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Wondrous Words Wednesday

April 29, 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 this week’s words come from Admission by Jean Hanff Korelitz.

1.  fecund – “The artist (and dope dealer) had cast aside his own familial trappings and invested his tuition money (originally intended – O irony for Princeton) in a particularly fecund patch of Northern California, where a hale and potent strain of cannabis grew as cheerfully as kudzu back home.”

I had this one written down and then found it defined on Reviews by Bobbie – it means highly fertile.

2.  abstemious – “But while there were utilitarian things around them, things they needed, things to make life simpler or better organized, Susannah seemed thoroughly averse to the idea of acquisition for its own sake and terribly proud of her abstemious character.”

Abstemious means marked by restraint.

3.  defenestrate – “In the past month alone, she had come across “defenestrate” more times than she cared to remember.”

Defenestrate means to throw out of a window.

4.  lacuna – “Besides, how long was this odd lacuna of inactivity going to last?”

A lacuna is a blank space or missing part.

What new words have you discovered lately?

30 Comments leave one →
  1. thekoolaidmom permalink
    April 29, 2009 7:28 am

    I’ve always loved the word “fecund,” though I couldn’t tell you why. It conjures up images of a warm sunny day in a lush, green meadow with lovely women with flowers in their hair dancing and laughing and smiling… sounds like May Day, lol.

    “defenstrate,” on the other hand, reminds me of the In Living Color skits where Damon Wayans is the incarcerated “self-edumacated” man who makes up words to sound smarter. He might “defenstrate” in his cell’s potty.

    Ain’t vocab funny!

  2. April 29, 2009 7:28 am

    The sentence seemed to be using defenestrate as a noun until I realized that the character must be thinking that she comes across that word all the time.

    Interesting. I wonder whether I will remember that one.

  3. April 29, 2009 7:44 am

    you have some interesting words this week, for sure! Actually, I *like* defenestrate; it rolls of the tongue…now, I just need to find a way to work it into conversation, without thinking of thekoolaidmom’s “definition” LoL…

    Anyway, mine are here; I had four this week, as well.

    Happy Reading, everybody!

  4. April 29, 2009 8:03 am

    Great words. Fecund is one that I see around a lot. If I participated “impetus” would be on my list this week–I think it is used on almost every page of Middlemarch!

  5. April 29, 2009 8:36 am

    I had abstemious this week too! This is my first week to participate in this and I’m excited. Check out my post.

  6. April 29, 2009 8:50 am

    Fecund always reminds me a bit of fetid – it brings to mind something overly lush and humid. It’s funny the way words can bring on feelings and smells and sounds.

    My words are here.

  7. April 29, 2009 8:53 am

    Defenestrate is one of my favorite words! Fecund, on the other hand, sounds way too much like feces. (I’m guessing they come from the same root word.)

  8. April 29, 2009 8:56 am

    I love the word defenestrate. I just think it’s crazy there’s a word for throwing something out the window. Don’t we all want to defenestrate our computers some days, though? :p The origins of the word are much sadder, though.

    Here are my words for this week.

  9. April 29, 2009 9:43 am

    Defenestrate is my favourite word this week too, although I can’t imagine having much cause to use it. It does seem like a fancy word for something that one doesn’t do all that often!

    My words are here:

  10. April 29, 2009 10:15 am

    I’m thinking I need to use abstemious more often, especially when it comes to spending so much time surfing blogs.

    My words are here.

  11. April 29, 2009 10:25 am

    I hope that I have a fecund garden this year…for growing vegetables that is! My new words are here:

  12. April 29, 2009 10:27 am

    I knew two out of the four…about half seems my normal score…

  13. April 29, 2009 11:08 am

    Great words this week. Mine are here

  14. April 29, 2009 12:32 pm

    Lacuna is the newest one to me- and my favorite of all those words! My wondrous words are here

  15. April 29, 2009 12:48 pm

    awesome words. The first one I think I have read and heard the most.. the others, not so much. I had a word for this Wednesday from Follow me and I lost it…shucks..

  16. April 29, 2009 1:02 pm

    Thanks for teaching me something today!

  17. April 29, 2009 1:51 pm

    My new words!

  18. Carol permalink
    April 29, 2009 2:47 pm

    I love defenestrate. I can just picture the looks I’d get if I used it, though. I only have one word this week.

  19. April 29, 2009 3:12 pm

    Those are all very good words. I always think defenestrate sounds like something you’d do to a chicken before you stick it in the oven. My two words are here:

  20. stacybuckeye permalink
    April 29, 2009 5:08 pm

    I have seen fecund, but that is not what I thought it meant at all! Thanks for the heads up.

  21. April 29, 2009 5:08 pm

    I ran across “fecund” the other day and couldn’t remember what it meant. I’ve been meaning to Google it, but always remember after I turn off the computer. (My three print dictionaries are feeling very unloved right now.)

  22. April 29, 2009 7:25 pm

    hese are great words, Kathy. My five words (whooo hooo! a record for one week!) are here:

  23. April 29, 2009 8:37 pm

    I think I’ve just found a new favorite word: defenestrate. Cool.

  24. April 29, 2009 9:30 pm

    This makes the SAT words I teach look easy! Please come by my blog as I have an award for you. Thanks!

  25. April 29, 2009 11:19 pm

    The only word I knew was fecund. Defenestrate cracked me up- it sounds like something painful. 😀

  26. April 30, 2009 10:41 am

    Defenestrate is one of my all time favorite words! Did you know Fenster is window in German? Pretty similar!

  27. April 30, 2009 11:40 am

    I’m so behind on my reading schedule, that I couldn’t participate for the past two weeks.

  28. April 30, 2009 8:43 pm

    please join the Community Virtual Book Sale & Giveaway going on May 4 – 15 with a Twitter party May 8th!

    Here is the info to join:

    Pass it on to your other book-lover friends!

  29. May 7, 2009 1:33 pm

    I really like the word fecund!

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