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Wondrous Words Wednesday

January 9, 2013

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 words this week come from The Art Forger by B. A. Shapiro.

1. stylobate – “The roof is glass and the floor is a sensuous garden filled with freestanding columns, whimsical twelfth-century lion stylobates and all manner of statuary.”

A stylobate is a continuous flat coping or pavement supporting a row of architectural columns.


2. desaponify – “I find a spot where paint has leaked over and hold the alcohol swab just over the surface: if the paint is new, the alcohol fumes will cause it to soften, to desaponify.”

Even though the meaning of this is pretty evident from the sentence, I decided to look it up.  I couldn’t find a definition in my dictionary or online, so I assume desaponify means to soften.


What words do you want to celebrate today?

29 Comments leave one →
  1. January 9, 2013 4:35 am

    Hi Kathy,

    I love the sound of this book and what a couple of great words you came across.

    I guess that as ‘saponify’ is a word and something can undergo ‘saponification’, then logically, that same thing can undergo ‘desaponification’ or ‘desaponify’! Or perhaps the author is just using a little ‘poetic licence’.

    I love the sound of ‘stylobate’, although I am not sure when I would ever find cause to use it!

    I have added this book to my reading list, so thanks for a great post and for hosting.


  2. January 9, 2013 5:07 am

    Saponification is certainly a word, it is the process of mixing fat and acid to make soap, here he’s using it to break the paint I think, a little more than softening perhaps.

  3. bookingmama permalink
    January 9, 2013 6:40 am

    You certainly have smart commenters! I wasn’t familiar with saponify but, like you, I could tell from the context of the sentence.

  4. January 9, 2013 7:24 am

    I’ve never heard of either of these, so thank you for expanding my vocabulary. I’ll have to use saponify today in the studio with a Q tip.

  5. rubyport permalink
    January 9, 2013 7:56 am

    Very interesting! I also have words this week that I couldn’t easily find definitions for and that I will probably never use in a sentence. But it is till good to know them.

  6. January 9, 2013 9:13 am

    Such interesting words ! I’d heard of saponification, but certainly not desaponify. The Art Forger sounds like a fascinating read.

  7. January 9, 2013 9:26 am

    Purlieu: environs or neighborhood

  8. January 9, 2013 9:55 am

    I didn’t know either word. I hope your enjoying The Art Forger, I’ve read so many positive reviews.

  9. Beth Hoffman permalink
    January 9, 2013 10:23 am

    I’ve never heard of “desaponify” … you always come up with great words, Kathy!

  10. January 9, 2013 10:27 am

    One of the Disney studio buildings in Burbank has a ‘stylobate’ comprised of the 7 Dwarfs – I’ve enjoyed glimpses of this whimsical building as I’ve driven by but had no idea what the call the architectural feature. So cool – thanks for the education! here’s a link that has a picture of the Disney building with stylobate if you’re interested.

    • January 9, 2013 11:40 am

      Cool Sim- thanks for including the picture. That really helps the meaning stick in my head!

  11. January 9, 2013 10:28 am

    that should read ‘what to call ‘ not ‘what the call’. Me tired. Must get coffee.

  12. zibilee permalink
    January 9, 2013 10:30 am

    These are both great words from a book that I hope to read soon. I have it here, it’s just a matter of making time for it. Nice job picking words that are new to me today, Kathy!

  13. January 9, 2013 11:40 am

    As a closet artist, I loved learning these new terms, and reading the discussion around them. Thanks for sharing and hosting the meme!

  14. Patty permalink
    January 9, 2013 12:49 pm

    Those are definitely words that are not easy to randomly toss into a conversation!

  15. January 9, 2013 1:13 pm

    Since “saponify” is a word I guess you could de-saponify something. And stylobate is not a word I’ve ever heard before.

  16. January 9, 2013 1:49 pm

    Both words were new to me. I really want to read The Art Forger. It is on my TBR list, I may have to move it up a couple of places.

  17. January 9, 2013 2:00 pm

    Lots of “word people” this week – Yay. I like all the help you got for desaponify. All the good comments add to your great post.

  18. January 9, 2013 3:09 pm

    Great, new to me words today! Kathy, I’d hoped to do a WWW post today, but time slipped by too quickly! So, I will enjoy the words that others present! 🙂

  19. January 9, 2013 3:50 pm

    Well I ended up learning a bit about soap, art and paint when I ended up on wikipedia reading about “saponification.” I wouldn’t have had a clue about either word that you featured.

  20. January 9, 2013 4:29 pm

    I’ve not heard of either of these, so thanks for sharing them with us! 🙂

  21. January 9, 2013 7:11 pm

    These are big vocab words this week! I think I’d need to keep my dictionary handy to read The Art Forger. I do like the writing style from the sample sentences.

  22. January 9, 2013 7:30 pm

    I played fley in WWF and Lisa made me use it in a sentence. The nerve! So now I know that fley means to frighten. At least to an ancient Scot.

  23. January 9, 2013 8:30 pm

    I have never heard those words before. I don’t know what I would do now without all the online dictionaries that are in the readers. Good words today!

  24. January 10, 2013 12:32 am

    I’ve never heard of desaponify, but I know that saponify means to form a soapy substance.

  25. January 10, 2013 1:12 pm

    Both of these words are new to me! I need to start using them now 🙂

  26. January 10, 2013 6:03 pm

    I think something has desaponified my brain!! 😀 Hahhahhaha!

  27. January 10, 2013 6:52 pm

    I was going to venture a guess that he meant that the substance was breaking down…desaponified. I love it when authors use words to trip us up! :]

  28. becca7931 permalink
    January 11, 2013 7:35 am

    I think I am going to start participating in this meme again next week. I have been discovering so many interesting new words lately!

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