Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Wondrous Words Wednesday (34)

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 Cooked by Michael Pollan.  
All definitions from

1. quotidian. "As soon as you start down this path of thinking, the quotidian space of the kitchen appears in a startling new light."   

1. daily: a quotidian report.
2. usual or customary; everyday: quotidian needs.
3. ordinary; commonplace: paintings of no more than quotidian artistry.
4. (of a fever, ague, etc) characterized by paroxysms that occur daily.
5. something occurring daily.
6. a quotidian fever or ague.

I like this one.  Such a fancy-sounding word for something so...everyday.

2. declension. "They disdain charcoal as a modern-day declension and sauce as 'a cover-up for bad cooking.'"

1. an act or instance of declining.
2. a bending, sloping, or moving downward: land with a gentle declension toward the sea.
3. deterioration; decline.
4. deviation, as from a standard.

I figured the meaning of this one pretty well from its context, but I don't know if I've ever actually seen it in print before.

3. habilines. "Compared to the apelike habilines from which it evolved, Homo erectus had a smaller jaw, smaller teeth, a smaller gut--and a considerably larger brain."
I couldn't find this one at  An internet search showed that this is a term used for the members of the species Homo habilis, which is thought to be the earliest species (now extinct) in the human genus Homo.  Basically, early humans.

What are your new words this week?


  1. I've heard of quotidian but didn't know the meaning, and the others are new to me.

    1. Ditto re: quotidian, I felt like I should have known it but had no idea of the actual defintion.

  2. All three were new to me, as was the book they came from. I will have to add Cooked to my ever growing TBR list.
    Thanks for sharing.

    1. Yes, Cooked is great!! I hope you enjoy it.

  3. I knew quotidian from our time in France but always struggle to pronounce it. The other words are new to me. I walk on streets with declension every morning.

  4. I have used quotidian in my poetry, know about declension but habilines is new to me.

    Here is my Wondrous Words Wednesday post!

  5. I've seen quotidian so many times, but hadn't looked it up. Glad you listed it!

  6. Wow. Big words. Does this mean the entire book is very cerebral? I might have to wait until I'm getting more sleep... But I have a friend who loved his other book. I love your comment on quotidian. I guess we could have gleaned the meaning from the phrase "status quo"...

    1. Yes, it's pretty cerebral. Maybe wait for more sleep. :) Worth the wait though!

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