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Wondrous Words Wednesday

August 3, 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 words this week comes from The Summer Without Men by Siri Hustvedt.

1. lachrymose – “Once we had dispensed with my keening lachrymosity, we settle into the Burdas’ bed, and she filled me in on the doings of Jack and the boys.”

Lachrymose means given to tears or weeping: tearful.


2. scrofulous – “Referring to Dr. Johnson in a pinch is a good bet, our own man of the English language, our wise, fat, gouty, scrofulous, kindhearted, witty glutton, a being of authority, to whom we can all turn in moments of trouble, a cultural pater familias who was so important he had his own man document him while he was still ALIVE.”

Scrofulous means having a diseased run-down appearance.


3. bathetic – “. . . the later, daring advances by J. Q. under bras and into jeans as he pressed on despite colonial resistance, the forces of which admittedly weakened over time, had accumulated a bathetic quality I found hard to ignore.”

Bathetic means characterized by bathos.  Bathos is the sudden appearance of the commonplace in otherwise elevated matter or style.


Have you discovered any new words lately?

20 Comments leave one →
  1. Veens permalink
    August 3, 2011 4:59 am

    I first read Bathetic as Pathetic.

    I had no idea about any of those words.

  2. August 3, 2011 5:31 am

    Interesting words! I only would understand lachrymose (sounds like the Italian lacrima=tear). But the snippets of text, oh my, that’s not a book for me! I hope you are enjoying it, though.

  3. August 3, 2011 6:09 am

    Wohoo I know the first 😀 But only thanks to Evanescence :=)

  4. kaye permalink
    August 3, 2011 7:28 am

    It would be easy to misunderstand someone saying Bathetic thinking it was Pathetic. Interesting word.

  5. August 3, 2011 8:04 am

    Isn’t this the second week that you’ve used words from that little book? There is no way I would be able to understand it!

  6. August 3, 2011 8:18 am

    I love scrofulous. The meaning matches the sound of it. Great words!

  7. August 3, 2011 8:38 am

    3 great words this week, certainly Hustvedt appears to have an enormous vocabulary. Lachrymous is easy to know when you know that lachrymal glands is the medical term for tear duct. Scrofulous immediately brought to mind scrofula- a tuberculous infection of the lymph glands of the neck, which would certainly give a diseased and run down appearance. I’ve not heard bathetic before, but it really appeals to me conceptually. I think that my life is full of bathos. I hope to embrace it as a term.

  8. August 3, 2011 8:53 am

    All new ones to me.

  9. August 3, 2011 10:18 am

    Interesting that all three words sound like their definitions! There’s a word for that… (ha ha)

  10. August 3, 2011 10:32 am

    Kathy, I knew the first word (but don’t ask me to spell it). The other two are excellent and new to me. I think I can remember bathetic as it rhymes with pathetic.

  11. August 3, 2011 10:59 am

    All these words are beautiful and difficult. I never heard of bathetic !

  12. August 3, 2011 11:19 am

    Great words! I’ve never heard bathetic before…how weird that it’s so similar in sound and appearanct to pathetic and bathos to pathos! Whew! confusing!
    Scrofulous is a great word, I just love it. Lachrymose is good, too. “The Summer Without Men is chock full of wonderful words!

    I added my post to your list. 2 weeks in a row, yay!

  13. August 3, 2011 11:46 am

    Learning three more, thanks!

  14. August 3, 2011 12:51 pm

    All three words are just so good. They go beyond the ordinary. They tell me the author either has a good vocabulary or did some good research to enrich the book.

  15. August 3, 2011 1:28 pm

    “Scrofulous” sounds about what I must look like right now…what a Wednesday!

  16. August 3, 2011 1:51 pm

    Sometimes when I look at these words I think that they don’t even look right….know what I mean???

  17. August 3, 2011 2:22 pm

    Well! I thought I knew the definition for bathos for sure…but I was totally wrong! Thanks for sharing these today!

  18. August 3, 2011 6:45 pm

    I like bathetic… very much prone to bathetic 😉

  19. August 3, 2011 10:47 pm

    These are some great words! Scrofulous makes me think of scruffy….

  20. August 4, 2011 1:22 pm

    I’ve seen bathetic before and never have been able to remember its meaning. 🙂

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