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’ve got a few remaining words from Other People’s Money by Justin Cartwright. I liked this book a lot more than I thought I would in the beginning!

1. Passeggiata – (Italian) stroll : evening stroll after work hours by the residents of a town

“For his turtle-dove serenaded and rosemary-scented passeggiata around the garden, he has taken to wearing Harry’s plum-colored trousers and his Lock’s panama.”

2. Oiks – (English slang) Deprecatory schoolboy word for a member of another school; an unpopular or disliked fellow-pupil

“He asks Jade to open the gates, a Victorian Gothic wooden door, studded with fancy medieval ironwork — Cy will love this — and as he arrives at the car park she is waiting, sturdy, beside the gate, plumped up defensively like a hen, as if ready to repel the oiks.”

3. Boffin – (English slang) A person engaged in scientific or technical research: “a computer boffin”

“He has no hope of getting his own computer to work because he can’t afford to get in a boffin until he’s paid.”

4. Epigone – A less distinguished follower or imitator

“…she’s having sex with a huge, hairy Afrikaner, an epigone of Harry, an uncultured, shallow and faintly hectoring athlete.”

I thought this would be pronounced like epitome, it’s opposite, but the pronunciation is entirely different!

5. Spivs – (English slang) a person without employment who makes money by various dubious schemes; goes about smartly dressed and having a good time.

“The spivs in London and Frankfurt have lost hundreds of billions pissing into the wind and now I can’t even get my grant.”

6. Cottager – (British slang) one who engages in anonymous gay sex in public toilets. Has its roots in self-contained English toilet blocks that look like cottages.

“Her own father had lived fairly placidly amongst them for fourteen years, before it turned out he was gay and a vigorous cottager.

Lots of British slang today! Be sure to check back for my review.

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