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Wondrous Words Wednesday

February 27, 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 Drinking With Men by Rosie Schaap.

1. shambolic – “One visitor, who’d been eighty-sixed by the organization previously for erratic behavior, sometimes showed up in shambolic disguises – floppy hat, pasted-on beard, trench coat, that sort of thing – to regain access to arcane texts on ESP or something.”

Shambolic is mainly used in the UK and means obviously disorganized or confused.


2. daven– “I envied the submissive faith I observed in the Chasidim I saw davening every morning on the subway, that I witnessed among Pentecostals.”

Daven means to recite the prescribed prayers in a Jewish liturgy.


What words do you want to celebrate today?

23 Comments leave one →
  1. Brona permalink
    February 27, 2013 4:30 am

    I’ve never heard of davening before – do you know is it pronounced day-veen or dav-n?

  2. February 27, 2013 7:09 am

    Daven is pronounced DAH-ven and also implies the rocking motion usually engaged in by those who stand up all day and pray. Shambolic: don’t you love UK words? I wish there had been a UK language course in high school! LOL

  3. February 27, 2013 8:56 am

    I like the word Shambolic. Great words!

  4. talesofwhimsy permalink
    February 27, 2013 9:04 am

    I had no idea about daven. I never woulda guessed it either.

  5. February 27, 2013 9:44 am

    great words.

  6. February 27, 2013 9:52 am

    Terrific words, Kathy. Daven was new to me!

  7. February 27, 2013 10:21 am

    Haha, shambolic pretty much describes my daily look and state of mind. Love these words! I had never heard of either until today. 🙂

  8. February 27, 2013 11:41 am

    Words from the UK vernacular always sound so witty! I’ll be adding shambolic to my lexicon- to describe my 9 year old, or, like Lauren, ME! I guess it derives from “shambles”? Well, anyway, that’s how I’ll remember it. Thanks Kathy!

  9. February 27, 2013 11:54 am

    Also- I love The Fault In Our Stars and can’t wait to see what you think of it.

  10. February 27, 2013 12:28 pm

    I love British vernacular. I’ve never heard shambolic before but as soon as I read it I knew what you meant. My neighbor is English and I’m going to ask him more about this word. Thanks Kathy for a new British word!

    I’m familiar with Daven which is a little more than just reciting prayers. When a Jewish person refers to Davening it means that while reciting prayers, the person moves in a constant back and forth motion (the feet remain stationery so if you ever see a Jewish person ‘davening’ they kind of resemble the bobble-head dolls. No disrespect intended here, just trying to provide an image of what to daven means and looks like!).

    • February 27, 2013 2:59 pm

      Amy has it right. I recall going to the bar mitzvah of a family friend and one of the dad’s was ‘davening’ as in rocking back and forth, very similar actually to how you see the Pentecostals in your sentence from the book … except no raising of the hands or speaking in tongue. By the way, he was the only Jew in the synagogue doing so; it’s not SOP for every Jew praying.

  11. zibilee permalink
    February 27, 2013 12:36 pm

    I had no idea what daven meant, so it was good to see that you shared in in context, so that I could understand it better.

  12. February 27, 2013 12:43 pm

    I’m going to have to adopt “shambolic.” Thanks!

  13. February 27, 2013 1:33 pm

    Some days I feel shambolic.

  14. February 27, 2013 3:00 pm

    Add me to the list of people who love the way the Brits talk (and write). They must be born with word-clever brains.

  15. February 27, 2013 4:17 pm

    Shambolic is a great word–I’ll try to remember it. Thank you for hosting this terrific meme, Kathy!

  16. February 27, 2013 4:33 pm

    Interesting, I hadn’t heard of either of these.

  17. February 27, 2013 5:05 pm

    Shambolic does ring a bell, but daven is new to me. Thanks for sharing these!

  18. Patty permalink
    February 27, 2013 6:46 pm

    I can totally dig being shambolic!

  19. February 27, 2013 7:11 pm

    Both are new to me!!!

  20. February 28, 2013 2:20 am

    both new words for definitely shambolic often times:)

  21. March 2, 2013 1:02 pm

    those are cool words…Shambolic is one that I would try to use for sure! 😀 I like the way it sounds like Shazam!

  22. March 16, 2013 7:55 am

    Shambolic is certainly known to me, but then we in Australia tend to be more familiar with British words. It is a magnificent word- I must try and use it this week. I do use shambles quite a lot, I imagine they’re related.

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