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.


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