Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Wondrous Words Wednesday (11)

Welcome back, wordy friends!  I hope you all had a wonderful holiday!

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, all from The Uninvited by Liz Jensen. All definitions from

1. mesmeric. "The mesmeric second hand of his watch has a role to play here." 

1. produced by mesmerism; hypnotic.
2. compelling; fascinating.

(I recognized the root in mesmerizing, but had never seen the word in this form.)

2. cochineal. "They'll raid shops for tins, dig for bugs, mill about in their cochineal uniforms until they get discarded or fall apart and they are stinking and dressed in rags and eating insects.

a red dye prepared from the dried bodies of the females of the cochineal insect.

(The uniforms in the novel are bright red.)

3. cagouled. "I glance up: a bulky cagouled figure is standing on the broad concrete walkway above us
. "
from "cagoule", noun
a lightweight usually knee-length type of anorak.

(Apparently this word is French in origin.)

What are your new words this week?

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