Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Wondrous Words Wednesday 22

Wondrous Words Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Kathy at the Bermuda Onion where you "can share new words that you’ve encountered or spotlight words you love. Feel free to get creative!

This week is Bout of Books and so far I haven't been thrilled to pieces with the books I have read, but I still have a few words to throw out there ...

From The Irish Game ...

... Hill came into Oslo on the British Airways flight from London, larger than life, turned out in Gap khakis and a blazer, a perfect vision of American vraisemblance.

(of hypothesis) likelihood; (of situation, explanation) plausibility

Ah - this wasn't making much sense until I backed up and re-read the bit where Charley Hill is introduced. He isn't American - he was born in Britain to American and English parents, was a boy in rural England, went to high school in the US, fought in Vietnam (it doesn't say as what) and then went to Dublin. Thus this is a fancy way of saying that he could pass as an American or he had verisimilitude as an American - what overwrought language. 

From What We Found in the Sofa and How it Saved the World by Henry Clark


noun \ˈha-sək\
1: a cushion that you kneel on while praying
2: a cushion or soft stool that is used as a seat or for resting your feet 
Origin: Middle English, sedge, from Old English hassuc

1: A thick, firmly padded cushion, in particular.
  1a. A footstool
  1b. A cushion for kneeling on in church.
2: A firm clump of grass or matted vegetation in marshy or boggy ground.

This one lost me because I couldn't think of the difference between a hassock and an ottoman. "The ottoman is generally a large, padded stool that usually is also covered in fabric. One of the defining characteristics of this piece of furniture is its ability to store things inside." A hassock is also covered in fabric, traditionally so extensive that no legs or framing are visible, unlike an ottoman. The hassock also doesn't have a storage space, so they tend to been smaller than an ottoman.

Also from What We Found in the Sofa ... we have


"Achromatopsia is a non-progressive and hereditary visual disorder which is characterized by decreased vision, light sensitivity, and the absence (i.e. complete lack) of color vision. In the U.S. it affects about 1 in every 33,000 people.

Achromatopsia is sometimes called ‘Day Blindness’, as these children see better in subdued light. Children with complete Achromatopsia will have reduced vision (20/200 or less) due to an abnormality of the retina. They also have no color vision, sensitivity to light (photophobia) and the presence of nystagmus (shaking of the eyes). Children with incomplete or partial Achromatopsia may have better vision (20/120 to 20/80)."

Achromatopsia and red-green color blindness are not the same thing. People with red-green color blindness have otherwise normal visual acuity and they do not have complete lack of color perception.

Finally from Traveling the Silk Road I have

A Roman maenad dressed in silk.  


In Greek mythology, maenads (Ancient Greek: μαινάδες, mainádes) were the female followers of Dionysus. Their name literally translates as "raving ones". Often the maenads were portrayed as inspired by him into a state of ecstatic frenzy, through a combination of dancing and alcohol intoxication.

Naples National Museum.


  1. Hassock was the only one I knew. I would have guessed vraisemblance wrong.

  2. I know hassock but the rest are new and are wonderful finds.


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