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Wondrous Words Wednesday

March 11, 2009


Wondrous Words Wednesday is a weekly meme where we share new (to us) words that we’ve encountered in our reading.  Feel free to join in the fun.

1.  farang – This word is from Where Am I Wearing? by Kelsey Timmerman and it’s used like this, “England, New Zealand, and the United States, and most other countries that we farangs come from are Levi’s countries.”

I couldn’t find farang in the dictionary, but according to wikipedia, it is a Thai word and is used for foreigners of European ancestry.

2.  quotidian – I found this word in Undress Me in the Temple of Heaven by Susan Jane Gilman.  “The wall and its landscape existed beyond all petty, quotidian fears.”

Quotidian means every day.

3. homunculus – This came from Undress Me in the Temple of Heaven too.  “He’s a homunculus.”

Homunculus is a little man.

4. fiat – This is another word from Undress Me in the Temple of Heaven.  “Technically she is no longer in police custody, yet the Chinese have managed to incarcerate her by fiat.”

Fiat is a command or act of will that creates something without or as if without further effort.

What new words have you discovered lately?

23 Comments leave one →
  1. March 11, 2009 7:46 am

    My list is up too.

    I really like “quotidian”….I’ve got to figure out a way to work that one into a conversation today.

    Maybe that could be a Thursday meme. “How did you work a Weird Wednesday Word into a conversation today”!

  2. March 11, 2009 8:38 am

    Love the word homunculus! It’s so funny! I’m going to have to use it sometime soon in conversation!

  3. March 11, 2009 8:49 am

    The first word is totally new to me. The second is not new, but I had the meaning wrong. Thanks!!!

  4. March 11, 2009 9:09 am

    Interesting words. Wonder why anyone would rather say quotidian than every day? Seems like a mouthful to me.

  5. March 11, 2009 9:29 am

    I love that a word meaning something simple or normal would start with the letter q, which isn’t exactly common, and sounds similar to quotient which makes me think of division and divisiveness.

  6. March 11, 2009 10:00 am

    I am so going to get myself organized and participate in Wondrous Words Wednesday soon. I love it!

  7. March 11, 2009 10:05 am

    Great words! I knew what a homunculus was, because I read Dragon Rider by Cornelia Funke aloud to the kids, and one of the characters was a homunculus. 🙂

    Here’s mine:

  8. March 11, 2009 10:20 am

    Great words! I really like homunculus and fiat made me laugh – I’ll never be able to see a Fiat car now without thinking of this definition 🙂

    I’ve been reading mostly graphic novels and YA so I only had one word this week 😦 Going to save it for next Wednesdays Words.

  9. March 11, 2009 10:21 am

    Thanks for sharing “farang” from my book. Cambodia is right next to Thailand so I believe it is a spill over and is used to describe foreigners in most of SE Asia. Basically it’s the equivalent of “gringo” in Latin America.

    Enjoyed the other words except for the inefficient homunculus. “Little man” has one fewer letters.

  10. Karina permalink
    March 11, 2009 10:27 am

    I came across ‘moiety’ yesterday and had to look it up. I had a ‘duh’ moment when I realized that it comes from the French word ‘moitie’ (and I speak French) meaning half.

  11. March 11, 2009 11:16 am

    Fiat was the only one I knew. I like the idea of looking for words in Wikipedia if they are not in the dictionary. It amazes me the amount of knowledge available to us just with the slightest movement of our fingers.

    Mine’s here

  12. March 11, 2009 12:27 pm

    Farang is a new one to me!

    My Wondrous Words are here:

  13. March 11, 2009 1:00 pm

    I love quotidian!

  14. March 11, 2009 2:22 pm

    Homunculus brought me back to high school where a shorter-than-average boy was teased mercilessly after this appeared in a vocab list (maybe SAT? I don’t remember!)

  15. March 11, 2009 2:25 pm

    See! Homunculus is an evil word.

  16. jayayess permalink
    March 11, 2009 5:35 pm

    I love this Words Wednesday concept! Especially that you mention where the words that you find come from. Also there seems to be many commenters who keep vocabulary lists and that’s encouraging. Of course, I do as well, at Cheers.

  17. March 11, 2009 9:26 pm

    I definitely want to read Undress Me in the Temple of Heaven!

  18. March 11, 2009 10:30 pm

    And there is a whole homunculus attitude. Maybe you can find a word for that.

  19. Carol permalink
    March 12, 2009 12:00 pm

    Great list. I have to admit I really enjoying seeing everyone’s words. My list is up, even if it is a day late.

  20. March 12, 2009 5:11 pm

    I recently came across “homunculus” in my reading, too (but I’d seen it before, so didn’t put it on my list). I really like “farang”. It just sounds cool! I wish I could use it in conversation, but nobody I know is Thai.

  21. March 17, 2009 4:56 pm

    I liked the word homunculus for little man. . . think I might use that one on my exhusband. hehehe

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