Wednesday, February 27, 2013

~ Wondrous Words Wednesday ~

Wondrous Words Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Bermudaonion's Weblog where we share words we’ve encountered in our reading. Join in the fun and be sure to leave a link to your post over at Bermudaonion.  

Here are some of the words I came across while reading Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell: 

This flag was removed & presented to a chieftain, who wore it proudly until the scrofula took him. 

Scrofula:   {origin: Middle English (1350-1400)}
~ primary tuberculosis of the lymphatic glands, especially those of the neck
( no longer in technical use ) Also formerly called: the king's evil  tuberculosis of the lymphatic glands

Autua subsisted in his Polynesian Eden on wild celery, watercress, eggs, berries, an occasional young boar (he risked fires only under cover of darkness or mist) & the knowledge that Kupaka, at least, had met a condign punishment. 

Condign:  {adj. (origin late Middle English (1375-1425)}
~ Well-deserved; fitting; adequate
Oh, we ate with Ayrs's daughter, too , the young equestrienne I'd glimpsed earlier. Mlle. Ayers is a horsey creature of seventeen with her mama's retroussé nose.

Retroussé: (adj.) (French)
~ (especially of the nose) turned up

This Oriental rug, battered divan, Breton cupboards crammed with music stands,   Bösendorfer grand, carillon, all witnessed the conception and birth of Matryoshka Doll Variations and his song cycle, Society Islands. 

Carillon: (noun) (French)
1. a set of stationary bells hung in a tower and sounded by manual or pedal action, or by machinery.
2. a set of horizontal metal plates, struck by hammers, used in the modern orchestra.

After I’d finished, V.A. kept swinging his head to the rhythm of the disappeared sonata; or maybe he was conducting the blurry, swaying poplars. “Execrable, Frobisher, get out of my house this instant!” would have aggrieved but not much surprised me. 

Execrable: (adj.)
1. utterly detestable; abominable; abhorrent.
2. very bad: an execrable stage performance.


  1. This book intimidates me. Only because so many bloggers have mentioned how difficult it was to get through.

  2. Good words, thanks! for sharing.

  3. All these words are new to me! I started this one, but never finished it because it was so challenging, like Ti said!

  4. I figured this book would have a lot of tough words! The only one I knew was carillon. Thanks for playing along.

  5. This book is a great source of words for this meme! I hope you're enjoying the book.

  6. Now I know why I've struggled with this book!!!! You'll have WWW for weeks to come :-)

  7. Hee hee - my vocab list from this book was crazy! And then I found out that the author actually made up a word or two. :D I did enjoy the experience and am very glad I tackled Cloud Atlas.

  8. I would like to read this book, but like Ti, am a bit intimidated by it.

  9. Hi Amy, I discovered you through TLC book tours! Those words are pretty daunting -- I'd probably just read through and figure it out through context. I'm not one to have a retroussé nose at books :P (that was probably all wrong hahaha)

    Aloi @

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