Wondrous Words Wednesday!

Happy Wednesday — it’s time for some new words! You know how this works – share a few words from your current book that you had to look up, then head over to Bermuda Onion’s Weblog to learn some new ones.

This week, I’m working my way through The Woodcutter by Reginald Hill. It’s a terrific thriller and it certainly gave me the challenging reading material I was talking about last week!

1. Pizzicato – Plucking the strings of a violin or other stringed instrument with one’s finger.

“And over the wide woodland tract, so rarely free of the wind’s soughing music above, and the pizzicato of crackling twigs below…”

2. Ailurophilia – A fondness or love for cats or other felines.

“As he explained later, it was ambition rather than ailurophilia that caused him to neglect his other guest.”

3. Expatiate – Speak or write at length or in detail

“He asked her about her book, prompted her to expatiate on her ideas…”

4. Uxorious – Having or showing an excessive or submissive fondness for one’s wife

“Next day he had renewed the attack when  he rang to say that Mr. Childs had been the guest of the uxorious Mr. Justice Toplady, whose cat-loving wife was always on the lookout for elderly bachelors to pair with her unmarried sister.”

5. Ur-text – An original or the earliest version of a text, to which later versions can be compared.

“If ever any doubts about the rightness of his cause crept into his consciousness, all he had to do was refer back to this ur-text and all became simple and straightforward again.”

6. Brocken Spectre – the apparently enormous and magnified shadow of an observer, cast upon the upper surfaces of clouds opposite the sun. The phenomenon can appear on any misty mountainside or cloud bank, or even from an aeroplane, but the frequent fogs and low-altitude accessibility of the Brocken, a peak in the Harz Mountains in Germany, have created a local legend from which the phenomenon draws its name.

“…she might be able to lead him to a moment of self-knowledge when, like a mountain walked confronted by a Brocken Spectre, he would draw back in horror from the monstrous apparition before him, then recognize it as a projection of himself.”

7. Lonning – a small lane

“The ruts on the lonning up to Birkstane Farm were frozen hard.”

And I’m only half-way through the book! Surely there are lots of great words, still to be discovered.


  13 comments for “Wondrous Words Wednesday!

  1. November 2, 2011 at 8:43 am

    Wow, lots of great words today! I really like pizzicato. Thanks for sharing. If you get a chance, my post is here.

  2. November 2, 2011 at 10:03 am

    Are all of these from the same book? Wow! I need to check it out 🙂
    I knew pizzicato (there was a group called Pizzicato Five… but I may be showing my age here) and uxorious and ur-text. Ailurophilia is one that I can never remember, and Brocken Spectre is great, both as a word and as the thing itself. Thanks for sharing!

  3. November 2, 2011 at 10:17 am

    What a great group of words you’ve found there. I had seen a couple of them before, but am pretty sure that I wouldn’t have been able to define them.

  4. November 2, 2011 at 10:36 am

    You did a big work (or a great job ?). So many words and difficult ones !

  5. November 2, 2011 at 10:56 am

    wow, that author has a love for words! My favorites are Uxorious (I should try to incorporate that one in chats around my DH, he will be sooo lost, LOL) and my other favorite is Ailurophilia-fondness for cats, really? we need that word to describe cat lovers? Okay then… I love the picture for Brocken Spectre, beautiful, but it is the type of term you have to look up before you would understand the imagery… Wonder how many more fun words you will find, happy reading! Book Savvy Babe

  6. November 2, 2011 at 11:57 am

    I only knew a couple of those. I do love pizzicato – so descriptive.

  7. November 2, 2011 at 12:45 pm

    So glad to see you got the challenge you were looking for.

  8. November 2, 2011 at 12:53 pm
  9. Lisa
    November 2, 2011 at 2:45 pm

    Be sure to click on the Brocken Spectre link to see a photo of one! It’s really very cool.

  10. November 2, 2011 at 4:04 pm

    They say uxorious like it’s a bad thing! lol These are all great words!

  11. November 2, 2011 at 5:33 pm

    Hi Lisa,

    This sounds like a book I should read, I have only ever read any of this author’s books from his series of novels featuring Dalziel and Pascoe, most of which were adapted into a very successful run of television screenings, but I have never ventured in to any of his stand alone novels.

    I knew of the first three of your words, however the last four were all new to me and of those I really like the sound of a ‘Lonning’, I certainly haven’t come across that one before and I live in an area where that description would suit just fine.

    Some fantastic words, makes a book a whole lot more interesting, when there are plenty of new words and information to be gleaned

  12. November 2, 2011 at 5:56 pm

    Okay, these were some amazing words. The only one I already knew well was Ur-text, because of my university history classes. I confused “expatiate” with “expiate” when I first saw it, and I didn’t know the Pizzicato technique had a specific name, though it makes sense. “Ailurophilia” I could immediately figure out when I looked at it, but only because the fear of cats, “Ailurophasia”, was mentioned on the Charlie Brown Christmas show!

  13. November 2, 2011 at 8:21 pm

    I am going to pick up The Woodcutter by Reginald Hill! Love the words and except for expatiate and uxorious, I did not know the others. (Even the two I do know, I do not remember where I read them before, but was able to figure out the meaning by context).. Thanks for the words and the book.. My words are at my blog.. (Cutting for Stone again this week for me)

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