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Wondrous Words Wednesday

March 18, 2015

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!

I found quite a few words in my uncorrected proof of Hold Still by Sally Mann.

1. loess – “The road out of Greenwood, Mississippi, slices through loess hills soft as spoon bread, dropping down precipitously into the black ferment of the Delta.”

Loess is an unstratified, usually buff to yellowish brown, loamy deposit found in North America, Eurpe, and Asia and believed to be chiefly deposited by the wind.


2. sacerdotal – “I am sure Jeff Campbell knew, as his long-nailed fingers, the forefinger yellowed from pipe-tamping, placed Absalom, Absalom like a sacerdotal biscuit in my palm, that this would be my moment of awakening, the one described by Graham Greene as the door to the future, after which the world is never again seen in quite the same way.”

Sacerdotal is an adjective that means of or relating to priests or a priesthood: priestly.


3. cumulate – “When the press box was packed full, the strong-thighed press men jumped in and began wadding and stomping down the buoyant cotton with their bare feet, sinking deep into the cumulate mound, often lost from view until, by dint of their furiously pumping legs, they gradually rose up through the suffocating mass into the turbid air that at last afforded their lungs some relief.”

Cumulate means to gather or in a heap.  I think I can remember this because it reminds me of accumulate.


What words do you want to celebrate today?

14 Comments leave one →
  1. March 18, 2015 7:29 am

    All are new to me this week!

  2. March 18, 2015 9:00 am

    Cumulate seems almost exactly like accumulate–I guess one is already piled up and the other is in the process of getting piled up?

  3. Beth Hoffman permalink
    March 18, 2015 9:25 am

    I knew cumulate but the others were new to me!

  4. March 18, 2015 9:37 am

    I at least was close on the 1st 2. I didn’t go the obvious route on #3. I went for cumulus clouds. At least there was nothing totally foreign this time.

  5. March 18, 2015 9:56 am

    These are new to me as well! Excellent words from your book.

  6. March 18, 2015 11:34 am

    Cumulate does seem very similar to accumulate. I don’t think I’d ever use the other two words in conversation but they are interesting to know! Hope you enjoyed Hold Still.

  7. March 18, 2015 1:18 pm

    I’m sure I’ve seen loess without knowing it had a special name. I like knowing that it probably accumulated because of the wind. (Yes, I know accumulate, but cumulate was new.)

  8. March 18, 2015 2:02 pm

    The place where the priest prepares before Mass is called a “sacristy” – I wonder if sacristy and sacerdotal come from the same root. Interesting words, thanks Kathy

  9. March 18, 2015 2:07 pm

    Now that you mention accumulate with cumulate I’m not sure I realized the second was a word. And actually–my spell check doesn’t like it!

  10. March 18, 2015 2:28 pm

    Hi Kathy,

    All three of your words this week are new to me and although ‘Hold Still’ probably isn’t a book I would read, I quite like the descriptive writing, if your words are small example.

    Cumulate isn’t a word which comes naturally to me, as I would automatically go for accumulate in a conversation. In fact the ‘free dictionary’ definition of cumulate is: “to gather in a heap; accumulate” – work that one out because I can’t 🙂

    Thanks for sharing your words this week and for continuing to host WWW


  11. Patty permalink
    March 18, 2015 2:42 pm

    Very interesting!

  12. March 18, 2015 4:58 pm

    That is why it sounds familliar

  13. March 18, 2015 9:37 pm

    Most of the words I learned this week were all from Jenny’s blog: Reading the End! She had some great links to articles full of unknown words I couldn’t find in my iphone’s dictionary app. HATE it when that happens.

  14. bookingmama permalink
    March 24, 2015 8:40 pm

    All new to me but the last one does sound like accumulate!

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