Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Wondrous Word Wednesday: OMG It's So Hot Out Edition

Hosted by Bermuda Onion, the point of this meme is to share all the new words you came across this week. Yay!



Ok as usual, we begin with Infinite Jest, which I am still inching my way through:

febrile -- marked or caused by fever

... she is not drunk Joelle now sees but has taken Ecstasy, Joelle can see, from the febrile flush and eyes jacked so wide you can make out brain-meat behind the balls' poles...

afflatus -- inspiration; the blow of a new idea

... just a desire to swallow every last drop of saliva she will ever manufacture and exit this vessel, have fifteen more minutes of Too Much Fun, eliminate her own map with the afflatus of the blind god of all doorless cages...

(I still don't get that one.)

apotropaic -- intended to ward off evil

I suddenly understand the gesundheit-impulse, the salt over the shoulder and apotropaic barn-signs.

synclinal -- sloping downward from opposite directions to meet in a common point or line

A large red meaty character with eyebrows at a demonic-looking synclinal angle and very small nubbly gray teeth.

And again, for the last time, from Villette:

emulous -- desiring to equal or surpass another; characterized by a spirit of rivalry

Above the poplars, the laurels, the cypresses, and the roses, looked up a moon so lovely and so halcyon, the heart trembled under her smile; a star shone subject beside her, with the unemulous ray of pure love.

(Isn't that sentence lovely?)

votary -- a person who is fervently devoted, as to a leader or ideal; a faithful follower

Seeing him draw nigh, burying his broad wheels in the oppressed soil -- I, the prostrate votary -- felt beforehand the annihilating craunch.


  1. Boy, does that book have some tough words! I'd have to keep a dictionary by my side if I read it. According to my dictionary, afflatus can also mean to blow on, but that doesn't help me understand that sentence. Thanks for participating!

  2. David Foster Wallace really likes the big words, doesn't he? I agree with you and Kathy. I don't think he used afflatus correctly. Still fun to read all your new words. Keep inching through the book.

  3. I love how you titled your post. Lots of great words from Infinite Jest.

  4. I think I ought to check out such a book which contains such interesting words!

    Wednesday: Wondrous Words/A-Z wednesday

  5. Those are very good words - a lot of them were unfamiliar.

    My words are here.


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