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Wondrous Words Wednesday

December 19, 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 two words come from Dare Me by Megan Abbott.

1. plaint – “I don’t understand how Coach could do this to us” plaints Tacy, her battered lip now a frosted lavender.”

Plaint means protest or complaint.  I think I’ll be able to remember this one!


2. batten – “My arms lifted above, I have her right side, her right wrist, her arm like a batten, hard and motionless, and RiRi her left.”

When I hear batten, I think of “Batten down the hatches,” and that didn’t seem to fit here.  Batten has quite a few meanings and means a strip, bar, or support in this case.


My third word comes from The Christmas Pearl by Dorothea Benton Frank.

3. epergne – “In the center was my mother’s Victorian silver epergne, another piece of our family’s formerly elegant life that I had not seen in decades.”


An epergne is an often ornate tiered centerpiece consisting typically of a frame of wrought metal (as silver or gold) bearing dishes, vases, or candle holders or a combination of these.  I’m not sure I’ve seen one of these in person, but when I googled this word, I discovered they can be quite ornate!


What words do you want to celebrate today?

24 Comments leave one →
  1. December 19, 2012 5:57 am

    I’ve seen the word epergne used in catalogs, but not much in real life apparently since my automatic spell-fixer on my IPad tried to change it to “emergency” – LOL

  2. December 19, 2012 6:48 am

    I’d certainly like to have an epergne, that one is rather beautiful. I’m not fully convinced it would withstand the rigours of our house though. It sounds like a village in France. “I went to Epergne on the weekend.”

  3. December 19, 2012 6:57 am

    In a small sailboat we had battens in the sail. They are strips (of wood?) which you can put in and out of pockets in the sail to reinforce the edge. I too have wondered about the relationship of that kind of batten to “batten down the hatches.”

  4. December 19, 2012 10:47 am

    All are new to me. I’ve only heard batten used the way you have!

  5. December 19, 2012 11:30 am

    Thanks for sharing. The first two words were familiar to me. However, epergne is completely unfamiliar. Looks like a nightmare to polish! LOL

  6. December 19, 2012 11:43 am

    Enjoyed your picture of the epergne, interesting words.

  7. zibilee permalink
    December 19, 2012 12:50 pm

    An epergne is a strange thing indeed, and I have never seen one before! I imagine that this would be a great thing to use for various condiments…but I have a feeling that would be the wrong use for it!!

  8. December 19, 2012 1:01 pm

    That epergne is so pretty! I never would have guessed that’s what the word meant.

  9. December 19, 2012 2:03 pm

    Like most everyone else here I’ve never heard of an epergne. What a beautiful but fussy and typically Victorian piece of work!

  10. December 19, 2012 2:09 pm

    Plaint’s one I can remember too. I hadn’t heard of an epergne before either.

  11. December 19, 2012 2:47 pm

    I like all of your words but plaints has caught my attention. I like it and wish I saw it more often.

  12. Patty permalink
    December 19, 2012 3:15 pm

    I love plaint…I do it all of the time!

  13. December 19, 2012 3:15 pm

    I’m so glad you included a picture of an epergne! Describing that would take talent! And, since I’m a visual learner, that image will stick in my head. Can’t imagine when I’ll see one again…

  14. kaye permalink
    December 19, 2012 3:27 pm

    Never read of battens in that context.

  15. talesofwhimsy permalink
    December 19, 2012 4:37 pm

    I had no idea about batten. I thought the same thing.

  16. December 19, 2012 5:04 pm

    I’ve never seen an epergne before. Looks very old fashioned!

  17. Beth Hoffman permalink
    December 19, 2012 5:21 pm

    I love antiques, so after I thought about it, I knew epergne, but you had me on the other two. Great words, Kathy!

  18. December 19, 2012 6:14 pm

    Great new rods, that epergne is cool looking.
    And plaint is kind of just shortening the word complaint…lol.

  19. December 19, 2012 9:10 pm

    I love ‘plaint’… that’s a great new one 🙂 Thanks for letting me take part in this weekly meme!

  20. December 19, 2012 10:51 pm

    Enjoyed your new words, especially the last one, epergne. I wish I had time to do my own WWW post today! This is one of the best memes.

  21. December 20, 2012 3:16 pm

    interesting! batten down the hatches makes more sense given its other meaning!

  22. December 20, 2012 9:20 pm

    Cool words! The first one is fairly easy but I’m sure I will forget to use it in a sentence 🙂

  23. bookingmama permalink
    December 20, 2012 10:26 pm

    I love that epergne! What a cool word and I know I’ve never seen one.

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