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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!

My first two words this week, I spotted when I stopped by the excellent site of fellow blogger Tracy Terry, over at ‘Pen and Paper’. She had just published her great review of ‘Red Winter’ by Dan Smith, a new to me author, but one definitely destined for my own reading list.

1. This first word forms part of the personal memorable sentences which Tracy decided to feature …

RUSALKA

Babushka would have said that Galina would remain a rusalka now, an unquiet spirit that would only rest once she was avenged, and for an awful second I imagined her roaming the clearing moaning for her husband.

RUSALKA

In Slavic mythology, a rusalka is a female ghost, water nymph, succubus, or mermaid-like demon that dwelt in a waterway. According to most traditions, the rusalki were fish-women, who lived at the bottom of rivers. In the middle of the night, they would walk out to the bank and dance in meadows. …

2. The second word I spotted in the synopsis, which Tracy had cunningly attempted to conceal to avoid ‘spoilers’. However curious (NOSY) that I am, I was not to be deterred by her subterfuge …

KOSCHEI

She babbles incoherently of Koschei, the Deathless One, the stuff of chilling Russian folk tales, and drags a bewildered Levitsky into the forest to see first-hand what this Koschei has done.

KOSCHEI

In Slavic folklore, Koschei is an archetypal male antagonist, described mainly as abducting the hero’s wife. None of the existing tales actually describes his appearance, though in book illustrations, cartoons and cinema he has been most frequently represented as a very old and ugly-looking man, who cannot be killed by conventional means targeting his body.

3. The next couple of words to feature this week, came from a recently read book, ‘Double Or Nothing’ by Meg Mims, a historical western romance..

AIGRETTES

My hairpiece, a single white silk orchid, looked puny compared to the overblown, feathery aigrettes or vibrant flower headpieces adorning other women’s hair.

AIGRETTES

An ornamental tuft of upright plumes, especially the tail feathers of an egret.

An ornament, such as a spray of gems, resembling a tuft of plumes.

4. I have never come across this phrase, here in the UK, so I apologise to all the US and Canadian readers, to whom this is probably a well known phrase.

KITTY-CORNER

“How about the Russ House,” Charles said. “It’s kitty-corner to the Occidental, and I saw a back entrance once.”

KITTY-CORNER

Used to describe two things that are located across from each other on opposite corners.

In a diagonal or oblique position.

What new words have you discovered this time … I can’t wait to stop by and check them out!

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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16 comments
  • Kitty-corner isn’t that well known. I remember when I first heard the term cattywampus and thought that someone was making it up.

    Good words.

    • Hi Liz,

      So, I have come across ‘kitty-corner’, ‘catty-corner’ and ‘cattywampus’ today and all are indeed bona fide words, despite my strong reservations and thoughts to the contrary.

      For those of my UK blogging friends, I had better share ‘cattywampus’, just to let them know that I haven’t really lost my mind and started making up words!!

      adj. In disarray or disorder; askew.
      adj. Not directly across from nor adjacent to.

      Definition from ‘Wordnik’

      Thanks for expanding the post in such a fun and interesting way.

  • Thank you for the mention. I admit to being so intrigued by these words (as well as some others) that I simply had to do some further research as to the origins etc.

    As for the other words ….. Whilst ‘aigrettes’ is a new one to me I had seen ‘Kitty Corner’ used though I’d always presumed it was one of those words not to be found in any dictionary.

    • Hi Tracy,

      Like yourself, I tend to get side-tracked quite easily, by stopping to check out the definitions and origins of new to me words, as I come across them.

      The book I am reading right now, is a perfect example. ‘The Diabolist’ by Layton Green, is a story with the supernatural, occult and Satanism at its core. There are just so many sects, cults and Satanic words and phrases, that I don’t know where to start first! I couldn’t possibly include all of them in WWW, or I could be here for many months, although I shall have to highlight some of the more generic and obscure words.

      I hope that you didn’t mind me linking to your post like that, I am not trying to cash in on your work, I simply felt the words worthy of a mention.

      Thanks for stopping by, an interesting comment, as always

  • I think “kitty corner” is one of those expressions that varies slightly by region. I’ve always heard and used it as “catty corner” (and I’m totally guessing on the spelling).

    • Hi Kelly,

      ‘Catty-Corner’, is indeed in the dictionary, with its own definition, although as you so rightly say, it has almost the same meaning as ‘Kitty-Corner’…

      catty-corner – slanted across a polygon on a diagonal line; “set off in a catty-corner direction across the vacant lot”

      That definition comes from the ‘Free Dictionary’

      Definitely not a British term, although perhaps it should be, it’s a great teaser for conversation, for me!

      Thanks for taking the time to comment. An interesting diversion, I love them!

  • Thanks for the great words. And finally one I was familiar with, kitty-corner. I like to see a familiar one now and then, so I don’t feel so clueless. “kitty-corner” was one of my mom’s favorite words, and it made me think of her. Thanks for that.

    • Hi Judy,

      When I come across too many words that I don’t know, I do begin to wonder at the quality of my education, despite the many intervening years which have passed!

      I also wonder if all these authors are really that clever, or is there some secret site they can access, where you input the sentiment you are hoping to achieve from a given passage of writing, and the appropriate choice of words, with definitions, are put forward for them to choose from …. and if so, where can I find the site?

      I didn’t mean for my words to evoke memories which are too sentimenal or distressing, but thanks for sharing your thoughts.

    • Hi Joy,

      It is amazing just how many of our parents traditions and sayings we actually carry on using into the future, despite always vowing, when we are young, that we are never going to become like them, isn’t it?

      One of the best things about blogging (apart from the many international friends I have made), have been the opportunities which have come my way to explore books and authors from countries which I would ordinarily have probably walked past on the shelves of a bookshop. I have read a couple of Eastern European novels, but have yet to read any stories with a strong Russian theme. The words which Tracy featured from ‘Red Winter’ were so intriguing, that I just had to include them in a WWW post.

      Thanks for stopping by, I appreciate your comments.

  • Kitty corner (or sometimes catty corner) is used fairly often in the US. i knew aigrettes because of the little bit of French I can remember. The Slavic words are interesting and totally new to me. I bet that book is interesting.

    • Hi Kathy,

      I must admit that my basic French skills didn’t stretch as far as aigrettes. In the context of the writing, I could probably have worked out what it was, however I had no idea of the literal definition of a plume effect.

      I am not sure that ‘Red Winter’ is a book I would enjoy, however it is good to discover totally new words, which definitely need research to establish their definition … Remembering them again in the future may be a little more of a challenge.

      Thanks for hosting WWW, I always enjoy being able to contribute to this meme.

  • I was just up in the Catskill Mountains of New York and saw deer at dawn and dusk and remembered the word “crepuscular.” (relating to the fading light of dusk or describing animals active at dusk and dawn) It doesn’t have a great sound to it, and I don’t think of it as a “pretty” word, but toss it into a conversation and see what happens.

    • Hi Carolyn,

      I hope that you enjoyed your trip and thanks for stopping by now that you are home again.

      I have come across ‘crepuscular’ before and still struggle to see how the word in any way relates to its definition of, “resembling or relating to twilight”. As you so rightly say, it is not a pretty word, although I came across an article which refers to ‘crepuscular rays’, which sounds much more appropriate and looks quite spectacular, especially as they are also known as ‘God rays’

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crepuscular_rays

      I am not too sure how many people know of ‘crepuscular’, so tossing it ino a conversation would, as you say, probably provoke quite a reaction.

      Thanks for sharing your word and enjoy your Easter.

    • Hi Mary Ann,

      As ‘kitty-corner’ isn’t a word used here in the UK, I had great fun discovering its definition when I first came across it. There have been some extra equally intriguing derivatives of the phrase, offered up by all you lovely bloggers who took the time to stop by this week, although I do think that the winner has to be ‘cattywampus’. I really must try dropping that one into casual conversation and see what kind of reaction I get!

      Have a great Easter weekend

Written by Yvonne

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