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Wondrous Words Wednesday

April 11, 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!  My words this week come from The Watch that Ends the Night by Allan Wolf.

1. davit – “Ropes creak through the pulleys as the first small boat descends in its davits, carrying a crew of five.”

A davit is a crane that projects over the side of a ship or hatchway and is used especially for boats, anchors, or cargo.  I’ve seen davits before but never knew their name.


2. uilleann pipes – “Not Scottish pipes, o’ course, but uilleann pipes.”

Uilleann pipes are an Irish bagpipe with air supplied by a bellows held under and worked by the elbow.  Here’s a video that shows what they look and sound like:


3. binnacle– “Just in front of the wheel is the ship’s compass in its binnacle; the man at the wheel needs look at nothing else.”

Binnacle’s not in my dictionary, so I had to turn to wikipedia.  A binnacle is a waist-high case or stand on the deck of a ship, in which navigational instruments are placed for easy and quick reference as well as to protect the delicate instruments.


Have you come across any new words lately?

34 Comments leave one →
  1. Amritorupa Kanjilal permalink
    April 11, 2012 4:06 am

    Is the book about machines and instruments? all mechanical words this week 🙂

  2. April 11, 2012 6:06 am

    These are great! I knew a binnacle was something on a ship, but was not sure exactly what….its strange that it sounds a bit like barnacle…probably a coincidence. I like the pipe player. I did not know there were different kids of pipes! Thanks 🙂

  3. April 11, 2012 7:28 am

    What great words, all new to me. Binnacle of course sounds like pinnacle.

  4. April 11, 2012 7:42 am

    Looks like you and I have an Irish theme going. I just saw Titanic 3D IMAX so the ship words are interesting to me.
    I came across “thwart” a few weeks ago, also a boat term.
    n. Nautical
    A seat across a boat on which a rower may sit.

    I forgot to add it to my Wondrous Words so here it is now.

  5. April 11, 2012 8:07 am

    Interesting words, I have also seen davits but didn’t know to call them that.

  6. April 11, 2012 8:38 am

    I’ve seen davits before, too. Just didn’t know the word. Thanks for sharing!

  7. April 11, 2012 9:05 am

    Enjoyed this!

  8. rubyport permalink
    April 11, 2012 9:33 am

    Very nautical words this week! All new to me.

  9. April 11, 2012 9:48 am

    I love the video!

  10. Beth Hoffman permalink
    April 11, 2012 10:00 am

    I knew the word davit, but the others were new to me. Happy Wednesday, Kathy!

  11. April 11, 2012 10:38 am

    Three new words for me. I never saw nor heard uileann pipes before. Thanks !

  12. April 11, 2012 11:06 am

    Very interesting words and liked the video.

  13. joyweesemoll permalink
    April 11, 2012 11:09 am

    I learned about uilleann pipes last month at The Chieftains concert — and saw one in action! A very cool instrument.

  14. April 11, 2012 11:35 am

    I love how these words give just a flavor of what your book is about. I didn’t know any of them. And I think those Irish pipes are cool – how smart were they using billows? I tried blowing on regular bagpipes once and it takes so much air!

  15. April 11, 2012 11:44 am

    I liked those uilleann pipes. Thanks for including the video.

  16. April 11, 2012 12:11 pm

    I knew what uilleann pipes were, I’ve even heard them played live. The other two were things I have seen but had no idea what they were called. Great words this week. I can’t wait to read this one.

  17. April 11, 2012 12:37 pm

    uilleann pipes are very strange indeed! The things I learn here are so wonderful and amazing!

  18. April 11, 2012 12:57 pm

    I looked at the words and thought, “She must be reading about the Titanic,” before I read what you had to say. I was wondering about uilleann pipes, since I’m reading a Titanic book, also! Cool.

  19. April 11, 2012 12:57 pm

    I love the sound of the word “uilleann” – I think it’s A leen, correct? Nice nautical words this week. Is your Titanic book a good ‘un?

  20. April 11, 2012 1:17 pm

    Such interesting words and video too. I really need to remember to play along sometime, I do come across some great new words while reading.

  21. April 11, 2012 2:03 pm

    These are all new to me. Thanks for adding the video, too.

  22. April 11, 2012 2:30 pm

    Hi Kathy,

    I knew the first two of your words and had heard of ‘binnacle’, but didn’t really know what it meant, another of those words that you skim over and guess at in context with the rest of the sentence!!

    Looks like an interesting book, given all the anniverary coverage around right now.


  23. April 11, 2012 2:40 pm

    Kathy, these words are all new to me. I enjoyed the music–thanks! ;0

  24. April 11, 2012 3:40 pm

    Wohoo I knew the pipes

  25. April 11, 2012 3:48 pm

    These are all new to me.

  26. April 11, 2012 5:37 pm

    Uillian pipes definitely have an interesting sound! I love bagpipes and these don’t sound too far away.

  27. April 11, 2012 6:17 pm

    I love the word binnacle because there is a rhyming word for it…lol…

  28. April 11, 2012 6:32 pm

    I love the uilleann pipes but wouldn’t know them from Scottish ones 🙂

  29. stacijoreads permalink
    April 11, 2012 7:06 pm

    Excellent words this week!

  30. bookingmama permalink
    April 11, 2012 7:36 pm

    I had no clue about any of them! And who knew that there were different sorts of pipes?

  31. April 11, 2012 7:42 pm

    I love that video, thanks for sharing it. I’d never heard of ‘uilleann pipes’ (though perhaps I’d heard them and mistaken them for another instrument).

  32. April 12, 2012 2:44 am

    I would have never, ever guessed what uilleann pipes were. My first thought… call a plumber!

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