Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Wondrous Word Wednesday


This is the only other meme I'll do, I promise. Hosted by Bermuda Onion, the point is to share all the new words you came across this week. I do this anyway in a little notebook, so why not share, y'know?

This week I'm determined to finally finish Tom Jones by Henry Fielding, so it's 18-century words here... probably some that deserve resurrection.

spleen -- melancholy ; from another footnote, "'The fever on the spirits'... is a psychosomatic disorder, also called hysterics, the vapours, and the spleen. Doctors were especially fond of diagnosing their female patients with this condition."

Jones began to entertain strong hopes that his Sophia was present; and these hopes gave him more spirits than the lights, the music, and the company, though these are pretty strong antidotes against the spleen.

quinsy -- inflammation of the throat

caudle -- a warm drink of spiced gruel and wine or ale, for women in childbed

And I'm also reading The Golem's Eye by Jonathan Stroud, which managed to stir up three words on one page:

denuded -- without the natural or usual covering ; bald

antimacassar -- a cloth put over the back of a chair to prevent it getting dirty

Everything was much as she remembered: the frayed carpet, denuded of color; the little mirror over the mantelpiece; the elderly sofa and chair that her father had inherited from his father, complete with lacy antimacassars on the headrests.

acquisitive -- characterized by a strong desire to gain and possess

It was a gleeful, acquisitive smile, struggling hard to be contained.


  1. Thanks for participating today! I wonder if my husband would like it better if we said he's becoming denuded! You found some great words.

  2. Great list. I had never heard "antimacassar" but can definitely picture one.


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