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Wondrous Words Wednesday

December 1, 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, write a post, and come back to add your link to Mr. Linky!

All of my words this week came from Cleopatra by Stacy Schiff.

1. tedentious – “To the team of extraordinarily tendentious historians, add an extraordinarily spotty record.”

Tedentious is an adjective that means having or showing a definite tendency, bias, or purpose.


2. lacunae – “The lacunae are so regular as to seem deliberate; there is very nearly a conspiracy of silences.”

Lacunae is the plural of lacuna which means a blank space or missing part.


3. otiose – “And in the thick of the overlapping, otiose bureaucracy, personal opportunities were rarely lost.”

Otiose means producing no useful result.  Isn’t that the perfect way to describe bureaucracy?


Have you discovered any new words lately?

23 Comments leave one →
  1. December 1, 2010 5:27 am

    Excellent words! I was familiar with lacuna, but the others are new.

    My words are musical this week!

  2. December 1, 2010 6:01 am

    Thank you. I never knew what otiose meant. A good word — I think I’ll use it.

  3. December 1, 2010 6:21 am

    Great words again, Kathy….I am participating this week. Hooray!!

  4. December 1, 2010 6:30 am

    I’m getting ready to start CLEOPATRA. Looks like I’ll be needing a dictionary!

  5. December 1, 2010 7:27 am

    Otiose is one of those words that I thought I understood, but didn’t really. I’ll have to pass it on to my hubby – as a federal employee, he should be able to use it a LOT!

  6. December 1, 2010 8:19 am

    Tendentious is a very ponderous word, and I had never heard it before, so thanks for sharing the definition! Actually, the only one out of these words that I knew was lacunae.

  7. December 1, 2010 9:37 am

    Otiose is new to me, and does not mean what I think it sounds like it should mean.

  8. December 1, 2010 9:47 am

    You’re right. Otiose does describe bureaucracy well!

  9. December 1, 2010 9:55 am

    Wonderful. Now I don’t have to break out my dictionary for Cleopatra.

  10. December 1, 2010 10:16 am

    Ohhh loving the last one, I like how it rolls of my tongue

  11. December 1, 2010 11:22 am

    Noun 1. witchgrasswitchgrass – North American grass with slender brushy panicles; often a weed on cultivated land
    old witch grass, old witchgrass, Panicum capillare, tumble grass, witch grass
    panic grass – any grass of the genus Panicum; grown for grain and fodder

    2. witchgrasswitchgrass – European grass spreading rapidly by creeping rhizomes; naturalized in North America as a weed
    Agropyron repens, couch grass, dog grass, quack grass, quackgrass, quick grass, witch grass
    wheat-grass, wheatgrass – a grass of the genus Agropyron

    From the book title Witchgrass: A Pipe Dream by Dave Wilkinson.

  12. December 1, 2010 11:41 am

    I didn’t have any words this week Kathy but yours are great. I especially like otiose. I can think of lots of ways to use that one lately! lol

  13. December 1, 2010 11:46 am

    Very interesting words this week. Each one gives me something to think about.

  14. December 1, 2010 12:08 pm

    Kathy, these are terrific words. I’ve written them down for my list. The hard part will be actually using them. One of these days, I may attempt to write a passage using some of the words I’ve encountered on Wondrous Words Wednesdays! 🙂

  15. December 1, 2010 1:55 pm

    Otiose is very true to describe the present state of diplomacy nowadays.

  16. Karen Montgomery permalink
    December 1, 2010 3:44 pm

    Very interesting words! I have quite a few words from two books that are located here:

  17. December 1, 2010 4:16 pm

    Great words! Even though I, too, needed a dictionary, I loved Cleopatra! (Although there was a little part of me that kind of wished Philipa Gregory had joined forces with Stacy Schiff!)

  18. December 1, 2010 6:38 pm

    These are all new to me. I’m finding some in the book I’m reading that the dictionary doesn’t even have. lol.

  19. December 1, 2010 6:45 pm

    Thanks for pushing my IQ up a notch today!! 😀

  20. December 1, 2010 7:15 pm

    Only knew one of three and I am a word person! This is fun. I have been posting Wordless Wednesday for several years, maybe I will have to add this too.

    Happy WWW and WW!

  21. December 2, 2010 6:03 am

    “Lacunae” is SOOOO great! I’m actually about to start Kingsolver’s The Lacuna so this word has been on my mind. Fun!!

  22. December 3, 2010 1:59 pm

    GREAT words! I do appreciate the vocab lessons. I haven’t encountered too many interesting words of late. I expect to see some in my current read, however.

  23. December 4, 2010 3:16 pm

    I love this theme. There’s always something new to learn when I read your posts!

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