Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Wondrous Words ~ May 12th, 2010


Wondrous Words is a weekly meme that is hosted by Kathy at Bermudaonion.  The goal is to define new words (to us) that we’ve encountered whilst reading throughout the week. 

the_time_travelers_wife This weeks selections are taken from the soft-top edition of The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger.

I’m about halfway through this novel, and have come across ten new words.  Just enough to keep things interesting, yet not so many that I feel like I’m departing from the story every twenty minutes to look up a new word.

Here are three of my favourites that I will try to commit to memory and maybe even use on occasion.

effete – I look at my plate and it’s ham, with peas and an effete little salad.  I don’t eat pork and I hate peas. Page 167

I had no idea what this word meant until Wiktionary informed me that it denotes lacking strength or vitality; feeble, powerless, impotent.

carom – I send the 4 into a side pocket with a bank shot and get the 5 in the back corner with a lucky carom. Page 194

Although I have played pool frequently in the past, and even worked at a pool hall for a year, I had never heard this word before.  In fact, I believe we would refer to this action as a two-ball combo.  Wiktionary explained it as:  A shot in which the ball struck with the cue comes in contact with two or more balls on the table; a hitting of two or more balls with the player's ball.

venerable – I’m sitting by myself at a tiny table in the front window of Cafe Peregolisi, a venerable little rat hole with excellent coffee. Page 233

I guessed that this word meant cozy or quaint, but Wiktionary cleared that up, as it means commanding respect because of age, dignity, character or position; worthy of reverence; ancient, antiquated or archaic.


  1. Nice words--they were all new to me as well!

  2. I thought I knew effete, but I was wrong! Great words this week! Thanks for playing along.

  3. I loved this book. Hope you like it too. Great words, Is it bad that I don't even remember reading them!!!

    I am passing another award to add to your collection.

  4. I would have failed this vocab test! What a great collection of new words.