Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Wondrous Words Wednesday: July's Words

Here are some words I came across in my reading within the past month. Check out this post to find more from other bloggers.

My favorite (I had no clue what this meant until I looked it up.)

synecdoche (si-nek-duh-ke), noun

a figure of speech in which a part is used for the whole (or the whole for the part); or the special is used to represent the general , or the general for the special.

Example: ten sail for ten ships, or a Croesus for a rich man

It [the veil] serves as a synecdoche for extremism and the oppression of women in the name of religion, even though most Muslim women do not wear it and many of those who do consider it to be protected by constitutional guarantees of religious freedom.

from "Visible through the veil: the regulation of Islam in American law" by Kathleen M. Moore in Sociology of Rreligion 2007, 68:3, 237-251.

The following are from My Friend Muriel by Jane Duncan

gallimaufry (noun) 

a confused jumble or medley of things.
I decided to spend seven days with Muriel for a whole conglomeration or gallimaufry of reasons and motives. from My friend Muriel by Jane Duncan

propitious (adjective)

giving or indicating a good chance of success; favorable: the timing for such a meeting seemed propitious. 

You could stop as often as you liked, and on a propitious day the Strip of Herbage could take you a whole afternoon to see it properly.

erroneous (adjective) 

wrong; incorrect

policies (plural of policy) noun

This is a usage I'm not familiar with, but from (Scotland, now chiefly in the plural)
The grounds of a large country house[from 18th c.]

They roamed about the Poyntdale policies and Home Farm.

Many of the following are musically related, and all come from the dystopian novel The Chimes by Anna Small. 

amabile (adverb)

music in a tender loving style

At Matins the Carillon sounds Onestory piano - quiet, amabile. Onestory is antiphony: question and answer, call and response.

antiphony (noun)

alternate or repsonsive singing (see quote above)

solfege (solfège)
A method of sight singing that uses the syllables do (originally ut), remifasol (or so), la, and si (or ti) to represent the seven principal pitches of the scale, most commonly the major scale

In The Chimes, solfege seems to be sign language to help people sing.

It is the melody simple first. We follow in solfege. Hands in concert as the sky is carved by it: Soh, Fah, Me . . . .

Lucien makes the solfege, spells it out by hand so that we see it and hear it inside at the same time.

subito: immediately, suddenly

I walk toward it like it's calling my name. And then subito I am running.

tacet:  silent 

I nod. But I am tacet.
There is tacet in the storehouse for awhile.
A look with a tacet agreement in it.

And then there's the following word, but I'm going to have to do a post about this book, so I'll just give you the dictionary definition without discussing the role this element plays in the story.

palladium (pə-lā′dē-əm)
noun, plural palladia; chemical symbol is Pd

 A soft, ductile, lustrous gray-white, tarnish-resistant, metallic element occurring naturally with platinum, especially in gold, nickel, and copper ores. Because it can absorb large amounts of hydrogen, it is used as a purification filter for hydrogen and a catalyst in hydrogenation. It is alloyed for use in electric contacts, jewelry, nonmagnetic watch parts, and surgical instruments.

In The Chimes, the main character, Simon, and his associates scavenge the River for palladium, which they sell to the Order for use in building the Carillon.

From Hostile takeover by Susan Schwartz

 queep (noun):

The sound a bird may make, similar to peep, chirp, cheep.
The sound a machine may make, similar to beep.
US military slang: non-flying duties, typically paperwork, that are undesirable to pilots

Collimate: (verb)

to make (rays of light or particles) accurately parallel
"a collimated electron beam"
The word "collimate" comes from the Latin verb collimare, which originated in a misreading of collineare, "to direct in a straight line".
Collimation" refers to all the optical elements in an instrument being on their designed optical axis. It also refers to the process of adjusting an optical instrument so that all its elements are on that designed axis (in line and parallel).

That's it for me!


  1. Wow, you found a lot of words. I'm familiar with one of them - erroneous. I'm not sure what that says about me.

    1. It may say more about my reading than about you . . . Thanks for hosting this meme.

  2. That's a good list of new-to-you words. My favorite is gallimaufry. I'm going to try to use that in my regular language.

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  4. A great list of words, some new to me and some familiar.
    I've seen synecdoche before but I never bothered to learn what it was. Thanks!
    Propitious and erroneous are two of my favorite words. :]

    1. I had to look up synedoche this time to make sure I understood the sentence it was in.

      Thanks for stopping by.

    2. I had to look up synedoche this time to make sure I understood the sentence it was in.

      Thanks for stopping by.