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Wondrous Words Wednesday

October 28, 2009


Wondrous Words Wednesday is a weekly meme where we share new (to us) words that we’ve encountered in our reading.  If you want to play along, grab the new button (or the old graphic), and join the fun!  (Don’t forget to leave a link in your comment if you’re participating.)

My first two words this week came from Nine Dragons by Michael Connelly.

1. varietals – “The wine aisles had overhead signs displaying varietals and world regions of wine, and there were no gallon jugs stacked at the end.”

Varietal means: of, relating to, or characterizing a variety.  (I feel like I should have known that one!)


2. gimballed – “Besides the wheel, Bosch saw glowing dials, double radar screens, twin throttles, and a large gimballed compass.”

Carl was able to tell me what this one meant.  A gimbal is a device that permits a body to incline freely in any direction or suspends it so it will remain level when its support is tipped.


Taking a lesson from Margot, I found my last word on a blog. This one came from Jill of Rhapsody in Books review of Sisters in War by Christina Asquith.

3. hegemonic – “The author recounts in detail the mishandling of the invasion by the Americans: appointments were based on political loyalty to the Bush Administration rather than competence, experience, or facility with Arabic; emphasis was placed on establishing an immediate democracy without any consideration to groundwork or more pressing needs (Americans seemed oblivious to the fact that Iraqis were more concerned with safety, schools, medical care, and which form of Islam would be hegemonic rather than with forming “democratic” organizations); troop levels were too low to ensure order among the simmering tribal and religious rivalries that had been held in check by Saddam; and many hired contractors were low-lives who needed to get out of the U.S.: they often built shoddy facilities knowing there was no rule of law to stop them, and they threw their weight around in an offensive manner with respect to the locals in general and woman in particular.”

Hegemony means preponderant influence or authority over others: domination.


What new words have you encountered lately?

26 Comments leave one →
  1. Snowbell permalink
    October 28, 2009 6:01 am

    I like gimballed – never heard it before (then again neither does my spell checker…)
    Here are my words

  2. October 28, 2009 7:11 am

    Hey! I had gimbal a few weeks ago! Then I saw it again in another book!

    Here’s my list:

  3. October 28, 2009 8:09 am

    Hegemony – seen it; heard it; but couldn’t define it. So I’m glad you shared that one.

    I only have one word this week (I didn’t read enough!):

  4. October 28, 2009 8:21 am

    awesome – I always enjoy these.

  5. October 28, 2009 8:33 am

    I’ve not heard any of these words before. Thanks for sharing! Here are my words…

  6. October 28, 2009 9:12 am

    I think I’ve heard varietals before. I will have to use it in my future conversations. 🙂

  7. October 28, 2009 9:26 am

    The only one I could work into conversation would be varietals. Carl is a walking dictionary!

    My WWW is here

  8. October 28, 2009 9:29 am

    gimballed is an interesting word. Never heard of it before.

    Here are my Wondrous Words

  9. October 28, 2009 9:36 am

    Here are my words!

    Gimballed is a great word! I had no idea what that meant.

  10. October 28, 2009 9:38 am

    I just started Nine Dragons so I’ll watch out for those two.

    My Wondrous Words are HERE.

  11. October 28, 2009 9:39 am

    Great words today Kathy! I can’t believe that I don’t have any new words to post today…shucks.

  12. October 28, 2009 11:18 am

    Interesting new words, Kathy. I don’t have much luck remembering words after I’ve glanced at them once. Maybe one day we’ll see a repeat and REALLY increase our vocabulary!

    Here’s my offering:

  13. October 28, 2009 11:30 am

    I’m back! It’s nice to be back home and have a chance to post some new words.

    I knew varietals – I have a big poster of them over my wine cabinet!

    My list is here.

  14. October 28, 2009 11:50 am

    More wonderful words for my list!

    (P.S. You may have noticed that I used a word from a previous Wondrous Words Wednesday post of yours, leitmotif, in my post on Knit the Season!)

  15. October 28, 2009 12:00 pm

    Everyone has great words!

    Here’s mine:

  16. October 28, 2009 1:47 pm

    I’m going to have to look up the word preponderant now! Great words! I just love this meme!

    Here’s mine:

  17. October 28, 2009 2:40 pm

    I’ve never known the definition of hegemony, so that was informative! I was clueless about gimballed.

  18. October 28, 2009 5:31 pm

    I hate it when my husband knows a word that I don’t! :–) When we first moved to Tucson, he kept pointing out dual-ies, and I didn’t know what he was talking about, so after hours (or so it seemed) on google turning up nothing for my searches for “doolies” I finally had to give in and ask! (I tried doolie, dooly, dooley, etc. – dual-y for dual tire wouldn’t have occurred to me in a million years!)

  19. October 28, 2009 6:27 pm

    Thank you for the precise definition of hegemony.
    Gimbal is a great word! “Gyred and gimballed in the wabe” (no, that’s not it, but it fits–he used “gimbled”; think it’s the same?) I’ll be practicing this one. Thanks!

  20. October 28, 2009 8:22 pm

    I feel like I should have known varietals too but it didn’t click! Hopefully I will remember it now!

    Thank you for the description of gimballed, it makes sense. I like the word too!

    Hegemony is an interesting word & that is quite a long sentence you found it in!

    Thanks Kathy. I’m sorry I didn’t participate today. My thoughts aren’t very focused.

  21. October 28, 2009 10:45 pm

    I always roll my eyes at the word “varietals,” because it sounds very pretentious in conversation. However, I have to admit that I actually love it and long to use it. lol

  22. October 29, 2009 2:18 am

    Hegemony sounds strong. I learned something new again today!

  23. acbelow permalink
    October 29, 2009 11:17 pm

    A word that I recently encountered is twee. It was explained to me as something that is overly/sickeningly sweet (like a really sappy chick flick). However, says this:

    –adjective Chiefly British.
    affectedly dainty or quaint: twee writing about furry little creatures.
    1900–05; appar. reduced from tweet (perh. via pron. twiʔ), mimicking child’s pron. of sweet

    Have others used this in everyday conversation?

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