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Wondrous Words Wednesday

January 16, 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 Freeman by Leonard Pitts, Jr.

1. cognomen – “You asked my cognomen.”

Your cognomen is your surname; especially the third of usually three names borne by a male citizen of ancient Rome.


2. patterollers – “We gon’ go after them patterollers, the two of us?”

This word isn’t in my dictionary but, according to, “Slave patrols (called patrollers, pattyrollers or paddy rollers by the slaves) were organized groups of three to six white men who enforced discipline upon black slaves during the antebellum U.S. southern states.”


What words do you want to celebrate today?

22 Comments leave one →
  1. January 16, 2013 6:02 am

    What great words, it must be an interesting book.

  2. January 16, 2013 6:56 am

    It’s funny to think about how aliens would read that first sentence. Like maybe they would translate “cognomen” as “leader” or “boss” or “parent”!

  3. January 16, 2013 7:02 am

    Interesting ones!

  4. January 16, 2013 9:14 am

    Two very interesting words. Ones we may not have an occasion to use in our everyday world. I like seeing them though, because every once in a while I see them used in another book, and recognize them.

  5. January 16, 2013 10:57 am

    These two words are completely new to me. I expect at somepoint I’ll probably come across patterollers…I wonder iff it’s in “Lincoln”, the movie?…either way I’m glad to know it and what it means since it harkens back to a time in this countries history, albeit not one of our more admirable times.
    Thanks, Kathy!

  6. January 16, 2013 11:11 am

    I’ve never heard “patterollers” before, or “patrollers” either. Interesting word. Cognomen I knew because of all those Latin classes I suffered through back in college. Sorry — all those Latin classes I enjoyed back in college!

  7. January 16, 2013 11:14 am

    I’ve heard of cognomen before, two good words.

  8. January 16, 2013 11:47 am

    I never would have guess the meaning of those two, but the second one makes a lot of sense once given the definition (isn’t that always the way?).

  9. January 16, 2013 12:36 pm

    You stumped me!

  10. January 16, 2013 1:14 pm

    I’ve never heard of either of these words but I can imagine being asked for your ‘cognomen’ in some dystopic future where ‘patterollers’ prowl the streets looking for violators. Thanks for sharing! As far as Amy’s question, I don’t recall hearing the word in Lincoln. Maybe in Django Unchained?

  11. January 16, 2013 2:16 pm

    Cognomen is one of those words that we should make a new name for. Well, maybe there already is one. It would mean a word that could mean absolutely anything. From the sentence the cognomen could mean anything.

  12. January 16, 2013 2:43 pm

    Both words are new to me! Freeman sounds like a heavy book.

  13. January 16, 2013 2:58 pm

    Cool ones

  14. zibilee permalink
    January 16, 2013 4:44 pm

    These are both words that I was not familiar with, and great ones at that! I might have guessed the second one, but never the first!

  15. Patty permalink
    January 16, 2013 8:34 pm

    Hmmm…two quite unusual words!

  16. January 17, 2013 12:07 am

    Both of your words this week are new to me, Kathy!

    Better late than never–I just posted my own WWW. At last! 🙂

  17. January 17, 2013 2:46 am

    both words are new for me… and love the first one..

  18. January 17, 2013 5:42 pm

    More words I’ve never heard before!

  19. January 17, 2013 6:07 pm

    Those are crazy words!! 😀

  20. bookingmama permalink
    January 17, 2013 6:54 pm

    Cognomen makes sense from my old days of Latin class.

  21. January 17, 2013 8:31 pm

    Both are new to me. Cognomen is such an interesting sounding word.

  22. January 18, 2013 6:45 pm

    So much for my history classes on Roman Civilization. I never learned “cognomen”, or perhaps it just fell in the memory hole.

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