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Wondrous Words Wednesday

May 20, 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 for this week come from The English Patient by Michael Ondaatje.

1.  palanquin – “He was carried in a palanquin of felt and branch.”

A palanquin is a conveyance formerly used, especially in eastern Asia, usually for one person, that consists of an enclosed litter borne on the shoulders of men by means of poles.

2.  aspidistra – “She saw the places they went, where the gang never went, crowded with aspidistra.”

Aspidistra is an Asian plant of the lily family.

3.  propinquity – “He later said it was propinquity. Propinquity in the desert.”

Propinquity means nearness in place (proximity) or of relations (kinship).

4.  linnet – “The way he watches the arc of a linnet in terms of the space it gathers away from the surface of the earth.”

A linnet is a common, small, Old World finch.

What new words have you discovered lately?

24 Comments leave one →
  1. May 20, 2009 5:12 am

    I didn’t know the plant, but I knew the rest. I could never get into The English Patient…

  2. May 20, 2009 6:45 am

    These words give the book a scholarly feeling. I have a few new words. Come over to Joyfully Retired.

  3. May 20, 2009 6:50 am

    The first two have such a fun sound to them!

  4. May 20, 2009 7:11 am

    You did pretty good if there were only words from that book!

  5. May 20, 2009 7:53 am

    Palanquins are still used in some places of Interior India to carry a new bride.

    Aspidistra is a new word for me.

  6. May 20, 2009 8:09 am

    Great words this week; the only one I was familiar with is aspidistra. As soon as you defined palanquin, I knew precisely what you were describing, tho!
    “propinquity” is a fun one to say…

    Anyway, my weekly words are here.

    Hope everybody has a good week ahead!

  7. May 20, 2009 8:52 am

    I’ve always liked the sound of propinquity!

  8. May 20, 2009 9:23 am

    Welp, you just gave me 4 new words. All were new to me. What I like about new words is sounding them out, trying to get all the consonants and vowels in the right place. (Weird, I know.)

    Straight From Hel

  9. May 20, 2009 9:30 am

    These were all new to me this week.

    I’ve posted a few circus words from Water for Elephants this week.

  10. May 20, 2009 10:08 am

    Great words! I’ve never read The English Patient – I look forward to your review.

    More words from Tess for me:

  11. May 20, 2009 11:58 am

    Those were new to me too. My words are here.

  12. Carol permalink
    May 20, 2009 1:45 pm

    great words. I’m disappointed that I don’t have any this week.

  13. May 20, 2009 1:53 pm

    I’ve heard the word aspidistra many times before, but never knew what it meant. For some reason, I thought it was a kind of bird – I think because of the title of one of George Orwell’s novels, Keep the Aspidistra Flying.

  14. May 20, 2009 3:28 pm

    All of those words were new to me 🙂

    This is the first time I’m joining in one WoW, here is my word this week

  15. May 20, 2009 4:31 pm

    Great words this week Kathy…I remember palanquin from Peony in Love.

  16. May 20, 2009 8:59 pm

    Ah, wouldn’t it be nice to be carried on a palanquin! Born in the wrong time and place, I suppose!

  17. May 20, 2009 9:03 pm

    I would have to choose propinquity as my favorite here. I love vocab.

  18. May 20, 2009 9:46 pm

    I have several words from The Mayor of Casterbridge by Thomas Hardy

  19. May 21, 2009 1:18 am

    Read the book, The Godfather, before watching the movie. LOL
    I snuck read it when I was 12.. my parents had no idea, but I’ve always loved that book.
    go figure.
    I have been “food blogging” and not “book” blogging, but I always find time to read your blog.

  20. May 21, 2009 5:57 pm

    Hey, do I get a prize if I know all of them? Yes, the great chartroose has a way with wordz!

    Have a great weekend, Kath. I’m going to veg THE ENTIRE TIME!

  21. May 21, 2009 6:34 pm

    Ugh, I only knew #1!!! I love Wondrous Words Wednesday, makes my brain expand!!

  22. May 22, 2009 1:46 pm

    I only know aspidistra because it was in the title of a George Orwell novel I read. I’m late this week, but my words are here.

  23. Cindy permalink
    May 22, 2009 7:10 pm

    I didn’t know any of these words. I love this blog!

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