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.

  12 comments for “Wondrous Words Wednesday

  1. January 11, 2012 at 10:05 am

    I like slang, often funny ! Thanks for these numerous words !

  2. January 11, 2012 at 10:33 am

    I just love British slang! Thanks for sharing these!

  3. January 11, 2012 at 11:20 am

    Love these words – slang is always fun.. My favorite is the first one – I guess I should be able to use it..

  4. January 11, 2012 at 12:39 pm

    Hi Lisa,

    Being British, I just had to check out the book you were reading, I was beginning to worry when I saw the direction your words were taking!

    I have never come across ‘epigone’ or ‘passeggiata’ before, but would love to be able to use them both someday.

    Slang words always look and sound so bad, don’t they? although most of your words are not really used on a day to day basis any more.

    I am not sure that this is a book I shall be rushing out to buy, but I would be interested in reading your thoughts about it.

  5. January 11, 2012 at 1:11 pm

    Now I’m really prepared for reading my copy of this book. Looking forward to your review.

  6. January 11, 2012 at 4:34 pm

    All of those are new to me, but that makes sense. I barely know American slang, let alone British.

  7. Lisa
    January 11, 2012 at 4:52 pm

    Yvonne, stop back tomorrow to see the review! I really enjoyed the book, even though I didn’t think I would when it started.

  8. January 11, 2012 at 4:53 pm

    What fantastic words! I especially like epigone. Thanks for sharing.

  9. January 11, 2012 at 7:18 pm

    Some of these I knew, but most were new. “Oik” is an old favorite.

  10. January 11, 2012 at 7:37 pm

    I just love British slang and wish I could remember it well enough to use it. Great words today!

  11. January 11, 2012 at 10:26 pm

    I learned boffin recently from Scott Westerfeld’s Leviathan series. It’s steam punk so has lots of made-up words. I thought boffin was one of the made-up words until recently when I saw it somewhere else.

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