuation in sound reproduction, perceptible in long notes”; however, this doesn’t sound like something a kitchen table could have! The Wikipedia definition refers to a similar phenomenon in video recording that can cause the top of the picture to wobble, which made me wonder if the table was wobbly. Can anyone else shed light on this term?
Edited to add: Melanie from The Indextrious Reader confirmed that wow, in this context, is “a common term to describe a warp or a curve in a piece of wood.” Thanks, Melanie!
Grommet– “Banging reverberated in the basement, and Dolly and Trevor kept slipping down to check on things and being sent back upstairs with urgent messages like Tell Clary we need a three-pronged grommet, by Thursday, go tell her right now” (p. 168).
Being a big fan of Wallace and Gromit, I’m sure I must have looked up the word grommet before, but I didn’t remember what it means. A grommet is “a metal, plastic, or rubber eyelet, especially placed in a hole to protect or insulate a rope or cable, etc. passed through it.” (Obviously, there’s no such thing as a three-pronged grommet!)
Zephyr – “When Clary had walked the children to school she decided, blown by some needling zephyr, to take Pearce over to the hospital” (p. 193).
A zephyr is “a mild gentle wind or breeze.”
What new words have you discovered lately? Share your Wondrous Words.
*Unless otherwise noted, all definitions are from the Canadian Oxford Dictionary (2004).