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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.

This would usually be my post as part of the ‘Wondrous Words Wednesday’ meme, which is hosted by the lovely Kathy @ BermudaOnion blog. However, Kathy is taking an extended and  well-earned break from blogging, so I am sending her all Best Wishes and hope to have her back again very soon, she is sorely missed 🙂

I have so many new to me words stacking up, that I thought I would share just a few of them with you anyway, in the hope that Kathy won’t mind too much!

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

First up, here is a word I came across whilst reading this great romantic thriller:

Cover image of the book 'Hit And Run' by author Lori Matthews

“With the ball cap over the wig and the bright floral muumuu she was wearing, no one was going to notice her lack of wrinkles. The sunglasses, big oversize round ones, would cover most of her face anyway…”


The muumuu or muʻumuʻu is a loose dress of Hawaiian origin that hangs from the shoulder and is like a cross between a shirt and a robe. Like the aloha shirt, muumuu exports are often brilliantly coloured with floral patterns of generic Polynesian motifs. Muumuus for local Hawaiian residents are more subdued in tone. Muumuus are no longer as widely worn at work as the aloha shirt, but continue to be the preferred formal dress for weddings and festivals such as the Merrie Monarch hula competition. Muumuus are also popular as maternity wear because they do not restrict the waist.

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

I am still addicted to a few of the online crosswords, which I complete each day. Maybe one day I shall tire of this fascination, but until then I will keep sharing some of the more obscure words the designers include, which I have never come across before and which trip me up each time…


Hoosegow is an old slang synonym for jail with a flavour of the American West. The term was born in the lively mixture of Spanish and English spoken in the western part of the USA. It comes from a mis-hearing and mis-spelling of the Spanish word juzgado, “court of justice, tribunal.” The spelling hoosegow is a representation of how the word might have sounded to an English speaking American, in the early 1900s.


A method of painting with pigments dispersed in an emulsion miscible with water, typically egg yolk. The method was used in Europe for fine painting, mainly on wood panels, from the 12th or early 13th century until the 15th, when it began to give way to oils.

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

The final couple of words this week, came my way when Laura shared a ‘Tuesday Teaser’ extract from a book she has on her reading list:

Cover image of the book 'Shakespeare For Squirrels' by author Christopher Moore

“Blacktooth then turned to us, doffed his bronze officer’s helmet, which looked like it might have been used recently for boiling beans, and said, “Beggin’ your pardon, gents, Burke is under training these two years and is yet a nematode in the ways of the watch.” “Neophyte,” corrected Burke.”


Nematode, also called roundworm, any worm of the phylum Nematoda. Nematodes are among the most abundant animals on Earth. They occur as parasites in animals and plants or as free-living forms in soil, fresh water, marine environments, and even such unusual places as vinegar, beer malts, and water-filled cracks deep within Earth’s crust.


A person who is new to a subject or activity.

A new convert to a religion.

In botany, a neophyte is a plant species which is not native to a geographical region, and was introduced in recent history.

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

Five new to me words this time, how many did you recognise?

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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  • I think everyone American dreams of going to Hawaii and wearing a muumuu so I knew that word! I also knew tempera because we have a couple egg tempera paintings! Feel free to take over WWW and make it your own!

    • Hi Kathy,

      From the context in which the word ‘muumuu’ was used in the narrative of the story, I got the general idea of what it might be, but I had to check it out just to make sure.

      ‘Tempera’ was for me personally, probably the most interesting new word this week, and I had great fun researching it and checking out examples.

      I am most definitely not going to be taking over WWW, as I am confident that once the dust has settled a little, you get settled into your new home and winter sets in, you will be picking up those books again and get back into your blogging!

      I look forward to chatting with you again very soon, as I am sure, does everyone else 🙂

  • I love this series of yours. I am familiar with Muumuu from an rather funny source: Married… with Children. :))
    As a child I used tempera at school, for my art classes. So I know that one, the rest are new words for me too.

    • Hi Anca!

      What a coincidence that both Kathy, the previous commenter, and yourself, both knew ‘muumuu’ and ‘tempera’. I am beginning to get a complex now, as I feel that I should have known them myself! 🙂

      I was never really very ‘arty’ at school, so if ‘tempera’ was mentioned, I obviously wasn’t listening at the time. I was much more into my English, History & Geography lessons, although how much of any of it I could remember now, is anybody’s guess!

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

  • I had noticed that Kathy had been missing for a while, my best wishes to her.

    Such great new words Yvonne, I had come across tempera before and knew neophyte though I’d never seen it used in the context of botany.

    • Hi Felicity,

      ‘tempera’ seems to be a very popular and well-known word all round, so it must just be my lack of ‘arty’ knowledge that is the problem. I do enjoy looking at artwork and watching artists at work, however I am not very au fait with the technicalities.

      There do seem to be some very diverse definitions for ‘neophyte’. You would think that someone would have thought up a different word for the botanical version of the word, as it is somewhat out on a limb compared to the other two definitions, which are quite similar.

      I too, hope that Kathy will be back amongst us blogging very soon, as her presence is sorely missed 🙂

    • Hi Mareli,

      I too, enjoy anything ‘wordy’, especially when it involves research, which can set my mind off in so many different directions.

      Most of my new to me words come from books, either those I have read myself, or some which have been featured in fellow blogger’s posts.

      However, quite often one of the word games which I do online, will throw up a strange word I don’t know; and I always have pen and paper to hand when watching television, as some of the news reporters will come out with a few real tongue-twisters, which definitely need research!

      I have always enjoyed this meme and can’t wait for Kathy to return, so that we can go back to linking up our words 🙂

  • Well! I’m feeling very smart and perhaps a little smug today. I knew ALL of your words this time!! 😀

    In your defense, I think several of them are words those of us in the US would be more likely to know. Particularly Muumuu (isn’t that a wonderful word to spell?!) and Hoosegow. I’ve personally battled nematodes in my garden spot. ugh.

    • Hi Kelly,

      You have every right to feel smug and I definitely feel rather sheepish!

      I think I should probably have known ‘tempera’ ‘nematode’ and ‘neophyte’, whilst the other two, as you say, are probably more US centric, although it is discovering these colloquialisms which makes this meme such fun for me!

      We do have nematodes over here of course and perhaps the botanists and avid gardeners amongst us might know them as such, however for us fair weather gardeners, they are simply worms in one guise or another! Perhaps I should have listened more in my biology lessons, especially as I earned a high grade exam result in the subject!

      I had fun sharing comments this time, and thanks for stopping by to take part 🙂

  • I knew two of your words, Yvonne… ‘tempera’ from watching art documentaries amd ‘nematode’ because years ago my m-i-l went to America to stay with the daughter of one of her friends who had moved to Ithaca to study nematodes at the university there. Neophyte is vaguely familar too but I’ve no idea why.

    • Hi Cath,

      Oh Well! That’s another 10 minutes of time which escaped without me realising it. I don’t know what I would do without Google! I had no idea whereabouts in the US Ithaca was, and I just had to find out – why I don’t know, as I am never likely to visit there, or be asked by anyone if I know where it is – but for my peace of mind, I needed to see it!

      I actually didn’t know you could make a whole course out of the study of ringworm!! Still I guess if there weren’t all these intellectual bods around, then we wouldn’t know about some of these strange diseases etc.

      That’s the beauty of these memes, you never know what new information is going to crop up and words are classed in the same category as books for me personally! 🙂

Written by Yvonne