October 19, 2011

Words, Words, Words

My goodness, I'm overflowing with fascinating words today!  I finished The Know-It-All between last week's post and this one, and it's always a good source of new vocabulary.  The surprise source this week was the sweet little book called Betsy-Tacy and Tib, which contained a number of new words for me just because they've passed out of common use.  Let us dive into the sea of loquacity,* shall we?

*I learned this one years ago from The Pickwick Papers; it just means wordy or talkative.

1.  sybaritic--Apparently, Sybaris was an ancient Greek city inhabited entirely by people with a reputation throughout the ancient world for their abandoned self-indulgence.  If the rest of the ancient Greeks (not counting the Spartans, of course) thought they took things a bit too far, I can only imagine what a Friday night was like in Sybaris!

2.  limnologist--Someone who makes a career out of studying lakes.  Did you know this job existed?  I guess I sort of did, but I never thought about what the title for it would be.

3.  selenographist--Someone who makes a career out of studying/mapping the moon.  Don't you think this would have been a frustrating job to have before the age of space flight?

4.  claque--This was a laugh track before the invention of sound recording.  People were paid to go to the theater and make the appropriate sounds--clapping, laughter, tears--at the appropriate points in the performance, to encourage those around them to do the same.

5.  axilla--Believe it or not, this is the medical term for "armpit."

6.  erythrocyte--"Red blood cell" to people who just need extra syllables in their lives--like doctors.

7.  insertion--We all know what this means, right?  Except it also has another meaning I'd never heard of.  It refers to decorations worked into a garment, of which Betsy, Tacy, and Tib were very proud.








8.  saleratus--Baking soda.  End of bulletin.

The things we learn on Wondrous Words Wednesdays!

2 comments:

  1. Hello JNCL,

    Thanks for stopping by Fiction Books and saying 'Hi'.

    It is always good to 'talk' with new people and your comments are always welcome.

    This is a series of books and an author that I have not come across before and I can't believe what a beautiful little series they are.

    I can't believe that your words were taken from a book, whose target audience is 9-12 year olds, although it probably makes perfect sense when it is taken into account that these are words which are seldom, if ever, employed in modern day usage.

    I knew of Sybaritic and the dual meaning of Insertion, as my sister-in-law is a dress designer and seamstress.

    Your remaining words are all new to me and I enjoyed reading and learning about them. There are a couple of good ones amongst them, which could quite feasibly be slipped into everyday conversation, without appearing too contrived, so I shall be on the lookout for just such an opportunity.

    Thanks for a really interesting post.

    Yvonne

    ReplyDelete
  2. Great great words ! I just knew "claque", the same in French and sybaritc for the same reason but selenographist and limnologist, never !

    ReplyDelete

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