Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Wondrous Words Wednesday-May 5

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!

Here are some new words that I learned while reading Black Hills by Dan Simmons:

Subaltern: lower in rank; subordinate

Here is how subaltern was used on page 80:
Along with Crazy Horse's subalterns are groups of his akicita tribal-police bodyguards, each more fiercely painted and countenanced than the last, and these include the Oglalas Looking Horse, Short Bull, and Low Dog, as well as the odd Minneconjou Flying By, who is so eager to share in Crazy Horse's growing glory that it is said that Flying By would ride east to try to capture the waischus' White Father if Crazy Horse ordered him to.

Phrenology:  a psychological theory or analytical method based on the belief that certain mental faculties and character traits are indicated by the configurations of the skull.

Here is how phrenology was used on page 154:
The Power Plant was indeed tucked back close to the fence, beyond the Convent of LaRabida (which actually had something to do with Christopher Columbus)and beyond the totem poles and south of the Anthropology Building (in which Paha Sapa could have studied an exhibit of phrenology showing why American Indians were a less-developed race in Darwinian terms).

Interlocutor:  a person who takes part in a conversation or dialogue.

Here is how interlocutor was used on page 157:
I babble on as if you were an audience rather than an interlocutor.

Flense:  to strip off (blubber or skin).

Here is how flense was used on page 164:
Not having a buffalo skull for the entrance, Paha Sapa spends a day hunting in the pine forest, kills a large deer, leaves the carcass for the birds and other scavengers-he is deep enough into his fast that his belly is rumbling all the time now and he often has to sit and lower his head until his vision clears-and he flenses and cleans the skull, resisting the urge to nibble on the eyes, and mounts it near the entrance with six pouches holding offerings of the finest tobacco sent by Limps-a-Lot.

Obviously there are plenty of new words to learn in this book, including some from native american languages.  This is a wonderful book so far and I'm thinking it will be worthy to include in the Awesome Authors Challenge.  So did you learn any new words this week?


bermudaonion said...

I came across flense earlier this year and the word just gives me the creeps! Thanks for participating!

Margot said...

Black Hills sounds like an interesting story, one my husband would enjoy for sure. All your words were new to me.

PeachyTO said...

I hadn't heard of any of those words. Thanks for the lesson. I have made a post here .

DanaB said...

Flense *shudder*
Interlocuter--how interesting! Wonder if I can work that one in daily convo...


Lisa notes... said...

That sounds like a challenging book. Keep a dictionary handy! Thanks for sharing new ones with us today.

Harvee said...

Flense is a new word for me!

Sharla said...

Great words. I've heard of phrenology, but that is the only one. I love learning new words. Happy Reading!

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