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Wondrous Words Wednesday

May 5, 2010

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 the comments if you’re participating.)

My first word this week came from The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot.

1. deleterious –  “’As he would say, “To use the dreaded word ‘cancer’ in connection with any clinical procedure on an ill person is potentially deleterious to that patient’s well-being, because it may suggest to him (rightly or wrongly) that his diagnosis is cancer or that his prognosis is poor.”

I had a good idea of what deleterious meant from the content, but decided to look it up to be sure.   Deleterious means harmful often in a subtle or unexpected way.


The next two words came from The Danish Girl by David Ebershoff.

2. kilim – “Each workroom had a daybed covered with kilims.”

I suspected a kilim was some type of bedspread and discovered that it’s a pileless handwoven reversible rug or covering made in Turkey, Kurdistan, the Caucuses, Iran, and Western Kurdistan.


3. lucerne– “He’d lie in the lucerne grass and watch the kite floating above the bog, the spool of string clamped between his knees.”

I’m not sure what I was expecting, but I was surprised to discover that lucerne is alfalfa.


What new words have you encountered lately?

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28 Comments leave one →
  1. May 5, 2010 4:25 am

    Kilims are very handsome. Here is a link to a picture:

  2. May 5, 2010 7:39 am

    I would definitely have had to stop and look up kilim, too. Wouldn’t have guessed it though. Thanks, Silverseason, for linking the picture. Yes, they are beautiful.

    I have three words here:

  3. DanaB permalink
    May 5, 2010 7:47 am

    Great words!
    Kilim would surely have stumped me, too.
    So fun, these words!


  4. DanaB permalink
    May 5, 2010 7:47 am

    Oops…didn’t link! 😉


  5. May 5, 2010 7:50 am

    Thank you for adding to my vocabulary. All your words are new to me.
    here is where you can find my word.

  6. May 5, 2010 8:17 am

    Lucerne is kind of disappointing, isn’t it? It seems like it should be much more poetic.

    My new words are here.

  7. May 5, 2010 8:59 am

    I haven’t heard of any of these words before. BTW I’m looking forward to your review of the Lacks book.

  8. May 5, 2010 9:10 am

    Hmm, you always find such interesting words that are new to me, but then, English is not my mother tongue:)

  9. May 5, 2010 9:32 am

    Great words today Kathy…I guess I wasn’t expecting lucerne to be alfalfa either! My words are here:

  10. May 5, 2010 10:25 am

    For some reason I associate lucerne with dairy products. Not sure where that’s coming from.

    My Wondrous Words Wednesday is HERE.

  11. May 5, 2010 10:45 am

    I had no idea what a kilim was, so thanks for posting that information! I also had no idea that lucerne was alfalfa. It’s so funny. When I was much younger, I used to read my books with a dictionary at my elbow, for those times when I came across an unfamiliar word. These days, the dictionary is put away…but I am still coming across new words! I guess it might be time to pull it out again!

  12. May 5, 2010 12:39 pm

    Great words! I have none this week.

  13. May 5, 2010 12:51 pm

    I should have written down lucerne too. I thought I knew what it was from context, but I was wrong.

  14. May 5, 2010 1:53 pm

    Your words were all new to me. Thanks for the lesson. 🙂

    Here are my words this week…

  15. May 5, 2010 2:01 pm

    Lucerne cracks me up. I was thinking it would be something dairy. 🙂 I didn’t know kilim either.

  16. May 5, 2010 2:12 pm

    I was also surprised at the meaning of lucerne. Alfalfa?! 🙂

  17. May 5, 2010 2:36 pm

    I only knew the first. As always, thank you for expanding my vocabulary 😀

  18. May 5, 2010 3:47 pm

    I’m going to ask my hubby if the field behind us is lucerne???

  19. May 5, 2010 4:17 pm

    I only knew the first word. I wasn’t sure I knew what ‘alfalfa’ means either, so had to look that up – my dictionary gives it as a clover-like plant used for fodder.

    I have just one word this week –

  20. May 5, 2010 4:52 pm

    Sadly I have no new words today but I love yours!!!

  21. May 5, 2010 5:43 pm

    Kilims can be very beautiful, but I usually end up getting myself tripped up in them (K for kilim, K for klutz). I knew that lucerne must have something to do with grass or crops of some kind because of the dairy company. Never would have thought of alfalfa, though.

  22. May 5, 2010 6:29 pm

    Lucerne is a brand of yogurt around here (No. Cal), so that’s probably why so many people (including me) thought it had something to do with dairy.

  23. May 5, 2010 7:24 pm

    ditto on what Lorin said. hahah.
    Great post! I learned something new today. =D Maybe I’ll join in on the fun next week when I actually write down the words I don’t know.

  24. May 5, 2010 11:53 pm

    Great words this week. I didn’t know any of them. I’ve heard of lucerne, but I didn’t know what it meant. Cool.

    My post is a little late, but here are my words this week.

    Happy Reading!

  25. May 6, 2010 3:21 am

    I never would have expected lucerne to be alfafa! I have loved reading all these new words you post up every week. Perhaps one day I shall start on this too!

  26. May 6, 2010 12:03 pm

    Interesting words. I knew none of them, but would like to use deleterious. I like the way it rolls off the tongue. My post is here

  27. May 6, 2010 10:35 pm

    Oh, I am feeling very smart–for a change I knew them all!

  28. May 6, 2010 11:07 pm

    eagerly awaiting your review of IMMORTAL….. 🙂

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