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Wondrous Words Wednesday

June 21, 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!

ELEANOR OLIPHANT IS COMPLETELY FINE by Gail Honeyman was the source of a lot of new words for me.

1. zetabetical– “I’d cleaned the bathroom and washed the kitchen floor, taken out the recycling and arranged all the tins in the cupboard so that the labels were facing forwards in zetabetical order.”

I could figure out the meaning of this word but decided to look it up and couldn’t find a formal definition so I’m not sure if it’s a real word or something the author made up.  Either way, I love it.  It means the opposite of alphabetical order.


2. descant – “There was birdsong, a descant over the sounds of a television drifting through an open window.”

In music, descant means an independent treble melody usually sung or played above a basic melody.


3. hamartia – “The flaw in my plan, the hamartia, was this; there were no tickets available.”

Hamartia means a fatal flaw leading to the downfall of a tragic hero or heroine.


What words do you want to celebrate today?

16 Comments leave one →
  1. June 21, 2017 4:55 am

    LOL, maybe she did make it up then 🙂

  2. June 21, 2017 5:57 am

    Zetabetical is a great word!

  3. June 21, 2017 8:12 am

    I knew descant (music teacher in another life, ha). Zetabetical made me laugh – love that!

  4. June 21, 2017 9:01 am

    I should have known descant, but it just wouldn’t come to me. I love the word Zetabetical!

  5. June 21, 2017 9:22 am

    Nope, nope, and nope.

  6. bookingmama permalink
    June 21, 2017 12:32 pm

    I knew none of those!!!

  7. June 21, 2017 1:01 pm

    All new to me.

  8. Beth Hoffman permalink
    June 21, 2017 2:03 pm

    No to all three, but zetabetical made me chuckle.

  9. Patty permalink
    June 21, 2017 3:52 pm

    Zetabetical is an amazing word!

  10. June 22, 2017 5:01 pm

    I guessed zetabetical. Now I need to use it and remember it! Excellent words this week.

  11. Stephanie permalink
    September 19, 2017 3:40 pm

    Me too! I’m reading “Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine” and am also enjoying her vocabulary- in fact, “zetabetical” isn’t even the first word I’ve stopped to look up. I just happened upon this book and I’m probably not going to get anything done today because it’s just so readable…
    If you loved this book, I’m recommending “The Rosie Project” by Graeme Simsion and “600 Hours of Edward” by Craig Lancaster. Both are wonderful- the kind of book you don’t want to come to the end of- and unbelievably! Both have sequels that don’t disappoint. Enjoy. Now back to Eleanor…

  12. Margaret Sedgley permalink
    April 11, 2018 4:35 am

    Zetabetical! Hate this made-up word, we have such a wonderful vocabulary in the English language. Find Gail Honeyman a pretentious writer.

  13. Sharon permalink
    January 24, 2019 4:29 am

    I’m reading it at the moment. Yesterday it had the wonderful ‘rebarbitive’, used in a sentence about something being ‘financially rebarbitive’, meaning ‘off-putting or unattractive’ from the French rebarber meaning ‘to square up to each other beard to beard’! Love it!

  14. Sharon permalink
    January 24, 2019 4:38 am

    Mind you, zetabetical, lovely as it is, is flawed. “beta” is the b that follows the a, so the equivalent at the end of the alphabet should be whatever the equivalent of the letters z and y are in Greek. But that’s just being picky. It’s a great word.

  15. March 6, 2019 8:55 pm

    I’m learning a lot of new words from this book I’m reading called…Eleanor Oliphant is completely fine….and it’s taking me forever to finish just a page or line at a time as I am looking up every word I don’t know…my favorite word so far has been celeriac.

  16. Karen permalink
    March 19, 2019 5:12 pm

    I looked up zetabetical because I’m reading Eleanor O. book!

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