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Wondrous Words Wednesday

March 18, 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.  All of my words this week come from Galway Bay by Mary Pat Kelly, so they have an Irish flavor to them.

1.  spailpins – “Always the hardest-working of all laborers, despite being the youngest of the spailpins .”

Spailpins were laborers  hired for digging potatoes; coming mostly from the west and south-west, they traveled to richer counties like Munster and Limerick or to England.

2.  bawn – “Ah, the peasant jockey and his colleen bawn.”

According to wikipedia, a bawn is a wall surrounding an Irish tower house; its original purpose was to protect livestock during attack.

3. whinge – “Never a whine or a whinge.”

Whinge means to complain fretfully.

What new words have you discovered lately?

34 Comments leave one →
  1. March 18, 2009 7:23 am

    I love it!! I didn’t know any of your words, and I’m pretty sure I’m going to whinge about it all day!

    I’ll tell my kids to “quitcher whingin’ already”

    My list is here.

  2. March 18, 2009 7:27 am

    I don’t remember seeing any of your words. It seems that the maker of words cheated with “whinge;” only one letter extra is needed, so why bother?

  3. March 18, 2009 7:28 am

    whinge is one I knew….and do.
    my Irish ancestors…and they are all Irish… may well have been spailpins.

  4. March 18, 2009 8:54 am

    I’ve been whinging for years and years and didn’t even know it!

  5. March 18, 2009 10:05 am

    Like Caite, I knew and am guilty of whinging, but the others are completely new to me!

    My words are here:

  6. March 18, 2009 10:05 am

    I love whinge! I use that all the time. Too many Brit friends, apparently.

    I didn’t find any words in my reading, but I found a great website that you are all going to love: SaveThe Come on over to my blog and check it out! What word will you adopt?

  7. March 18, 2009 10:31 am

    Whinge–I like that one! I bet I could find frequent use for that one.

  8. March 18, 2009 10:32 am

    Ohhhh… I like “whinge.” I am going to have to fit that into my conversations today.

  9. March 18, 2009 10:36 am

    Your review of this book yesterday made it sound terrific. And now these great words – I really want to read this book. I believe I’ve been a spailpin in my former gardening days.

    My wondrous words are here

  10. March 18, 2009 11:03 am

    My new one last week was “inanition,” which is the the condition or quality of being empty or the lack of vitality or spirit. I’m just looking for an excuse to use it. I’m thinking I will blame my failure to do something on “inanition” and see if people think I have a disease.

  11. March 18, 2009 11:04 am

    These are all new words to me. I love it when authors include words very specific to the culture. My wondrous words are here:

  12. March 18, 2009 11:47 am

    These are great words Kathy, I didn’t know any of them. I found a new word and have it posted here:

  13. March 18, 2009 12:00 pm

    This book had a wealth of words, good thing there was a glossary in the back. My post is here

  14. March 18, 2009 12:27 pm

    I probably could have listed almost three words a page for the 1st 100 pages! 😉 Darn glossary!

  15. March 18, 2009 12:48 pm

    These were all new to me words. I don’t have any new ones to add this week. 😦

  16. March 18, 2009 12:49 pm

    Great words!Whinge is a winner.

  17. March 18, 2009 1:00 pm

    I had to look up spailpins as well.

  18. March 18, 2009 2:13 pm

    Hi Kathy, I just read your question on my MM post. Tina Wells, author of Mackenzie Blue, looks quite young from hr picture on the cover . I think you are thinking of Tina Louise who played Ginger on Gilligan’s Island. All these Tinas, who can keep them straight, except of course for Tina Turner, fabulous lady! Lol!!

  19. Carol permalink
    March 18, 2009 2:35 pm

    Love the words. Mine is up , too.

  20. March 18, 2009 3:22 pm

    Are you speaking w/an Irish brogue too? Sometimes happenss to me when my friend’s family form Scotland comes over for a month 🙂

  21. March 18, 2009 3:26 pm

    I love this meme and start to panic if I don’t come across any new words. Mine are here.

  22. fleurfisher permalink
    March 18, 2009 6:38 pm

    Great words. I knew whinge (and I use it regularly) but the others are new to me. I’ve found no new words this week, but I’ll keep looking!

  23. March 18, 2009 6:40 pm

    Great words. Going to totally use those in a sentence this week 🙂

  24. March 18, 2009 7:32 pm

    I love your words – especially whinge. I’ve actually used that one before. 🙂

    Here’s my post – I have some fascinating words from a really dry essay by Whitman:

  25. March 18, 2009 8:16 pm

    I’ve heard of whinge before (I picked up quite a few mainly Irish words when reading Greyfriars Bobby by Eleanor Atkinson) but not these others. Interesting!

  26. March 18, 2009 9:18 pm

    Well, I knew whinge but the other two are new to me. Gotta love those Irish.

  27. March 18, 2009 9:31 pm

    Whinge!!! That reminds me of living in the expat community in Japan. 🙂

  28. March 18, 2009 10:06 pm

    I’ve always loved whinge (well, the word…not necessarily the act of whinging). The other two words are new to me. Good for you for keeping track of new words. I always say I will, then I never do.

  29. March 19, 2009 12:15 am

    I think “whinge” is my new favorite word.

  30. March 19, 2009 3:20 am

    Don’t look now, but you’ve gotten another award!

  31. March 19, 2009 7:27 am

    I gave up taking notes on Galway Bay. I was so overwhelmed with the Irish that I think my mind closed to everything else and I just worked off context. I don’t even remember seeing spailspin.

  32. March 19, 2009 12:10 pm

    Whinge! I love that word, it’s new to me, although I see it all the time in my kids (whining too, which leads me to wining 🙂 )

    I’ll introduce it at the dinner table tonight.

  33. thekoolaidmom permalink
    March 21, 2009 9:09 am

    My copy of The Book Thief is a UK copy, and it had the word “whinge” in it, too. I had never seen the word before and thought maybe it was one of those American English-British English spelling variations, this time whinge=whine. Interesting to learn it is a word unto itself 🙂 Thanks!

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