Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Wondrous Words Wednesday (41)

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 Uninvited by Liz Jensen.  
All definitions from

1. eiderdown. "Meteorologists confirmed that a conjunction of volcanic eruptions near Iceland and Japan had dimmed the stratosphere, stifling Europe with an eiderdown of ash."  

1. down, or soft feathers, from the breast of the female eider duck.
2. a heavy quilt or comforter, especially one filled with eiderdown.
3. a warm, lightweight knitted or woven fabric of wool, cotton, or man-made fibers, napped on one or both sides, used for sleepwear, infant's clothing, etc.

I actually came across this word in one of Small Fry's books recently too.  Basically, a specific type of blanket.

2. subsidence. "Subsidence has skewed the gravestones so that barely any stand at right angles."

This is a noun form of the verb "subside", one meaning of which is "to sink to a low or lower level."

When I first read this, I thought it has something to do with the word "subsidize" just based on the look of the word...but never occurred to me that it was linked with "subside", which is pretty easy to figure out.

3. bladderwrack. "Twenty or thirty of them are coming into view, shoaling by the black stone, naked or in rags, with clumps of salty bladderwrack on their heads and wet ribbons of seaweed or strings of bones around their necks."
any of several seaweeds of the genera  Fucus  and  Ascophyllum esp  F. vesiculosus that grow in the  intertidal regions of rocky shores and have branched brown fronds with air bladders.

Super fun word for seaweed!  Nice!

What are your new words this week?


  1. There is an episode of Gimmee Gimmee Gimmee (a 90s British comedy) where this is mentioned and I have been wondering for years what an eiderdown was!! I don't know why I never looked it up.

    1. Haha, now you know! Always happy to save people a little dictionary work. :)

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