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Wondrous Words Wednesday

March 15, 2017

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 the Publisher’s Weekly article “7 Weird, Wonderful Words You Should Use More Often” by Kory Stomper fascinating.  I only knew two of the 7 words and only use one of them  and really don’t use it all that often.  I’ve decided to highlight a few of the other words here.

1. lickspittle – “A “pickpocket” is someone who picks pockets; a “scarecrow” is something that scares crows; and so a “lickspittle” is someone who licks the spittle of others.”

I’m sure everyone’s known someone like this.  Stomper suggests using lickspittle instead of brownnoser.


2. jawn – “The first time I ever heard this word was in a Philly bookstore, where one guy described Game of Thrones to his compatriot by saying it was “some kind of medieval porno jawn,” and I fell utterly and completely in love (with “jawn,” not with the guy).”

Stomper says jawn is used in Philadelphia for “thing.”  Now I want to visit the City of Brotherly Love just to test it out.


3. retronyn – “One occupational hazard of being a lexicographer is that people assume that (a) there is a word for everything, and (b) you know that word. Most of the time, (a) is true and (b) is not, but “retronym” is one case where both (a) and (b) are happily true.”

Stomper says “a retronym is a word or phrase that we use to refer to an earlier and now less-usual version of something: “film camera,” “paper book,” and “snail mail” are all retronyms.”  Can you think of any others?


What words do you want to celebrate today?

12 Comments leave one →
  1. March 15, 2017 7:09 am

    All three are new.

  2. March 15, 2017 7:24 am

    I read about jawn also. I was surprised I never heard it because much of my family came from Philly.

  3. bookingmama permalink
    March 15, 2017 7:48 am

    Fun article and fun words. I definitely think you should visit Philly — it’s only two hours from me!!!

  4. March 15, 2017 9:43 am

    Initially I thought lickspittle meant really fast. Then I realized that I was thinking of lickety-split. So 0-3 for me (but I really liked retronyn).

  5. March 15, 2017 9:48 am

    I can see why you were fascinated by that article. I loved all three words you highlighted, especially jawn. My teen kids are using words I’ve never heard of, and it makes me feel like my own language is retronym. 🙂

  6. March 15, 2017 11:01 am

    All are new to me!

  7. March 15, 2017 11:25 am

    Those are new to me

  8. March 15, 2017 3:33 pm

    Those first two words are fun. Now I want to go read the whole article. Thanks.

  9. Patty permalink
    March 15, 2017 5:53 pm

    It would truly be very difficult to use those words! But they are still fun to know!

  10. March 15, 2017 7:43 pm

    These words are new to me as well. Lickspittle is hilarious! I will “check out” Kory Stomper’s article.

  11. March 16, 2017 12:08 pm

    Oh my gosh I love these new words! And pumpernickel – I love pumpernickel with cream cheese but now that I know the true meaning, it will be the perfect lovable nickname for my dog. And my boys!

  12. March 23, 2017 10:52 pm

    Lickspittle, ewwww!!

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