Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Wondrous Words Wednesday (18)

Welcome back, wordy friends!

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 Indiscretion by Charles Dubow. All definitions from

1. postlapsarian. "No one looks at anyone as we hurriedly pull our clothes over our wet bodies.  Our mood is postlapsarian."

occurring or being after the Fall.

This word perfectly describes the somber, post-revelry mood at this point in the book.

2. pareo (pareu). "Maddy says nothing but smiles and removes her old green cotton pareo, the one she bought years ago in Spain."

a length of cloth, especially of brightly colored print, wrapped on the body like a lavalava and worn by women as a cover-up, skirt, dress, or the like.

Apparently this is a Tahitian word, as a lavalava is the primary item of dress for people living in Samoa.

3. escritoire. "Matching bureaus, a dressing table with my great-grandmother's silver-backed Tiffany hairbrushes still on it, a fireplace, an escritoire, a pair of Louis XV armchairs."

writing desk.

I kind of guessed this one (ecrire is the French verb for "write") but I'd never seen this word used before.

What are your new words this week?


  1. Great words today! I know exactly what a pareo is and find it interesting that it's wrapped around the body like a lavalava. I'm off to look up lavalava because I want to use that word!

  2. Very interesting words. I was familiar with pareo and escritoire (easier if you've taken French, I think), but postlapsarian was new to me.

  3. Interesting words, thanks! for sharing them.

  4. Thank you so much for explaining "lavalava"! With my Spanish experience, I could get escritoire- they are both based on Latin. So helpful for deciphering new words. Thanks Kelly!

  5. Postlapsarian? This word seems amazing, especially since it's related to the Fall (my favorite season). This seems like a moody, deep read... can't wait to read your review!

    PS - For some reason, when I clicked the link through Mr. Linky on Bermuda Onion's blog, it said the page couldn't be found. Just wanted to give you the heads up! :)

  6. My favorite word on your list is escritoire. It just sounds so classy. I'm going to give it a try with my husband. "I have a little work to do at my escritoire, dear." Fun.

  7. Margot, let me know how that goes...haha! :)


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