Wednesday, April 8, 2009
Wondrous Words Wednesday (April 8)
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. These words come from In the Woods by Tana French:
Soupçon – “We mostly shop at Brown Thomas, during the sales, and occasionally come into work wearing embarrassingly identical soupçons” (p. 16).
As far as I know, a soupçon is “a very small amount; a dash or hint,”* but that just doesn’t make sense in this context. I couldn’t find any other definitions online. Does anyone know of an alternate definition for soupçon that could work here?
Bogger – “And that lobotomised bogger knows it” (p. 20).
Bogger isn’t in my dictionary, but according to Wikipedia, it is “an an Irish derisory term for someone not from a city.”
Bespoke – “Few people would have considered her beautiful, but my tastes have always leaned towards bespoke rather than brand-name . . .” (p. 21).
Bespoke, when speaking of goods, especially clothing, means “made to order.”
Jink – “. . . the light jinking off fragments of mica in the rutted ground looked too bright , tricky and fevered” (p. 32).
To jink is to “move elusively; dodge.”
Mattock – “So after the tea break Mark told me and Mel to go up there and mattock it back while the others did the drainage ditch” (p. 54).
A mattock is “an agricultural tool shaped like a pickaxe, with an adze and a chisel edge as the ends of the head.” To mattock, then, presumably means to use such a tool, although the verb is not in my dictionary.
Dote – “Katy was . . . a dote” (p. 70).
According to my dictionary, dote is a verb meaning to “be foolishly or excessively fond of,” a definition I was already familiar with. However, according to Wikipedia, the noun dote is an Irish term meaning “a darling, a cutie.”
Satsuma – “. . . all of us yelling, and Jamie leaping up to fire a spare satsuma as the thing bounded away with a crash of leaves” (p. 147-148).
A satsuma is “a variety of tangerine originally grown in Japan.”
Bowsie – “That Devlin lad used to be a bit of a bowsie . . .” (p. 155).
I couldn’t find bowsie in my dictionary or in Wikipedia, but the Urban Dictionary defines it as “a Dublin term for a scumbag.”
What new words have you discovered lately? Share your Wondrous Words.
*Unless otherwise noted, all definitions are from the Canadian Oxford Dictionary (2004).