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

Wondrous Words Wednesday … July 13th 2011




The words that are new to me this week, are taken from my ARC copy of a great book, which is not due for release until 27th August 2011 and is an author request for review.

The book has no pre-release details on Amazon as yet, so you can click here to peruse a full synopsis, as supplied by the author.

‘The Egyptian’ by Layton Green


Senescence: “Are you knowledgeable about senescence at the cellular level?”


or biological aging is the change in the biology of an organism as it ages after its maturity. Such changes range from those affecting its cells and their function to that of the whole organism. There are a number of theories as to why senescence occurs, including ones that claim it is programmed by gene expression changes and that it is the accumulative damage of biological processes.

The word senescence is derived from the Latin word senex, meaning old man, old age, or advanced in age.

I really don’t like the sound of this word, as it is too close to senile, or senility, for comfort!!

Golem: “The golem grew too powerful, and the rabbi deactivated the golem by erasing the first letter of the name of God.


In Jewish tradition, the golem is most widely known as an artificial creature created by magic, often to serve its creator. The word “golem” appears only once in the Bible (Psalms139:16). In Hebrew, “golem” stands for “shapeless mass.” The Talmud uses the word as “unformed” or “imperfect” and according to Talmudic legend, Adam is called “golem,” meaning “body without a soul” (Sanhedrin 38b) for the first 12 hours of his existence. The golem appears in other places in the Talmud as well. One legend says the prophet Jeremiah made a golem However, some mystics believe the creation of a golem has symbolic meaning only, like a spiritual experience following a religious rite.

I love the sound of this word, although it isn’t the ‘prettiest’ word in the world!

Syncretism: “The first alchemist reputed to have achieved eternal life. A figure of legend that eventually evolved into a syncretism of Thoth and Hermes.”

Syncretism –noun
1.The attempted reconciliation or union of different or opposing principles, practices, or parties, as in philosophy or religion.
2. Grammar . the merging, as by historical change in a language, of two or more categories in a specified environment into one, as, in nonstandard English, the use of was  with both singular and plural subjects, while in standard English was  is used with singular subjects (except for you  in the second person singular) and were  with plural subjects.
I suppose that this word was a little more obvious and I should have been able to work it out, if I had thought about ‘synchronization’, although this didn’t seem to fit into the religious context where syncretism was being used.

Megalopolis: “On the other hand, Grey knew from experience that even a megalopolis such as this was deceiving:”
1. A very large city.
2. A region made up of several large cities and their surrounding areas in sufficient proximity to be considered a single urban complex.
I guess I should have been able to work this meaning out as well, but I really didn’t think that it existed as a word, it sounds like something you would find used in a ‘Superman’ film!!!

Wondrous Words Wednesday is a weekly meme where we share new (to us) words that we’ve 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. Just don’t forget that Kathy and the rest of us, all love to read your comments  as well!!
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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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    • Hi Julie,

      You can always rely on Layton Green to offer up several new words in his books.

      I love the challenge of finding out about them all, but seriously wonder at my standards of education and literary abilities, when I come across so many new words!!!

      My personal favourite this week, was ‘Golem’, such a great word to roll around on the tongue!!

  • I think all of your words are interesting which says a lot about the book they came from. You have me curious about golem. Only one time in the whole Bible? Now you have me checking my Bible and my concordances. I like this kind of treasure hunt/research.

    • Hi Margot,

      I had no idea what a ‘golem’ was, I have to admit, but there are some really interesting articles out there, about the whole subject, which kept me occupied for hours.

      The books themselves are written with great attention to detail and are obviously very well researched by an author that knows his subject and enjoys writing about it.

      They are always a pleasure to read.

    • Hi Kathy,

      I guess that I could have worked out a couple of the words for myslf, but I always like to double check, just to make sure that I have the word in the correct context in which it was intended by the author.

      I like to think that I am educating myself a little, when I learn something about a new word, but whether at my age, I will be able to remember it all at a later date, is something else!!

      I am intrigued about the game you play, where you come across golems!!

    • Hi Joy,

      I have to admit that Tolkien is not one of my favourite authors, so I know very little about his work.

      I did some investigating after reading your comment and can see exactly where the synergie between the two characters may be coming from.

      I found a reference that Gollum only appeared in one chapter of ‘The Hobbit’ (although of course he did play a pivotal role in ‘The Lord Of The Rings’), whereas according to the source of my information about Golem, his name is only mentioned once in the Bible.


      An interesting thought though, thanks for the discussion.

    • Hi Bev,

      I also like the cover of the ARC, so let’s just hope that any ‘tweaking’ that still needs to be done, is very minor and that the fundamental design is left untouched.

      I know that the book is only going up for sale initially as a download, but there are plans for a hard print copy within a couple of months and it would be nice to think that there isn’t going to be too much of a change going on with a cover that works well!

  • I’d never thought of a possible meaning to Gollum (and had only came across it in the movie versions, as I haven’t read the books, and didn’t know how it was spelt).

    • Hi Louise,

      I also, had no idea of the meaning of this word and even when I read the reference to it in the book, would have been making a completely wild stab as to its meaning, and getting it wrong!!!

      I was fascinated when I started researching the word properly and spent much longer doing so than I had anticipated, but I find the whole process of discovering new words, just as enjoyable as reading the book.

  • I so agree about Megtroplolis—in fact, I think it DID come from the Original “SUPERMAN” Comic books…..LOL! Interesting words…..There is a play called THE GOLEM which I saw when I was about 15 years old—On Broadway….It was very strange, as I recall…..!

    Thanks for coming by and for your lovely comment! We had a GREAT time at my Birthday Celebration!

    • I found your blog from a link to another site and was intrigued by the wealth of knowledge and social history that I found there. I could have spent many hours looking through your old photographs and historical details and will be linking to your site very shortly.

      I searched and found some very old ‘New York Times’ articles, where I did indeed find metion of a play called ‘The Golem’ back in the late 1940s. It was considered to be a rather strange and sinister concept even then, which makes the whole storyline of this book so much more intriguing.

      Thanks for sharing and stopping by my site, it is always lovely to chat to new people

Written by Yvonne