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Sharing our love for authors, and the stories they are inspired to tell.

Wondrous Words Wednesday

1. … My first word this time, comes from one of the books I am currently reading, ‘Dead Money Run’ by J. Frank James. Whilst the traditional definition for this word is well known, this alternative did need looking up to get it into context!


I walked in their direction. As I did, I removed the sap that I had taken off one of the cowboys in South Carolina and wrapped my hand around the leather handle.

Picture Of A Sap

SAP … A leather-covered bludgeon with a short, flexible shaft or strap, used as a hand weapon.

NB. Here in the UK, we would be more familiar with this weapon as a truncheon, cosh, or nightstick.

2.This next word, I came across on a blog post, published by Mike Nettleton, one half of the ‘Deadly Duo Duh Blog’, along with wife and author, Carolyn J. Rose.

Walking the Doggerel

Picture Of Dudley Official Doggerel of the U.S. National Poetry team.

Dudley Official Doggerel of the U.S. National Poetry team.

DOGGEREL … A low, or trivial, form of verse, loosely constructed and often irregular, but effective because of its simple mnemonic rhyme and loping metre. It appears in most literatures and societies as a useful form for comedy and satire. It is characteristic of children’s game rhymes from ancient times to the present and of most nursery rhymes.

A wonderful bird is the pelican

        His bill will hold more than his  belican

        He can take in his beak

        Enough food for a week

        But I’m damned if I see how the helican!

3.My final word for this time, comes from a book I recently read, ‘Last Step’ by Gwyneth Williams.


It seemed unlikely that any putative murderer would try to penetrate the hospital in the middle of the fternoon and, on seeing Sara so well surrounded, attempt to bump them all off.

PUTATIVE … Generally considered or reputed to be.

… Is An image for the weekly meme Wondrous Words Wednesdaya 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!

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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,

      Doggerel is such a cool word, isn’t it? – although I’m not sure that it is quite the right word to describe any kind of verse or poetry. Pretty much the same thoughts as ‘Dudley’ seems to be having I’m sure, although I have to admit that he is quite cute!

      Mike Nettleton writes excellent posts, with a wicked sense of wit and humour, so if you get the chance click on the ‘Walking The Doggerel’ link and check out some of his examples of the genre!

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

    • Hi Kathy,

      I did rather think that thiis particular definition of sap, in comparison to the alternative uses, was rather brutal. At least the more typically common words used here in the UK to describe such a weapon, somehow seem to fit its appearance!

      I am also intrigued by doggerel poetry, which appears quite simple in its concept, but to me is very similar in makeup to a limerick. Mike does include quite a few, very good examples of doggerel in his blog post and I can quite see why this form of poetry might be appealing to a child, as a fun way to introduce them to the medium.

      Thanks for stopping by and for continuing to host WWW 🙂

  • Well I knew the first and the last, but I’ve always pictured a sap being smaller, something that could be more easily concealed. Perhaps Kathy knows them from the same source as I do…old gangster movies or crime stories.

    Now doggerel is a word I’ve heard aplenty, but always thought had a different definition. Good thing I’ve never tried to use it in a sentence, because I would have been totally wrong!! I would classify the ditty you have in your post as a limerick. Perhaps the two are interchangeable?

    • Hi Kelly,

      I was quite surprised that out of all the comments from my US contributors, it was only yourself and Kathy who had any notion of the sap being a weapon, which would have been the typical response I would have expected to see from UK commenters. You both obviously watched too many of those gangster films in your youth! LOL

      It does seem as though a doggerel and a limerick are quite similar to the layman, although I have managed to find clearer definitions for both, which indicates that …

      A doggerel is indeed a “crudely or irregularly fashioned verse” … whilst

      A limerick is “A form of poetry, especially one in five-line anapestic meter with a strict rhyme scheme (AABBA), which is sometimes obscene with humorous intent. The first, second and fifth lines are usually longer than the third and fourth.

      I am not a huge poetry buff, so to my way of thinking, if I like the words and sentiment behind a poem, I don’t much care what label is attached to it 🙂

      Have a great weekend 🙂

    • Hi Margot,

      The wide range of words I come across always amazes me too.

      However what always intrigues me more, are the often strange and random places where I discover the words.

      I always try to have pen and pad at the ready to jot down the sentence including the new to me word and the source article.

      Thanks for the interesting comment and I hope that all is well with you 🙂

  • Wow! I love these – especially the pictures. Thanks for taking the time to go into such detail. I’m visual – the pictures will help me remember.

    • Hi Julia,

      I have to admit that I put this week’s post together right at the last minute and I did think that it looked rather untidy when it was actually published and in print.

      I do like to try and include images in my posts whenever possible, because like yourself, I am quite a visual person and I also find that too much text without imagery, looks a little off-putting and almost intimidating!

      Plus the fact that I do tend to waffle on a little, which only adds to the chaos LOL

      Thanks for your lovely words and comments, I really appreciate them 🙂

    • Hi Mary Ann,

      I predominantly know the word sap to mean a tree or plant’s life fluid, although I also know that could mean, to gradually weaken or destroy (a person’s strength or power), which seems to be an exactly opposite definition.

      Not only was I therefore surprised to learn that a sap was a form of truncheon, but that it can also indicate a foolish and gullible person, or in historical terms could have indicated a tunnel or trench to conceal an assailant’s approach to a fortified place.

      So many definitions for such a single small word!

      Thanks for stopping by, it is always good to hear from you 🙂

  • I think I’ve heard putative in courtroom dramas and I know I’ve heard doggerel, but thought it meant crap/junk in general, not in the use of language. In the US we would call it a nightstick also. Good words!

    • Hi Elizabeth,

      When I visit fellow WWW participating blogs, I quite often think that I have heard a word before and have some idea what it means, only to be shot down in flames when I actually read the definition!

      The problem is more one of remembering a definition once I have read it, as my memory seems to be about the size of a pea just lately!

      I probably do know the definition of half the words I feature, however recalling the information is the challenge!

      Thanks for contributing to the discussion, it is always great to hear from you 🙂

    • Hi Cleo,

      This type of ‘nonsense’ rhyme, with sometimes slightly risque content, as we got older, also took me back to my childhood 🙂

      The more innocent and childish of such rhymes, I was however, more accustomed to being known as limericks. I can remember owning a much prized and cherished book of limericks, by Edward Lear.

      Thanks for taking the time to comment and I hope that you are enjoying this lovely weather … a little too hot for me, I’m afraid 🙂

    • Hi Naida,

      I never tire of the interesting and new to me words I come across in my reading and research. One word just often seems to lead to another, with perhaps a word in a definition or Wikipedia article, opening up a whole new avenue of discovery!

      I like to think that I am quite clued up when it comes to the English language, but then I take part in WWW and quickly realise that I really know very little in the scheme of things!

      The weather is stiflingly hot here right now .. far too hot for me I’m afraid .. but I musn’t let anyone hear me say that 🙂

Written by Yvonne