Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Wondrous Words Wednesday (5)

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. cenotaph. "Thousands of gravestones and cenotaphs on both sides." (from This Is How You Lose Her by Junot Diaz)

a sepulchral monument erected in memory of a deceased person whose body is buried elsewhere.

2. pulchritude. "...but unlike your average hood hottie Pura seemed not to know what to do with her fineness, was sincerely lost in all the pulchritude ." (from This Is How You Lose Her by Junot Diaz)

physical beauty; comeliness.

3. tropism. "The human tropism toward illusionary time-saving devices has been the topic of a lot of studies since the Risinig." (from Feed by Mira Grant)
an orientation of an organism to an external stimulus, as light, especially by growth rather than by movement.

What are your new words this week?


  1. I didn't really notice new words, but am impressed by yours!
    The only word (of the three) I could derive myself was 'Pulchritude' from the Latin word 'Pulcher', which means beautiful.
    Nice post!

  2. I did not know cenotaph! That is a good one... Now if I could only figure out how to work it into my conversation today... ;)

  3. Hi Kelly,

    Cenotaph is quite topical here in the UK this week, as it is a place in many cities, towns and villages throughout the country, where we assemble at the 11th hour, on the 11th day, of the 11th month, to place red poppy wreaths, to remember the fallen of all the great wars in which we and the other Commonwealth countries, have been involved.

    It is officially called Remembrance Day and marks the date and time when the Armistice was signed, which ended World War 1

    I also knew tropism, but pulchritude is new to me and just how I am going to work that one into a conversation eludes me right now!


  4. Pulchritude is the only one i knew today.

  5. I've seen lots of cenotaphs but didn't know they had a special name. Now I do. Thanks.

  6. These are all new to me, but I like pulchritude (I had to scroll up to make sure I spelled it right! lol). I may just have to see if I can work that into a sentence someday, if only to see the other persons face once they hear it. :D

  7. I would never have guessed the meaning of pulchritude - it sounds like the opposite of its meaning to me. Thanks for playing along!

  8. Yvonne, thank you for that info! I had no idea. Interesting stuff.

    BermudaOnion, I agree with you--pulchritude does not sound at all like its intended meaning!

  9. Kelly- Thanks for introducing me to this fun weekly word nerd event. Clearly, I need to participate! I'll be back (and I'm with you and Bermuda Onion on the pulchritude- the word makes me want to wrinkle my nose in disgust!)

  10. Julia, I did think of you when I first starting participating...this is right up your alley! :)


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