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Wondrous Words Wednesday

January 19, 2011

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!

I found a few more words as I finished up The Borgia Bride by Jeanne Kalogridis last week.

1. seneschal – “The seneschal stood waiting.”

A seneschal is the steward of major-domo of a medieval great house.


2. sartorial – “Fortunately, an excess of drink and strange women had left Jofre dulled and silent; while he cast a single curious glance at the magnificence of my dress, he did not press me as to the cause of my sudden shift in sartorial tactic.”

Sartorial is an adjective that means of or relating to tailoring, clothes, or style of dress.


3. Charybdis – “I felt pulled down into a horrible black vortex, a suffocating Charybdis from which I could not extricate myself.”

From the context, I had a good idea what Charybdis meant but decided to look it up since it’s capitalized.  Charybdis is from Greek mythology and means a dangerous whirlpool in a narrow channel of the sea, opposite the cave of the sea monster Scylla.


Have you discovered any new words lately?

29 Comments leave one →
  1. January 19, 2011 4:22 am

    Sartorial is one of my favourite words, and an easy one for me to remember as I know sartorius well- which is a long muscle in the thigh, named after the sitting position of tailors. The other two words are new to me, but unlikely to be ones I can use very often. Interesting as ever though. I won’t get to doing a Wondrous Words post this week as I’m in New Zealand on holidays. I have lots of new words stored up for use sometime though.

  2. January 19, 2011 5:51 am

    My words are posted at:

    I like sartorial too….fun to say.

    Charybdis is pretty neat too.

  3. kaye permalink
    January 19, 2011 6:14 am

    Not too many occasions you could slip Charybdis into a conversation but I like the sound of it. Have a good week and happy reading!

  4. January 19, 2011 6:39 am

    Charybdis is a wonderful word. Very beautiful. My words are from a Bond book this week.

  5. Scribacchina permalink
    January 19, 2011 6:49 am

    Thank you for keeping up this meme, I love it! My words are up here.
    As an Italian speaker, both sartorial and Charybdis actually sound familiar to me… seneschal is indeed a wonderful word (although I guess not too useful in conversation either, to answer Kaye!)

  6. January 19, 2011 7:01 am

    Wow, I think this is the first time I’ve actually heard all three of your words before! I had an aunt who was always saying she was caught between the Scylla and Charybdis of one thing or another, whenever she had to choose between two equally unpleasant alternatives. Sort of like being “between a rock and a hard place,” I guess.

  7. January 19, 2011 8:32 am

    I like all of your words. Each one is new for me. I especially like the last one. Always wanted to learn about mythology. The stories are like fairy tales.

    I’m logged in as Tea Sorry to cause confusion. I just can’t get use to moving to another place. I’m like a puppy or kitty every night I go back home again, my first home.

  8. January 19, 2011 9:08 am

    I totally need a seneschal.

  9. January 19, 2011 9:26 am

    I’m with Rhapsody in Books, I could really use a seneschal. I actually knew the other two. It helps to have not one, but two Greek mythology junkies in the house.

  10. January 19, 2011 9:54 am

    I just join you….in France ! So, my unknown (to me)words are french words. If I had to search all the english words I don’t understand a (big) post a week won’t be enough . I hope others french speakers will join me .
    I read your posts and they help me to improve my english level. Thanks !

  11. January 19, 2011 9:58 am

    Yay! Finally! Words I actually know! So glad to see some of these, because I rarely come across them. You know, I am really thankful for this feature. It really improves my vocabulary, and makes reading a lot easier since I don’t always have to go running for the dictionary! Thanks, Kathy!

  12. January 19, 2011 9:59 am

    lovely new words to play around with .Thanks 🙂

  13. January 19, 2011 10:33 am

    Love Charybdis! I hear this word in songs. 🙂

  14. January 19, 2011 10:59 am

    Wohoo, knew 2 for once 😀 Thanks for historical fiction

  15. January 19, 2011 12:18 pm

    I used to hear the word sartorial often as it was spoken about men in business or other professions. Now, with relaxed fashions, no one seems to use it.

  16. January 19, 2011 12:22 pm

    Always fun. I think I’ve run into seneschal before but would be hard-pressed to define it again.

  17. January 19, 2011 12:30 pm

    I’ve heard of the first two but would have been hard pressed to give a definition for them.

  18. January 19, 2011 12:49 pm

    Sartorial did not mean what I thought it would (thought it would be somehow related to satire). Interesting.

  19. January 19, 2011 1:29 pm

    I’ve seen sartorial before, but the other two were new to me! Thanks!

  20. January 19, 2011 1:37 pm

    Great words–I thought I knew the middle word, until I read your definition! Yay, I did this meme again, at last! 🙂

  21. January 19, 2011 2:25 pm

    great new words and my brain is growing every wednesday when I come here.

    thanks Kathy 🙂

  22. January 19, 2011 4:03 pm

    All new to me. The last one’s my favorite this week.

  23. January 19, 2011 4:33 pm

    Great words! I’ve seen sartorial before but never looked it up — I completely guessed wrong what it meant.

  24. January 19, 2011 6:06 pm

    Great words and new ones to me 😀

  25. January 19, 2011 6:23 pm

    I am back to my knowing about one in three after an extra good week. sartorial I knew, the rest not a clue.
    hey! that rhymes!

  26. January 19, 2011 6:47 pm

    LOL! Well if nothing else, THE BORGIA BRIDE taught you a thing or two!

  27. January 24, 2011 6:55 pm

    Some great words! I’ll have to try to play along this week. 🙂

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