wondrous words

These new words (including some I\’ve seen before, but was unsure of their exact meaning) came from Enslaved by Ducks:

Bovid– \” \’I had no idea,\’ I marveled, still stricken by the bovid apparition.\”
Definition: Of the family Bovidae, which includes hoofed, hollow-horned ruminants such as cattle, sheep and goats (I had to look this one up because I thought bovine were just cattle. I didn\’t know it also meant sheep and goats)

Filbert– \”His smorgasboard included Cheerios, freshly grated filberts, succulent garden peas, sweet corn sliced off the cob each morning, and an occasional dollop of pasta.\”
Definition: A hazelnut

Hokum– \”I like to think that my decisions in life are guided by the rudder of common sense rather than blown willy-nilly by folkloric hokum and balderdash.\”
Definition: Something that is nonsense, untrue (balderdash has almost exactly the same meaning)

Sebum– \”Weaver would land on my head and gleefully begin drilling for dander and sebum.\”
Definition: Oily substance secreted by the sebaceous glands, naturally lubricates your hair

Bromeliad, Docent– \”Truly he belonged in the open sky or, at the very least, in a large aviary packed with palm trees, bromeliads and docents.\”
B– a type of tropical american plant with long, stiff leaves (including pineapples)
D– a tour guide (or professor)

Mesmer, Grommet, Phlogiston– \”Here and there a flanged mesmer valve or grommeted phlogiston regulator emerged from the heaped earth like a Chichen Itzan artifact, but the body of the antique pump remained hidden.\”
M- Mesmer was an Austrian physician in the 1700\’s. I still don\’t know a mesmer valve is
G- an eyelet reinforced with metal or plastic
P- an imaginary element formerly once believed to be the substance of fire

And these words are from Kon-Tiki:

Mole– \”I intentionally stopped the car a long way off and walked the whole length of the mole to stretch my legs thoroughly for the last time for no one knew how long.\”
Definition: a stone wall built in the sea as a breakwater

Dolphin-\”…when a big flying fish thudded on board we used it as bait and at once pulled in two large dolphins weighing from twenty to thirty-five pounds each. This was food for several days.\”
Definition: a large, brightly colored marine game fish with a steep blunt forehead and a long continuous dorsal fin (also called dolphinfish or mahi-mahi)

Philologist– \”… philologists have pointed out that on all the widely scattered South Sea islands the name of the sweet potato is kumara, and kumara is just what the sweet potato was called among the old Indians in Peru.\”
Definition: a classical scholar or student of the liberal arts

Pelagic– \”And so the Kon-Tiki soon began to swarm with stowaways. They were small pelagic crabs.\”
Definition: of ocean waters, especially those far from land

Check out Wondrous Words Wednesdays on Bermudiaonion\’s weblog for more new vocab!

10 Responses

  1. I discovered \”hokum\” a few years ago and decided I needed to work it into as many ridiculous conversations as possible. Unfortunately, that hasn\’t gone quite as well as I\’d hoped… Still, always cool to read these posts.

  2. Bermudaonion- I don\’t think I could say \”hokum\” out loud without laughing.Carrie K- I\’m curious, did you call them filberts? or hazelnuts? The latter word is so much more familiar to me.Anonymous Child- I\’m giggling now. See my reply to Bermudaonion.Carolsnotebook- I wonder if they will work their way into my everyday vocabulary. Maybe.Aviannschild- More than I usually do!

  3. We called them filberts – they\’re in the same hazelnut family, but actually larger than the hazelnuts we see in chocolates and such.

  4. Ha! \”Filbert\” popped up at dinner last night. A woman used it, and the guy across the table accused her of making up the word. He persisted, and she was so patient…she didn\’t stab him with a fork!

  5. Carrie K.- so they are a different variety! I thought it was just another word for the same thing.Bybee- that\’s pretty funny. I would have pulled out a dictionary to prove my usage!

  6. I didn\’t know that dolphin fish were also called mahi-mahi! I\’ve been trying to figure out what mahi-mahi is. I remember the first time I went to a fishing tournament on South Padre and seeing the dolphin fish and being very confused that they weren\’t actual dolphins (that we think of).

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