Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Wondrous Words Wednesday (7)

Word Nerd Time!

Wondrous Words Wednesday is hosted by BermudaOnion each week. It's an opportunity to share new words you've encountered in your reading, or highlight words that you particularly enjoy.

Here are three of my favorites new-to-me words from some of my recent reads. All definitions from

1. rictus. "Kelly looked at me, lips drawing back in a smile that looked more like a rictus." (from Deadline by Mira Grant)

1. the gape of the mouth of a bird.
2. the gaping or opening of the mouth.

2. palimpsest. "'Have to what?' he asked, staring at the dark palimpsest of beard on his head of department's lower face that threatened to seep through the aging surface of his skin and re-form its former glory." (from The Light of Amsterdam by David Park)

a parchment or the like from which writing has been partially or completely erased to make room for another text.   (really interesting use of the word by the author!)

3. jobsworth. "'What a jobsworth,' Shannon hissed at her.  'A little power and it goes to their head.'" (from The Light of Amsterdam by David Park)
a person in a position of minor authority who invokes the letter of the law in order to avoid any action requiring initiative, cooperation, etc.

What are your new words this week?


  1. Didn't know these, liked rictus, it remines me of the Grinches smile.

  2. That's a perfect way to describe it!!

  3. :) i just read the word rictus too and had put it in my list to use for a future WWW! i loved it as well. the other two - i did not know the meanings though i jobsworth sounds familar

  4. Palimpsest is a little confusing...must be me.

    THANKS for the great words.

    I never find good words. :) Just checking out everyone else's words.

    Silver's Reviews
    My Blog

  5. I knew rictus but wow, palimpsest and jobsworth are exciting new words to me. Palimsest was initially confusing but as I re-read the definition, I agree with you ... very creative use by the author.
    Thanks for stopping by my blog, by the way.

  6. I've actually looked up palimpsest before and can remember it's meaning when I see it but could never remember it to use it. I really like jobsworth - it kind of sounds like what it means.

  7. @Elizabeth, the way I read it, I think the author meant that the man's face looked like the beard had been shaven and was now growing back like a piece of paper whose words had been erased, and are now being replaced by other words. Does that make any sense?

    @bermudaonion, I loved jobsworth as well. The characters are Irish in the novel and I'm wondering if it is more commonly used there.

  8. What a fun meme! I didn't know these words existed, much less what they meant before I stopped over. Thank you.

    Following you back via GFC :)

  9. I'm not sure I like 'rictus' Just sounds kinda funny in that sentence. A friend and I were talking about the word 'guffaw' a while back, and now it seems like I keep reading it everywhere! Now that's a fun word to say. :)

  10. I've seen palimpsest before, but never taken the time to look up the meaning. I work with quite a number of jobsworths....

  11. @Kara, love guffaw, I don't get to use that enough!

    @Louise, I do as well...unfortunately. Ha.


Imagination Designs