Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Wondrous Words Wednesday (33)

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  The Sex Lives of Cannibals by J. Maarten Troost.  
All definitions from

1. peripatetic. "That this occurred I think is less a tribute to the peripatetic colonial officers, who were ordered to administer both the Gilbert and Ellice Islands without the Colonial Office actually providing them with a boat..."   

1. walking or traveling about; itinerant.
2. (with capital letter) of or pertaining to Aristotle, who taught philosophy while walking in the Lyceum of ancient Athens.
3. (with capital letter) of or pertaining to the Aristotelian school of philosophy.
4. a person who walks or travels about.
5. (with capital letter) a member of the Aristotelian school.

For some reason I thought this word had to do with being frustrated or angry.  So this is definitely a new one for me.

2. paroxysm. "Wilson, however, perhaps unaware of the aching sincerity of the I-Kiribati, decided to pass on his sample poem and a letter from the president's personal secretary to Punch, a satirical rag moving ever further from its illustrious past, and this was followed by a media paroxysm that lasted for a full one-day news cycle."

1. any sudden, violent outburst; a fit of violent action or emotion: paroxysms of rage.
2. (in pathology) a severe attack or sudden increase in intensity of a disease, usually recurring periodically.

I'd heard this one before but couldn't pin down the exact meaning.

3. pugnacious. "He has grown very fond of the mynah birds nesting on the roof and as a result I have called a truce with the pugnacious creatures."
inclined to quarrel or fight readily; quarrelsome; belligerent; combative.

I guessed this one based on its context--good fit.

What are your new words this week?


  1. Very interesting "P" words. I had heard of those words before, but must admit I do not use them often.
    Thanks for sharing.

    1. Yes, I feel like I'd heard them all before, but couldn't quite pin the meanings.

  2. paripatetic is really fun to say! LOL

  3. Didn't know the meaning of any of these words, so thanks for the informative post! :)


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