Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Wondrous Words Wednesday!

Wondrous Words Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Bermudaonion's Weblog where we share 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.

All words are from Cutting for Stone by Abraham Verghese

"She'd always loved the story of Pasteur's discovery of microbes, or Lister's experiments with antisepsis.". (p.60)

1. Antisepsis (~ noun )
: Prevention of infection by inhibiting or arresting the growth and multiplication of germs (infectious agents). Antisepsis implies scrupulously clean and free of all living microorganisms

(This next sentence provides more info than you may care to know about part of the male anatomy!)

"And then she was thinking of the Frenchman's balls, of rugaeform folds, of the median raphe that separated one bollock from the other, of the dartos muscle, the cells of Sertoli." (p.87)

2. Rugaeform ~ noun
: I had difficulty finding a meaning for this word. wiseGEEK provided the clearest explanation:
: In anatomy “rugae” is a term which refers to the ridges formed by tissue which is naturally folded. Rugae can be found in a number of anatomical structures in the body. The arrangement of the folds can vary from person to person, causing the ridges to look different in different people. Folds in body tissue serve a number of important functions, ranging from protecting reproductive ability to ensuring that someone can eat comfortably

3. Raphe ~ noun
: a seam-like union between two parts or halves of an organ
: a connecting ridge of tissue

4. Dartos ~ noun
: a thin layer of vascular contractile tissue that contains smooth muscle fibers but no fat and is situated beneath the skin of the scrotum or beneath that of the labia majora

5. Sertoli ~noun
: a 'nurse' cell of the testes that is part of a seminiferous tubule.- called the 'mother' or 'nurse cell because its main function is to nurture the developing sperm cells through the stages of spermatogenesis (the process when primary germ cells divide into sperm)

"Much later that night, Mebratu and Ghosh palavered over cognac and cigars.". (p.271 )

6. Palaver ~noun; verb
: a conference or discussion; profuse idle talk, chatter
: a long parley, especially one between primitive natives and European traders, explorers, colonial officials, etc.


  1. What a great collection of words! This sounds like a fun meme - I might have to go over there and take a look.

  2. I've heard palaver before but the other words are new to me. Antisepsis makes perfect sense when you break it down. You're right about that second sentence! LOL

  3. Great words! They don't really make me want to read the book, though.

  4. Lots of good words that I knew nothing about! Thanks for sharing these! I am going to be reading Cutting For Stone soon, and it looks like I am going to need a dictionary to get through it!