Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Wondrous Words Wednesday 41

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!"

OMG - I can't believe that I missed over a month!  I knew that I had been busy, but wow - that really stinks.  WWW is one of my favorite things to do. Bummer.

And of course tonight I am sitting in a basement, away from the huge long list of new words that I have been jotting down, trying to work up at least a small post. Let's see ... 

From The Fifth Elephant by Terry Pratchett ... 

A note was clipped to the next page. He read: "The Fifth Elephant as a metaphor also appears [... I am skipping out a bit here to shorten up this quote...] it can mean 'a thing which does not exist' (as we would say 'Klatchian mist') 'a thing which is other than it seems' and 'a thing which, while unseen, controls events' (in the same way that we would use the term eminence gris)."

I wouldn't, thought Vimes. I don't use words like that. 

So - long quote for the term eminence gris, which I wouldn't use either.

éminence grise /ˌemənəns ˈɡrēz/
A person who exercises power or influence in a certain sphere without holding an official position.
Origin: 1930s: French, literally 'gray eminence'. The term was originally applied to Cardinal Richelieu's gray-cloaked private secretary, Père Joseph (1577–1638).

Cool ! 

Next we have, from the same source, ...

 "There's my point," said Colon triumphantly. "One bad apple ruins the whole barrel!" 

 "I think now there's only a basket now," said the Patrician. "A punnet, possibly."

punnet /ˈpənət/ 
noun British
A small light basket or other container for fruit or vegetables
For example: a punnet of strawberries
Origin Early 19th century: perhaps a diminutive of dialect pun 'a pound'.

And a couple of short ones from Thief of Time by Terry Pratchett

vertiginous /vərˈtijənəs/
1. Causing vertigo, especially by being extremely high or steep:vertiginous drops to the valleys below
1.1Relating to or affected by vertigo.

Origin: Early 17th century: from Latin vertiginosus, from vertigo 'whirling around' (see vertigo).

He heard something pass overhead with a plangent sound. 

plangent /ˈplanjənt/


chiefly literary
(Of a sound) loud, reverberating, and often melancholy.

Origin: Early 19th century: from Latin plangent- 'lamenting', from the verb plangere.

I have to confess, I have no idea quite what that would sound like. 

1 comment:

  1. I struggle with vertigo so I'm sad to say I knew vertiginous. Great words today!


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