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Wondrous Words Wednesday

July 22, 2009


Wondrous Words Wednesday is a weekly meme where we share new (to us) words that we’ve encountered in our reading.  Feel free to join in the fun.  (Don’t forget to leave a link in your comment if you’re participating.)

My first word this week is from Home Repair by Liz Rosenberg.

1.  tsuris – “That kind of tsuris you don’t need.”

Tsuris is Yiddish and means trouble or aggravation.  Even after looking at the pronunciation of this word, I’m not sure how to say it, so I probably won’t be using it.

I found my second word in Soul Survivor by Bruce and Andrea Leininger with Ken Gross.

2.  ailerons – “The test pilots worked on it, and the engineers kept making adjustments to the ailerons; they positioned the pilot higher in the cockpit, allowing for a better line of sight.”

An aileron is a movable airfoil at the trailing edge of an airplane wing that is used for imparting a rolling motion especially in banking for turns.  From the context, I could tell this was an airplane part, but it’s another word I doubt I’ll have any use for.

I came across my third word in The Unit by Ninni Holmqvist.

3.  vestigial – “I knew very well what abnormal brain atrophy was; it’s the cause of Alzheimer’s, and simply means that the brain becomes vestigial, that it shrinks inside the skull until nothing remains, just a big space between the ears and a despairing expression on the sufferer’s face .”

Vestigial is a form of the word vestige, which means a trace, mark, or visible sign left by something vanished or lost.  I feel like I should have known this one, but for some reason I didn’t.

What new words have you discovered lately?

23 Comments leave one →
  1. July 22, 2009 7:40 am

    The yiddish word was new to me…there are so many great words in yiddish. It makes me wish I was a “mensch” who spoke it!

  2. July 22, 2009 7:55 am

    Thanks for the three new words. Vestigial is familiar,but the other two are new ones to me. 🙂

  3. July 22, 2009 8:24 am

    I liked the yiddish word the best. I’m going to try to use that one. I’ll just make up my own pronunciation. How much tsuris could I be in?

    My new words are at Joyfully Retired.

    • Malory permalink
      August 9, 2009 10:26 pm

      I’m going for Home Repair’s Yiddish tsurris. Just think in terms of tsk tsk, and then, sighing, say, it’s not too much tsurris to get this one right.

  4. July 22, 2009 9:40 am

    I like how your Wednesday posts always educate me!!

  5. July 22, 2009 9:56 am

    I have missed playing along! The first two words I agree with you – I don’t think that I will ever use those!

    My words are here.

  6. July 22, 2009 10:39 am

    According to The Joys of Yiddish (one of my all-time favorite books), the pronunciation of tsuris is TSOO-riss, to rhyme with “juris” or “Boris. (In The Joys of Yiddish, after almost every definition, the author includes a joke using the word. It’s a very fun book.)

  7. July 22, 2009 10:51 am

    I only had one word this week, but for me it was a “OH, that’s what those are called!” moment. 🙂

    Of your words, vestigal sounded familiar, but I couldn’t have used it in a sentence.

  8. Carol permalink
    July 22, 2009 10:58 am

    The first two were new for me to. I may try to use tsuris.

    My post is up, too, but only one word this week.

  9. July 22, 2009 11:49 am

    Good words! Vestigal is familiar – you see it a lot talking about anatomy. The others were new, and Yiddish words can be so much fun!

    My words are here and I’ve included some thoughts about definitions.

  10. July 22, 2009 12:22 pm

    Tsuris is a new one to me!

    I found a word that I didn’t know this week but it turns out I am one! (Hmm, that sounds a bit confusing, doesn’t it?) Anyway, here are my words:

  11. July 22, 2009 1:54 pm

    awesome. I’ve encountered tsuris before and had the same question of how to pronounce.

  12. July 22, 2009 2:29 pm

    Your words are all new to me, I like the first one – tsuris.

    My second Wondrous Words Wednesday:

  13. July 22, 2009 3:30 pm

    Now, see, ailerons I know; my husband’s had a commercial airplane fetish for years now, so this is actually a useful word for me. 🙂

    Here’re mine:

  14. July 22, 2009 6:29 pm

    🙂 Tsuris. That was one of my grandmother’s favorites.

  15. July 22, 2009 6:37 pm

    Here is my link. I found a lot but I was never an English major:

  16. July 22, 2009 8:24 pm

    There were a few Yiddish words in there that I had to figure out by context!

  17. July 22, 2009 9:07 pm

    I only have one new one, although it is a really only semi-new one to me; soon as I checked it up, I remembered that I had known it before.

    pillion – a passenger’s seat behind the driver’s seat on a motorcycle.

  18. July 22, 2009 9:45 pm

    I know I’ve come across ailerons before, and that it had to do with planes, but the specifics were new to me. My words are here.

  19. July 22, 2009 10:36 pm

    I love the word “tsuris” – when you need to express aggravation it says it and so much more like many Yiddish words. I agree with Kelly that there are so many great ones. I only started to really learn them when I got married because my husband is Jewish and his grandmother was always muttering Yiddiash under her breath. Its very common to hear me saying “Oy vey” when I’m concerned or worried but you can imagine my Irish Catholic grandmother still finds this! lol

  20. July 23, 2009 3:38 am

    Hi Kathy! I have passed you
    an award.
    Come on over. 🙂

  21. July 23, 2009 5:15 am

    I remember vestigial from high school biology class. You just never know where words will pop up again. You got me on ailerons.

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