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Wondrous Words Wednesday

June 9, 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.)  All of my words this week came Dead End Gene Pool by Wendy Burden.

1. glottal/glottis – “Unlike Chris, who employed more glottal stops than someone actually missing a glottis, Josephine spoke a beautifully precise Oxford English.”

Glottal means of, relating to, or produced in or by the glottis.  The glottis is the elongated space between the vocal chords.


2. ciborium – “When he wasn’t enwombed in his honorary sheriff ciborium watching porn, or The Blue Lagoon (he was still fixated on Brooke Shields), he lay in bed surrounded by newspapers and periodicals reading and underlining and clipping articles written about the ills of inherited wealth and the sorrows of the incapacitated children of the rich which he had his secretary send to everyone.”

There are a couple of definitions of ciborium, but I think the one the author intends in this sentence is a freestanding vaulted canopy supported by four columns over a high altar.


What new words have you encountered lately?

23 Comments leave one →
  1. June 9, 2010 7:37 am

    I’ve never heard of either of those words, and that book title sounds very amusing!

    My words are here:

  2. June 9, 2010 7:55 am

    um. those are some words.

  3. June 9, 2010 8:01 am

    Always enjoy having new words here, along with some interesting new books. Thanks.

    Thoughts in Progress

  4. June 9, 2010 8:08 am

    I think I knew glottis because of epiglottis (I’m not sure that’s the right word!) But the other one is totally new to me.

  5. DanaB permalink
    June 9, 2010 8:12 am

    Glottis I guessed in the vicinity of it’s meaning; but ciborium I don’t think I’ve ever heard of in any form.
    Interesting words you’ve got here!

    I found my word for this week whilst blog surfing…I plan to use it, too…


  6. June 9, 2010 8:13 am

    Good words again this week. I am familiar with glottis. here are my words.

  7. June 9, 2010 9:01 am

    Ciborium is a totally new word to me. I love how I’ve been a lifelong reader, and always have fresh vocabulary to learn.

  8. June 9, 2010 9:42 am

    Well I can’t imagine what it would sound like to speak with glottal stops. I think we need a .wav file for that one! :–)

  9. June 9, 2010 10:53 am

    I can’t get past the use of the word enwombed in that second example…it just sounded so odd.

    • June 9, 2010 11:33 am

      I’m glad you mentioned enwombed! My spellchecker shows it as being misspelled, so I went back to check the text to make sure I had quoted it correctly and found that I did. I looked it up in my dictionary after that and couldn’t find it. I think we all know what the author means, though.

  10. June 9, 2010 11:26 am

    It looks like Dead End Gene Pool would be a little slow going.

    Here are my words for the week: Joyfully Retired.

  11. June 9, 2010 11:44 am

    These are some great words…the sentence with ciborium just made me laugh!

  12. June 9, 2010 1:46 pm

    I knew neither of these. They will go on my list–thanks!

  13. June 9, 2010 1:50 pm

    Ew, “fixated on Brooke Shields”… she was a BABY teen when she starred in Blue Lagoon!

  14. June 9, 2010 3:02 pm

    I knew glottis but if I saw glottal by itself I probably wouldn’t have been able to make the connection. Ciborium was new to me!

    My words:

  15. June 9, 2010 3:40 pm

    I think anyone fixated on Brooke Shields has more problems than a ciborium is going to take care of.

  16. June 9, 2010 8:02 pm

    Good words Kathy – I didn’t know either of them.

  17. June 9, 2010 8:48 pm

    Mm, I love a good glottal stop. I read something once that noted that the English speakers who most frequently employ glottal stops (Cockneys and Brooklynites) do in fact pronounce “glottal” with a glottal stop in the middle.

  18. June 9, 2010 8:57 pm

    What a word to use instead of canopy bed!! LOL 🙂

  19. June 9, 2010 11:20 pm

    So great to have discovered you at La Literanista’s blog.

  20. June 10, 2010 6:54 am

    Ah, ” glottal/glottis”… a word that as a student of phonetics I know I’ll never forget 😛

  21. June 10, 2010 10:36 pm

    Well I got one out of two – glottal – and that was just because of linguistics.

  22. June 11, 2010 4:59 pm

    My new word “ilustrado” is the title of the Miguel Syjuco book I’m reading. The Filipino word, meaning “enlightened one,” refers to the educated middle class and elite during the Spanish colonial period. (By the way, the book is terrific so far.)

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