Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Wondrous Words Wednesday 39

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!"

Some neat words ...

From When Oil Peaked by Kenneth Deffeyes (long) (of all places) ...

zymurgy \ˈˌmərjē\
:  a branch of applied chemistry that deals with fermentation processes (as in wine making or brewing)  
Origin: mid 19th century: from Greek zumē 'leaven', on the pattern of metallurgy.

"... a much fuller account of our travel from Scirland to Vystrana, is a window into a time all but forgotten now, in this age of railways, fast ships, and caeligers." 

Latin for "heaven supporting" 

Okay, I am having no luck sorting this one out. If someone else has a clue, could you share it in the comments? Clearly this is meant to be a form of mass transport - air ship perhaps? 

"No, you wouldn't ... they are crepuscular hunters, after all. ... Granted, we don't understand very well how it works even with the dragons we've seen..."

crepuscular  \kri-ˈpəs-kyə-lər\

1:  of, relating to, or resembling twilight :  dim <crepuscular light>
2:  occurring or active during twilight <crepuscular insects> <crepuscular activity>  
Origin: : from Latin crepusculum 'twilight' + -ar
First Known Use: 1668 (mid 17th century)

"... as all the gathered villagers ran toward us waving graggers." 
graggers  (aka groggers) 

paraphrased from Wikipedia: A ratchet, or noisemaker (or, when used in Judaism, a gragger or grogger (etymologically from Yiddish: גראַגער) or ra'ashan (Hebrew: רעשן‎)), is an orchestral musical instrument played by percussionists. Operating on the principle of the ratchet device, a gearwheel and a stiff board is mounted on a handle, which rotates freely.

Is that what those things are called ?!? They always fell into the generic category of noisemaker for me, upgraded to "give me that thing before lose my mind" at kids parties.  Of course they never had nice wooden ones, just cheap plastic ones that made a terrible racket.

" the end, Jacob had to teach me how to abseil, which I was not very good at."

abseil   \ˈab-ˌsāl, -ˌsī(-ə)l\

chiefly British
:  rappel
:  to descend (as from a cliff) by sliding down a rope passed under one thigh, across the body, and over the opposite shoulder or through a special friction device
Origin : German abseilen, from ab down, off + Seil rope
First Known Use: 1941
(Origin of Rappel : French, literally, recall, from Old French rapel, from rapeler to recall, from re- + apeler to appeal, call  
First Known Use: 1944)

You could figure this out from context, but I thought it was cool since I had never heard this term used before. I always just repelled down cliffs.  

I also can't help but think they were doing it wrong in the book. Repelling down a cliff face shouldn't result in a bunch of scrapes and bruises. Jacob should have been feeding her the line for a controlled decent and she should just have been bouncing off the cliff face using her feet. Even beginners pick it up quickly. Odd.

Anyhow, I always thought repelling was the best part of climbing - zipping down the rope is one of the closest things there are to flying. Awesome! 

 Happy Wednesday !



  1. You have so many good new words today! I'm going to pick a favorite -- gragger. I like the picture and the mental image of villagers running at me with them. Fun!

  2. Since my husband and son sell beer, I should have known zymurgy!


Hi! I do read all of the comments and want to let you know that I really appreciate your stopping by and taking the time to leave a note. Work has fallen in on me and I have not had enough time to reply coherently lately so I apologize preemptively but still want to assure you that your comments are valued. I am using comment moderation to avoid using more annoying spam avoidance. Thanks for your patience.