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Wondrous Words Wednesday

July 6, 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!

My first word this week comes from The Mango Season by Amulya Malladi.

1. decoction – “The coffee was made in a steel filter where hot water was poured onto rich ground coffee and filtered to make a thick decoction.”

Decoct means to extract the flavor of by boiling.  A decoction is an extract obtained by decocting.


My next two words are from State of Wonder by Ann Patchett.

2. nystagmus – “Her eyes shifted constantly from one side of the street to the other in a slow nystagmus.”

Nystagmus means a rapid involuntary oscillation of the eyeballs.


3. beldame – “From the nubile to the beldame they scraped and chewed without pleasure or distaste.”

After I looked this word up, I realized I should have known it.  A beldame is an old woman.


Have you discovered any new words lately?

29 Comments leave one →
  1. July 6, 2011 4:03 am

    I am sure I have read this book. Ages ago, but I know I loved it.

  2. July 6, 2011 4:48 am

    I think decoction will be the easiest to remember. Thanks for the new set of words!

  3. July 6, 2011 6:05 am

    I like all the words. There new to me. I might fit the last one. I’m an old I also liked the word about the eyes……Seems like a good word for a cozy or mystery.

  4. July 6, 2011 6:28 am

    I really love the built-in dictionary in my Sony reader. It’s perfect for looking words up on the go.

  5. July 6, 2011 7:25 am

    I’m reading STATE OF WONDER right now and I’m glad I’ll know what those words mean!

  6. July 6, 2011 7:42 am

    Ahh beldame, makes sense

  7. July 6, 2011 7:53 am

    Decoction makes sense after learning the definiton – related to concotion no doubt.

    The other two words I never would have guessed, let alone spelled correctly 🙂

  8. July 6, 2011 8:35 am

    Decoction is the only one I knew or kind of recognized the root of…

  9. July 6, 2011 8:56 am

    I knew nystagmus but not the other two. Beldame was easy to guess as you say. After 12 hours at work today I feel for all the world like a beldame.

  10. July 6, 2011 9:03 am

    I’ll be interested to see what you and Julie thought of State of Wonder. My review isn’t scheduled until the end of the month I think, but I was kind of disappointed. Lots of controversy over the ending though, which always makes reading a book fun! :–)

  11. July 6, 2011 9:09 am

    Great words. Nystagmus is an interesting one. Thanks for sharing.

  12. July 6, 2011 9:56 am

    To day you learnt me a “French” word too “nystagmus” and of course an English one “beldame”. Thanks !

  13. July 6, 2011 10:07 am

    I don’t remember where I first came across the word “beldame” but I have actually used it in my everyday life! The others are new to me…and not sure if I’ll have use for them, but good to know. Thanks!

  14. July 6, 2011 10:34 am

    I could use some of that decoction right now…

  15. July 6, 2011 10:39 am

    Somehow I don’t mind being called a beldame. It sounds better than an old woman.

  16. July 6, 2011 10:51 am

    I knew concoction but not decoction, cool! The others were new to me, too. Thanks!

  17. July 6, 2011 11:13 am

    “Decoction” seems to be a word with the most metaphorical possibilities. In fact, the tropics encountered in Patchett’s “State of Wonder” serves to bring the characters to the boiling point and decoct their emotional essence.

    Thanks for interesting mix of words. 🙂

  18. July 6, 2011 12:03 pm

    Again very interesting new words,I hope they stay with me lol.

  19. July 6, 2011 12:18 pm

    These words are new to me. I like when I learn new words from my reading (don’t I sound like a nerd this morning?).

  20. July 6, 2011 1:09 pm

    I knew decoction, but the other two are new to me.

  21. Veens permalink
    July 6, 2011 1:56 pm

    Oh well, those are difficult to remember words 🙂

  22. July 6, 2011 2:10 pm

    These are all very unique and obscure words, and I am glad to have come across them here today. I love these posts because they always help me expand my vocabulary!

  23. July 6, 2011 5:25 pm

    You read books with strange words. ‘Course, on the other hand, it’s fun to learn new words.

  24. July 6, 2011 6:25 pm

    You do find the most extraordinary words!!!

  25. kaye permalink
    July 6, 2011 6:41 pm

    Nystagmus – that’s a good one! Never heard of it before.

  26. July 6, 2011 9:41 pm

    Excellent words…I love this meme as I’m always introduced to words that I didn’t know!

  27. July 7, 2011 10:11 am

    My grandfather, the optometrist, probably knew what Nystagmus meant, but I didn’t. Thanks for helping to expand my vocab!

  28. July 9, 2011 10:08 am

    I like the second one but would probably stumble on pronunciation.

  29. July 10, 2011 11:50 am

    Beldame is an old woman??!!! I thought it was a strange derivative for Belle Dame – french for beautiful woman.

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