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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!

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

This weeks words come from a diverse selection of sources, although none from any of my recent or current reading, I’m afraid.

1 … I came across on a site called ‘Wordsmith’, which has a ‘word a day’ option.

Image Of A LazarettoPrincipal entrance to the lazaretto on Mahón


“The Council House was a frame building, away from the rest, that had been built in the old, wilder days as a lazaretto for surly drunks.”

“During times of epidemic, the government established a lazaretto on the neutral ground.”

lazaretto …

1. A medical facility for people with infectious diseases.
2. A building or ship used for quarantine.
3. On a ship, a space between decks used as storage.

2I heard on a BBC Radio 4 broadcast, spoken by a guest during a walking programme.

Image Of Manly Harbour Pool, New South Wales, AustraliaThe promenade that enclosed the harbour pool at Manly, New South Wales, Australia, until it was destroyed during a storm in 1974


“But three storms in 1974 caused enormous damaged along the coastline, exacerbated by unusually high tides caused by syzygy, which is when several celestial bodies are aligned, and perigee, which is when the moon is closest to the Earth.”

syzygy …

1. An alignment of three celestial objects, as the sun, the earth, and either the moon or a planet.
2. A measure in classical verse consisting of two feet, often of different kinds.
3. Any two related things, either alike or opposite.
3My final word this week, I came across on the site of fellow blogger, Mary Ann Langan, over at ‘Tribute Books Mama’. Mary’s featured book was a collection of poems and as this is a genre in which I am not an expert, I assumed the book’s title bore some relation to a genre or style of poetry … WRONG! On checking out the definition of the word, I discovered yet another gaping hole in my classical education, but I am betting this is one word I shall never forget … So, sharing my ineptitude, I give you …
An Image Of Antigone, By Frederic Leighton
An Image Of Antigone by Frederic Leighton
Passionate, brutal, and infused with extraordinary lyricism, The Antigone Poems provides a special expedition into the depths of the ancient Sophocles tragedy. The work’s obsessive, ritualistic and ultimately mysterious force brings into sharp focus the heroic, tragic figure at the center of the primordial compact between gods and humans. The work, a collaboration between poet, Marie Slaight and artist, Terrence Tasker, was created in the 1970’s, while the artist were living in Montreal and Toronto.
antigone …

In Greek mythology, Antigone is the daughter of Oedipus and Jocasta, Oedipus’ mother. The name has been suggested to mean “opposed to motherhood”, “in place of a mother”.

Thanks for taking the time to stop by, I appreciate it.

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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 Tracy,

      I got completely fooled by this word, as I had assumed it to be a style or genre of poetry. I had great fun checking this one out, although I did get bogged down with some of the Wikipedia references. The cover of the book is enough to have me intrigued, so this might well be one that I shall keep a look out for on my travels. I don’t tend to read poetry on a regular basis, but I do have a few books on the shelves that I can dip in and out of, as I feel like it.

      Thanks for taking the time to check out todays post.

  • “Syzygy” What a great word! The first of the three definitions is my favorite and I wish I could find some way to work it into conversation!

    I’m guessing the Wordsmith you’ve discovered is the same A.Word.A.Day (authored by Anu Garg) I’ve gotten via email for quite a number of years. I use to read each entry closely, but now only challenge myself to pronounce it correctly then glance at definition. The author sometimes gets “preachy” about various topics or social issues, so I don’t often look at his commentaries anymore.

    I’m currently reading The Black Cat by Martha Grimes and haven’t come across any unfamiliar words so far.

    • Hi Kelly,

      I think it was a walking programme of some kind that I was listening to on the radio in the car, when the word syzygy came up. Even the presenter asked the guest to spell it out and try to explain it and she did sound rather flustered at obviously not knowing the word. I think that using it in the context of the third definition would probably be the easiest way to drop syzygy into a conversation and I am guessing that not too many people will know what you are talking about!

      Wordsmith is indeed also known as A.Word.A.Day and is authored by Anu Garg. I don’t know how I even came across the site, although it did seem a little fortuitous, as I was struggling for enough words to make a WWW post this week. I am not addicted to taking part in the meme every week, so I probably won’t refer to the site often enough to get annoyed by it. I do prefer to only highlight the new to me words which I discover randomly in my own reading, however having just 2 words this week seemed like too short a post, so I wanted to make up a third entry. Thanks for the ‘heads up’ on the possible preachy nature of the site’s commentary though!

      I don’t know why I haven’t read many Martha Grimes books, especially as she is now up to book 23 in the ‘Richard Jury’ series. As I recall, I have only read book 8, ‘I Am The Only Running Footman’, although despite the unusual title, I can’t really remember much about it.

      I don’t know if not coming across any unfamiliar words, is a good or bad thing! Still, I do enjoy the WWW meme, so a steady flow of new to me words is always appreciated!

      Thanks for the interesting comment, I always enjoy hearing from you.

      • I discovered the Richard Jury series several years ago and thoroughly enjoyed reading them up until about the last three or four. I just didn’t enjoy the direction they took. It was for that reason I held off on reading this one (and now one to follow it). I saw The Black Cat reviewed on a blog and decided I would try jumping back in. After all, having read the previous 21 installments, I feel compelled to continue on! I’m enjoying it, but not with the excitement I use to feel for the series. All the titles are Pub names in the books.

        • It doesn’t sound as though I shall need to rush out and try to catch up on this series then!

          Perhaps I may start with one or two of her stand alone novels and see how I get on with those.

          The only good thing about a long and lengthy series with a single character, is to see how the detection and crime solving methods have changed over the years, or whether the author keeps their protagonist firmly in time and place.

    • Hi Margot,

      I must admit that Classical History was never one of my strongest, or favourite subjects, so it was no real surprise that I never knew anything about Antigone, although I did get a little excited at the thought that I may have uncovered a specific genre of poetry!! …. Ever Been Had? LOL! … I am totally taken in by the strength and power of the cover art.

      Thanks for taking the time to stop by and for your interest in the post. Your comments are always appreciated.

    • Hi Mary Ann,

      Hope you don’t mind me highlighting your blog in my post, only I was just so intrigued by not only the title of the book, but by that rather creepy cover image as well. I would be most interested to know your thoughts about the poems when you have had the chance to read the book.

      You are the first person to mention the word ‘Lazaretto’, although I found it most intriguing, as I had no idea that we had places like this, here in parts of the UK.

      “According to Edward Hasted in 1798, two large hospital ships (also called lazarettos), (which were the surviving hulks of forty-four gun ships) were moored in Halstow Creek in Kent. The creek is an inlet from the River Medway and the River Thames. The hospital ships watched over ships coming to England which were forced to stay in the creek under quarantine to protect the country from infectious diseases, including the plague.

      Fidra, an uninhabited island in the Firth of Forth in eastern Scotland, has the ruins of an old chapel, dedicated to St. Nicholas, which was used as a lazaretto.”

      I really think that I need to brush up on my history, both classical and social.

      Thanks for stopping by, I always value your comments.

  • I love the fact that your words came from such different places. The lazaretto you pictured doesn’t look like it would be a hardship to stay in. Sygyzy is really interesting. I’m going to look up the pronunciation but I can’t imagine ever using it.

    • Hi Kathy,

      It is amazing when new to me words pop up in the most unexpected places and at such unexpected times, although this does only serve to highlight the learning gaps in my vocabularly, which have become more like chasms since I have been taking part in WWW and actually cataloguing all the words!

      I could quite hear myself managing to fit the word syzygy into a conversation, if it was in the context of the third definition … ‘Any two related things’. I never knew you could even make a word with so few letters, containing so many ‘y’s’ and still have it make sense.

      Whilst the picture of this particular lazaretto does look quite innocuous, it seems as though the buildings were principally used as quarantine stations for maritime travellers, or to house colonies of lepers. They were often built on isolated islands, or aboard specially adapted ships, which were then kept at sea and anchored permanently in harbours …. I am not so sure I would want to stay in one now!!

      Thanks for hosting this great meme and for visiting today, I appreciate it.

    • Hi Melinda,

      ‘Word Empowered’ … I like it!

      Sometimes that is a good feeling, to have a whole raft of new words to take in and digest. Other times, I like the feeling of knowing many of the featured words and definitions. It really does depend on which mood I am in on the day!

      Thanks for stopping by, I appreciate your time and comments.

    • Hi Naida,

      I was driving when this word was mentioned on the radio programme I was listening to and all the way home, I was desperately trying to remember the spelling to check it out on Google, as although the programme guest who used it was thoughtful enough to spell it out, he didn’t offer any explanation as to its meaning, as if we should all have come across the word before!!

      The programme was a regular weekly walking spot, so I am guessing that the guest was using it to describe ‘two related things’, which I should imagine is the word’s most often used definition.

      Definitely too few letters for so many ‘y’s’, for my liking! Although Wikipedia has quite a comprehensive index of the word having been used in just about everything, from poetry to science.

      Certainly a word that it will be difficult to forget. Hope that you have had a good weekend and are enjoying your reading and other pastimes.

  • SYZYGY sounds like a magical incantation 🙂

    I also hadn’t heard of lazaretto. Thanks for sharing these posts. I learn a lot from them. Even when I know a word, I learn more about its background.

    • Hi Hila,

      I hadn’t thought about syzygy in that way ,,, but now that you mention it!

      As I started writing here and looked at the word again, my first thought was synergy, which is very similar in definition!

      Thanks for visiting and taking the time to comment on posts which are not always the most current. I appreciate you taking the time to browse the site and value your contributions to the discussion.

Written by Yvonne