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Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Wondrous Words Wednesday {4-29-09}

Wondrous Words Wednesday is a weekly meme where we share new (to us) words that we’ve encountered in our reading. Feel free to join in the fun.
My words for this week come from two different books. The first comes from page 377 of Follow Me by Joanna Scott. The rest come from The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane by Katherine Howe; they come from the ARC version and therefore the sentences may differ from the published version which is due to be released Friday May 22.
1) ameliorate- "Well, here she was, too late to ameliorate her brother's contempt for her."
verb -- to make (something) better

2) maleficium- "Interestingly, research into the kinds of maleficium ... which witches were usually accused of reveals how narrow the colonial world really was for average people."
(could not find a definition for this one...)

3) antediluvian- "Grace had mentioned that the house was old, but she had never suggested how old: it was practically antediluvian, handmade cy craftsman using the same techniques carried over from late medieval England."
adjective -- Extremely old and antiquated.

4) obfuscations- "She was taken aback; Liz, as always, had a way of clearing aside her obfuscations to articulate what Connie herself was not able to say."
as a verb -- To make so confused or opaque as to be difficult to perceive or understand

5) Sisyphean "The library had begun a campaign to place the most delicate volumes on microfilm, locking the original objects away from the oily fingers of prying students, but the task was Sisyphean."
adjective -- 1. Greek Mythology Of or relating to Sisyphus.
Endlessly laborious or futile
Wondrous Words Wednesday is hosted by Bermudaonion. Here is the link to today's post. "What new words have you discovered lately?"


avisannschild said...

You're not the only one to be posting words from The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane this week! I recognize maleficium from someone else's post. I actually knew all your other words! (Antediluvian is my fave -- it rolls off the tongue so well.)

Jess said...

What fantastically difficult words. I am really looking forward to reading both of these books.

bermudaonion said...

According to Wikipedia, maleficium is mischief or harmful magic, which seems to fit the sentence. Thanks for playing along.

avisannschild said...

OK, I'm officially reading too fast, because I didn't even notice that you hadn't found a definition for maleficium! Eek!

jlshall said...

Wonderfully obscure words! And I'm very excited to see that you've discovered a word that describes me perfectly - antediluvian!

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