Jul 15, 2009

wondrous words

New words I came across in the past week, from Seaworthy:

Parsimonious- "He could be, on occasion, so strict in its practice and parsimonious with air that he would rhythmically breathe himself into a faint."
Definition: excessively frugal

Bauxite- "She.... was the sort of creature who could readily construe a voyage on a bauxite freighter to obscure malarial ports in the West Indies a vacation."
Definition: a claylike substance that is the main source of aluminum

Enervating- "Perhaps the enervating climate had something to do with it."
Definition: weakening, depriving of strength (medically, to remove nerves)

Consomme- "Willis, quite beyond dissected parrots and primate consomme, was saltogether doomed."
Definition: a clear soup or rich broth

Eructation- "Though he was slow to regain his stamina and feared a relapse with every twinge and eructation, Willis's ulcer failed to plague him further..."
Definition: belching

Trimaran- "Willis decided that his new raft would be a trimaran constructed of three steel pontoons..."
Definition: a small, fast sailboat with three parallel hulls

and from Splendid Solution:

Tony- "The blocks around the university, however, turned out to be far too tony for the $2,100 per year a researcher like Salk would be making..."
Definition: markedly elegant or exclusive

Cachet- "Corporate and political leaders like Edsel Ford and Averell Harriman joined the foundation board to lend it clout and cachet."
Definition: a mark of distinction or authenticity

Protean- "The virus that caused the disease was an especially protean one, mutating from year to year and place to place."
Definition: able to constantly change shape or form, widely variable

Billet- "But there were a lot of other investigators seeking the glamorous Berkeley billet as well..."
Definition: a position of employment (more commonly, lodging for troops)

Interregnum- "He.... studied viruses at Rockfeller University during the interregnum between hostilities..."
Definition: a gap in continuity, especially between a person of power's reign of office and their successor

Adjuvant- "... he wanted to study new ways to inactivate the virus so it could be used in a vaccine, and new ways to fortify that vaccine with adjuvants."
Definition: a substance added to a drug to increase its effectiveness

Miscegnation- "Nothing short of an attempt at intravenous miscegnation."
Definition: the "mixing" of different ethnic groups or races

for more wondrous words, visit this meme's host, Bermudaonion.


bermudaonion said...

You found a lot of great words last week! I knew consomme from our time in France. I can't even pronounce most of the others. Thanks for participating!

Jenny said...

Wait, "tony" is a real thing? When I was small and reading the Betsy-Tacy books, Betsy's family had a maid or cook or something who always said that things were "tony". I totally thought it was a made-up word to give her character! This is such a revelation!

Jeane said...

Bermudaonion- I have a hard time pronouncing them, too.

Jenny- Yeah, I did a double-take when I came across that word in the text. It must have been a fifties thing to say!

avisannschild said...

Ooh, I knew quite a few of your words! Eructation is completely new though; I've never seen that word before. And I don't think I could have defined adjuvant, although once I saw the definition, I realized I'd heard the word before in French! (It means the same thing.)