Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Wondrous Words Wednesday (July 1)

Wondrous Words Wednesday button
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 Opposite of Love by Julie Buxbaum.

Marquise – “‘Princess, oval, marquise?’” (p. 10).

Marquise is “a pointed oval shape cut of a diamond, usually with 58 facets.”*

Pantsing/swirlie – “Carl must have been pantsed daily in high school, been beaten up in the cafeteria, perhaps even swirlied” (p. 26).

According to Wikipedia, pantsing and swirlies are both school pranks. Pantsing is “the act of pulling down a person’s pants . . . and sometimes also the person’s underwear,” while a swirlie involves “holding the victim upside down with his or her head in the toilet bowl, and flushing.”

Punt – “‘Jess, I’m not trying to punt here, but can we talk about this later?’” (p. 36).

According to my dictionary, to punt has several meaning: to “propel (a punt) with a pole, or travel or convey in a punt,” to “kick (a ball, especially in football or rugby) after it has dropped from the hands and before it reaches the ground” or to “lay a stake against the bank, gamble or bet; speculate.” However, none of these definitions are appropriate here. The Urban Dictionary offers one more possibility: “to skip classes or avoid doing work,” which sounds more like it.

Swatch of boucle fabricBouclé – “She wears a bouclé Chanel suit, and her hair is sprayed into a platinum globe around her head” (p. 59).

Bouclé is a type of “yarn (especially wool) with a looped or curled ply; or a fabric knitted or woven from this yarn, having a knotted and curled appearance.”

Schadenfreude – “It is the culture of competition stirred with schadenfreude that I find disheartening” (p. 189-190).

Schadenfreude means “the malicious enjoyment of another’s misfortunes.”

Jenga – “‘No! Jenga!’ she says, and throws her hands in the air” (p. 199).

According to Wikipedia, Jenga is “a game of physical and mental skill . . . in which players remove blocks from a tower and put them on top.”

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 knew all of them except for Schadenfreude...I feel smart today..Thanks!!!

  2. Oh I like this meme!

    LOL have to laugh at Staci's comment.

    Schadenfreude - now that's a good word.


  3. Are swirlies an American tradition. You found a lot of fun words last week! Thanks for participating.

  4. I've never played Jenga but just by looking at it I would have thought it was more physical than mental. Interesting.

  5. Boucle suits used to be very fashionable. I haven't heard of them in quite some time. Your book sounds good, based on your words.