Sep 16, 2009

wondrous words

from the past week's reading. These new words I came across while reading The Marsh Lions:

Internecine- ".... which prevents the lions from wasting their energies in senseless internecine warfare."
Definition: fatal to both side, mutually destructible

Volplane- "At once his keen eager eyes picked out the inert shape on the ground, and he began his own stupdendous fall to earth, the wind hissing through his primary feathers as he vol-planed out of the blue."
Definition: to glide towards the earth (in a plane) with the engine cut off

Gralloch- "For long periods he would disappear altogether, patrolling the outer reaches of his territory, until the gralloched corpse of a young impala dangling from one of his larder trees announced his return."
Definition: to remove the entrails of (especially a deer)

Kopje- "The kopjes are very old."
Definition: a small hill rising up from the African plain

Ineluctable- "Her nostrils drew in a tangle of ripe odours: geese and reedbucks, buffalo dung, rotting flesh, lion, grass, wildebeest and the black ineluctable reek of the Marsh itself.
Definition: unavoidable, inescapable

Corsair- "Mysterious, elusive, enigmatic, they were the restless corsairs of the wide grass oceans."
Definition: a pirate, or a swift pirate ship

Vernal- "The sound of the grass was in the wind, and its rank vernal smell was everywhere."
Definition: occurring in the spring, or fresh and youthful

Alate- "All over the plains, their mounds and mud chimneys erupted, releasing hordes of winged alates into the waiting mouths...."
Definition: having wings, or wing-like extensions

Riparian- "There she grew up, a fierce recluse, keeping to the dense riparian forests..."
Definition: on the banks of a river

Pronk- "Some of the territorial bucks began to pronk, bouncing away in stiff-legged alarm."
Definition: to jump straight up

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

I did want to write a book post, as I just finished No Room in the Ark. I have new words from that one, too, but not looked up yet. Either my head is too achy to think straight, or the cold medicine is making me sleepy- I'm not up to writing well, now. All the BBAW posts are putting me in a whirl. Maybe next year...

9/19/09 Edit to add: here are the ones from No Room in the Ark:

Grenadilla- "...we entered hot groves of semi-tropical fruits, oranges and grenadillas, pineapples and bananas."
Definition: fruit of the passionflower vine

Cafard- "But it was not enough to beguile loneliness, to keep the cafard at bay."
Definition: this is a French word, and I think it means depression or apathy

Propinquity- "This propinquity was altogether too much for one of our drivers who had not before this ventured far outside Nairobi."
Definition: close in time, place or relationship (in this case, close to a lion)

Intransigence- "And the issue was still further confused by the fact that the Masai, perhaps because of their very toughness and intransigence, are rather admired by white men in Africa..."
Definition: stubbornly refusing to compromise


bermudaonion said...

It's official - pronk is my new favorite word and I think I can ip it into conversation. You found some great words in that book. Thanks for participating!

An Anonymous Child said...

I can't fully remember now where I know it from, but I'm familiar with the word "kopje". And what an interesting word it is too. So specific yet concise.

Jeane said...

I've never heard "pronk" used in any other context except for when the antelopes do those high jumps away from predators- it would be interesting to hear you use it in a coversation! I bet no one would know what you meant.