• Search
  • Lost Password?
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!

1. My first word this time, is taken from a recently read mystery book, first published back in the 1970s, yet still managing to stay as fresh and absorbing for today’s modern reader.


….. a delicate little tricoteuse mounted with porcelain plaques …


Is French for a knitting woman. The term is most often used in its historical sense as a nickname for the women who sat beside the guillotine during public executions in Paris in the French Revolution, supposedly continuing to knit in between executions.

2. Next up is a word I discovered whilst researching an author website in order to compile a brief biographical detail for his new book promotion.

Image Of Author Tom Wright


Tom Wright – polymath artist, sculptor, photographer & author is managed exclusively by Colossal Concepts Management


A person whose expertise spans a significant number of different subject areas; such a person is known to draw on complex bodies of knowledge to solve specific problems

3. My final ‘new to me’ word for this time, I discovered whilst preparing my latest ‘Book Beginnings On Friday’ post and is included in the opening lines of ‘St Bartholomew’s Man’ by Mary Delorme


The voice came from the scriptorium. There, in the cloisters, monks sat at their manuscripts, murmuring each letter as they wrote, for mistakes on vellum or even parchment were costly.


Literally “a place for writing”, is commonly used to refer to a room in medieval European monasteries devoted to the writing, copying and illuminating of manuscripts by monastic scribes. Written accounts, surviving buildings, and archaeological excavations all show, however, that contrary to popular belief such rooms rarely existed: most monastic writing was done in cubicle-like recesses in the cloister, or in the monks’ own cells. References in modern scholarly writings to ‘scriptoria’ more usually refer to the collective written output of a monastery, rather than to a physical room.

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

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'.

View all articles
Leave a reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

    • Hi Jade,

      I really enjoy discovering new to me words in my reading, although I do begin to wonder at the standard of my education if they crop up too often, especially if I post about two or three only to discover that everyone else out there knows all about them!!

      I quite like the idea of adding a scriptorium to my library, when I win the lottery and buy my massive imaginary mansion!

      I also knit and crochet from time to time, so have been trying to imagine myself as a tricotuese, sat knitting whilst the days felons are despatched at the guillotine … a bit too messy for my liking!!

      Thanks for stopping by, I hope that the week is going well for you so far.

  • Your first word is new to me and I would never have guessed that meaning. I immediately thought of Madam Defarge and wonder if Dickens used that term for her? If so, I have no recollection of it, but it was long ago I read A Tale of Two Cities.

    I knew your last word for sure! I bet you didn’t click on the following link I provided in my recent “handwriting” post. 😉


    • Hi Kelly,

      Oops! Rumbled!! …. I generally do try and check out links in posts if I have the time, but I seem to remember having so much to say in comment to your handwriting post, that I didn’t get as far as the links!

      What a coincidence that you actually used the phrase, ‘a monk in a scriptorium’

      I too enjoy crossword puzzles, although I don’t do them on a regular basis and I can’t stand cryptic crosswords! Quite often I will have more than one puzzle started at any given time, as I find that if I go away from the page then go back to it a bit later, a previously unknown answer will suddenly come to me!

      I found this reference to Madame Defarge on the Wikipedia page for tricoteuse, although it still doesn’t really say if Dickens actually used the term to describe her in the book.

      I am totally intrigued by the concept of knitting in Morse Code … I have trouble these days knitting to a pattern!

      “In Charles Dickens’ novel A Tale of Two Cities, the character Madame Defarge is a particularly bloodthirsty tricoteuse during the Reign of Terror. She and her fellow guillotine-watchers encrypt the names of those executed (and other information) into their hand-knit goods by using different sequences of stitches, creating a sort of Morse code from yarn.”

      Thanks for stopping by, I always look forward to your comments, they are so interesting.

      • Don’t feel bad. I often bypass links and don’t really expect folks to click on all the ones I provide. They’re just there for those who have the time and the inclination. I’m afraid my knitting skills are so rudimentary I can’t even cast on or follow a pattern. I was taught at age six, never really pursued it, and have since forgotten most of what I knew!

        • Hi Kelly,

          I have all good intentions of knitting and crocheting again some day, to which end, I have almost as many cupboards full of wool, as I do shelves of books!

          The reality …. I can’t remember the last time I picked up needles or hook!

          I generally stick to crocheting Afghan Blankets these days, either to donate directly to the hospice I support with my voluntary work, where they are used by patients; or donated directly to the hospice shop I volunteer in, where they are sold and the proceeds sent to the hospice.

    • Hi Hattie,

      Polymath sounds very much like mathematical terminology to me, which I suppose ties in with the description …

      “such a person is known to draw on complex bodies of knowledge to solve specific problems”

      Far too logical for me!!

      Thanks for stopping by, I always appreciate your comments.

    • Hi Mary Ann,

      If the word wasn’t so directly connected with the guillotine, I could quite get used to the idea of calling myself a tricoteuse, rather than a knitter, or craftworker … the word has a certain ‘ring’ to it, don’t you think?

      Thanks for the visit and comment, I appreciate both.

  • It’s hard to imagine someone sitting and knitting while people are being beheaded! Yikes! Polymath is an interesting word – I think I’ve known a few of them in my day. Thanks for playing along!

    • Hi Kathy,

      I know that my knitting skills may not be that brilliant, but even I would have difficulty with this one …..

      “She and her fellow guillotine-watchers encrypt the names of those executed (and other information) into their hand-knit goods by using different sequences of stitches, creating a sort of Morse code from yarn.”

      …. How gruesome must that have been?

      Thanks for another week of fun with WWW

    • Hi Jane,

      Actually, the more I looked at tricoteuse, the more I had the distinct impression that I had come across the word before, so I tried a little more research.

      It then clicked that I had come across the word ‘tricot’ before, in relation to knitting, although I struggled to remember in what context….

      It transpires that tricot is a specific style of knitting, which now means that tricoteuse makes perfect sense!

      “Tricot is a special case of warp knitting, in which the yarn zigzags vertically, following a single column (“wale”) of knitting, rather than a single row (“course”), as is customary. Tricot and its relatives are very resistant to runs, and are commonly used in lingerie”.

      Thanks for taking the time out to comment and I am pleased that you enjoyed your recent break.

    • Hi Tracy,

      A scriptorium for writing my posts in comfort, attached to my reading room with comfy chair and perfect reading light, adjoining my HUGE library with its shelves crammed full of books and a library ladder …

      Asking too much?????


      Thanks for stopping by and hope that you are feeling a little better now.

  • People knitting in between executions? Now, that’s a crazy thought…lol. I guess back in those days the guillotine was a common place thing and knitting as it went on was acceptable.
    I do like the sound of scriptorium. Thanks for the interesting words this week!

    • Hi Naida,

      We Europeans were nothing if not creative and adaptable. We didn’t waste our time by simply watching the executions, we believed in doing something worthwhile at the same time … LOL!

      The idea of sitting in peaceful solitude, working away at my manuscript, in a scriptorium, sounds like my idea of heaven!

      Hope that you have had a good week and are busy chilling out right now!

Written by Yvonne