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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!

Once again, none of my words this time come directly from my own current or recent reading, but from a diverse range of  places, where I happen to have come across them and considered them worthy of sharing….

1. and 2. Hubbie and I are members of the English National Trust and recently made a visit to one of their properties nearby to where we live, in Somerset. Montacute House is a masterpiece of Elizabethan Renaissance architecture and design and in keeping with its majestic past, on the day we visited, one of the rooms in the house had been designated as a music room, where we were treated to a programme of French Music, by ‘The Mendip Consort Of Recorders’. One composer in particular, who featured in the programme, used some pretty flowery words and language to describe himself and although I was unable to verify the exact definitions of his words, as I suspect they might have been made up, all articles about him quote them….

Image Of Composer Erik SatieComposer Erik Satie

PHONOMETRICIAN and GYMNOPEDIST

An eccentric, Satie was introduced as a “gymnopedist” in 1887, shortly before writing his most famous compositions, the Gymnopédies. Later, he also referred to himself as a “phonometrician”,  preferring this designation to that of a “musician”, after having been called “a clumsy but subtle technician” in a book on contemporary French composers published in 1911.

PHONOMETRICIAN

Someone who measures sounds

GYMNOPEDIST / GYMNOPAEDIA

The Gymnopaedia, in ancient Sparta, was a yearly celebration during which naked youths displayed their athletic and martial skills through the medium of war dancing. The custom was introduced in 668 BC, concurrently with the introduction of naked athletics, oiling the body for exercise so as to highlight its beauty.

3. I came across this word on the site of fellow blogger Tracy, over at ‘Pen and Paper’. During the course of her ever honest review of ‘The Best Of Everything’ by Rona Jaffe, this word featured in the book’s opening lines. Whilst the context in which the word was used was more than apparent, I was still intrigued enough to need to discover its exact definition.

MAW

You see them every morning at quarter to nine, rushing out of the maw of the subway tunnel, filing out of Grand Central Station, crossing Lexington and Park and Madison and Fifth avenues, the hundreds and hundreds of girls.

MAW

The jaws or throat of a voracious animal.

The mouth or gullet of a greedy person.

4. My final word this time, I discovered on another blog, ‘Kelly’s Thoughts & Ramblings’, where host Kelly always has something interesting to say. Kelly had just published her review of ‘The Buddha In The Attic’ by Julie Otsuka and this new to me word came up in the synopsis as taken from the book.

DERACINATING

A gorgeous novel by the celebrated author of When the Emperor Was Divine that tells the story of a group of young women brought from Japan to San Francisco as “picture brides” nearly a century ago. In eight unforgettable sections, The Buddha in the Attic traces the extraordinary lives of these women, from their arduous journeys by boat, to their arrival in San Francisco and their tremulous first nights as new wives; from their experiences raising children who would later reject their culture and language, to the deracinating arrival of war. Once again, Julie Otsuka has written a spellbinding novel about identity and loyalty, and what it means to be an American in uncertain times.

DERACINATING

Uproot (someone) from their natural geographical, social, or cultural environment

That’s all from me. 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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12 comments
  • “Deracinating” was a totally new word for me, too! It seems like I tried to look it up at the time and didn’t find a definition, so I’m glad you provided one for me. Makes perfect sense! (and thanks for the link to my site)

    I will admit to being familiar with the word “maw” and I’ve run across “Gymnopaedia” in some of my reading, as well, but “phonometrician” was a new one for me. I like it and its definition.

    I looked up at least four or five words in the last book I read (The Choiring of the Trees by Donald Harington), but failed to write them down. I wish I had so I could share them here!

    • Hi Kelly,

      I have real trouble getting to grips with saying ‘deracinating’, it always seems to come out as something totally different, but I haven’t been able to work out the word I am so obviously mistaking it for!

      Some books are a great source of new words, although quite often it is simply a case of English language differences, particularly between US and UK authors.

      I have never come across the name of Donald Harington before, even though he seems to be much feted over there in the US. I did a brief check on the book you mention, but I really need to do a little more research before I add anything to my own list.

      Thanks for sharing your book and for stopping by.

      • Every time I looked at the word “deracinating” I thought “decimating” – definitely not the same definition, especially in the sense it was used in Roman times!

        Donald Harington was unknown to me and, from what I gather, is/was known more on a regional level. That one will come up for review on my blog. 😉

        • I shall be sure to look out for your review, I’ll be interested to see what you think of the book.

          Have a good weekend.

  • The only word I knew was maw so I’m wondering if it’s more commonly used in the US than the UK. Phonometrician makes perfect sense once you know the meaning but I would never have guessed it. Great words today!

    • Hi Kathy,

      I certainly haven’t heard ‘Maw’ ever used in the circles I move in and without having seen it used in a sentence, would never have guessed correctly at its definition.

      Having tried all question combinations on the web, I strongly suspect that composer Erik Satie, made up the words he used to describe himself, in order to bring his musical pieces into prominence. I was amazed when his work was played by the Consort, to discover that it was little more than a series of chords with some quite long silent spaces between them and little or no melody. I could quite see why he considered himself to be someone who measured sound, a Phonometrician.

      Thanks for hosting, I had fun again this week with some great words.

    • Hi Stephanie,

      I really think that a ‘Word-a-Day’ calendar would make me even more paranoid about all the words I had no idea existed, let alone what they might mean!!

      Also, it is all very well discovering these fantastic new words in both my own and other people’s reading and researching them can be good fun, however remembering them into the future, is a whole different challenge….. I could assimilate, remember and recall this information as a young person during schooling, so what has happened to my brain in later life which has turned it to mush and made my powers of recall disappear …… LOL!

      It is just good to have you stop by once in a while, you are always welcome!

  • Great words, I’m struggling as to which one is my favourite but I think phonometrician may well have just pipped the others to the post.

    Thanks for the mention, enjoy the rest of your week as it sounds like Saturday could be incredibly stormy. Not that I mean as I love a good thunder storm.

    • Hi Tracy,

      It is getting a bit sad when I am scouring show programmes, newspapers and news programmes for new words, let alone reading every word on fellow bloggers sites …. just in case!!

      The first leg of the storm hit here on Thursday night, when there was some pretty impressive thunder and lightening. The rain was torrential, but the ground was so warm that it was evaporating almost as soon as it hit. I think that we are in for round two tonight!

      I hope that it has dissipated a bit before it gets up to your part of the country.

      Have a good weekend.

  • Great words this week. Montacute House looks like a beautiful place to visit! Interesting use of the word ‘maw’ in The Best Of Everything.
    Enjoy your week!

    • Hi Naida,

      I kind of guessed what ‘maw’ might mean in this instance, when taken in context with the rest of the sentence, but I have to admit it isn’t a word much used, here in the UK, so I just wanted to discover the exact definition.

      We are quite lucky where we live, as there are many lovely National Trust properties on our doorstep. Montacute House is just a few miles for us to travel and both the house and the village in which it sits are really beautiful …. It’s just such a shame about all the traffic which both passes through and which belongs to the modern day villagers, it really is beginning to take its toll on the beauty of the historically listed buildings!

      I appreciate your comment and hope that you had a great weekend.

Written by Yvonne

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