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Wondrous Words Wednesday

November 25, 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 button, and join the fun!  (Don’t forget to leave a link in your comment if you’re participating.

Today’s words are the last I’ll feature from The Magicians by Lev Grossman – this book was full of new-to-me words!

1. fealty – “Mostly they just scolded everybody involved for the mess they’d made, finishing each other’s sentences, then made everyone renew their vows of fealty before wandering away to crop some luckless farmer’s alfalfa fields.”

For some reason, I thought fealty had to do with being feeble, but I knew that didn’t make sense in the context.  Fealty means intense fidelity.


2. flense – “And Janet, who could usually be counted on to ruthlessly flense anybody who made the mistake of taking anything seriously, Janet waited on Richard hand and foot!”

Flense means to strip (as a whale) of blubber or skin.  I don’t even want to think about that!


3. kludge – “I thought at first that the entire place was a kludge, a virtual environment that functioned as a kind of three-dimensional switchboard.”

Kludge means a system, especially a computer system, made up of poorly matched components.


4. aeruginous – “From the uptown end he could just barely see the tiny, hazy aeruginous spike of the Statue of Liberty out in the bay.”


Aeruginous isn’t in my dictionary, but according to, it means of, or pertaining to copper-rust or verdigris.

What new words have you encountered lately?

28 Comments leave one →
  1. November 25, 2009 6:42 am

    Fun words! Here are mine for this week:

  2. November 25, 2009 7:44 am

    Looks like book is full of new words. One would have to sit with the dictionary by the side to read it. Nonetheless improves our vocabulary.

  3. November 25, 2009 7:49 am

    I haven’t been reading many books lately! And the ones I’ve been reading haven’t had any new words. Maybe I should pick up THE MAGICIANS again!

  4. November 25, 2009 8:39 am

    always educational. fealty is a legal term, isn’t it? I seem to recall that from a workshop on contracts. Did you change the button? I like it. (I put a word defn in yesterday’s post – but you saw that… 🙂 )

  5. November 25, 2009 8:46 am

    I didn’t know any of those words, but ‘fealty’ did sound familiar.

  6. November 25, 2009 8:54 am

    I only know fealty. Others are really fun words!

    Here is my Wondrous Words Wednesday post!

  7. November 25, 2009 8:56 am

    I’ve heard of fealty, but didn’t know the definition. The rest are new to me. Happy Thanksgiving!

    My words are here:

  8. November 25, 2009 9:00 am

    Isn’t flense awful? I’ve seen it before whenever there is talk about “processing” whales. ugh!

  9. November 25, 2009 9:13 am

    I remember “fealty” from my Medieval lit classes, and all those old tales about liege lords and fiefdoms, and such. The others were all new to me, and I really can’t wait to use “kludge” on some computer geek (possibly the hubby)!

  10. November 25, 2009 9:56 am

    Your words from The Magician have been a good teaser for me. I’m interested in checking out the book now.

    I have a couple of words this week. They are here.

  11. November 25, 2009 10:41 am

    These are some great words. Kludge sounds like such an appropriate word for its meaning.

  12. November 25, 2009 10:45 am

    As far as I can recall, I haven’t heard any of these four words before. Thanks for sharing! Here’s my contribution…

  13. November 25, 2009 11:49 am

    My words are posted at my place, Just Books. I new what fealty meant, but not flense, and I’ll agree, I don’t want to think about it either. Have a great day!


  14. November 25, 2009 12:45 pm

    I only knew fealty…that is why I enjoy the Wondrous Words Wednesdays so much….I always discover new words and realize how little I know! Ha!

  15. November 25, 2009 1:00 pm

    I knew fealty from my Spanish background, but the others I was stumped!

    Here are mine:

  16. November 25, 2009 2:04 pm

    The only one I knew was fealty. I definitely couldn’t make a guess at the meanings of the other words. Flense sounds pretty gross.

  17. November 25, 2009 2:55 pm

    Cool words. Will try to use all in a sentence this week, ha!

  18. November 25, 2009 3:38 pm

    Great words – I didn’t know any of them 🙂 🙂

  19. November 25, 2009 5:24 pm

    Wow! These are wonderful new words. I’m not familiar with any of them. I missed this week. I’ll have bells on my toes next week. My new words ready to share.

    Have a Happy Thanksgiving All!

  20. November 25, 2009 5:43 pm

    I knew the first one!! yay for me!!!

    Have a Wonderful Thanksgiving Day Kathy.

  21. November 25, 2009 5:46 pm

    Due to my fealty to your weblog, I feel flensed as I respond on my aeruginous kludge. 🙂 (Please delete former comment due to typo or correct it if possible! Thanks!)

  22. November 25, 2009 6:53 pm

    I say aeruginous is taking it too far.

  23. November 25, 2009 9:29 pm

    I kind of knew what fealty meant (loyalty) but I’ve never heard of those other words…some of them almost sound ‘made up’! Kludge!? Who knew?

  24. November 25, 2009 9:35 pm

    Good to read these definitions as I have this book on my stack to be read. I did know fealty as I am listening to the Outlander series.

  25. November 25, 2009 11:51 pm

    Wow. Only knew “fealty.” Don’t think I will ever forget “flense.” Thanks for the vocabulary increase!

  26. November 26, 2009 5:29 am

    ok, this week you have me. I didn’t know a one of them.

  27. November 26, 2009 5:35 am

    Happy Thanksgiving!!
    Have fun!

  28. November 26, 2009 9:02 am

    I like the color of aged copper, verdigris, so “aeruginous” is such a great new word! Never heard it before.

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