Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Wondrous Words Wednesday (22)

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 favorite new-to-me words from my recent reads.  
All definitions from

1. diaspora. "Ending the diaspora requires people with a variety of skills and the motivation to use them." (from God Grew Tired of Us by John Bul Dau)  

1. (with initial capital letter)  the   scattering   of   the   Jews   to   countries   outside   of   Palestine   after   the  Babylonian   captivity.
2. (with initial capital letter)  the   body   of   Jews   living   in   countries   outside   Israel.
3. (with initial capital letter)  such countries collectively:  the   return   of   the   Jews   from   the   Diaspora.
4.  any   group   migration   or   flight   from   a   country   or   region.
5.  any   group   that   has   been   dispersed   outside   its   traditional   homeland,   especially   involuntarily,   as  Africans   during   the   trans-Atlantic   slave   trade.

Certainly an appropriate word for the many Sudanese who fleed the country throughout the war.

2. caliphate. "(Spoiler) was the apex of a holy pyramid that had begun when Osama bin Laden initiated a call for victory in the name of Islam and the Wahhabi caliphate." (from The Intercept by Dick Wolf)

The rank, jurisdiction, or government of a caliph.

And a caliph is (after I looked it up) a spiritual leader of Islam.

3. vertiginous. "It is vertiginous following her."  (from Indiscretion by Charles Dubow)
1.  whirling; spinning;   rotary:   vertiginous currents of air.
2.  affected with vertigodizzy.
3.  liable or threatening to cause vertigo a vertiginous climb.
4 .  apt   to   change   quickly;   unstable:   a vertiginous economy.

I guess I should have been able to figure this one out from the root (vertigo)...didn't realize it until I saw the definition!

What are your new words this week?


  1. I learnt diaspora a few years ago, it's a great word, very useful. Vertiginous is a great word too. Calliphate was new for me too.

  2. Diaspora is familiar to me but I couldn't define it. I am going to try to remember it now. The only word I knew is vertiginous and that's only because I suffer from vertigo from time to time.

  3. New words for me today.

  4. I've posted on vertiginous too! And thanks for doing the extra step of telling us what a caliph is (and admitting to your own need to look it up!)

  5. Diaspora was the only one I knew. The other two are quite the mouthful.

  6. Caliphate was new to me. I'm not sure I'll ever have use of it!

  7. All these words are very new to me (which has me thinking that I should read outside of my usual category). For some reason, I particularly like vertiginous.


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