Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Wondrous Words Wednesday (June 17)

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 Local News by Miriam Gershow.

Cacodemon – “‘Cacodemon’s a good one,’ I said, but my heart wasn’t in it” (p. 46).

According to Wikipedia, a cacodemon is “an evil spirit or demon (in the modern sense of the word). The opposite of a cacodemon is an agathodaemon or eudaemon, a good spirit or angel.

Paladin – “He was a first-level paladin” (p. 100).

According to my dictionary, a paladin is “any of the twelve peers of Charlemagne’s court, of whom the Count Palatine was the chief; a knight errant, a champion; or a dedicated advocate or supporter of a cause.”* However, since they are referring to Dungeons & Dragons here, I had to turn to Wikipedia for a more precise definition: a paladin is “one of the standard playable character classes in most editions of the Dungeons & Dragons fantasy role-playing games. The paladin is a holy knight, crusading in the name of good and order.”

Eluviation – “‘Humus first and then topsoil and eluviation and then, and then . . .’” (p. 109). defines eluvium as “a deposit of soil, dust, etc., formed from the decomposition of rock and found in its place of origin” (which is surely what the character was thinking of) and thus eluviation is “the lateral or downward movement of dissolved or suspended material within soil when rainfall exceeds evaporation.

Regolith – “‘Regolith,’ she finally said” (p. 109).

Regolith is “unconsolidated solid material covering the bedrock of a planet.

Trifecta – “. . . my mother having ventured uncharacteristically into the world to buy tampons, dish soap, and dog food, a trifecta of scarcity that even she could not ignore” (p. 223).

A trifecta is “a group of three related events or people.” (Hmm, I’m not sure how tampons, dish soap and dog food are related, except in the most general of ways...)

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. I only knew trifecta. Great list--thanks!

  2. I knew paladin because the mascot at one of our local colleges is the Paladins and there was a write up in the paper about it. Thanks for participating.

  3. Those are some great words this week Avis...I think I could probably use trifecta-not with tampons though! lol

  4. I knew the word trifecta. I really like how that word sounds.

  5. I only knew one!! How sad!!! Love the vocab test!

  6. Great list. I only knew a couple of them.

  7. Paladin was the only one I knew. My son was a big D&D player as a kid. For a while that was all we heard about.