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Wondrous Words Wednesday

July 3, 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!

This week’s words came from The Light Between Oceans by M. L. Stedman.

1. astragal – “The glazing of the light room was interrupted only by the crisscrossing of astragals that kept the panes in place.”

An astragal is a narrow half-round molding.


2. nous – “All you need is patience and a bit of nous.”

I knew nous means we in French but could tell that didn’t fit here, so I looked it up.  It has several meanings, but the one that I think fits here is chiefly British – common sense or alertness.


3. effluction – “Tom pondered the institutional indifference to the arrival of a new year — as though the Lights were not impressed by something as prosaic as the mere effluction of time.”

Effluction’s not in my dictionary, so I did a little searching on line.  It turns out it’s an alternative spelling for effluxion.  Efflux has several meanings but, in this case, I think it means a passing away: expiration.  What I found really interesting, though, is the phrase “effluxion of time” is a legal term that indicates the expiration of a lease.


What words do you want to celebrate today?

26 Comments leave one →
  1. gautami tripathy permalink
    July 3, 2013 4:49 am

    Thanks for telling us about effluction.

    And I love using “nous” on unsuspecting people!!

  2. July 3, 2013 5:11 am

    This book sounds as though I’d be needing the dictionary a lot – but I did know ‘nous’. ‘Effluction’ sounds much nicer than ‘expiration’, it has a sense of flowing,

  3. July 3, 2013 5:12 am

    astragal and effluction are new words for me. ‘Nous’ was used often in my childhood by one particularly bullying teacher to all the class.

  4. July 3, 2013 6:12 am

    Well, I can see if any child of mine said effluction I would be thinking about washing its mouth out with soap – ha ha. It doesn’t *sound* like it means something non-naughty!

  5. July 3, 2013 6:35 am

    Ohhhh I love this feature! I Seriously think it’s the best weekly meme I’ve seen for book bloggers. Omgosh omgosh I love learning new words. Totally going to have to read through your backlog now. 😀

  6. July 3, 2013 8:36 am

    I would have been confused about nous being a French word as well. Astragal is a good one too!

  7. Beth Hoffman permalink
    July 3, 2013 9:01 am

    Though I was pretty sure I knew what astragal meant, the others are new to me.

  8. July 3, 2013 10:37 am

    I would have bet the farm that ‘astragal’ would have something to do with astronomy! But molding? Never would have guessed.

  9. bookingmama permalink
    July 3, 2013 12:31 pm

    Great words! I didn’t know any of them, of course!

  10. July 3, 2013 1:38 pm

    Astragal sounds sort of sci-fi, like astro gal! Fun words.

  11. talesofwhimsy permalink
    July 3, 2013 1:42 pm

    Nous? Cool. Never woulda guessed it.

  12. July 3, 2013 2:03 pm

    Nous is excellent–and I think I can remember that one! 🙂

  13. July 3, 2013 2:40 pm

    Interesting words. Thanks for sharing. All were new to me, and Light Between Oceans is on my to read list, so now I will be in the know!

  14. July 3, 2013 3:17 pm

    I’m going to add nous to my vocabulary. I like the way it sounds and also what it means. I’m a fan of common sense which I often find in short supply. Now I can say it differently. Thanks.

  15. July 3, 2013 3:31 pm

    Good ones

  16. July 3, 2013 3:38 pm

    All great words, all new to me.

  17. July 3, 2013 3:42 pm

    We could all use patience and a bit of nous. 🙂 I’ll have to remember that one.

  18. July 3, 2013 3:42 pm

    Sometimes a little nous is a good thing to have.

  19. July 3, 2013 5:19 pm

    I like effluction- and I think I can remember it. Thanks for taking the time to do the extra research! For “nous”, is the “s” silent?

  20. Patty permalink
    July 3, 2013 7:21 pm

    I always love these clever little words that I try to remember to use when I want to impress Den!

  21. July 4, 2013 7:05 pm

    I think I could effluction. 🙂 I’m sorry I haven’t been participating for the last two weeks for my Italian edition of Wondrous Words Wednesday. I promise I’ll be back.

  22. July 5, 2013 2:13 pm

    I didn’t know any of these! Astragal’s interesting – makes me want to investigate its origins. I would never have thought it meant a narrow half-round molding (or any sort of molding, for that matter!).

  23. July 14, 2013 11:23 pm

    Ha! Those are great and difficult words!

  24. September 8, 2016 8:36 pm

    I was pleasantly surprised and delighted to find this posting. I just finished reading The Light Between Oceans (loved it!) and was looking up various terms I notated on my kindle. Several of them didn’t come up on my definitions unless I turned off airplane mode. Googling on my smart phone, most of them were Australian slang. Loved learning them all! ( coconut shy [and the related connection to the song “I’ve Got A Lovely Bunch Of Coconuts”] cooee, Snugglep other and Cuddle pie, chucked a wobbly, knocked him for six, and many others!) Now on my list of favorite books!!

    • September 8, 2016 8:47 pm

      Darn auto correct! That should read “Snugglepot and Cuddlepie”. Great Austin children’s books characters.

      • September 8, 2016 8:49 pm

        Auto correct struck again! I usually check before sending anything, but I got distracted by a phone call in the midst of writing. That should read “Aussie” children’s books!!! Argh!

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