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

Wondrous Words Wednesday

An image for the weekly meme 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, so that we can visit and share your words of the week!

‘The Assignment’ by Geraldine Solon

My words this week come from a book that I am almost finished reading. The book is set in The Philippines, the homeland of its author and is rich in local tradition and dialogue, there have therefore been many words which are new to me. However in almost all instances, Geraldine has cleverly managed to weave the definition of each Filipino word directly into the book’s narrative, meaning that I did not need to spend time researching words before being able to move on, thus enriching my enjoyment of the story.

There are just a couple of words that didn’t come complete with a definition and which I needed to research, before being able to get them into context with the storyline.

LECHON

Guests flocked to the buffet table filled with sumptuous dishes while one maid cut the skin of the famous lechon

Picture of a Filipino LechonLECHON – is a pork dish in several regions of the world, most specifically Spain and its former colonial possessions throughout the world. The word lechón originated from the Spanish term leche (milk); thus lechón refers to a suckling pig that is roasted. Lechón is a popular food in the Philippines, Cuba, Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic, other Spanish-speaking nations in Latin America, and Spain. The dish features a whole roasted pig cooked over charcoal. Additionally, it is a national dish of the Philippines, and Puerto Rico. Nowadays in most of Latin America, the original use of a suckling pig has given way to a medium-sized adult pig.

TAGALOG

She grabbed her wallet and pulled out her New York ID. He examined it closely, then spoke a few Tagalog words into his two-way radio.

An image of some tagalog script

TAGALOG – A member of a people native to the Philippines and inhabiting Manila and its adjacent provinces. The Austronesian language of the Tagalog on which Filipino is based.

UBE

The maid popped in and announced that the yam was ready for dessert. “You have to try this ube made from scratch”

a picture of a slice of ube cakeUBE – Purple Yam

Ube is purple yam, which should not be confused with purple potatoes or with purple sweet potatoes.  Purple yam is not uniquely found in the Philippines but Filipinos by far use it more than anyone else to flavor and color their sweet treats and breads.

That’s me done for this week, what great new words have you all discovered?

Written by
Yvonne

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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10 comments
    • Hi Mary Ann,

      This book has been so full of new words for me, that had the author not explained most of them in the book’s narrative, I would have been constantly on the dictionary site, checking them all out. I love finding out new words and even more so, when they originate from a different culture and way of life.

      Thanks for commenting, always appreciated.

    • Hi Tracy,

      I have always been quite proud of my reading and writing skills, however this meme just serves to highlight how little I actually know.

      I do have a bit of an excuse ths week, as my book is set in the Philippines and my words came from the native language

      Generally speaking though, this meme just serves to highlight the many gaps (or great chasms) in my eduction, although it also performs admirably well in filling those gaps, by educating me!

      Thanks for visiting and enjoy the rest of your week.

    • Hi Kathy,

      I was a little nauseated by the explanation of Lechon on Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lechon and by the many images I came across on Google. The equivalent of such a dish over here in the UK, would be a ‘Hog Roast, which is an identical prodcedure and one which I would never eat. Don’t get me wrong, I am by no means a vegetarian, but some things I do draw the line at!

      Thanks for hosting and for stopping by each contributor’s blog, it is much appreciated.

  • The book sounds good and it’s nice that the author weaves the meanings into the narrative. Being Puerto Rican, I know and love lechon. Its a tradition to roast one during the holidays. Christmas and Thanksgiving are not complete without it. In Puerto Rico during Christmastime they roast lechon outdoors and have lots of food, friends and family over for Christmas caroling. Its very lively! Nice words this week. I’ve never heard of ube before.

    • Hi Naida,

      I did wonder if you would know some of these words and I have to admit that ‘hog roasts’ are becoming more and more popular over here, for wedding breakfasts, outdoor shows and fetes etc. However, I can never envisage it replacing our traditional English Roast dinner as a Christmas meal, even if it were ever warm enough to eat outside over the festive season!

      I had always assumed that a Yam was the same thing as a Sweet Potato, but when I had to look it up to find out what UBE was, I realised that there is a world of difference between the two and obviously neither of them are native to UK shores, although Sweet Potato is available in many UK stores now. I must admit I was more than a little surprised when I saw the colour of a UBE dessert, until I discovered that a Yam does indeed come in a purple/blue variety, which colours all the food when it is used to cook with. I think that desserts in this pretty colour would be great as a novelty for a while, but I am not sure that it is a look I could live with permanently.

      Thanks for your interesting comments on this post, it is always great to learn about other people’s traditions and customs.

  • We have quite a large Phillipino population in Australia, so Tagalog is quite a familiar term. You can buy jars of purple yam paste here, it always looks so intriguing. Lechon is new to me too.

  • Hi Louise,

    I had a feeling, that living in Australia, you would know at least a couple of my words this week.

    Lechon seems very popular in the Philippines and from what Naida (a fellow blogger) had to say, in parts of South America as well. As I said earlier, we do have a ‘hog roast’, here in the UK and their popularity is increasing by the week, however I have never been able to bring myself to try one. I prefer my meat to be anonymous, without any appendages and in much smaller pieces!

    I was totally intrigued by the ube desserts, although I am sure that if I were to go to London and search out the Philippino population, I would probably be able to buy purple yam paste somewhere. My picture is a little small to do justice to the stunning colour of the dessert, however this link shows just how attractive it all looks.

    http://blog.junbelen.com/2010/05/25/purple-yam-why-filipinos-love-purple-sweet-treats/

    Thanks for taking a look at my post and leaving your valued comments.

Written by Yvonne

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