Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Wondrous Words Wednesday (May 6)

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. Feel free to join in the fun.

All my words this week are from The Wishing Year by Noelle Oxenhandler.

Schizophrenogenic – “That is, my still rented and increasingly schizophrenogenic house in which there is till no respite from the voices” (p. 87).

Schizophrenogenic is not in my Canadian Oxford, but defines it as “causative of schizophrenia.

Expatiation – “Lacking rituals of expatiation, we rely on illness and other forms of catastrophe to earn the fulfillment of our wishes” (p. 142).

According to my dictionary, expatiation comes from the verb expatiate, which means to “speak or write at length or in detail.”* However, that doesn’t seem to fit the context here, so I also looked it up on, which provides an additional (archaic) definition: “to move or wander about intellectually, imaginatively, etc., without restraint.” This still doesn’t totally make sense to me in this context though...

Zafu – “Everyone falls off their zafus with laughter” (p. 145). defines zafu as “a round thick cushion for sitting meditation, sometimes used on top of a mat.”

Keratosis – “‘But what you have is not a wart. It’s a keratosis’” (p. 207).

A keratosis
is “a skin condition marked by hairy growths.”

Theurgist – “And then, as though I had the ancient gift of theurgists to make the statues talk, I feel as though I hear a voice—a strange voice, somewhere between a neigh, a bray, and a snort” (p. 245).

is from theurgy, which means “supernatural or divine agency especially in human affairs, or the art of securing this.”

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).


  1. Zafu made me laugh! Thanks for sharing these words Avis.

  2. I'm glad I don't have keratosis! Thanks for participating today!

  3. Great words today. I'd agree with Jo-Jo on Zafu.

  4. Jo-Jo and Kerri, zafu makes me think of snafu!

    Thanks for popping by, Kathy!

  5. That was quite an assortment of words! You had me looking up expatiation too (I couldn't find anything different, but now I am curious!)

  6. Kristi, I feel like it's another word she meant to use, but I can't think of what it is. It's on the tip of my tongue...

  7. These are great words! Some I had heard of, and some not, but they're all wonderful.

    My own words are here.