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Wondrous Words Wednesday

February 12, 2014

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!

These are the last three words I found in The Saints of the Shadow Bible by Ian Rankin.

1. shtum – “Was it ‘right’ that those of us who knew kept shtum?”

According to urban dictionary, shtum is a “slang term used mainly in London to mean quiet or silent.”


2. sleekit – “Only conclusion I’ve been able to draw so far is that you’re as sleekit as they come.”

Chiefly Scottish, sleekit means sleek or smooth.


3.  saltire – “He’d worn a tie covered in tiny saltire flags and hadn’t offered them anything to drink.”

According to my dictionary, saltire means a heraldic charge consisting of a cross formed by a bend and a bend sinister crossing in the center.  I really couldn’t visualize what that meant so I looked for some images and discovered the flag of Scotland is a saltire.  The definition seems like an awfully complicated way to say a flag with an X or a diagonal cross in the middle.

Scottish flag

The flag of Scotland is a saltire.


What words do you want to celebrate today?

22 Comments leave one →
  1. February 12, 2014 5:16 am

    Hello there! So, I watch FAR too much British television, so “shtum” is an old friend. “Saltire” I know because I’m obsessed with heraldry (coats of arms) and vexillology (flags). Some delightful British words this week!

  2. February 12, 2014 7:18 am

    Whoa. I’ve never even heard of these words before.

  3. February 12, 2014 7:33 am

    You really have to read the Outlander series. You will have entries for Wondrous Words Wednesday until you stop blogging, even if that is ten years from now! LOL (all those Scottish and British words – it’s a wonder we can still understand one another!)

  4. February 12, 2014 8:56 am

    All of your words were new to me today. I enjoy reading books set in other parts of the world, because there are always unfamiliar words to learn. I’m going to have to look up shtum to see if there is an example of pronunciation. I have a tendency to remain shtum when maybe I should speak up!

  5. February 12, 2014 9:34 am

    Nice selection. I like shtum – I think I have already been using it as a blur word without even realizing it.

  6. Beth Hoffman permalink
    February 12, 2014 9:42 am

    You stumped me on all three!

  7. February 12, 2014 9:43 am

    Cool, ok I did not know shtum but I immediately thought of stum which means just that, or someone who can’t talk

  8. joyweesemoll permalink
    February 12, 2014 9:44 am

    I love knowing there’s a word for a flag with an x — in this case, a picture is worth a thousand words.

  9. Lloyd Russell permalink
    February 12, 2014 9:47 am

    Didn’t know any but can comfort myself that 2 of them are not local!

    Lloyd (408) 348-4849

  10. February 12, 2014 12:05 pm

    What great words, I love the sound of all of them!

  11. Patty permalink
    February 12, 2014 12:12 pm

    I love the word sleekit…

  12. February 12, 2014 12:17 pm

    I like your definition of saltire much better. Do you supposed it’s these years of weekly WWW? I think it is.

  13. February 12, 2014 2:37 pm

    I can’t be shtum about these sleekit words. THEY”RE GREAT! Also like how they all begin with the letter ‘s’!

  14. talesofwhimsy permalink
    February 12, 2014 2:42 pm

    Cool. Sleekit? I would have guessed it was made up if I heard it in conversation.

  15. February 12, 2014 2:43 pm

    Wow. I am shtum with humility- never heard of any of these. Thanks for the edification today!

  16. February 12, 2014 3:21 pm

    My book has a lot of London and Irish slang too.

  17. February 12, 2014 3:22 pm

    Sleekit just sounds like a Scottish word, but I agree with Juju, it also sounds kind of made up. 🙂 These are awesome, thanks for sharing!

  18. February 12, 2014 3:52 pm

    All new for me today also.

  19. February 12, 2014 4:50 pm

    I love Ian Rankin! Makes me feel up on my British slang when I read his stuff, or Deborah Crombie’s. 🙂

  20. February 12, 2014 5:47 pm

    You are so right about the excessive complexity of that definition!

  21. trish422 permalink
    February 12, 2014 10:28 pm

    The definition of saltire is awesome. I kind of want to memorize it and repeat it randomly to unsuspecting people.

  22. bookingmama permalink
    February 13, 2014 8:57 am

    Those are both very interesting. I wasn’t familiar with either of them. Now I’ll know when I read this novel.

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