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Wondrous Words Wednesday

September 23, 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 this week’s words come from Say You’re One of Them by Uwem Akpan.

1. glossolalia – “Though his mouth was wide, the torrent of glossolalia flying out seemed bigger.”

Glossolalia means tongue.

Edited to add:  According to my dictionary, Merrian-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary, Eleventh Edition, glossolalia simply means tongue.  After Wordlily‘s comment, I decided to look elsewhere, and according to Wiktionary, it does mean speaking in tongues.


2. catarrh – “In school the next morning, we were drowsy and dull and our noses ran as if we had catarrh.”

Catarrh means inflammation of a mucous membrane.


3. harmattan – “Beyond this, the savannah, clothed in the reddish harmattan dust, extended in every direction, like an endless ocean, with Lupa City and a few villages and towns dotting it like little islands.”

Harmattan is a dust-laden wind on the Atlantic coast of Africa in some seasons.


What new words have you encountered lately?

27 Comments leave one →
  1. September 23, 2009 5:17 am

    Oh I’m very excited – it’s the first time I’m doing this and it was fun (I also didn’t know what glassolalia was…)

  2. September 23, 2009 5:28 am

    I didn’t know about glossolalia. I like that. I will stick my glossolalia!


    Wondrous Words Wednesdays

  3. September 23, 2009 6:59 am

    Guess what – I’m here!

    glossolalia – wow! Never heard of it!

  4. September 23, 2009 7:02 am

    Catarrh – I suppose we’ve all experienced this one at some time or other. You always have a great list!

    I have three words here:

  5. September 23, 2009 7:30 am

    I’m still trying to get over “torrent of glossolalia.” Does that really work as an image? torrent of tongue? All right. Still pondering.

  6. Geri permalink
    September 23, 2009 7:52 am

    One of my fav words…kerfuffle. It means a disorderly/confused state.
    She certainly caused a kerfuffle by showing up for dinner in her pyjamas.

  7. September 23, 2009 8:10 am

    yuck! who gave the mighty tongue that twister of a name 🙂 [glossolalia ]

  8. September 23, 2009 8:22 am

    I find the first two words especially interesting. I don’t want to leave out the third one. That one interests me also.

  9. September 23, 2009 8:36 am

    I only knew the first word. The second word I knew of vaguely. I have never heard of the 3rd word.

    Here is mine:

  10. September 23, 2009 8:49 am

    I’ve heard glossolalia before; I thought it meant the phenomenon of speaking in tongues.

    Here are my words this week:

  11. September 23, 2009 9:24 am

    I liked harmattan only because it sounds pretty in that sentence. It makes me think of the Santa Ana winds off the Pacific Ocean.

    My new words are HERE.

  12. September 23, 2009 9:26 am

    I’ve always liked the word catarrh. Almost makes being sick sound exotic. 🙂

  13. September 23, 2009 9:30 am

    These are some great words this week-I will probably be able to use catarrh this winter myself! My words are here:

  14. September 23, 2009 9:34 am

    I had a question about my word for today. I didn’t know whether to ask or keep wondering. I looked up a few definitions for “panegyric.” All definitions were about “praise.” I didn’t feel comfortable with just “praise.” After reading the word in my book, I felt “panegyric” would mean an abundance of words about a negative situation. Help!!

    So, I am adding more sentences here than the one I gave earlier.

    “The project purported to be like all Wickham’s others: “absolutely certain to double their money” in a few years. It offered Bennet an “investment opportunity.” Wickham and his cohorts proposed to buy up old post horses, spruce them up, and sell them at London fairs. Bennet decided to answer that one in a carefully expanded “panegyric” on the evils of speculations.”

    It seems to me Bennet decides to give his full, unrevised opinion of a bad situation which is being applauded “praised” by someone else.

    Is panegyric being used two ways in one sentence, for negativity as well as praise???

  15. September 23, 2009 9:35 am

    Please answer the question on my link.

  16. September 23, 2009 10:07 am

    I’m a little late, but here are my words.

    Those are some truly unusual words this week! I have run across catarrh before, but I’m not sure I looekd it up. Sounds like an interesting read.

  17. September 23, 2009 11:04 am

    I love learning all of these new tongue twisters!! 🙂

  18. September 23, 2009 11:33 am

    Your first two words are very interesting! lol I love that glossolalia, it’s a great sounding word!

    Here are mine:

    Wondrous Words

    This is such a great meme! Now if only I could remember all these words!
    ~ Amy

  19. September 23, 2009 11:44 am

    Mine is posted at my place, Just Books. I have a problem with catarrh myself. Thanks for the extra word I can use instead of snotty nose. Have a great day!


  20. September 23, 2009 11:49 am

    I had heard of all of these words before, but the only one that I could actually recall the meaning of was catarrh.

  21. September 23, 2009 11:55 am

    I’ve not encountered these words, that’s for sure!

  22. September 23, 2009 1:02 pm

    These are good….I should try to write down the ones I look up as well.

  23. September 23, 2009 1:48 pm

    I haven’t heard any of your words before. Here are mine…

  24. September 23, 2009 1:59 pm

    You know, as lazy as I am about looking words up, I think I should participate once in a while. Those are some interesting words you found this time.


  25. September 23, 2009 9:41 pm

    Not words you hear every day!

    I hope to remember these definitions when I read SAY YOU’RE ONE OF THEM!

  26. September 23, 2009 11:08 pm

    I like the word catarrh. I must remember this word.

    Here are my Wondrous Words

  27. September 24, 2009 2:12 am

    What? I have never even heard of these words. I thought who uses them? And then I saw how the author spelled his last name. It’s all very clear now.

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