Wondrous Words Wednesday

I’m back!  It’s been ages since I’ve had words to post (after my little vacation), but I have some great words this week.

This week, my words are from The Mistress of Abha by William Newton.  Set in Arabia, it’s the story of a young man’s adventures and his search for the father he barely knew.  Really good story so far — look for the review next week.

1. Wadi – Arabic term traditionally referring to a valley or dry riverbed

“Descending from it on each side were wadis that carried the winter rains…”

2. Dhow – a lateen-rigged sailing vessel used by Arabs

“Did Somalia export something besides locusts, such as pirate dhows?”

Which leads us to…

3. Lateen – a triangular fore-and-aft sail used especially in the Mediterranean

“Their craft was a zaraqah that had a single mast bearing a lateen sail…”

4. Amanuensis – stenographer: someone skilled in the transcription of speech

“The pieces of the jigsaw puzzle that was the story of Abha gradually fell into place and I never tired of it or of being its amanuensis.”

5. Castellations – square indentations like those in a battlement

“…an elaborate qasr built of stone with a roof fortified with castellations…”

6. Infibulation – an act of fastening, especially the stitching together of, the labia to prevent intercourse

“…the maidens’ terror increased when one of the deck-hands descended with a bodkin and sailor’s tar twine for the purpose of infibulation to ensure against interference and loss of virginity.”

Now that is quite an assortment of words!  And I’m only half-finished with the book.

What new words did YOU learn this week?

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