Skip to content

Wondrous Words Wednesday

November 11, 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.)

All of today’s words came from The Magicians by Lev Grossman.

1. syllogism – “Once he found his way up to the clock tower and spent an afternoon watching the huge rusty iron pendulum sway back and forth, following the massive gears and levers and catchments as they turned and meshed, carrying out their mechanical syllogism, until the glow of the setting sun shone through the tremendous backward clock face.”

Syllogism is a subtle, spacious, or crafty argument.


2.obstreperous – “They were a highly visible clique, always earnestly conferring with each other and having fits of obstreperous public laughter, conspicuously fond of themselves and uninterested in the greater Brakebills populace.”

This word seemed really familiar to me – it seems like it’s been used by someone for a WWW post, but I couldn’t find it.  Obstreperous means marked by unruly or aggressive noisiness.


3. sigil – “Quentin watched his lab partner Surendra dust his hands with white powder (equal parts flour and beech-wood ash), draw certain invisible sigils in the air with a freshly trimmed willow wand, and then bring the wand softly down on his marble (nickname: Rakshasa!), slicing it neatly in half with one stroke, first try.”

A sigil is a sign, word or device held to have occult power in astrology or magic.


What new words have you encountered lately?

25 Comments leave one →
  1. Snowbell permalink
    November 11, 2009 5:20 am

    I didn’t know sigil or obstreperous – thanks for sharing

    Here are my words

  2. November 11, 2009 6:59 am

    Rakshash means demon in Hindi!

    This book is waiting to be picked up!

    Here is my Wondrous Words Wednesday post!

  3. November 11, 2009 7:22 am

    I didn’t even get to those words yet in THE MAGICIANS but I didn’t know them either. Here’s my post:

  4. November 11, 2009 7:34 am

    Here are my words for this week:

  5. November 11, 2009 8:08 am

    Good words! All usable, if a little obscure.

    My word – just one this week – is here.

  6. November 11, 2009 8:18 am

    All these are new to me. Thanks sharing these.

    This is a great weekly event.

  7. November 11, 2009 8:25 am

    All of these words are new to me. I don’t really have a favorite one out of the three. Each one catches my attention. Thanks.

  8. November 11, 2009 8:37 am

    You probably have heard obstreperous because you can hear my husband when we have political arguments (as in “why do you have to be so obstreperous?!!!) (My sophisticated reply is usually something like, “why do you have to be such a poop-head?”)

  9. Amy Steele permalink
    November 11, 2009 9:21 am

    I’ve started writing down words that I don’t know or that are really unusual so I think I will start to do this!

  10. November 11, 2009 9:39 am

    Sigil sounds like a word that would creep me out. Great words today Kathy! Mine are here:

  11. November 11, 2009 10:00 am

    Obstreperous seemed familiar to me too. Probably because I used it in a previous WWW and just don’t remember it. It’s not something that would normally roll off my tongue.

    My words are all Agatha and all HERE.

  12. November 11, 2009 10:09 am

    I come here on Wednesdays and feel quite illiterate, but by the time I leave, I’m much smarter and have new words to throw around!

    Straight From Hel

  13. November 11, 2009 10:23 am

    I’m excited about starting this meme; I love words! Here’s mine for the day!

  14. November 11, 2009 10:39 am

    I heard of syllogism but not the other two words. Happy reading.

  15. November 11, 2009 12:55 pm

    Syllogism sounds familiar, but the others were totally new!

    Here’s mine:

  16. November 11, 2009 1:54 pm

    I haven’t ever seen the word sigil before. 🙂

  17. November 11, 2009 2:38 pm

    Never heard of those words! Learn something new every day :0)

  18. November 11, 2009 2:59 pm

    My word for the week, really, is “noetic,” as in “therapies,” or “science.” I found it in Lynne McTaggart’s The Intention Experiment, which is about (well, many things!) the power of our minds to change the physical world. And I got to THAT, believe it or not, via Dan Brown’s new blockbuster (hate that word…) “Lost Symbol.” It means “of or relating to mental activity or the intellect.” Very interesting concept.

    And you know what I can’t remember how to use or its meaning, no matter how many times I see it? It’s schadenfreude — which is “pleasure derived by someone from another’s misfortune. It’s not in the book — just in my mind…

  19. November 11, 2009 6:11 pm

    All these words are new to me 🙂

    Here are mine:

  20. November 11, 2009 6:14 pm

    Thanks for the new words–I’ve added them to my list. I did know the second one, obstreperous, but I added it anyway. 🙂

  21. November 11, 2009 6:38 pm

    Mercy. You got me on all three of those today. I’ve never encountered any of them.

  22. November 11, 2009 8:10 pm

    very unique words this week!! 🙂

  23. November 11, 2009 10:46 pm

    Obstreperous!!! It seems like almost every time I read one of your posts on this I find a vocabulary word my college students are working with. Obstreperous tends to be a class favorite. 🙂

  24. November 12, 2009 11:15 am

    I didn’t now sigil, but I think I’ve heard of the other two.

  25. November 16, 2009 12:45 am

    I haven’t heard of all the words mentioned here and I learned new things again. Thanks, Kathy!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: