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Wondrous Words Wednesday

July 22, 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!

This week’s words are from No Better Friend by Robert Weintraub.

1. lumpen – “More worldly and diverse than the British protectorate of Hong Kong to the south, Shanghai catered to both sophisticates and lumpen proletariat.”

Lumpen means of or relating to dispossessed and uprooted individuals cut off from the economic and social class with which they might normally be identified.


2. sampan – “After a few minutes. they returned, heavily laden, to the sampan, and silently made it back to the Gnat.”

A sampan is a flat-bottomed skiff used in eastern Asia and usually propelled by two short oars.


3. thence – “Because of their efforts, many more survivors made it to Padang and thence to the Indian subcontinent than would have otherwise.”

I thought I could figure this one out from the context but I wasn’t familiar with the word so looked it up to be sure and it turns out the meaning was a little different than I thought.  Thence means from a place or source previously mentioned.


What words do you want to celebrate today?

16 Comments leave one →
  1. July 22, 2015 7:57 am

    I would think I could figure out thence also. It’s a very specific word, not much use for it. And I enjoy lumpen as a word, too bad it doesn’t have a funny definition.

  2. July 22, 2015 8:42 am

    Isn’t thence just a fancy ‘then’? Lumpen is not at all what I expected.

  3. July 22, 2015 9:15 am

    I’ve never seen lumpenproletariat as two separate words.

  4. Patty permalink
    July 22, 2015 9:34 am

    I wonder if thence goes with whence?

  5. July 22, 2015 9:35 am

    Knew sampan was some kind of boat, but couldn’t describe it. Thought I knew thence, but didn’t. Didn’t know lumpen, but it’s a cool word.

  6. July 22, 2015 10:02 am

    I have only heard of that last one

  7. Beth Hoffman permalink
    July 22, 2015 10:19 am

    I had no idea what lumpen meant, but it made me think of a mini loaf of bread. LOL

  8. July 22, 2015 1:11 pm

    Always when reading a book in a foreign setting or about a distant land, I find new words. I did not know these, although I had heard sampan before. I would have spelled it wrong.

  9. July 22, 2015 2:55 pm

    I also noticed lumpen. I think in our country we would call these people homeless. It sounds like the two groups of people had the same consequences.

  10. July 22, 2015 3:27 pm

    All new to me, although I could have guessed thence. Thanks for sharing. What’s No Better Friend about?

  11. July 22, 2015 4:00 pm

    Only thence looked familiar today.

  12. July 22, 2015 4:21 pm

    Interesting, all new-to-me words from your book!

  13. July 22, 2015 4:57 pm

    Hm, hadn’t heard of the first two words and thought I could figure out thence in context. Good words!

  14. July 22, 2015 5:31 pm

    Just FYI, I inadvertently entered the wrong link this morning. I just corrected it. 😦 I could not get the first post to go away.

  15. bookingmama permalink
    July 24, 2015 6:18 am

    I’ve heard of the second two words but wouldn’t have known how to use them.

  16. July 25, 2015 10:53 am

    I knew thence,but not the others.

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