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Wondrous Words Wednesday

May 9, 2012

Wondrous Words Wednesday is a weekly meme where you can share new words that you’ve encountered or spotlight words you love.  Feel free to get creative!   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 came from Horten’s Miraculous Mechanisms by Lissa Evans.

1. mephitic – “I thought I could detect a somewhat mephitic odor, and now I can see it’s alluvial origin.”

Mephitic is an adjective that means of, relating to, or resembling mephitis: foul smelling.  In other words, it stinks!


My next two words came from Beach House Memories by Mary Alice Monroe.

2. scarp – “She knew where the winter storms had created scarps in the dunes, where the lights shone brightest at night, where dogs or raccoons might poach eggs, where the kids liked to spoon – all possible problems for the nesting turtles.”

A scarp is a noun that, in this case, means a low steep slope along a beach caused by wave erosion.


3. scute– “So close, the young girl could see the faint outline of the scutes through the sand, their rich mahogany color, and the numerous barnacles that were affixed to her shell.”

A scute is an external bony or horny plate or large scale.


Have you come across any new words lately?

31 Comments leave one →
  1. May 9, 2012 6:53 am

    Those are all new to me! Mephitic seems kind of pretentious, though – it doesn’t tell you *what* it smells like, just that it smells bad.

    I’ve got some tough words this week – very scientific.

  2. May 9, 2012 7:31 am

    Sounds like this is a beach book! :–)

  3. May 9, 2012 8:07 am

    Sadly I’ve come across mephitic and mephitic situations before. The other two are new to me. Scarp makes me think of escarpment, I’m sure they must be related.

  4. May 9, 2012 8:21 am

    I like the sound of mephitic. Thanks for sharing!

  5. May 9, 2012 8:58 am

    Louise said what I was going to say about scarp 🙂 We had to learn escarpment in geography class…a hill formed where tectonic plates meet if I remember correctly. So, kind of the same as scarp!

    BTW, thanks for hosting!!

  6. May 9, 2012 9:56 am

    Good words this week although the meanings don’t always match the words to me.

  7. May 9, 2012 10:02 am

    Mephitic is a great word, and would describe my puppy at this very moment! I love the words you chose today!

  8. May 9, 2012 10:19 am

    I like all your words. I love Mary Alice Monroe’s books. I’ve read The Beach House.

  9. May 9, 2012 10:20 am

    I’m at

  10. May 9, 2012 11:03 am

    I’m sorry. I didn’t know about Beach House Memories. I’ve never read that one. I’ve read The Beach House.

    • May 9, 2012 11:59 am

      Beach House Memories was published yesterday – it’s the prequel to The Beach House. I’m almost done with it and, so far, I love it.

      Sent from my iPhone

  11. May 9, 2012 11:47 am

    I think I’m in love with the way scarp sounds when it’s spoken. Not sure why though 🙂

  12. May 9, 2012 11:54 am

    Excellent words! I should have known “scarp”. I hope you’re enjoying your books. 🙂

  13. melaniesmusingsnet permalink
    May 9, 2012 12:04 pm

    Heh, sometimes it’s fun to use a word like mephitic instead of simply saying something smells. Makes life more interesting.

  14. May 9, 2012 1:00 pm

    Scarp was the only one there that I would have been able to guess from context (but certainly not define on its own). Nice set of words!

  15. May 9, 2012 1:26 pm

    Once again, I didn’t know any of these. I feel better when I know at least one!

  16. Beth Hoffman permalink
    May 9, 2012 1:32 pm

    Great words, Kathy. Though I’d never heard of mephitic, I recognized the others.

    Happy Wednesday to you and little Milou!

  17. May 9, 2012 2:20 pm

    Good words. They were all new to me.

  18. May 9, 2012 2:34 pm

    Say what?

  19. May 9, 2012 2:35 pm

    You have definitely made me want to read both these “Beach House” books! I gather mephitis is a ‘stench from the earth’? What a great word for a foul-smell. My beagle Charlie is frequently mephitic; we are constantly trying to figure out which end is causing the offense!
    Thanks, as always, for hosting a fun and instructive meme.

  20. Patty permalink
    May 9, 2012 3:13 pm

    New goal…use scute in a sentence in a conversation with friends!!!

  21. May 9, 2012 6:00 pm

    These words are so interesting! I wasn’t familiar with any of them! Mephitic is so much nicer than stinks or foul, like it’s trying to cover it up!

    • May 9, 2012 6:02 pm

      oops, sorry Kathy, I didn’t realize this posted, usually wordpress deletes it!

  22. May 9, 2012 6:01 pm

    These words are really interesting and all new for me! Thank you!

  23. May 9, 2012 8:02 pm

    I haven’t come across any of these words before! Thanks for sharing!

  24. bookingmama permalink
    May 9, 2012 8:30 pm

    I knew escarpment so I guess it makes sense about scarp.

  25. May 9, 2012 8:44 pm

    these are great! i’ve started me a collection of words for Wednesday’s just keep forgetting to post them! I especially love mephitic! my son will think i’ve lost it when i tell him his room is mephitic!

  26. May 9, 2012 9:04 pm

    Stinky works so much better for me! Lol!

  27. May 10, 2012 8:00 am

    Scarp is an interesting one. I wonder what the derivation is. Scarpe in Italian means shoes.

  28. May 11, 2012 12:21 pm

    I love this meme because I’ve been using it as a brain break in my class- educational, fun, sometimes quite amusing, and the kids seem to love that it is blog-based.

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