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Sharing our love for authors, and the stories they are inspired to tell.

Wondrous Words Wednesday


‘Wondrous Words Wednesday’ is a weekly meme where we share new (to us) words that we have encountered in our reading.

It is hosted by Kathy, over at BermudaOnion’s Weblog. You can either stop by and leave a link to your own ‘mystery’ words of the week, or just browse the eclectic mix of words that others have discovered, there is always a great selection.

Don’t forget that Kathy and the rest of us, all love to read your comments  as well!!


My words this week, are all taken from ‘The Baggage Handler’ by Colin Browne


NB … A couple of these words have several meanings, some of which are either a little on the gruesome side, or even in one case, not suitable to be put to print in this environment.

I have therefore only highlighted the meaning as used in context with the extract taken from the book.



 “He let her talk while he quaffed Bollanger, amusing himself greatly at the thought of the word quaff

1. To drink (a beverage) heartily: quaffed the ale with gusto.

2. To drink a liquid heartily: quaffed from the spring.

3. A hearty draft of liquid.



…and finally at Rich who had forced him onto a runaway train and uncoupled the caboose …

1. a ship’s galley

2. a freight-train car attached usually to the rear mainly for the use of the train crew

3. one that follows or brings up the rear

4. buttocks



… mentally kicked himself, screamed at himself, tarred and feathered and eviscerated himself to rid himself of the indecisiveness …

1. to remove the internal organs of; disembowel

2. to deprive of meaning or significance

3. To take away a vital or essential part of

4. To remove the contents of (an organ).



He took a swig of his beer and she took a sip of her wine. He contemplated taking a chug …. Perhaps if he just kept chugging, she’d have to restart or stand there in silence….

1. Consume (a drink) in large gulps without pausing.

2. Loading up on alcoholic substance, power drinking.

There are some pretty awful videos of people ‘chugging’ on ‘YouTube’, if you are still curious. Just Google ‘How To Chug A Beer’


Written by

I can’t remember a time, even as a child, when I haven’t been passionate about books and reading.
I began blogging, when I realised just how many other people out there shared my passion for the written word and I have been continually amazed at the wealth of books that are available and the amount of great new friends I have made, from literally 'The Four Corners Of The World'.

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  • Quaffed and chugged I’d heard of before. Also Eviscerated (hard to pronounce) but didn’t know what it meant so thanks for that! Not sure about caboose… sometimes you just don’t know if you’ve ever heard a word or not. LOL.

    • Hi Cath,

      I know what you mean. Sometimes I can look up the meaning of a word and still forget it again by the next time I see it used. Other times I just seem to know the meaning of a word, even though I can’t ever recall seeing it before!!!

      I think it is just an age thing in my case!!!

      I was amazed at some of the definitons and descriptions for ‘chugging’, apart from the one which is used in the context of this sentence. I certainly wasn’t going to mention them here, or leave any links to them!

      Thanks for the visit, the weather here is terrible this afternoon …. cold, wet and windy …. but I hope that you are having a good day.

  • Good words Yvonne! The first time I had heard the word Eviscerated was yeas ago on the news. An Amish man had murdered his wife by eviscerating her. He did leather work or something in a tiny unventilated shop and they think the fumes he inhaled on a daily basis over time had caused him to go insane. It was pretty sensational considering it involved the Amish a very peaceable people.

    • Hi Peggy,

      And there was me, trying to give just the nicest and most relevant meanings for the words, so as not to make anyone feel ill!!!!

      Some of the definitions for ‘Eviscerated’ were pretty graphic, but then so is your story … what a way to die …. As you say, it must have caused quite a stir with it involving the Amish people, so totally out of character, the poor man certainly can’t have been in his right mind (at least I hope not).

      We watched the first couple of episodes of a television programme, which aired over here in the UK and followed a group of youngsters from the UK, who were taken to live and work in an Amish community. I think that it was quite a big culture shock, although at the end of the episode we saw, the boys had done a few hard days work building a barn and the girls had learnt the art of cooking vast quantities of food and the etiquette of allowing the men to eat first, and all of the group without exception felt that they had benefitted from the experience. I really wish that I had recorded the remaining episodes.

      Thanks for stopping by and enjoy the rest of your week

    • Hi Kathy,

      Thanks for visiting your WWW participants, the thought and your comments are appreciated.

      ‘Chugging’ is obviously a growing trend here in the UK as well, judging by the number of budding ‘stars’ who feel the need to share their attempts with the rest of the world on YouTube.

      Unfortunately, that trend also seems to extend to the sexual connotations of the word as well, which is even worse!

      I have to say that something was lodged in my mind about ‘caboose’ being the rear car of a train ( I probably read that in a US novel somewhere, as it is not a word commonly used here in the UK). I was quite surprised to see some of the alternative definitions offered up by the on-line dictionary.

      In the charity shop where I volunteer, we had donated a dictionary of all the latest words to be added to the official vocabulary and judging by the number of pages it contained, we shall have enough material for many more WWW’s!!

  • I haven’t heard of the book you’re reading, but did know all your words today! In Australia we call a cheap (but pleasant, not cheap and nasty) bottle of wine a quaffer.

    • Hi Louise,

      I’m impressed that you knew all my words today, I am always really ‘chuffed’ when I can get through a book without having to look up any words, or when I can visit someone else’s ‘Wondrous Words Wednesday’ page and leave a comment saying that I recognise all their words.

      I checked out your definition of ‘Quaffer’ out of interest, but found that the UK equivalent appears in the ‘Urban Dictionary’ and means something much different and not nearly so nice …. not something that I want to put into print anyway!

      ‘Quaffed’ is a word that I usually associate with historical novels, as an ‘Olde English’ word and one which I didn’t think was much used these days … guess I am out of touch again!

      Thanks for stopping by and enjoy the rest of your week

  • Ha ha! This was fun Yvonne!

    I was a little liberal in my use of the term caboose. In the UK, what would have been known as a caboose in the US is named a brake car. Unlike US cabooses, UK brake cars served a braking function as well so that they could even out the slowing of the cars if there wasn’t a universal braking system on a train. US trains had universal braking so the caboose served only as crew accommodation.

    But was too good a word not to use, so I went with it anyway!

    Thanks for keeping the focus on The Baggage Handler a little while longer. I really appreciate it!

    • Hi Colin,

      I didn’t know that ‘caboose’ was a term much used in English, although somewhere in the back of my mind I knew of the term in the US context.

      I also didn’t know that it was commonly called a ‘brake’ car, here in the UK. I always associated the last wagon of a train with being the ‘guard’s van’, although apparently either term can be applied.

      You would think that I would know better, originating as I do from Swindon, one of the main early day centres of railway excellence and coming from several generations of railway workers.

      I am not too sure about some of the modern ‘Urban Dictionary’ definitions of some of your words, including ‘caboose’. I guess this is just an age thing, but why we have to denigrate every traditional word into something which seems to always have sexual or derogatory connotations, is beyond me.

      I guess ‘The Baggage Handler’ is part of my blog for posterity now … can’t wait for ‘The Ninth’ to come out!!

    • Hi Annie,

      Some words just do not translate well, do they?

      I do think however that many words are very similar in our languages, when you break a sentence down into the separate words.

      I always find it funny, that when there isn’t a French equivalent for a word, then the English version is always used in the conversation.

      Similarly, when two people of different nationalities meet, it seems as though the only common language they can converse in, is broken English!

      A cup of tea sounds wonderful right now, as I have just returned from a visit to the dentist, where he diagnosed a very bad mouth infection, so I am feeling a little sorry for myself.

      Thanks for visiting today, it seems as though I haven’t spoken to you for a long time.

    • Hi Mary Ann,

      I am never sure whether to be pleased that I have had to look up new words, or not.

      It is good to learn something new, better if I can remember it for more than five minutes, and better still if I ever remember to use any of the words in conversation.

      On the other hand, I always feel a bit stupid about not knowing the meaning of a word, when the author obviously does and then other bloggers come on and say that they also know it.

      The only consolation is that there are so many new words being made up and entered into the dictionary almost every day, that no-one can ever keep up to date with it all.

      The really worrying thing will be when they start removing words from the vocabulary, that my generation has grown up with, then I shall really be stuck for something to say!!

      Thanks for stopping by and have a great week

  • Good words this week Yvonne. I like train travel and cabooses are always a pleasure to see, although rare anymore. Today the cars are all sleek and streamlined. Quite a few years ago there used to be many children’s books featuring little red cabooses. They were fun stories to read to myself and then my children.

    • Hi Margot,

      Thanks for stopping by and for your lovely comments, I always really appreciate them.

      I think that here in the UK, what you in the US know as a ‘caboose’, was known as the ‘brake car’ or ‘guard’s van’, where all the luggage, bicycles etc. were stored for the train journey.

      As with your ‘caboose’, these are all memories from a bygone age with the streamlined trains, although not always for the better, as nowadays passengers are expected to take their luggage and even their cycles into the carriage with them, causing chaos and many uncomfortable journeys …. and they call that progress!!

      I haven’t travelled by train for some time now and am not altogether sure that it would be a particularly enjoyable experience. Hubbie did however get the opportunity to travel on a steam train the other day. We have a couple in the area where we live, that have been renovated and are now operated by volunteers during the tourist and holiday seasons. He had a fantastic time by the sounds of things and is planning another trip very soon.

    • Hi Suko,

      I had an inkling about what a couple of the words meant when I was reading the book, but I wanted to look them up just to be sure and a couple of them I had no idea about at all.

      I wasn’t sure that ‘eviscerated’ was quite the correct word to use in the sentence, it seemed a bit harsh somehow and it is definitely not a friendly sounding word. Whereas quaffed sounds very posh and rather upper class to me.

      I was amazed at just how many meanings each word has and how different they all are when put into context. I think that it should be ‘one word, one definition’, then life would be so much easier.

      Thanks for stopping by and enjoy the rest of your week

  • I knew caboose from a childhood in a small American town with lots of trains. I knew the rest of the words from college — which sounds like I had a more exciting education than I did!

    • Hi Joy,

      I guessed that many of my US readers would recognise ‘caboose’, but for me, I wasn’t too sure about it, as we don’t use the same word here in the UK. I do think that your ‘caboose’ is a much nicer word that our own ‘brake car’ or ‘guards van’, a more romantic and nostalgic ring to it somehow.

      I am not going to pass comment about your college education, however, the thought of you ‘quaffing’, ‘chugging’ and ‘eviscerating’, conjures up some amazing images!!! …LOL!

    • Hi Lisa,

      Some authors do use more challenging words than others, don’t they?

      I actually quite like coming across a word that I am unfamiliar with, but when there are too many in one book, I do start to get a bit paranoid that I am of below average intelligence and really should know more than I do.

      Part of the enjoyment is also coming across words written by overseas authors, which are not commonly used here in the UK, or have a completely different meaning in this part of the world.

      Mind you, there are so many new words being ‘made up’ all the time, that there are now several in the British dictionary which I wouldn’t like to hazzard a guess at the definition for!!

      My current read is an English Victorian murder/mystery ans there are plenty of ‘olde’ English words cropping up, so I can see where my next ‘Wondrous Words Wednesday’ is coming from!

      Thanks for stopping by Fiction Books and ebjoy your weekend.

  • I enjoy these posts!

    I’ve heard of quaffed, eviscerated and chugging… Though with “chugging” I’d have replaced it with the word “glugging” and “glugged” in that instance. “Chugging” reminds me of what people call paid charity fundraisers who collect on the street… “chuggers” (charity-muggers!).

    I don’t think I’d heard of caboose before.

    • Hi Nikki,

      Some of the ‘chugging’ videos on YouTube are not very pleasant to watch, but they seem to involve a slightly different technique to simply ‘glugging’ a drink. You almost have to throw the drink onto the back of your throat and swallow from there, rather than simply pouring the drink into the mouth and ‘gulping’ it down. Perhaps ‘gulping’ might have been a better choice of word in the book narrative? ‘Chugging’ seems to be a bit of a grosse way to try and impress someone on a first date, even for our character Martin!

      I have come across ‘chuggers’ in the context of charity scammers and the activity seems to be on the increase right now, according to the charity collectors who work for the hospice where I volunteer.

      Some of the sexual connotations for ‘chugging’ are pretty graphic and unpleasant, so I didn’t even bother to include that as a definition in this post.

      Personally, I like the thought of ‘quaffed’. Very upper crust and pompous sounding and a word that I would typically associate with wine rather than beer. Very ‘garden party’ or ‘party in the park’, with the parties who turn up armed with wine or champagne, a full dinner service, laden picnic hamper, chairs, candelabra etc.

      I also always enjoy taking part in this meme. Some of the words I have come across are amazing and it is always good to check out words from books written by overseas authors.

      Have a great weekend, I am off for pain-killers … A cold in the head became a full blown mouth infection and several trips to the dentist … Result, I still have to have a perfectly good tooth removed next week!

      • I’m sorry to hear about your cold turning into a mouth infection. I hate going to the dentist (I don’t know why as I was never bothered as a kid and I’ve not had that much ‘work’ done). Here’s hoping it’s not to painful!

        • Hi Nikki,

          Would much rather go to the dentist than the doctor any day.

          I can’t even pronounce what is wrong with it, but it looks like I am going to have to lose a perfectly sound tooth, come Tuesday morning.

          A bit drastic as I have had NO other treatment for the last 20 years (not even a filling!) and now I seem to either have a streaming cold, or an allergic reaction to the anti-biotics.

          This middle-aged lark is no fun, I can tell you!!

          Hope you have enjoyed this glorious weather over the weekend.

    • Hi Naida,

      ‘Quaffed’ is my favourite word as well. It is surprising just how many words you do know, only you think that you don’t …. I quite often look a word up, then realise that I did know the meaning after all, but couldn’t quite remember it when I read it in the context of the book.

      I still check out every word that I don’t full understand or remember the meaning of, just in case I am missing out on some vital piece of information in the plot.

      I hope that you had a great weekend and thanks for stopping by.

Written by Yvonne