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Wondrous Words Wednesday

March 28, 2012

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! This week’s words came from my Word-a-Day calendar this week.

1. alienist – “Her great-grandfather was one of a group of groundbreaking alienists who gained prominence at the end of the 19th century.”

I was really surprised by this one!  An alienist is a psychiatrist.


2. uxorial – “He watered the plants, cleared aspen leaves and debris from the rock garden, and cut the lawn . . . without any uxorial prompting.” — The Washington Post, July 19, 2007

Uxorial is an adjective that means of, relating to, or characteristic of a wife.


3. scofflaw– “The governor’s office set up a database listing the names of scofflaws who hadn’t paid their traffic fines.

A scofflaw is a contemptuous law violater.


Have you come across any new words lately?

39 Comments leave one →
  1. Amritorupa Kanjilal permalink
    March 28, 2012 5:44 am

    scofflaw would have been easy to guess: he who scoffs at the law 🙂
    alienist, not so much. I would have pegged an alienist as either a xenophobic racist, or a special type of conspiracy theorist.

    Thanks! lovely words!

  2. March 28, 2012 6:14 am

    I knew “alienist” (due to my obsession with the Victorians :P) but the rest are new to me, too.

  3. March 28, 2012 6:47 am

    I’ve heard uxorious before but didn’t know what it meant. Thanks. I’d never heard of alienist. There was a book called The Alienist I think, but I didn’t know it was a real word. Now I do!

  4. March 28, 2012 8:05 am

    Hi…just linked up! So, I knew scofflaw – I always got a kick out of that word! Alienist is a strange one…a psychiatrist, you say…it sounds like the study of aliens. That is a new one on me. So, is uxorious – got to remember that one for Scrabble!

  5. March 28, 2012 8:22 am

    Great words! Scofflaw is fun.

  6. March 28, 2012 8:43 am

    I knew alienist from the novel of that name by Caleb Carr. Uxorial is good, I will have to try to use that. Thanks for sharing!

  7. March 28, 2012 8:51 am

    I would have never guessed Uxorial correctly. Great words!

  8. March 28, 2012 9:00 am

    The only one that I knew was alienist, and I agree that that does seem like a strange word to describe a psychiatrist! All the others are new to me, so thanks for sharing them!

  9. Beth Hoffman permalink
    March 28, 2012 9:04 am

    I was totally baffled by uxorial. I’m sure glad we don’t use that word in daily conversations. LOL

  10. March 28, 2012 9:06 am

    Scofflaw sounds like its definition, but uxorial sounds very, very different. Wonder what its root is…

  11. March 28, 2012 9:26 am

    I have never been able to say the word scofflaw. It always sounds like I have a mouth full of peanut butter. (and actually I often do have a mouth full of peanut butter…)

  12. March 28, 2012 9:48 am

    Uxorial and Scofflaw was totally new to me. We use ” un aliéniste” in French and “un aliéné” is somebody who is mad.

  13. March 28, 2012 10:30 am

    I feel really smart this week. I actually knew two of them! We have lots of parking ticket scofflaws in Chicago, I see that in the news a lot. And alienist I knew too.

  14. March 28, 2012 10:57 am

    I knew scofflaw but the others are new to me. There’s something odd about alienist being a psychiatrist

  15. March 28, 2012 11:20 am

    I never would have guessed the real meaning of alienist!

  16. March 28, 2012 11:37 am

    Alienist is absolutely out of this world–bad pun intended! 🙂

  17. March 28, 2012 11:57 am

    I would never have guessed alienist either but I probably would have figured (incorrectly) that it meant some kind of separatist. Uxorial is new to me – such a nice sophisticated word for wifely.

  18. March 28, 2012 12:00 pm

    I feel I should have known alienist. Oh well, at least I knew uxorial, and scofflaw is as good a word as I could hope to learn today!

  19. March 28, 2012 12:20 pm

    I was surprised by alienist/psychiatrist. It points up the opinion of the profession back then.

  20. March 28, 2012 12:46 pm

    First time EVER I was three for three on your Wondrous Words! YAY!

  21. talesofwhimsy permalink
    March 28, 2012 1:45 pm

    Scofflaw? I LOVE it. I want to use it asap. Like when I’m watching the news or something.

  22. RebeccaV permalink
    March 28, 2012 2:07 pm

    Love “uxorial” – will definitely be adding that one to occasional conversations. I already enjoy throwing around one of its cousins: avuncular (of, pertaining to, or characteristic of an uncle). I guess now I should probably look into finding the whole family.

  23. March 28, 2012 2:56 pm

    Love all these words — how interesting! I wonder if I could slip “uxorial” into pertaining to a girlfriend, too . . . as in, “Her boyfriend let her have command of the TV remote without any uxorial prompting.”

  24. March 28, 2012 2:59 pm

    Would have never guessed the first two, but knew the third.

  25. bookingmama permalink
    March 28, 2012 3:48 pm

    Aha! I totally knew alienist this week. I read a book by with that for the title!

  26. March 28, 2012 3:49 pm

    Haha, alienist 😀 Good one

  27. March 28, 2012 3:58 pm

    I’m surprised by alienist as well. I felt sure it would have to do with aliens of course. Lol.

  28. March 28, 2012 4:00 pm

    I really want to use uxorial more than I do…lol…

  29. March 28, 2012 4:02 pm

    I actually knew “alienist” from Caleb Carr’s book.

  30. March 28, 2012 4:53 pm

    Wow. These were all new to me. I’m so excited that even more words have been introduced to me because of your meme!

  31. March 28, 2012 4:54 pm

    I didn’t know any of these words. I’m so excited that even more new words have been added to my list because of your meme.

  32. March 28, 2012 5:42 pm

    I did not know #1.
    #2 I associated with meaning work, did not realize it actually referred to wife!!
    #3 I knew.

  33. March 28, 2012 6:28 pm

    I have the book The Alienist and even reada few chapters without knowing or remembering what it meant, I guess! I’ll remember next time.

  34. stacijoreads permalink
    March 28, 2012 7:06 pm

    I shall try to use scofflaw with someone tomorrow!! 😀

  35. March 28, 2012 8:37 pm

    scofflaw is just a great word! i love how it sounds rolling off my tongue. as for alienist, i had NO idea! thanks for the mini-vocab lesson.

  36. March 29, 2012 7:32 am

    I’ll title this weekend’s to-do list “uxorial requests” (we’ll test *his* vocabulary, too!)

  37. melaniesmusingsnet permalink
    March 29, 2012 12:05 pm

    “Uxorial” sounds like a good word, although I’m at a loss at how to pronounce it.

  38. March 29, 2012 7:49 pm

    I’ve never heard of uxorial before but I can see great opportunity for its application, and I think the sound of it aligns nicely with its meaning.

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