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

WWW – Wondrous Words Wednesday – 7th September 2011

I had planned the post that I was going to publish for the meme, this week, however, I then came across this great word on an author website.

I had never heard of the word before and was intrigued to know the meaning, although being a literary word perhaps I should have known the definition.

I shall be most interested to discover how many of you out there are aware of the phrase, although perhaps that is only going to depress me and highlight the gaps in my literary knowledge even more.

The most comprehensive definition of the word I found, comes from the site:



Definition: A bildungsroman is a novel that traces the development of a character from childhood to adulthood, through a quest for identity that leads him or her to maturity. The term bildungsroman comes from the German for “formation novel,” or “education novel.”
Also Known As: education novel, formation novel, coming of age novel
Common Misspellings: bildungroman
Examples: “David Copperfield” is an example of a bildungsroman, or coming of age novel.

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 Violet,

      As you say, it is always good to learn something new, but I am not sure that I shall ever use this word, not because I wouldn’t have the opportunity, but because I can just imagine the responses I would get if I ever wrote it as part of a post!!

      I must admit that I was a little amazed to read it on the front page of this authors blog, especially as I had to look it up to have any idea what it meant!!

  • I’ve never heard that word in my life! It is completely new to me and personally, I find it a very cumbersome word—Like, there has got to be a better way to describe what this supposedly means….It is unweildy and impossible to pronounce! (lol) And I can assure you, I will NEVER use it….! And on top of everything else that I don’t like about it, it seems totally prentious to me…..!

    • Hi Naomi,

      I also think it is a very pretentious word in these days of more open communication.

      It seems to be a very complicated way of saying ‘a coming of age’ novel, which everyone is sure to understand.

      It’s another of those words that it would be very easy to mis-spell, leading to some very strange looks I should think!!

      Definitely not a word that I shall ever use either!!

  • Well, no need to be depressed on my behalf as I’ve never heard that one before either. It’s actually really hard to get your mouth around, which is maybe why it’s fallen out of use. LOL.

    • Hi Cath,

      It certainly is a hard one to get your mouth around, especially as I never took German when I was at school, and as for the spelling???

      It definitely hasn’t fallen out of use as far as this author is concerned, as it is a new and active website and the word is used to promote her latest book.

      Lets just hope that her perspective readers understand the meaning before they buy the book.

    • Hi Kathy,

      Thanks for stopping by and for hosting this great meme, it is always such fun.

      I’m afraid that I can’t take credit for the example, but thank goodness the site I used had the foresight to include an example as part of the definition.

      Also, I am so glad that the dictionary and definition sites are there and so comprehensive, as I don’t think this word would have been in any modern standard printed dictionary.

      You could certainly stop a conversation dead in its tracks, if you threw this word into the mix LOL

    • Hi Nikki,

      LOL at your observation, but can completely see where you are coming from. It is not a word that trips easily off the tongue, is it?

      I love to take part in this meme when I have a pertinent comment to make and it is amazing the number of new words and phrases that I have come across, with some very interesting definitions, although it would not always be feasible to drop many of them into your average day-to-day conversation!

Written by Yvonne