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Wondrous Words Wednesday

February 13, 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 Calling Me Home by Julie Kibler.

1. lawn – “I regretted not having a proper negligee to wear for my wedding night, but Nell had laundered and ironed my best summer nightgown, sewn of white pin-tucked lawn with narrow ribbon straps that barely covered my shoulders.”

When I think of lawn, I think of the grass in a yard and knew that didn’t fit here.  I thought this might be a typo and decided to look it up.  I discovered lawn can also be a fine sheer linen or cotton fabric of plain weave that is thinner than cambric.


2. vernix – “If the infant emerged, looking at first like any other newborn, pale and covered in milky vernix, squalling and reddening as oxygen filled his lungs, then eventually settled into the warmer shade of another race?”

I was able to figure this one out from the context but looked it up anyway.  According to, vernix is “a white, cheesy substance that covers and protects the skin of a fetus.”


What words do you want to celebrate today?

21 Comments leave one →
  1. thewrredhead permalink
    February 13, 2013 6:19 am

    Oh yes, vernix is giving me flashbacks to childbirth! Haha. And I had no idea lawn could be used that way.

  2. bookingmama permalink
    February 13, 2013 7:59 am

    I knew vernix but like you I initially thought lawn was some sort of typo.

  3. February 13, 2013 8:19 am

    Hah! I love the idea of a nightgown made out of grass! LOL (or linen, whatever)

  4. February 13, 2013 9:51 am


  5. rubyport permalink
    February 13, 2013 9:54 am

    I am familiar with cotton lawn, but vernix was new (and a little disgusting).

  6. February 13, 2013 10:30 am

    Both of your words were familiar to me. Of course, I am an old lady and lawn fabric is an old fashioned word. Our daughter is an RN so I remember vernix from when she did her OB rotation .

  7. February 13, 2013 11:37 am

    I didn’t know that lawn was also a material.

  8. February 13, 2013 11:51 am

    I’d always guessed that lawn, used in that way, was material, but never bothered to investigate. Thanks for doing the dirty work for me. Yes, and after delivering four babies, I’m quite familiar with vernix. Thanks for hosting!

  9. February 13, 2013 12:29 pm

    I knew lawn from historical romance but vernix was a new term. I knew what is was too but I didn’t know it had a special name.

  10. February 13, 2013 12:39 pm

    I don’t think I’ve ever seen lawn used in such a way and I read a lot of historical books. At least now if I see it I’ll know what it means. Lol.

  11. zibilee permalink
    February 13, 2013 2:23 pm

    I am so happy that I knew both of these today! I rarely ever know the words you chose, so this is a big deal for me! Nice job picking great words today!

  12. February 13, 2013 2:27 pm

    This meaning of lawn was new to me. Excellent words today, Kathy. 🙂

  13. February 13, 2013 2:31 pm

    Huh vernix, never knew

  14. February 13, 2013 2:50 pm

    I knew lawn … one of my favorite dresses was constructed of linen lawn.

  15. Patty permalink
    February 13, 2013 4:00 pm

    I am surprised that I knew lawn but not surprised I didn’t know the other quite icky one…lol..

  16. February 13, 2013 4:39 pm

    Never heard lawn used that way before, and I do read a lot of historicals. It’s quite possible I just glossed over it, not understanding. Haven’t had any experience with vernix yet, but I’m sure I will soon. Thanks for enlightening me on both words! 🙂

  17. February 13, 2013 5:33 pm

    I’ve never heard “lawn” used that way. Interesting!

  18. February 13, 2013 6:37 pm

    Lawn has blown me away! I love coming across a word we think we know inside and out, and surprise! It has alternate meanings. Great find 🙂

  19. February 13, 2013 6:53 pm

    Yup, I remember vernix, but that lawn usage is new to me. Interesting!

  20. February 13, 2013 7:01 pm

    Vernix gave me a childbirth flashback…thanks Kathy! lol ouch…..and interesting about lawn.

  21. February 13, 2013 7:47 pm

    Vernix…very interesting! Great words!

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