• Search
  • Lost Password?
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

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 this time, a word from this amazing debut novel:

Cover image of the book 'Once You Know' by author Madeleine Van Hecke

“Izzy fiddled with a loose barrette, and Colleen swiveled around to help her, turning her back on the altar.”


A typically bar-shaped clip or ornament for the hair; a hairslide.

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

A couple of words from a recently completed review of the first book in a new series:

Cover image of the book 'Containment' by author Nick Thacker

“His destination today  – the Waldon Pond State Reservation – had just opened, and he saw the docent walking the path to the visitor’s center as he parked.”

“He wasn’t sure what she was talking about at first – he was having a hard time parsing the language – but then he got it.”


In certain US and European universities and colleges, a member of the teaching staff immediately below professorial rank.

A person who acts as a guide, typically on a voluntary basis, in a museum, art gallery, or zoo.


Resolve (a sentence) into its component parts and describe their syntactic roles.

Analyse (a string or text) into logical syntactic components.

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

Finally this week, here is a word I discovered, shared by Felicity, from ‘Pen and Paper’

Cover image of the book 'Things In Jars' by author Jess Kidd

“With two distinct time arcs; the main one of which is a deliciously, ahem, ‘fishy’ mystery (for those of you who aren’t clued up on merrows be prepared to learn) set in the present, the other of which takes us back to Bridie’s childhood which as you can imagine is, well, different. The two taken together, what can I say?”

MERROW – Merrow is a mermaid or merman in Irish folklore. The term is of Irish-English origin. The merrows supposedly requires to have a magical cap in its possession in order to travel between deep water and dry land.

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

Four 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'.

View all articles
Leave a reply

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

    • Hi Mareli,

      I was chatting with an author on Twitter earlier and she lives in The Netherlands. Her take on the word ‘docent’ was exactly the same as yours, so with you living in South Africa, I guess that makes perfect sense now!

      Thanks for sharing your own word today, I really appreciate your support and enjoy discussing anything ‘wordy’. However, this is technically not my meme, I am only posting my own words and keeping the essence of the meme alive until Kathy is able to join us again and take back ownership, as she does it so much better than me!

      I enjoy chatting to you and I am pleased that we have ‘friended’ one another 🙂

  • Nice post, Yvonne! Barrette I knew because I’m an old fogey who watches Bargain Hunt. 😀 Docent I have heard of but had no real idea of its meaning. Parsing I knew was something to do with dissecting sentences. Merrow is completely new but for some reason a ‘pleasant’ word, possibly because it sounds like ‘merry’. I came across several new words yesterday and wish I’d made a note of them, I need to keep a notebook beside me when I read.

    • Hi Cath,

      Dave won’t watch ‘Bargain Hunt’, although I am working on that one, as I have managed to get him as addicted as I am to ‘The Repair Shop’ and I just know he is going to be devastated when we have caught up on all the old episodes and it is no more – Perhaps that will be the right time to introduce ‘Bargain Hunt’, especially as it looks as though it is going to be a very solitary winter and I know that he has had to take a couple of weeks off work over Christmas. You tend to forget about holiday entitlement when you work from home!

      I think that ‘merrow’ was also my favourite word this time, as it seems to be completely relative to either sex, and whereas ‘mermaid’ is a nice word, I’m not so sure about ‘merman’. ‘Merrow’ is much more friendly!

      I always have a pen and paper to hand when I’m reading, or watching TV, as I never know when those new to me words are going to raise their heads.

      I hope that you are both keeping well and ready for the long haul of winter, although I’m still not sure that the new measures go far enough, I tend to agree with Nicola Sturgeon on this one – Yikes! Did I really just say that!! 🙂

    • Hi Carol,

      ‘Barrette’ and ‘Docent’ seem to be the two most well known words today, so perhaps I should have known those myself, although they both appear to be more widely used in other parts of Europe and the US, than they are here in the UK.

      Barrette may have been used in Old English, however these days we would definitely call this particular item a Hair Slide.

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

  • I used to wear barrettes as a child but don’t think they’re popular anymore which would explain why you didn’t know that word. I’ve always thought it would be fun to be a docent. I’m glad you’re still enjoying this meme.

    • Hi Kathy,

      I would like to be a docent in the voluntary sense of the word, maybe for The National Trust, or some such organisation, although these groups do tend to be very ‘clicky’, which I don’t like!

      I have worked in the voluntary sector for over 25 years, as a retail volunteer for my local hospice, but that’s not quite the same thing at all.

      I have always had very short hair, but during lockdown I began letting it grow and have since had it styled into a shorter ‘bob’ style, which is totally new for me, so another lockdown could see me needing barrettes for the first time ever!!

      I am still finding so many new to me words, that I need to share them every once in a while, or my pile will become overwhelming, which I just couldn’t cope with alongside mount TBR.

      Everyone sends you their best wishes and can’t wait to have you back at the helm, as I haven’t and don’t want to go down the route of adding a ‘linky’ to my posts. WWW is definitely yours and I hope that you will be picking up those books again very soon.

      Take Care 🙂

  • I’ve worn barrettes all my life and still do on occasions (maybe that’s a term more popular over here?). I use to belong to an organization that used docents, so I knew that in the sense of its second definition. And I’ve parsed sentences in English class.

    So…. that leaves “merrow” as a totally new word to me this week! I really enjoy these posts, so I’m glad you’re keeping on, despite the fact there currently isn’t a host for the meme.

    • Hi Kelly,

      Yes! barrette definitely seems to be the US equivalent of the British hair slide or hair clip. I went back to the web search and found another site which indicates as much, so that accounts for why this was a new word to me.

      English was arguably my best and definitely my most favourite subject at school, but I can never remember parsing a sentence. Perhaps it is another of those things I learned at school, which I have had no earthly use for since and have long since consigned to the bit of my brain which no longer functions (that’s the part that’s growing by the day!) 🙂

      I have to keep going with these posts, or my stack of new to me words will end up as high as my TBR mountain of books, or my TBM pile of jigsaws! Besides which, they are always fun posts to put together and offer the blog the occasional different flavour!

      I have every faith that Kathy will get her reading mojo back very soon and will be back here with a link for WWW before we know it! 🙂

    • Hi Naida,

      Yes! ‘merrow’ is a good sounding word, isn’t it and only the Irish, with their love of folklore, could add that the merrow is supposedly required to have a magical cap in its possession in order to travel between deep water and dry land.

      This is actually one of those words that I might remember in a few weeks time.

      Thanks for stopping by, I always appreciate your support and comments 🙂

  • I knew Docent, but from Romanian (my first language). The spelling and meaning are the same, but I had no idea it’s an English word too. How fascinating.
    With my long hair, I was also aware of barrette. Not that they can hold it in place though. The other two words are new for me and very interesting.

    • Hi Anca,

      I received comments from, Romania, UK, USA, The Netherlands and South Africa and everyone knows ‘docent’ in almost exactly the same context, so it looks to be a pretty universal word.

      I am amazed at just how many words there are no translations for, so many countries revert to the English, which can be slightly confusing – Almost as confusing as two countries such as the UK and the US, or UK and Australia, all English speaking countries, but where so many words which are the same have different meanings, or the words for exactly the same thing are totally different – Talk about countries divided by a common language!

      With your love of literature, I can see why you might enjoy the word parsing.

      Thanks for taking the time to comment, it is always great to hear from you 🙂

Written by Yvonne