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Wondrous Words Wednesday

August 12, 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.)

Right now, I’m reading Apologize, Apologize! by Elizabeth Kelly.  I’m about halfway through and, so far, this book is full of quirky characters, and a few new words.  Here are the new words I’ve encountered so far:

1.  Panoptic – “‘Always seek the panoptic view, boys, said Pop, who was committed to the notion that check writing begins at home.”

After I looked this one up, I realized, I should have been able to figure it out, but for some reason, it didn’t click.  Panoptic means being or presenting a comprehensive or panoramic view.

2.  Epicene – “‘It’s okay,’ I said, handing her a tissue, giving her an epicene squeeze.”

Epicene means having but one form to indicate either sex.

3. Bespoke – “His red hair gleaming in the morning light, deep blue jacket and pants covered in dew, Pop was drunk and drooling, abidingly subversive in a bespoke suit, posed inelegantly in the green garden, and around us the soft sound of sprinklers signaling a kind of soft, wary oblivion.”

No wonder I didn’t know this one – bespoke means custom-made.  That’s way out of my budget!

What new words have you learned lately?

32 Comments leave one →
  1. August 12, 2009 6:03 am

    I first learned the word “panoptic” when I came across the Panopticon in a book. A weird concept if I ever saw one!

  2. August 12, 2009 7:01 am

    Loved learning epicene!

    Will use it too.

    Wednesday: Wondrous Words/A-Z wednesday

  3. August 12, 2009 7:28 am

    Epicene was still a little unclear to me, so I looked it up too and apparently it also means “feeble or weak” and also “unmasculine/effeminate”. So that kinda helped. Nice one.

  4. August 12, 2009 7:45 am

    Too bad about Pop drooling on his bespoke suit!!!

  5. August 12, 2009 7:48 am

    One of the enjoyable things about this new word meme is that you often get a good sense of what a new book is like. Based on your new words, I like this book already.

    My Wondrous Words are at: Joyfully Retired

  6. August 12, 2009 8:02 am

    All new to me too! I’m still not sure I understand epicene even as it relates to that sentence.

  7. August 12, 2009 8:15 am

    I thought I might know “bespoke”, but I was wrong. Oh well. I have no custom-made clothing either. 🙂 So all were new to me. Great list.

    I only have two words this week:

  8. August 12, 2009 8:32 am

    I love the word bespoke! I’ve made custom things for other people, so I guess that’s why I know it. 🙂

    My words post for the week (I finally got my words archived into their own page!):

  9. August 12, 2009 8:53 am

    I’ve read the word bespoke a lot. It’s usually in a sentence like this ~ he shot his bespoke cuffs. I could be facetious and say what crime did the cuffs commit.

    Good words, Kathy.
    Have a great week.

  10. August 12, 2009 9:51 am

    The epicene example still had me puzzled, even after the definition and re-reading the sentence. I guess it meant that the squeeze had no sexual overtones. Gotta love new words!

    Straight From Hel

  11. August 12, 2009 9:51 am

    Bespoke is a great word! I was obviously born in the wrong time; I love such old-fashioned words!

    I remember reading that book Nymeth mentioned, with the Panopticon, but I can’t remember the name of it! It’s going to bother me, I just know it.

  12. August 12, 2009 10:16 am

    Interesting words, I have not heard of any of them. I would think that bespoke would have meant something else. Here are my words this week.

  13. Carol permalink
    August 12, 2009 11:02 am

    Good words. I thought I knew bespoke, but was wrong. Mine post is up, too.

  14. August 12, 2009 11:58 am

    I always love your Wondrous Words posts. Panoptic is lovely.

    I’d play if I could only remember to keep track of words that are new to me!

  15. August 12, 2009 12:48 pm

    Panoptic is the only one that I knew. I’d be interested to know what other context “epicene” would be used in. It’s not one I’ve encountered before.

  16. August 12, 2009 1:57 pm

    I do not have anything bespoke either Kathy! It’s nice to look up these words even if you think you know what it means. Thanks for sharing them…
    Mine are here:

  17. August 12, 2009 2:13 pm

    I miss playing word games with you guys, but since my move, I can barely keep abreast with my reading assignments. One day, I may return to play again.

  18. justicejenniferreads permalink
    August 12, 2009 2:37 pm

    I love learning new words. Unfortunately, I don’t always take the time to look up words I come across when reading. Nonetheless, this is a wonderful idea that I might join.

  19. August 12, 2009 4:15 pm

    Thanks for supplying me with a nifty new word. (Did I just say nifty? Oh well . . .) I had heard the other two, but panoptic was new to me. It’s my new word for the week – now if I can just come up with a sentence to use it in!

  20. August 12, 2009 4:45 pm

    These were all new words to me.

    Here are my words this week:

  21. August 12, 2009 4:50 pm

    How could epicene ever be used in conversation?!

    Here’s mine!

  22. August 12, 2009 5:02 pm

    I love the word bespoke. It’s highlighted in my dictionary (yes, because I’m a freak who highlights her favorite words LOL).

    This is my first week participating and I’m so excited! Unfortunately, I forgot to note the page numbers that I found the words on, which I normally do. *sigh*

    Anyway, without further ado :D, here is my Wondrous Words Wednesday post.

  23. August 12, 2009 5:15 pm

    Drunk and drooling is so unattractive.

  24. August 12, 2009 6:32 pm

    These are interesting words. I’ve heard of ‘bespoke’ but the other two.

  25. August 12, 2009 7:35 pm

    I feel as if I’ve learned no new words in a very long time.

    (on my own)

    And that I need to.

  26. August 12, 2009 9:16 pm

    Can’t say I had heard any of those used.

  27. August 12, 2009 10:46 pm

    Hmmm… never came across these words except for bespoke, and I didn’t know what it meant. Thanks for pointing these out!

  28. August 13, 2009 10:46 am

    I had come across ‘epicene’ before, but I thought it meant something totally different! I’m a day late, but my words are here

  29. August 14, 2009 9:08 am

    I wouldn’t have guessed that meaning for “bespoke” … the whole passage sounds so pompous; it’s a fitting word!

  30. August 27, 2009 4:45 pm

    I was sure I posted this yesterday, but apparently, I was dreaming!

    My words are here.


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