Wednesday, April 22, 2009
Wondrous Words Wednesday (April 22)
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. The first three words I found are from Coventry by Helen Humphreys:
Provost – “She recognized the provost, an important dignitary in the city” (p. 58).
A provost can be “a member of the military police; a high-ranking ecclesiastical dignitary; or the head of some colleges, especially at Oxford or Cambridge.”* I suspect the second definition is the correct one here.
Guzzle – “There is a word I remember from my childhood–guzzle–a low, perhaps damp spot on an estuary or inland from a beach, as far inland sometimes as to be a field, where the sea can enter if it chooses” (p. 73).
It’s a good thing this word is defined in the book because I couldn’t find this definition anywhere else. However, the American Meteorological Society defines guzzle as Shetland Islands term meaning “an angry blast of wind, dry and parching” in their Glossary of Meteorology.
Finial – “The finial on the stair rail comes off in her hand when she grabs it to steady herself” (p. 123).
A finial is “an ornament finishing off the apex of a roof, pediment, gable, etc. or an ornamental knob on the top of a piece of furniture, stair post, etc.” The latter is obviously the correct definition here.
My last word is from The Next Big Thing by Johanna Edwards:
Lavalier – “‘The wire, which should be concealed beneath your shirt, connects the transmitter to your lavalier mic, or lapel microphone if you prefer’” (p. 132).
A lavaliere (alternate spellings: lavalier or lavalliere) is “a small microphone worn hanging around the neck.” It can also refer to “a pendant necklace or a loosely tied cravat.”
What new words have you discovered lately? Share your Wondrous Words on Kathy’s blog.
*Unless otherwise noted, all definitions are from the Canadian Oxford Dictionary (2004).