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Wondrous Words Wednesday

It seems like such an age since I last participated in this meme. I simply haven’t come across any of those rare gems of new to me words in my recent reading.

This time, I shall be sharing random words from a selection of books, some of which the US followers may already know of, but which to me, are completely new.

1. – My first words this time, were taken from North Of Supposed To Be by Marcia Ferguson

NAUGAHYDE

After the nurse left, Bronwyn delicately shifted her position in the naugahyde chair with its brass studs, knowing that once she managed to get in the chair, she’d be staying there a while.

NAUGAHYDE – Is an American brand of artificial leather (or “pleather” from plastic leather). Naugahyde is a composite of a knit fabric backing and expanded polyvinyl chloride (PVC) plastic coating. It was developed by United States Rubber Company, and is now manufactured and sold by Uniroyal Engineered Products, LLC, a privately held company.

Its name, first used as a trademark in 1936, comes from the Borough of Naugatuck, Connecticut, where it was first produced. It is now manufactured in Stoughton, Wisconsin.

An image from a marketing campaign for the Nauga doll and Naugahyde fabric

A marketing campaign of the 1960s and 1970s asserted humorously that Naugahyde was obtained from the skin of an animal called a “Nauga”. The claim became an urban myth. The campaign emphasized that, unlike other animals, which must typically be slaughtered to obtain their hides, Naugas can shed their skin without harm to themselves. The Nauga doll, a squat, horned monster with a wide toothy grin, became popular in the 1960s and is still sold today.

I guess our UK equivalent of naugahyde, would be leatherette.

2. – Also from North Of Supposed to Be

TRIUMVIRATE

Bronwyn described the triumvirate she called ‘The Boys’

TRIUMVIRATE – From Latin, triumvirātus, from trēs three + vir man, is a political regime dominated by three powerful individuals, each a triumvir (pl. triumviri). The arrangement can be formal or informal, and though the three are usually equal on paper, in reality this is rarely the case. The term can also be used to describe a state with three different military leaders who all claim to be the sole leader.

3. – And my final word from North Of Supposed to Be

GUBERNATORIAL

She was reading a newspaper story about Mayor Luke Townsend touted as the early front runner in gubernatorial polls.

GUBERNATORIAL – A governor is, in most cases, an individual public official with the power to govern the executive branch of a non-sovereign or sub-national level of government, ranking under the head of state. The adjective pertaining to a governor is gubernatorial, from the Latin root gubernare. The historical female form is governess, though female officials are referred to by the gender-neutral form governor (without the gender specific suffix) of the noun to avoid confusion with other meanings of the term.

4. – My final word this time, comes from our hosts own website and comprised part of her ‘Mailbox Monday’ meme this week, where she featured the book Won Ton and Chopstick..

HAIKU

A Cat And Dog Tale Told In Haiku

A HAIKU in English is a very short poem in the English language, following to a greater or lesser extent the form and style of the Japanese haiku. A typical haiku is a three-line quirky observation about a fleeting moment involving nature.

The first haiku written in English date from the early 20th century, influenced by English translations of traditional Japanese haiku, and the form has grown in popularity ever since. Many well-known English-language poets have written some haiku, though – perhaps because of their brevity – they are not often considered an important part of their work. Haiku has also proven popular among amateur writers, and additionally in schools, as a way to encourage the appreciation and writing of poetry.

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!

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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14 comments
  • I’ll be honest and admit that I knew all of your words this week. However, I’ve never seen that marketing ad about the Naugahyde. I burst out laughing at the “Nauga” creature! (he’s so ugly he’s cute!)

    I’ve always enjoyed Haiku and have attempted to write my own over the years. At one time, there was a hilarious e-mail that made the rounds, filled with “dog haiku”. I think I shared some of them on my blog several years ago and they never fail to make me smile. I must check out the Won Ton and Chopstick book you referenced above. 🙂

    • Hi Kelly,

      I guessed that whilst not many of these words are in common usage here in the UK, they are probably more widely in circulation in the US, but for me that’s the real attraction of this meme, as it features words which are new to the individual reader.

      I have great fun checking out everyone’s words, although I have to admit, it is even better, when like yourself, I know them all – you can’t help but get a little of that smug feeling 🙂

      I must admit that whilst I enjoy reading poetry occasionally, I have never tried my hand at writing any of my own. Haiku doesn’t look to be so constraining and difficult though, as from what I can gather from Wikipedia, it can be anything from a single word to four lines long and doesn’t necessarily have to rhyme. That kind of works for me!

      You will have to share some of your own Haiku with us one day.

  • I’ve heard of pleather and leatherette but not the term ‘Naugahyde’ – and I love that you gave us the background story about the fictional Nauga creature. That begs to be the character in a story 🙂

    • Hi Kathy,

      I have to admit that I prefer leatherette, although that means that there is no little Nauga gremlin there beside you all the time 🙂

      Thanks for hosting, this meme is always great fun, even though I may not participate every week.

  • Hi Yvonne, I am a North American and so all your words I knew. Haiku is one I learned only as an adult. I wish I’d known about this beautiful and fun poetry. I also like it that usually children reality love trying to write it.

    • Hi Margot,

      That’s the beauty of this meme, isn’t it? To be able to share words and phrases from other countries and cultures, in the same way that we share and enjoy the literature and books.

      Anything which encourages a child to read, then use their imagination to write something for themselves, is definitely to be applauded and it sounds as though Haiku has to be the easiest way to introduce poetry into the equation, without making it too complicated or onerous.

      Thank you so much for contributing to the discussion, I really appreciate it and always look forward to having you stop by 🙂

  • Loving how gubernatorial, the only word this week new to me, trips off the tongue.

    Whilst obviously more familiar with leatherette I had heard of naugahyde though I had no idea of its history let alone of the naugha which by the way I find incredibly cute.

    • Hi Tracy,

      Now I have real trouble with gubernatorial, I keep wanting to say gubernatural – which as you might expect, doesn’t exist as a word and I would have no idea what definition to put against it!

      I have never come across naugahyde before and certainly not pleather –
      “A petroleum-based synthetic fabric designed to resemble leather.” –
      which I was surprised was even a bona fide word!

      It is amazing how two people can look at the same image and see something completely different. You found the naugha monster “incredibly cute” and an ‘it’, whilst Kelly thought ‘he’ “is so ugly, he’s cute”.

      I just kept thing of him, (yes, I also immediately thought of a ‘he’ monster) as something which looked familiar and in the last few minutes it has suddenly come to me. The naugha bears an uncanny resemblance to the tasmanian devil, from the ‘Merrie Melodies’ series of cartoons ..
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tasmanian_Devil_%28Looney_Tunes%29

      Thanks for your interesting comments, I have really enjoyed chatting about the words this week 🙂

  • I’ve never heard of Naugahyde but I like the creature in the advert 🙂
    I’ve heard of Gubernatorial through tv shows, like The Good Wife, and I remember learning triumvirate when I studied the play Anthony and Cleopatra at school. Thanks for sharing these Yvonne! Happy reading 🙂

    • Hi Lindsay,

      Leatherette trips more easily off the tongue and I can spell it without transposing letters, which is what keeps happening when I either say, or try to write Naugahyde. I have never had to put such a concerted effort into getting a word correct!

      I must admit that I don’t tend to watch many (ANY) US TV shows. Even when we have been to the States, which we have on many occasions, we never really watched their television. Even though friends rave over certain US series, hubbie can’t be persuaded to give them a chance, although perversely, he will watch American action films every night of the week!

      Way back when I was at school and the exams were CSE’s and GCE’s, rather than GCSE’s, we never got to study anything as interesting as Anthony and Cleopatra. I seem to remember ‘The Crucible’ by Arthur Miller being the play we had to study and books such as ‘Animal Farm’ by George Orwell!

      How times have changed 🙂

      Thanks for stopping by and have a great Sunday

Written by Yvonne

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