Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Wondrous Words Wednesday-May 12

Bermudaonion asks you to share new words that you have learned during your reading adventures in the last week. Feel free to join in the fun!

Since I am still reading Black Hills by Dan Simmons I have a few more new words that I have learned:

Cuspidor: a large bowl, often of metal, serving as a receptacle for spit, esp. from chewing tobacco: in wide use during the 19th and early 20th centuries.

Here is how cuspidor was used on page 219:
There is a floral-pattern carpet and, in a corner, a huge brass cuspidor that is emptied regularly.

Trunnion: either of the two cylindrical projections on a cannon, one on each side for supporting the cannon on its carriage.
Any of various similar supports for machinery.

Here is how trunnion was used on page 220:
These here steel posts we're hangin' from-trunnions, they're called-could hold ten times the weight of this fine car, even if we were fully loaded.

Harbinger: anything that foreshadows a future event; omen; sign: Frost is a harbinger of winter.

Here is how harbinger was used on page 250:
Are the Fat Takers so ignorant of the universe that they don't see blackness itself-sapa-as a harbinger of holiness, as in the paha sapa to their south as they huddle here in the night rain?

Tautological: needless repetition of an idea, esp. in words other than those of the immediate context, without imparting additional force or clearness, as in “widow woman.”

Here is how tautoligical was used on page 314:
"That name is a bit tautological, isn't it, Mr. William Slow Horse?"

Although this book is taking me quite a while to get through, it is so full of American history that I am really trying to savor every aspect of it.  From the battles on the soil of the Black Hills, the creation of Mount Rushmore to the construction of the Brooklyn Bridge there is much to learn within the pages of Black Hills.


So did you learn any new words this week?

5 comments:

Margot at Joyfully Retired said...

Tautological is new to me and a rather interesting word too. I'm going to have to pay attention to the words I find and see if they fit the definition.

PeachyTO said...

Great words. I only knew harbinger.

I would certainly hope that most cuspidor's would be emptied regularly. :-S

I have my post here if you're interested.

Julie P said...

Wow! That sounds like quite a difficult read!

bermudaonion said...

I'm not sure why, but I knew cuspidor and just thinking about one grosses me out. Thanks for participating today!

Marie said...

I've heard the term farbinger but I never really registered its definition. cool!