Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Wonderous Words Wednesday (5)

BermudaOnion’s Wonderous Words Wednesday challenges us to keep track of unfamiliar words we come across when reading and share the definitions on our blogs.

As promised, all of my words this week have come from Outlander by Diana Gabaldon. This will continue for many weeks, I’m afraid! It’s a good book, but it’s LONG!

Provocateur: (noun) a person who provokes trouble, causes dissension, or the like; agitator.

“Almost an agent provocateur, wouldn’t you say, Dr. Randall?” – page 36

Epaulet: (noun) an ornamental shoulder piece worn on uniforms, chiefly by military officers.

“The buff linings of the turned-back cuffs extended a good six inches up the sleeve, and a small coil of gold braid gleamed from one epaulet.” – page 53

Recalcitrant: (adj.) resisting authority or control; not obedient or compliant; refractory.

“This generally had a good effect on recalcitrant orderlies and young interns, but appeared merely to amuse Captain Randall.” – page 56

Asperity: (noun) harshness or sharpness of tone, temper, or manner; severity; acrimony.

“’I can dress the wound, yes,’ I said with considerable asperity.” – page 64

Runcible: 1871, a nonsense word coined by Edward Lear; used especially in runcible spoon "spoon with three short tines like a fork," which first took the name 1926.

“I’d never tried to eat a herring with a spoon, but I saw nothing resembling a fork, and dimly recalled that runcible spoons would not be in general use for quite a few years yet.” – page 104


bermudaonion said...

Wow, I find the origin of runcible fascinating! Thanks for participating today!

Lisa notes... said...

I'd heard of some of the words, but couldn't have given you a definition if you had asked me. ;-) Thanks for the list.

avisannschild said...

I like the quote for runcible spoon!

Anonymous said...

I knew the first few, but runcible is particularly interesting.

Mo said...

'runcible' is new-to-me, too; interesting origin, that...

Hope you're enjoying your week, my friend.

Jo-Jo said...

These are some great words...I like provocateur. Thanks for stopping by my blog today!

ibeeeg said...

Diana Gabaldon does use some great words throughout her novels!

Pamela said...

runcible is new one for me!

ps. My word verification is HUNSHIM. We should make up a definition for that!