Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Wondrous Words Wednesday 8.18.10

Wondrous Words Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Bermudaonion's Weblog where we share new (to us) words that we’ve encountered in our reading. Feel free to join in the fun (please do!) Be sure to leave a link to your post over at Bermudaonion's Weblog.

These words are from Infinite Jest by David Foster Wallace

"I am debating whether to risk scratching the right side of my jaw, where there is a
wen." (p.4)

1. Wen - noun
:a benign encysted tumor of the skin containing sebaceous (fatty) matter

I included the second definition below because it is a British term and I thought the difference in the definition of wen between the two was very interesting....:

: a large crowded city or crowded urban district. London is the great wen of England.

"Uncle Charles, a truly unparalleled slinger of shit, is laying down an enfilade of same, trying to mollify men who seem way more in need of a good brow-mopping than I." (p.13)

2. Enfilade - noun.
1.gunfire directed from a flanking position along the line of an enemy battle line.
2. a target vulnerable to sweeping gunfire.

"And who could not love that special and leonine roar of a public toilet?" (p.15)

3. Leonine -adj.
:of, relating to, suggestive of or resembling a lion; characteristic of a lion

These words come from the book, The Mother Tongue: English and How it Got That Way by Bill Bryson. There are no seperate sentence using the word because, in the book, Bryson introduces the word and defines it in the same sentence.

1. If you have a morbid fear of peanut butter sticking to the roof of your mouth there is a word for it:

2. There is a word to describe the state of being a woman:

3. Velleity describes a mild desire, a wish or urge too slight to lead to action.


  1. The only one I knew was leonine and I'm not really sure why I knew that. I'm glad I didn't know wen, to be honest! Thanks for participating!

  2. I also knew the meaning of leonine, but the other words are all new to me. I hope you're finding Infinite Jest an absorbing novel. It is on my TBR list (one of these days, one of these days. . .).

  3. Interesting about the peanut butter word. I guess the only reason I would fear it sticking to the roof of my mouth is because then I wouldn't get to eat it!

  4. What wonderful words that you come up with-do you remember them and use any of them again?

  5. I have never heard any of those words before! They were definitely interesting to read about but I doubt I will ever use any of them. They will probably be about as useful to me as the words in my post!
    Thanks for your comment on my post, and for following! Was hoping there was a way to respond to each comment, posting here was about the easiest way!

  6. Great new words to learn!

    And I love the quote you have at the top of your blog by Helen Hayes.

    Have a great day. :)

  7. The sentence that was used for enfilade just made me laugh! I never knew that word about peanut butter so that's totally new to me. Thanks for sharing the great words today!