Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Wondrous Words Wednesday (23)

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. caesura. "...although she talks openly and easily about being a child and about her life with my grandfather, there is a caesura in the time line of her life, a break of years, a derailment."  (from The Storyteller by Jodi Picoult)  

1. (in poetry) a break, especially a sense pause, usually near the middle of a verse, and marked in scansion by a double vertical line, as in know then thyself  presume not God to scan.
2. (in poetry) a division made by the ending of a word within a foot, or sometimes at the end of a foot, especially in certain recognized places near the middle of a verse.
3. any break, pause, or interruption.

Oooh I like this one.  Pretty word and it's cool that it's not being used in the usual way.

2. etiolated. "He looked so small and etiolated."  (from Indiscretion by Charles Dubow)

verb (etiolate)
1. to cause (a plant) to whiten or grow pale by excluding light: to etiolate celery.
2. to cause to become weakened or sickly; drain of color or vigor.
3. (of plants) to whiten or grow pale through lack of light.

I have been really impressed by Dubow's creative use of words.  This highlights that yet again.

3. august. "We looked at the venerable stream not in the vivid flush of a short day that comes and departs for ever, but in the august light of abiding memories."  (from Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad)
1. inspiring reverence or admiration; of supreme dignity or grandeur; majestic: an august performance of a religious drama.
2. venerable; eminent: an august personage.

And I here thought August was just a month!

What are your new words this week?


  1. I know august, but the others were new for me too.

  2. More design changes! I like this one- the block letters are easier to read. I'd love to know how you got those great buttons for facebook, goodreads, etc in the upper right side bar.
    I'm with Louise. I knew august (it might be pronounced differently than the month, with stress on the last syllable), but not the others. I too like how Jody Piccoult used a poetic term to describe something else. In the book I just finished, A Good American, Alex George often used musical terms to describe other things, like "a coda in their lives" or "walked with staccato-like gait." Good words!

    1. Julia, I wish I could tell you how to do the buttons--Lori (the designer) put those in. I always eyed them with envy on other blogs!
      I love it when authors are creative in their use of normally subject-specific words. That use of coda is great.

  3. I thought August was just a month also, good words.

  4. These definitions were all new to me. I feel like I learned a lot today! I may start using august as an adjective just for fun :) This has inspired me to start making a list of words I stumble on in my reading that are unique. Great post!
    Rebecca @ The Key to the Gate

    1. Be careful Rebecca, you will soon end up with a LOOOONG list...haha. I have a memo on my phone that I keep updating as I read. It's crazy how quickly that list grew!

  5. I had heard of the last 2 words, but wasn't sure of the meaning of etiolated - thanks :-)
    I assumed caesura would have something to do with a type of child birth!

    1. Funny, I hadn't thought of that! But I can see why.

  6. August - both definitions - I knew but not the other two.

  7. August was the only one I knew. Great words today!

  8. Etiolated was new to me - great word!


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