Wednesday, August 3, 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.

The words below are from The Foreigners by Maxine Swann:

"But the truth was that, when she was among these people in this walled-in property outside the city, eating the famous Argentine barbecue, nothing touched her soul. She soon realized that it was a false piste."

1. Piste
: a trail, slope, or course for skiing
: a rectangular area for fencing bouts

“Anyway, so what we needed to make it work was a circulatory system, vivifying fluids put in motion, interconnecting the different organs, giving life to the modern state.”

2. Vivify
: to give life to; animate; quicken
: to enliven; brighten; sharpen.

“Others, however, due to the lack of the delicate balance of controls, suddenly grow rampant or metamorphose, a calyx for example hypertrophying.”

3. Hypertrophy
: abnormal enlargement of a part or organ; excessive growth.
: excessive growth or accumulation of any kind.

The following word comes from Cleaning Nabokov's House by Leslie Daniels:

"(What followed was a revolting series of toppings and oozy junk that didn't belong together, the worst culinary miscegenation since the gastronomy expert Mark Bittman gave up fluffernutter as an ingredient in his midnight snacks.)"

4. Miscegenation
: marriage or cohabitation between a man and woman of different races, especially, in the U.S., between a black and a white person.
: interbreeding between members of different races.


  1. The use of piste in that sentence seems rather odd - I guess the author is using it to imply that the walled-in property is rectangular. I did know vivify, but the other words are new to me.

  2. I knew three of them because we use quite the same words in French : piste, vivifier, hypertrophie. But the last one was new to me and a difficult word . Thanks for your explanation !

  3. never heard of these, great words.

  4. I thought the author's use of miscegenation in that context was funny. Now that I know what the word means, I understand what she was trying to say. I guess she thought all those foods together was a bad marriage.

  5. A lot of new words for me here today! I like the word piste for some reason that I can't explain!