Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Wondrous Words Wednesday

Every Wednesday BermudaOnion hosts Wondrous Words Wednesday, and asks everyone to share "new to you" words you've found in the course of your weekly reading adventures. To take a look at more wondrous words, or to contribute some yourself, please visit Bermudaonion's Weblog.

My words all come from the book I finished last week, The Way Through the Woods by Colin Dexter. It's one of his Chief Inspector Morse mystery series. And Morse, of course, is a lover of crossword puzzles, and anagrams, and acrostics, and just about anything having to do with words and language. So the books almost always include a few terms I've never encountered before. These are the ones I found this time. I've only included the sentences they were found in when I thought they might be helpful - in most instances, seeing the words in context doesn't really add any enlightenment. And, of course, I had to be careful not to reveal any "spoilers."

brachycephalic - short-headed or broad-headed with a cephalic index of over 80
(That would probably be a little more meaningful if I knew anything at all about cephalic indices.)

concoloration - no definition found, but concolor - of the same color; of uniform color

"Morse looked at her eyes, and for a few seconds looked deeply into her eyes - and saw a hazel-green concoloration there. . . ."

paronomasia - a Greek term for a play on words; a pun

synoptically - adverb of synoptic/synoptical: 1) affording a general view of a whole; 2) manifesting or characterized by comprehensiveness or breadth of view; 3) presenting or taking the same or common view; specifically often capitalized: of or relating to the first three Gospels of the New Testament; 4) relating to or displaying conditions (as of the atmosphere or weather) as they exist simultaneously over a broad area

"It was necessary to stand away, to see things in perspective, to look synoptically at the problem."
(I knew about the "relating to the first three Gospels" definition, but didn't realize it had so many other applications.)


  1. Great words, although I wish you'd given us the sentences they were found in. It's fun to see them used in context!

  2. Oh my gosh - those are all great words, but they are all mouthfuls, too. Thanks for playing along this week.

  3. Wow...those are some amazing words! Thanks for sharing them

  4. Good words, and I just know that I'll never remember any of 'em!

  5. avisannschild--
    Thanks. And oops! Yes, I've added a couple of sentences. Had to be careful, though, because most of the words came from passages that might reveal a little too much about the mystery!

  6. This detective sure likes big words. I'm not familiar with the series but it sounds fun, based on the words.

    -Margot @ Joyfully Retired

  7. Thanks, Joy! I hadn't thought about that problem!

  8. These are all foreign to me!

    Before Bermudaonion started her WWW meme, would you have skipped these monster words, or would you have stopped to figure out (context or dictionary) what they mean?

  9. Dawn--
    Good question. I've always been sort of a grammar geek, so I probably would have stopped to look up quite a few. But if it's a word I can figure out by context, then I might be tempted just to read over it.


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