• Search
  • Lost Password?
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 taken from:

 The Lost Luggage Porter (Jim Stringer Mystery) by Andrew Martin ..

 “A novel of murder, mystery and steam.



…The platforms were clarted with spilt paint and flour, half-cabbages, and the remnants of long-gone cargoes…

1. To be covered in something, normally referred to an object … “My boots were clarted in mud.”

2. To put too much on something … “She clarted her face with makeup.”

3. The act of clapping to disguise the sound of one’s fart.



…He had not been ‘fixed’ in the parlance of Sampson and Hopkins; he would not have to go down in my report…

1. A particular manner of speaking, especially when specialized: eg. political parlance

2. Any discussion, such as a debate



… “Five hundred invoices a day,” he said, making a writing motion, “… and  demurrage bills are a great scarcity across my desk, I can tell you that.”

1. Detention of a ship, freight car, or other cargo conveyance during loading or unloading beyond the scheduled time of departure.

2. Compensation paid for such detention.

3. A fee charged by the Bank of England for changing bullion into notes.



… Sacks he charged for, which he shouldn’t have; porterage which he should’ve, he bloody did not …

1. The carrying of burdens or goods as done by porters.

2. The charge for this activity.

I could have probably worked this one out for myself, but it is such a ‘good sounding word’, that I  simply wanted to include it …. hope you don’t mind?


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'.

View all articles
Leave a reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

    • Hi Julie,

      I was quite pleased with the sound of all the words this week … they just seem to fit their definitions somehow.

      ‘clarted’ has a thick and heavy sound, when said out loud and you can just imagine it describing something coated in a thick heavy mud. This one shouldn’t be too difficult to work into a conversation without offending anyone!

      Thanks for stopping by and enjoy the rest of your week.

    • Hi Kathy,

      There is another, widely used word, here in the UK, which sounds very similar to ‘clarted’, when it is spoken in a colloquial accent … and that is ‘clouted’, which means having been hit very hard, usually with the fist.

      Mind you, many of the UK’s colloquial accents would not pronounce the ‘t’ in ‘clarted’ anyway, giving it a whole new sound.

      Thanks for hosting, this meme is always so interesting and such fun.

    • Hi Mary Ann,

      You are most welcome and thanks for visiting today.

      I love finding new words, especially when they are ‘old, traditional’ words (hope that makes sense).

      I came across a dictionary of new, officially added words to the English language, the other day and wish now that I had bought it. I suspect that it would have made for some interesting reading, although I doubt that I would have approved of many of the words that seem t0 be included these days!!

  • Having read this book myself I have come across these words before, but I must admit that it is only “PORTERAGE” that I’d heard of previously.

    I hope you’re enjoying the book.

    • Hi Nikki,

      I have finished the book and am busy working on the review. I am not sure that I enjoyed this one quite as much as you did, but I do want to read one of the books from later in the series, to see how the character of Jim Stringer develops.

      It’s amazing how often I come across words in a book, that I am not quite sure about the definition of, so find myself putting my own interpretation of what I think it may mean, into the sentence. It is only when it sounds really silly, that I admit defeat and look the word up.

      When I joined this meme, it quickly became clear that checking out the definitions could also be quite good fun, especially when you see some of the strange, unknown words that others have come across in their reading.

      There are words in some of the posts, that I had no idea existed and the challenge of being able to drop the word into any everyday conversation, is almost impossible.

      I had worked out the meaning of ‘porterage’, but it is such a lovely old fashioned word and sounds so good, that I just had to include it.

      My personal favourite and one that I could never have guessed at, is ‘demurrage’, although I can’t see me ever getting to use it personally!

      Enjoy the rest of the week.

    • Hi Joy,

      We have had some very Spring like weather here in Southern UK, in fact let’s be honest, Winter was something of a non-event this year. Gardeners seem to be out on our small estate in full force and it won’t be long before the drone of the lawn mowers will be disturbing the peace of a Sunday morning.

      The ground is still a little damp though, so I am guessing that there are still a lot of gardeners who will have boots clarted in mud!

      I am not quite so keen on the Spring personally, as I have allergies which surface when the trees are in bud and blossom, although thankfully grass pollen isn’t an issue at all!

      Great talking with you and enjoy the rest of your week.

    • Hi Joy,

      I am still on the laptop at the moment, but having just given the iPad2 as a joint 50th birthday gift to my brother and sister-in-law, then I can feel an upgrade coming on just as soon as funds allow!

  • Hi fellow quarter-measurement person. I never knew that about the word gill. That is so cool. Also new to me is clarted. Looks like one of those useful and creative words.

    • Hi Margot,

      Everyone gets confused by my surname and always try to pronounce it ‘Jill’, with a ‘soft G’.

      The confusion comes because, over here the girls’ name Jill, can either be spelt with a ‘J’ or a ‘G’, yet both are pronounced the same way!

      Unfortunately these good old fashioned terms of measurement, such as ‘gill and ‘peck’ and ‘bushel’, have long since gone out of fashion over here, with metrication.

      Just to confuse things though, shops are still allowed to sell in ‘feet and inches’, rather than ‘metres and centimetres’, if they want to !!!! What’s that all about?

      From one measurement to another, I hope that your week has been good so far.

  • What great words, as always. I’m always amazed at how many new words we all come up with each week. I know and usage parlance, porterage sounds familiar (I did work in 5 star hotels for a long time as a student), but the others are new to me. I must say that I am rather taken with clarted. It reminds me of a classic t-shirt a friend had that said “I ran into Tammy Faye at the mall”- a google image search will show you what I mean! Demurrage sounds French doesn’t it? Perhaps Annie will tell us.

    • Hi Louise,

      Interesting analagy to Tammy Faye, although I have never heard of her. I could see by the T. Shirt images where you were coming from, but it took me ages to actually find out any solid information about the woman herself. I can’t believe that she became such a cult figure, it made for some interesting reading, thanks for that.

      ‘demurrage’ is indeed of French origin, as is ‘parlance’.
      ‘parlance’ is taken from the French verb ‘parler’, which means ‘to talk’.
      ‘demurrage’ is taken from the old French word ‘demorage’, or ‘demur’, of the same meaning.

      Quite a few of our English words are taken from French words, and vice versa, which is why conversations between ourselves and the French are so colourful. Sometimes there is just no translation for a word and the conversation will automatically turn either into French or English, by default!!

      I guess that coming from a hotel background ‘porterage’ would have been quite obvious to you. If I am perfectly honest I could have worked that one out as well, but I just love the sound of some of these old and sadly negelcted words. Some of the new, modern words in use, just don’t sound as ‘nice’ somehow, in fact some of them are downright obscene and nasty.

      Enjoy the rest of your week and thanks for the informative reply, I love finding out about new things.

  • Great words Yvonne. I like the sound of parlance. I’ve been meaning to participate in this meme as well. I enjoy reading the words my fav bloggers are sharing.

    • Hi Naida,

      ‘parlance’ is such a quaint, old-fashioned sounding word, isn’t it? I would love to be able to fit it into a conversation, but fear that I would get some very strange looks, if I were to do so.

      This is a great little meme and it would great to have you join in. Some of the words that people seem to find in their books are really amazing, talk about learning something new every time!

      It is also good to find out how words can differ on the international scene. I didn’t realise just how many words we Brits. use that others seem never to have heard of, and of course vice versa. It makes for some fun reading on both sides.

      Thanks for visiting today and I hope that you enjoy a good weekend.

  • Great sounding words and I’m definitely going to start using clarted. I have a friend who clarts (is that a word?) her face in make up!!

    • Hi Barabara,

      Depending on which dictionary you use, ‘clarts’ is quite a permissible derivation of ‘clarted’.

      I would probably think twice about saying it to your friends face though, as it doesn’t sound very nice and she may not still be your friend afterwards!!

      I have to say, that I also have a friend who does the same thing and it is very tempting to ask her how long it takes to trowel her make-up on in the mornings, especially the ‘attractive’ orangey/brown line that happens where face joins neck!!

      Actually, I don’t think that shewould have any idea what ‘clarted’ means, so it might be worth dropping it into the conversation and seeing what response I get!!

      Thanks for injecting some humour into the discussion and I hope that you have enjoyed the beautiful spring like weather today.

      • Hello Yvonne, it’s all fine – I tried out my (your) new word on my friend, and she fell about laughing. She knew exactly what it meant – so the laugh was really on me. Anyway, I told her it was all your fault so no harm done!

        It was so warm this afternoon it felt more like summer. It was lovely to be able to get out in the garden without freezing. Hope you had a good day.

        • Hi Barbara,

          I have very broad shoulders, although I am very glad that you have a friend with such a good sense of humour!

          I spent the day indoors, volunteering for my local hospice charity shop. A guy turned up at about 10am with a whole car full of books (about 500 and counting), so I was kept busy all day, hence a little sore this morning from all the lifting.

          90% of them were children’s books, but all modern unfortunately, so no hidden gems to report. It is such a shame that the children had written their name and address in many of them, so regrettably they could not go out onto the shelves. I should not complain about that though, as I can well remember doing the same thing as a child.

          Off to a very misty start here this morning, so we shall have to wait and see.

Written by Yvonne