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Wondrous Words Wednesday

March 9, 2011

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, write a post and come back and add your link to Mr. Linky!

All of my words this week come from West of Here by Jonathan Evison.

1. tamanamis – “You must keep keep clean for your tamanamis, so you have no smell.”

Tamanamis means guardian spirit.


2. cayuses – “Unlike that stubborn pair of cayuses you attempted to secure from the natives.”

According to my dictionary, cayuses used in this context means a native range horse.


3. pemmican– “In addition to the large stores of flour, sugar, coffee, and pemmican, their cargo included tobacco and whiskey and fishing tackle and bacon grease, oilskin and canvas and blankets and axes and whipsaws and rifles.”

I felt like I should have known this word, but I couldn’t define it.  I knew it had to do with food, but I wasn’t exactly sure what.  Pemmican is a concentrated food used by North American Indians and consisting of lean meat dried, pounded fine, and mixed with melted fat.  That doesn’t sound good to me!


Have you come across any new words lately?

39 Comments leave one →
  1. March 9, 2011 6:39 am

    Wow — I don’t know if I could handle WEST OF HERE. Lots of new words!

  2. March 9, 2011 6:41 am

    … and it’s not like you can use them in everyday talk, either. Nice to know, though!

  3. March 9, 2011 7:36 am

    Cool! I like the last one 🙂

  4. March 9, 2011 7:55 am

    I have never even heard of these words before! That’s why I love coming over here every Wednesday, because I know you are going to broaden my mind every time!

  5. March 9, 2011 8:23 am

    I’ve read pemmican before (and yeah, it doesn’t sound tasty), maybe in Death Comes for the Archbishop?

  6. March 9, 2011 8:51 am

    All new words to me too…as a side note, I’ve seen some rave reviews of this book…hope you are enjoying it 🙂

  7. March 9, 2011 8:57 am

    I came across pemmican last year in Arthur Ransome’s Swallows and Amazons. I became rather intrigued with the notion of pemmican, and have come across references to it again since. I agree, it sounds and looks (you can google some images) disgusting. Never heard of the other two words.

  8. March 9, 2011 9:25 am

    Isn’t pemmican sort of what beef jerky is? (having never eaten either one, I don’t know!)

  9. March 9, 2011 9:26 am

    Pemmican is the only one I’m familiar with. Here’s mine:

  10. March 9, 2011 9:27 am

    For whatever reason I missed the linky the first time. I’m now adding my link there.

  11. Karen Montgomery permalink
    March 9, 2011 10:43 am

    All new words to me! I hope everybody enjoys my new words since it has been a while since I have participated.

  12. March 9, 2011 11:02 am

    Finally some words I’ve heard before! But “tamanamis” was new to me. Interesting. Who knew guardian spirits were so picky about cleanliness?

  13. kaye permalink
    March 9, 2011 11:37 am

    Sure glad that isn’t on the menu tonight! Or any other night for that matter.

  14. March 9, 2011 11:40 am

    They are all new to me! This looks like fun, I might join in next week!

  15. March 9, 2011 11:52 am

    Those were certainly new to me.
    And yes that doesn’t sound that good

  16. Buffy permalink
    March 9, 2011 11:52 am

    I’m with some of the others in that pemmican is the only one I’m familiar with.

    Here’s mine:

  17. March 9, 2011 12:07 pm

    I thought I knew pemmican as well, but I really didn’t. Great, new-to-me words! 🙂

  18. March 9, 2011 12:15 pm

    These three words are really wondrous ! I didn’t know any of them. I like “cayuses”, but as you wrote on my blog, I don’t know how to pronounce it !

  19. March 9, 2011 12:15 pm

    What interesting words! Pemmicans doesn’t sound very appetizing!
    I hope you’re enjoying this book. It sounds like an unusual story, at least based on the words here. I especially like tamanamis!

    I posted some words today!

  20. March 9, 2011 12:26 pm

    Fun words and thank you for telling us about them.

  21. March 9, 2011 12:30 pm

    Thanks — now I know what the Pemmican Beef Jerky means!

  22. March 9, 2011 12:46 pm

    I especially like the first two words. That third word looked familiar to me too. I just had no idea what it meant. It’s not easy to spell either.

  23. March 9, 2011 1:21 pm

    I liked the keeping your spirit clean one, never heard these before.

  24. March 9, 2011 2:32 pm

    Wow…I never come across words like those…only pemmican but I thought that was a bird.

  25. March 9, 2011 3:14 pm

    Wow some words, a little off…

  26. March 9, 2011 3:29 pm

    I’ve heard cayuse sung, but had no idea how it was spelled. Don’t Fence Me In — here’s the classic version with Bing Crosby and The Andrews Sisters:

  27. Beth Hoffman permalink
    March 9, 2011 3:37 pm

    Well, I hate to admit it, but I didn’t know a single one! Great words, Kathy.

  28. March 9, 2011 4:13 pm

    I’ll pass on the pemmican, but thanks for offering:)

  29. March 9, 2011 4:22 pm

    All new to me, but I probably won’t remember them.

  30. March 9, 2011 4:27 pm

    The latest unusual word I’ve discussed in my blog is finisecular:

  31. March 9, 2011 5:44 pm

    Pemmican I knew, only because I love to read Westerns. I like the concept behind tamanamis. I can hear mothers using the phrase.

  32. March 9, 2011 7:11 pm

    cayuse made me chuckle…there’s a children’s version of Cinderella called Cindy Ellen that uses the word…Cindy Ellen is a cowgirl The story is written in a Texan dialect so you have to read it aloud that way…lots of fun reading to my girls) 🙂

  33. March 9, 2011 8:11 pm

    Great words today Kathy! Since I didn’t know what tananamis was until I read the definition, the sentence just made me laugh!

  34. March 10, 2011 3:02 am

    Wow! This is a great feature. I did not know any of those words.
    Thank you!

  35. March 10, 2011 10:55 am

    Pemmican! That’s what one of my good friends calls me 🙂

    PK = Pemma and K = Khan….

    Hence pemmakhan!

  36. March 10, 2011 12:42 pm

    The second one sounded familiar but I don’t think I would have known the definition off-hand. I knew pemmican though from reading westerns.

  37. March 10, 2011 5:47 pm

    I’ve never heard of any of these words before but they are really interesting ones though.

  38. March 10, 2011 11:03 pm

    I’ve always wondered what pemmican tastes like – it sounds like beef jerky to me. I must admit, I like beef jerky!

  39. March 16, 2011 7:44 am

    Never heard of these words. Seems like I remember Pemmican from somewhere else. Still, I had to review the meaning of the word. I need to see and hear words more than once. I like cayuses. Never heard of that one either.

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