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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!

I actually came across my first word this week, when I published a post as part of the ‘Book Beginnings’, regular Friday meme. Sandra stopped by to leave a comment and a link to her own ‘Book Beginnings’ post, which highlighted her current read, ‘Perigee Moon’.



The point nearest the earth’s center in the orbit of the moon or a satellite.

The point in any orbit nearest to the body being orbited.

Apogee and perigee refer to the distance from the Earth to the moon. Apogee is the farthest point from the earth. Perigee is the closest point to the earth and it is in this stage that the moon appears larger. Looking at the moon in the sky without anything to compare it to, you wouldn’t notice any size difference. But the difference in size can in fact be quite significant.


This great word, I just heard used on a popular UK comedy television game show, called ‘Room 101’. A guest celebrity was describing her pet hate of people who, when talking to non indigenous people to this country (the example she gave was of a friend ordering from the menu in an Italian restaurant), try to pronounce the words in the language of that person’s native tongue, only grossly exaggerating almost every syallable, until the whole thing becomes rather pathetic and embarrassing. The show’s host then referred to this phenomenon as a hyperforeignism and I was so intrigued to find out if this was an actual recognised phrase, or if he had just made it up on the spur of the moment!

I just heard a radio news announcer say “In Beijing… uh, Beizhing…” My wife gets nervous when I swear at the radio, so I’ll say it here: there is no /zh/ sound in Mandarin Chinese!

The other evening, while watching a rerun of Antiques Roadshow (yes, I’ll admit my life is rather dull), I was shocked to hear one of the ritzy appraisers describe a rare objet d’art some lucky soul brought in with a bunch of other stuff as the “coo de graah.” Of course he meant “coup de grâce, a much-misunderstood French expression.


The misapplication of foreign pronunciation or usage.

Okay! Now I am about to highlight another of those sad lapses in my education and obviously mis-spent youth. This next word I came across on another blog, when I stopped by to visit Lisa at ‘Southern Girl Reads’, where she had just posted an excellent review of ‘The Perks Of Being A Wallflower’ by Stephen Chbosky. So ‘shout’ away everyone, I hold my hands up to not knowing ….


I tend to really enjoy epistolary novels so I was all in. These letters seem more like entries in a journal, revealing Charlie’s innermost thoughts and feelings.


Of or associated with letters or the writing of letters.

Being in the form of a letter: epistolary exchanges.

Carried on by or composed of letters: an epistolary friendship.

An epistolary novel is a novel written as a series of documents. The usual form is letters, although diary entries, newspaper clippings and other documents are sometimes used. Recently, electronic “documents” such as recordings and radio, blogs, and e-mails have also come into use. The word epistolary is derived through Latin from the Greek word ἐπιστολή epistolē, meaning a letter (see epistle).

The epistolary form can add greater realism to a story, because it mimics the workings of real life. It is thus able to demonstrate differing points of view without recourse to the device of an omniscient narrator.

Well! that’s enough of me showing my ignorance for one week …. What great new words have you all found for me to share?

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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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  • It is funny how we highlight our ignorance each week isn’t it? I’m afraid I was far more ignorant than you this week…. How wonderful that you’ve come to know epistolary though, it’s one of my favourite words, when you come to know it and use it, you really do wonder how you coped before without it! Perigee and hyperforeignism are both new to me. Although I was aware of apogee, perhaps from someone else’s WWW sometime, as astronomy isn’t my thing. but I do enjoy watching the size of the moon vary. And as someone struggling to brush up on my French, I think that I may be committing hyperforeignism most days.

    • Hi Louise,

      When I hadn’t come across any new words to highlight for a few weeks, I was starting to fool myself into a false sense of security, by believing that perhaps my wisdom is increasing proportionately with my age …. but no such luck!! It was just a lucky set of coincidences which have now run out and I have enough new words appearing to fill several more posts!!

      I like the word ‘epistolary’ and can’t believe that I haven’t come across it before, I am now just waiting for the opportunity to use it. That and ‘hyperforeignism’, which I think that in these days of multi culturalism, we are all guilty of. The analagy which the person used of the group of English people ordering a meal in an Italian restaurant, is just about the perfect one, although I have also been guilty of the ‘French connection’ only recently, when we visited a French restaurant and I found myself attempting to order in my long forgotten schoolday French accent!!

      Like yourself, I am not an astronomer of any description, however I do enjoy skywatching on a good clear night, although we live in quite an urban area, so light pollution makes those perfect conditions very few and far between.

      Thanks for taking such an active part in my post, I really appreciate and value your time and comments.

  • I love hyperforeignism – although my pronunciation of English words is appalling too – I wonder if there is such a thing as hypernativelanguagism?

    • Hi Brona,

      Thank you for stopping by Fiction Books today. I love ‘meeting’ new people, so your visits will always be welcome and your comments appreciated.

      Sorry!! I checked out hypernativelanguagism and just about every derivative I could think of and you defiinitely haven’t come up with any word which exists in the English language to date …. Of course you could always apply to have the word considered as a new addition to the dictionary, that’s if anyone could actually say it, much less spell it! …. You made me smile in the face of an otherwise gloomy day … Thank you.

      • Ha! I make up new words all the time much to the amusement/bemusement of my word-aholic husband. Some like “oderarm deunderant” have become family favourites!
        Others have been lost in the mists of time (and commonsense!)

        • Hi Brona,

          My hubbie quite often has trouble pronouncing words, which can sometimes lead to some very bemused looks, before I finally cotton on to what he actually means. The problem is generally whereabouts in the word he places the emphasis, which can change the sound and meaning of the word completely.

          He does however, have the knack of being able to make up rhymes and verses, seemingly effortlessly, whilst I just don’t seem to have the flair or spontaneity to do the same …. I am much more the process driven, pessimistic one of us, whilst he is definitely ever the optimist and the more creative half ….

          Have a good weekend.

    • Hi Tracy,

      We were sat at the dining table when this particular episode of the programme aired and I can remember us just sat looking at one another, before hubbie asked “did I hear that right and is that really a word?” I couldn’t get to the PC quickly enough …. thank goodness for ‘google’ …. sometimes!

      I have to admit that I wasn’t sure about the new format of ‘Room 101’, when Frank Skinner first took over as the show’s host, as I am quite a fan of Paul Merton. However, I now think that the re-vamped image for the show is much better and having more than one guest certainly works. I even now have a fondness for Frank!

      Thanks for taking part in the discussion, it is always good to chat with you.

  • I’m glad you defined perigee moon because that would have been the first thing I would have had to look up. I knew epistolary but hyperforeignism is new to me, but I’m very familiar with what it means. I won’t have much chance to use it but will try to remember it when I do.

    • Hi Kathy,

      It is quite disconcerting to have to look up the title of a book before you can even start reading, isn’t it?

      Hyperforeignism has to be my favourite word this week. We have friends who perfectly illustrate this point when we go out to eat with them, so I am just lying in wait to use the word on them at the next available opportunity!

      Thanks for being such a good host and enjoy the rest of your week

    • Hi Mary Ann,

      I haven’t come across too many new words in the past few weeks and I was getting a little worried about it. I need not have been concerned however, as in the last few days there have been a whole load of them come along at once, more than enough for another couple of posts in fact!!

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

  • Hi Yvonne! Great words, especially hyperforeignism. I can think of some great times to use that! I love epistolary novels- they leave a lot for you to figure out. Have you read The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society? Another great epistolary novel. Thanks for including word origins too!

    • Hi Julia,

      Thank you for stopping by Fiction Books today. I love ‘meeting’ new people, so your visits will always be welcome and your comments much appreciated.

      I have clearly read one or two epistolary novels, without truly appreciating the fact and just can’t believe that I didn’t know about this word before!!

      I am not sure that this is a style of writing that I really enjoy, although I have heard such fantastic things about ‘The Guernsey Literary ….’, that I should definitely give both the book and the genre a fighting chance, before passing too many negative comments.

      This book would also seem a logical place to start my epistolary journey, as Guernsey is not too far from where I live in the South of the UK and the fact that the German occupying forces actually came so close to our shores, has always fascinated me.

  • I had no idea about the word hyperforeignism. I’m fluent in Spanish and I have to say I get a small kick out of people mispronouncing or misusing Spanish words 🙂 I am a fan of some epistolary novels. I like that style of writing. The Recipe Club is a favorite. It’s written in the form of letters to and from two best friends.
    That is interesting about Perigee moon. I’ve never heard of that before.
    Enjoy your week and happy reading 🙂

    • Hi Naida,

      We have visited many European countries over the years and do try wherever possible to attempt communication with the locals in their native tongue. However, on many occasions we have been told in no uncertain terms tthat the locals would rather communicate in English, as their use of the English language is much more proficient than our feeble attempts at the local language. This really makes me feel ashamed and guilty at our basic lack of languge skills in this country and it is poor comfort to be told that English is the universal language, so we should expect everyone else to use it.

      I haven’t come across ‘The Recipe Club’ before, so I have checked it out and added it to my reading list. That’s two great nw book recommendations which have come out of this post, as Julia recommends ‘The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society’, as another good example of epistolary writing.

      Thanks for taking the time to stop by, I always appreciate your comments.

  • Hi Yvonne. I’m so glad you highlighted words you found online. It celebrates our ability to expand our vocabulary wherever our eyes take us.

    • Hi Margot,

      I really like the challenge of coming across a word I don’t know when I am reading, then going away to look it up and hopefully remember it for the future!!

      The problem seems to be, that the older I get, the less effective is the memory retention for such detail, which makes me annoyed with myself that I didn’t know the word in the first place!!

      I am probably also not so keen to get to grips with many of the new words which are being added to the dictionary on such a regular basis, whilst classic words which I grew up with are now apparently being physically removed, as defunct. This is almost the same argument as the current trend for authors to plagiarise classic books, which I also, frankly abhor!!

      Thanks for stopping by, I always value your visits and comments.

Written by Yvonne