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Wondrous Words Wednesday

November 2, 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 Fun and Games by Duane Swierczynski.

1. mook – “He’d made money hand over fist selling beer and brown lightning to the mooks in the row houses – that is, until the city brought in a Marine general to clean things up.”

I suspected mook was slang, so I wasn’t surprised that it wasn’t in my dictionary.  According to urban dictionary, it’s a derogatory term for an undesirable individual.


2. bell cow – My second word this week comes from watching football last Saturday.  During two different games, I heard two different announcers refer to certain players as their team’s bell cow.  This wasn’t in my dictionary either, so I turned to the internet again.

According to Merriam Webster, a bell cow is the lead cow and usually has a bell on its neck.  It’s being used as slang for leader these days.


My third word this week comes from Bedbugs by Ben H. Winters, and this word was in my dictionary!

3. scumble – “Her eyes darted back and forth between the photograph and her canvas as she scumbled in the thin oval of Jessica Spender’s face, the high angles of her cheekbones, two dark recesses for eyes, the confident angle of the hairline.”

Scumble means to make (as color or a painting) less brilliant by covering with a thin coat of opaque or semiopaque color applied with a nearly dry brush.


Have you come across any new words lately?

24 Comments leave one →
  1. November 2, 2011 4:29 am

    Hi Kathy,

    I have come across ‘Scumble’ work before, however both of your other words are new to me and I am not too sure that I really like the sound of either of them, they both sound like very derogatory words.

    I shall be back to check out the book blurb where you have links, but due to the time differences I have to dash out to work now, as it is 8.30am.

    ‘I’ll Be Back’

    Happy Reading

  2. November 2, 2011 5:53 am

    Where I come from, every cow has its own bell, in case they wander off and get lost. I’d never understand it to mean leader. Thanks for sharing!

  3. November 2, 2011 6:54 am

    Great words!

  4. November 2, 2011 8:38 am

    Great words today! Bell cow is interesting. I hadn’t heard that phrase before. Thanks for sharing!

  5. November 2, 2011 9:19 am

    Interesting about scumble!

  6. November 2, 2011 9:28 am

    I love the word scumble, and it does not mean at all what I think it meant!

  7. November 2, 2011 9:37 am

    I’ve heard mook before but the others were new – great words this week!

  8. November 2, 2011 10:24 am

    I laughed in readind what a bell-cow is ! I hope that the guys (slang ?) like it !

  9. November 2, 2011 10:24 am

    I’ve never heard “bell cow” used by football game announcer. I’ll have to pay more attention. The others are new ones for me.

  10. November 2, 2011 10:26 am

    Sadly I have no talent for scumbling, but love the word. Bell cow is interesting. Funny what can come up in sports commentary! (Not that I listen to any if I can help it)

  11. November 2, 2011 11:20 am

    I knew mook and bell cow (from living in the country), but scumble is new to me. You find very interesting words. As for the use of bell cow, amazing that a sports announcer actually found something new to say. I get tired of their cliches and “this guy is the most underrated whatever” and “I think he’s the best in the league at whatever.” You know?

  12. November 2, 2011 11:28 am

    I heard of bell cow , but not the other ones. Thanks! for sharing these.

  13. November 2, 2011 11:33 am

    I haven’t heard of any of these, but bell cow made me think of bellwether, which has a similar meaning.

  14. November 2, 2011 11:58 am

    I actually knew mook. The other two are new to me though.

  15. November 2, 2011 12:23 pm

    I heard “bell cow” last weekend too but I let it flow over me. Thanks for looking it up for me.

  16. November 2, 2011 12:31 pm

    Bell cow? I like that. Allot actually.

  17. November 2, 2011 5:04 pm

    Hm..mook sounds familiar for some reason

  18. November 2, 2011 7:40 pm

    “Bell cow”?!? Hmm, doesn’t sound like a very flattering term for a leader, does it?

  19. November 2, 2011 7:42 pm

    Bell cow is new to me, too. I feel old when I don’t recognize current slang.

  20. November 2, 2011 7:57 pm

    I knew these!! I feel smart today! 😀

  21. November 2, 2011 8:11 pm

    all new words for to scumble.. my words are up too..

  22. November 2, 2011 8:34 pm

    I love the word mook. I’ll be figuring on ways to use that one. lol.

  23. November 2, 2011 9:12 pm

    I knew mook, I think I’ve heard it in an old James Cagney gangster movie…LOL. Bell cow, that’s a new one, but makes sense. Scumble, now that one I’d have never figured out. Great words!!

  24. November 2, 2011 10:41 pm

    Wow…bell cow is new to me! My words are here:

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