Wondrous Words Wednesday

Wondrous Words Wednesday is a chance to share some new words with readers all over the blogosphere. This week, I didn’t find a lot of words I didn’t know, but I did find some really cool words that I wanted to share. Most of these are from The Gone-Away World, which is so fabulous that I encourage you all to run out and buy it. You’ll be ready for it, after today’s vocabulary lesson:

1. Deliquescent – “No, not pale and aristocratic, I fear, though one can see how you might imagine that, but more on the deliquescent side of things.”

The propensity of a material to dissolve or melt when in open contact with air. This is a little tricky because the sentence refers to clothing – it’s a tailor talking to a client. I believe he’s trying to say that the color doesn’t just make him look pale, but like he might dissolve at any moment.

2. Diktat – “In consequence of her father’s diktat against the sandpit, Elisabeth came to question his wisdom as it emerged from his mouth…”

A diktat is a harsh penalty or settlement imposed upon a defeated party by the victor.

3. Roister – “If we’re going to roister now, if he’s got some line-up of corporate houris we need to check out while drinking some faux-frontiersman drink he got to like back in the day, he’s going to kill me.”

To roister is to carouse: engage in boisterous, drunken merrymaking. And in case you aren’t familiar with houris, in Islam they are described as “as splendid companions of equal age, lovely eyed, of modest gaze, voluptuous, pure beings or companions pure of paradise.”

4. Myrmidons – “Jorgmund’s children – or maybe its myrmidons – do themselves well enough for clothes and rocks.”

There is an ancient Greek definition (a member of the warriors who followed Achilles on the expedition against Troy) that I was familiar with, but here it means a follower who carries out orders without question; a soldier or a subordinate civil officer who executes cruel orders of a superior without protest or pity.

5. Calumny – “‘Oh, that’s actually not bad.’ Calumny. I sit.”

Calumny is a misrepresentation intended to disparage or discredit. (In this case, he refers to an exceptional vintage of wine as “not bad.”)

6. Shuriken – “It is a most curious bee, with 5 sharp points. A shuriken bee, very rare.”

A dart or throwing blade, sometimes with multiple points, used as a weapon by ninja (or samurai).

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