Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Wondrous Words Wednesday!

Wondrous Words Wednesday is a terrific 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.

The first three words are from The Widow's Story by Joyce Carol Oates:

It's as if a scrim has descended over the world. On this scrim, the memory of Ray. (p.186)

1. Scrim ~noun.
:a cotton or linen fabric of open weave used for bunting, curtains, etc.
:an open-weave muslin or hessian fabric, used in upholstery, lining, building, and in the theatre to create the illusion of a solid wall or to suggest haziness, etc, according to the lighting.

Now that the volume of sympathy letters and cards has abated - and I have not had a “sympathy gift basket” from Harry & David for weeks - it seems that this other sort of mail, that might be called supplicatory, if not precatory, is increasing at an alarming rate. (p.320)

2. Supplicatory (supplicate) ~verb.
: to pray humbly; make humble and earnest entreaty or petition
: to seek or ask for by humble entreaty.
: to make a humble request to (someone); plead

3. Precatory ~adj.
: of, pertaining to, characterized by, or expressing entreaty or supplication
: of, involving, or expressing entreaty

The following words are from Villette by Charlotte Bronte:

On the contrary, he offered me up as an oblation, served me as a dripping roast, making me alight in the midst of a throng of watermen. (p.54)

4. Oblation ~noun
: the offering to god of the elements of bread and wine in the Eucharist
: the act of making an offering, especially to a deity
: any offering for religious or charitable uses

These sudden, dangerous natures - sensitive as they are called - offer many a curious spectacle to those whom a cooler temperament has secured from participation in their angular vagaries. (p.12)

5. Vagary ~noun.
: an unpredictable or erratic action, occurrence, course, or instance
: a whimsical, wild, or unusual idea, desire, or action.


  1. Those are new to me although I kind of figured supplicatory out because of supplication. Thanks so much for playing along!

  2. I love the word scrim! I hadn't heard it used before, so I wasn't sure what it meant, but now I do! Thanks for sharing this with me!