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Wondrous Words Wednesday

June 30, 2010

Wondrous Words Wednesday is a weekly meme where we share new (to us) words that we’ve encountered in our reading.  If you want to play along, grab the button, and join the fun!  (Don’t forget to leave a link in the comments if you’re participating.)

All of my words this week come from The Half-Mammals of Dixie by George Singleton.

1. tribological – “From there it gets technical and honed-in and somewhat tribological.”

Tribology is a study that deals with the design, friction, wear and lubrication of interacting surfaces in relative motion (as in bearings or gears).  No wonder I didn’t know this word – I’m still not sure I understand it.


2. plastrons – “Here was my first vision:  I wondered what the poor hooked turtles nearby thought as they gave up any idea of surviving, as they quit surfacing for air and remained limbolike, arms and legs splayed outward, hook-mouthed, their plastrons faced our way like stopped wall clocks.”

Plastron has several meanings, but the one that fits this sentence is the ventral part of the shell of a tortoise or turtle consisting typically of nine symmetrically placed bones overlaid by horny plates.  I think I can use this word, since the ponds in our neighborhood are loaded with turtles.


3. parlay– “I get my ball and try to remember watching Sunday bowling on TV when the football teams on other stations didn’t concern me, like when I didn’t have a parlay card penciled in.”

The only meaning of parlay that I knew is to increase or otherwise transform into something of much greater value and that didn’t seem to fit this sentence, so I decided to look it up.  Parlay can also mean a series of two or more bets so set up in advance that the original stakes plus its winnings are risked on the successive wagers – I suspect that’s what the sentence is referring to.


Have you discovered any new words lately?

22 Comments leave one →
  1. June 30, 2010 5:15 am

    again, ya got me.
    two I never heard of and one that I had only heard use as you first said…but yes, I can see the second.

  2. June 30, 2010 7:07 am

    I thought I knew what parlay meant, but I was surprised to see it used this way.

  3. June 30, 2010 7:24 am

    I didn’t know any of the meanings either. I’ll try to remember plastron since our lake is full of turtles, too. And tribological? That one is over my head.

    My words are here:

  4. June 30, 2010 8:22 am

    Wow, that’s a lot of really obscure stuff for one book! Again, I’d only heard one of these three before today. I knew about parlay cards because I used to work with someone who bet on sports and tried to explain them to me. Still don’t understand how they work. It’s probably a good thing I’m not much of a gambler.

  5. June 30, 2010 9:07 am

    Come on – didn’t you see Pirates of the Caribbean? Of course, that was a little different meaning of parlay…the other words were brand new to me.

    My words are here.

  6. June 30, 2010 9:08 am

    I remember plastron from a Beth Kephart book. Here are mine for this week:

  7. June 30, 2010 9:36 am

    I LOVE parlay…I try to use it all the time. It makes me feel like a pirate!

  8. June 30, 2010 9:48 am

    Can’t think that I’ll be using tribological in the near future! LOL

  9. June 30, 2010 9:53 am

    Always enjoy stopping by here on Wednesday to learn new words and how to use them. Thanks.


  10. Kaye permalink
    June 30, 2010 9:58 am

    Tribo-whatevah – would make my eyes glaze over if I saw it in a sentence. Plastrons I could use – we have a gopher turtle living in the vacant lot next to us.

  11. June 30, 2010 10:16 am

    These are some great words this week Kathy…I never would have guessed what tribological means!

  12. June 30, 2010 11:11 am

    Occasionally I’ll have the same experience you did with the first word. I’ll look the word up and the definition is also way over my head. First I think it’s me and then I wonder about the author.

    My Wondrous Words are at Joyfully Retired.

  13. June 30, 2010 11:42 am

    Ooh! These are very good words, and ones that I have never come across in my reading. Thanks for sharing this with us!

  14. June 30, 2010 2:06 pm

    I always love these posts – I learn so much. Love “tribological” although I’m like you – I’m still not sure what is means! But it kind of rolls of the tongue in such a nice way. I would have thought it would be related to anthropology, not gears!

  15. June 30, 2010 3:14 pm

    You always come up with the best words.

  16. Beth Hoffman permalink
    June 30, 2010 3:45 pm

    I knew two of the words, but I have to admit that “plastrons” really had me stumped. You always come up with terrific words, Kathy!

  17. June 30, 2010 4:34 pm

    Two new words: plastrons and tribological. Thanks for sharing.

    Here’s mine

  18. June 30, 2010 4:59 pm

    Those are all new to me!

  19. June 30, 2010 7:59 pm

    I think I need to read 20 words from the dictionary every day!! 😀

  20. July 1, 2010 3:14 am

    I like “parlay” 🙂

  21. July 1, 2010 2:27 pm

    You got me with all of these. I don’t know if I can parlay plastrons into a real sentence. As for tribological–who knew?

    Many thanks (truly) for the vocabulary-expansion!

  22. July 1, 2010 5:09 pm

    Triboloical is a new one to me. I’m not sure I understand it either. LOL

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