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Wondrous Words Wednesday

July 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.  (Don’t forget to leave a link in your comment if you’re participating.)

All of my words this week come from American Lion by Jon Meacham.

1.  obsequious – “In personal conduct be always polite but never obsequious.”

Obsequious means compliant.  That sentence came from a letter Andrew Jackson received from his wife.

2.  calumny – “Jackson began with a lecture, James Parton wrote, ‘upon the meanness of calumny’.”

Calumny means a misrepresentation intended to harm another’s reputation.

3.  solecism – “It would be a perfect solecism to suppose any such power was conferred by the Constitution .”

Solecism has a few different meanings, but I think the one this sentence refers to is something deviating from the proper, normal or accepted order.

What new words have you discovered lately?

25 Comments leave one →
  1. July 29, 2009 6:32 am

    I love calumny! What a great word. I’m surprised I haven’t seen it before since it does happen quite often in today’s society!

  2. July 29, 2009 7:03 am

    I agree with Julie – I like calumny – it is just unusual! Here are my words.

  3. July 29, 2009 7:13 am

    Solecism is new to me- the others I’ve come across before. I don’t have any new words this week- whew!

  4. July 29, 2009 7:13 am

    Oh I like the word obsequious. I could probably use it on my unsuspecting sister 🙂

  5. July 29, 2009 7:21 am

    Here are my words for this week:

  6. July 29, 2009 7:49 am

    I had to look up calumny not long ago, but I had already forgotten its meaning. Glad to see it on your list as a memory jogger!

    Here is my list:

  7. July 29, 2009 8:29 am

    American Lion was a great book and a great contributor to new words for me as well.

    My new words are at Joyfully Retired

  8. July 29, 2009 8:35 am

    How is that book so far? I have it on my TBR list. A lot of non-fiction books have some of the most interesting words don’t they. Here are mine:

  9. July 29, 2009 8:41 am

    Good words! Mine are here.

  10. July 29, 2009 9:23 am

    I like solecism!

    Wondrous Words Wednesday

  11. July 29, 2009 9:23 am

    Obsequious is one of those words you learn in high school or college, then forget about because you never find a use for it in everyday language. I had forgotten it – and I quite like it. Thank you for reminding me!

    Straight From Hel

  12. July 29, 2009 9:55 am

    Interesting words. Thank you for visiting my first Wondrous Words post:

  13. Carol permalink
    July 29, 2009 11:31 am

    Solecism is a new one for me, too. I only have one on my list this week, and it’s from a kids book. I’m not sure what that says about my reading.

  14. July 29, 2009 12:02 pm

    These are certainly some great words…thanks for sharing them.

  15. July 29, 2009 2:21 pm

    I’ve heard of the first word but not the other two. Interesting.

  16. July 29, 2009 3:09 pm

    This is a great meme! Obsequious and calumny are two wonderful words! I really like the lesson in the sentence obsequious comes from, it’s very much worth remembering and applying in everyday life!

    If I don’t manage to join with you today I will be back next Wednesday!

  17. July 29, 2009 4:39 pm

    I can’t even pronounce the first word :-S

    Since I read a lot of books in English and doesn’t speak English as a native language, there are many new words for me from time to time. Mostly I can figure out the meaning from context though.

    I discovered a new word this week – in Danish though – but here is it’s English equivalent:

    Solipsism – it is a philosophical idea, that one’s own mind is all that exists.

    I’m scared 😉 What if that is all there is?

  18. July 29, 2009 9:40 pm

    I like “calumny” – what a great word! As always, such an interesting list, Kathy.

  19. July 29, 2009 10:33 pm

    I heard the first two but sure wouldn’t have known the meanings.

  20. July 30, 2009 1:32 pm

    obsequious is one of my favorite words ever!

  21. July 30, 2009 3:50 pm

    I’ve heard obsequious before but didn’t know what it meant!

    I’ve posted my words a day late this week but I really didn’t want to miss it

  22. July 30, 2009 8:28 pm

    “Calumny” is new to me! Now, if only I can remember it when playing Scrabble!

  23. August 1, 2009 10:26 pm

    This is a great meme idea! I’m going to start doing this one as well (if I can remember to write the words down as I go, haha)

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