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

Wondrous Words Wednesday
New To Me Words

Image of an open book showing words, with a small purple sprig led across the pages - used for the meme Wondrous Words Wednesday

Wondrous Words Wednesday …

Is a weekly meme where we share new (to us) words that we have encountered in our reading and elsewhere

Image of an open book showing words, with a small purple sprig led across the pages - used for the meme Wondrous Words Wednesday

1. My first word this time, I discovered in a book I have recently read in preparation for a Blog Tour Review

Cover image of the book 'The Street Party' by author Claire Seeber

“But this is Zach’s life.” I felt a coruscating blaze of anger. “Surely you get that? And you didn’t answer any of my calls – but you know him, Melissa. You know him really well.”


a. flashing; sparkling. “a coruscating kaleidoscope of colours”
b. severely critical; scathing. “his coruscating attack on the Prime Minister”
Image of an open book showing words, with a small purple sprig led across the pages - used for the meme Wondrous Words Wednesday
2. My next word is not strictly new to me, however I thought it might raise a few smiles from those of you who haven’t come across it before. I found it in the text of this lovely story
Cover image of the book 'The Painting' by Alison Booth
“He was painting at the escarpment at right angles to the steps, the sandstone quarried away or eroded by millennia, the brick arches set forward to support the dunnies and the backs of the terraced houses above”
DUNNY – (plural dunnies)
a. (Australian) An outhouse which is a small structure, separate from a main building, which covers a toilet. This is typically either a pit latrine or a bucket toilet, but other forms of dry (non-flushing) toilets may be encountered. The term may also be used to denote the toilet itself, not just the structure.
b. (Scottish) An underground passage or cellar, especially in a tenement.
c. A Dunnie is a small Brownie-like being in the folklore of the Anglo-Scottish borders, specifically Northumberland.  The Dunnie has been known to take the form of a horse in order to trick a rider into mounting him before disappearing and leaving them in the muddiest part of the road. He also is said to disguise as plough-horses only to vanish when the ploughman takes him into the stalls.
The first definition is the one which applies in this particular instance!
Image of an open book showing words, with a small purple sprig led across the pages - used for the meme Wondrous Words Wednesday
3. Finally this time, here is another of those pesky three letter words which catch me out regularly in my online crosswords!
KOA – 
tree (Acacia koa) in the pea family, native to Hawaii, having flowers arranged in axillary racemes and small sickle-shaped leaves. The light-to- dark brown or reddish wood of this tree is used for furniture, crafts, cabinetry, and musical instruments. Its name in the Hawaiian language, koa, also means brave, bold, fearless, or warrior.

Image of an open book showing words, with a small purple sprig led across the pages - used for the meme Wondrous Words Wednesday

That’s three new to me words this time

How many of them do you recognise?

Wondrous Words Wednesday Meme Button by Mareli @ Elza Reads - New Host in January 2021

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 Mareli, over at ‘Elza Reads

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 Mareli and the rest of us, all love to read your comments as well, so that we can visit and share your own words of the week, or simply say Hi!

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'.

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  • Good to see a new WWW post. I’m presuming this is it’s new home.

    Loving the word Coruscating. To me it sounds more like a word used to mean scathing rather than flashing;sparkling but then what do I know?

    The other two words I had heard before though I’d never heard dunnie used in any other context other than as an Australian out building housing a toilet.

    Hoping all is well with you and yours. It’s been a tough couple of months here but, hey ho, onwards and upwards as they say

    • Hi Felicity,

      I am so sorry to hear that things haven’t been going so well for you lately, I shall stop by later to check out all your news and I am pleased that you felt able to stop by today, I always appreciate your support 🙂

      I must admit that I only popped ‘dunny’ in as a bit of fun and because I assumed that it might be a new word for any non Brits or Aussies who stopped by. I also learned something new too, as I also didn’t know about the alternative definitions for it, and Scottish ones at that!!

      If you check out towards the end of the post, you will find the link to the WWW new host, Marelli over at “Elza Reads”. She has done an amazing job at taking over the administration of the meme, which she now operates on a fortnightly basis and she comes up with some great words herself! 🙂

  • I am excited to learn some new words today as they are all NEW to me. I had to google KOA trees to how they look like…didn’t know they only grow in Hawaii and can be used to make music instruments.

    • Hi Angie,

      I get caught out by all these little three letter words, which I never knew existed, almost every time I do an online crossword or word game. I have a whole list of the more interesting ones, just ready to slip into these Wondrous Words Wednesday posts occasionally! I particularly liked that KOA, as well as being a physical item, also has a meaning in its native Hawaiian language.

      Thanks for taking part this week and I’m pleased that you enjoyed your journey of discovery to uncovering some new to you words 🙂

  • “Coruscating” is a beautiful word, I think, evoking sparks and light. I’ve never seen or heard of “dunny;” in fact, auto-correct doesn’t like it at all!

    Thank you for sharing these words with us.

    • Hi Deb,

      I actually thought that ‘coruscating’ sounded like quite a ‘cross’ word, despite it having such a beautiful definition. Perhaps I was influenced by the tone of the rest of the sentence in which it was used.

      As most Brits would probably know what a ‘dunny’ is, I just slipped that one in as a bit of fun for this time, but it does come up with the definition if you put it into Google. ‘Dunnies’ is literally the plural of Dunny, however that spelling also came back with the alternative meaning of the little beings of folklore, which was also quite fun!

      Oh! how I do love words 🙂

      Thank you so much for taking the time to visit, I always look forward to reading your lovely comments 🙂

  • I would love to be able to use coruscating, but I imagine it would be hard to find the right circumstances for this. Dunny is funny, had no idea about it. I didn’t know koa, but I am familiar with acacia trees, I love how they look. Lovely words!

    • Hi Anca,

      Although we Brits may have quite a lot in common with our Australian cousins, I am so pleased that we haven’t adopted the word ‘dunny’ into our ‘Queens English’. It sounds really amusing when said with an Aussie twang (thinking of Paul Hogan as ‘Crocodile Dundee’ now), but I can imagine it would sound gross when said with a British accent, especially some of the quirky dialects!

      I have a whole load of these random three letter words, like KOA, just waiting to be slipped into my WWW posts a couple at a time. I never knew there were so many of them, it’s not really a surprise that I never win at Scrabble! 🙂

      Thanks for stopping by and I hope that all is well with you 🙂

  • The first two are words I’ve heard and think I could have defined through context. Maybe. I don’t think I’ve ever heard of a Koa tree, though I’m familiar with Acacias.

    • Hi Kelly,

      I can quite often work out some words just through the context in which they are used, although it is always good to find an exact definition, and sometimes I get a surprise at just how wrong I was!

      Koa wood is a lovely rich red colour and can be carved into some beautiful exhibition pieces …


      I would much rather have a lovely wood carving than a piece of silverware any day of the week, it is just so tactile!

      Hope that all is well with you and thanks for stopping by 🙂

  • Hi Yvonne! Oooe I love coruscating! It’s a very expressive word. I’m going to try to remember it.

    Never heard the word dunny before, but then again, so many English words are new to me.

    I like koa. I wonder of the word koala has anything to do with it? And was koala bears named that because they fit the description for koa so well? I need to go Google that!

    Thanks for taking part in WWW and for your lovely comments! I also saw your comments here below and I really appreciate all your kind words!

    Hope you are well otherwise and have lots of time for reading!

    Enjoy the rest of your week!

    • Hi Marelli,

      Coruscating is definitely a very expressive word, especially in the context of the sentence as it was written in the book I featured. I would like to think that it is one I can remember easily, should the opportunity arise for me to be able to slip it into a conversation!

      Dunny is very much an Australian word and although we share quite a lot in common with our Aussie cousins, this word is thankfully not one of them. We tend to say ‘loo’ these days, although there are some other really horrible words for toilet, generally used by the lower classes. (that isn’t meant to sound elitist, but they really are not nice words!)

      I don’t think that Koala Bears are named after the tree, but I found these lovely 10 facts about them, which might be fun to check out!


      Thanks for hosting and for taking the time to stop by and comment. Have a lovely week and Happy Reading! 🙂

  • I must have looked up “coruscating” quite a few times before I learned its meaning. It’s fascinating how a few authors use a big vocabulary with words like that, but you don’t see it a lot.

    best… mae at maefood.blogspot.com

    • Hi Mae,

      I found myself looking up the same word time and again, so much so, that I now tag the words as they are featured in Wondrous Words Wednesday, just so that I don’t make a duplicate entry 🙂

      I wonder why it is, that when we are young and learning, we remember vocabulary and definitions so readily – but come across a new word now and check out a definition, and I’ve forgotten it again in a very short time!

      I do like the use of good grammar and extravagant words, but only if they fit in with the rest of the storyline and they have not been used just for the sake of it!

      Thanks for taking the time to comment, I appreciate your support 🙂

Written by Yvonne