Mar 4, 2009

wondrous words

All of the new words I found this week came from The Grail War, which I am still trudging through (almost done!) You can visit Bermudiaonion's weblog to see what new words other readers have discovered.

Spang- "Prang saw Parsival move: a blur, a flying shadow, a flashing of steel, spangs, crunchings, screams, sighs, curses, men scattering and falling like rats before a striking cat."
Definition: To leap, cast, jerk or bang. It can also be an adverb meaning precisely, exactly.

Putative: "...he stayed and resisted and frustrated his putative master."
Definition: Inferred, or or accepted as true on inconclusive grounds (implying it wasn't his true master?)

Sardonic: "She shook her sardonic head."
Definition: Scornfully or cynically mocking

Nonce: " 'I care little for the nonce, whether it be demons or mooncalfs you follow.' "
Definition: The present or particular occasion

Laconically: " 'This is my command,' he said laconically. 'Who in hell asks?'"
Definition: Using few words, terse or concise

Vagary: "Because of a vagary in the air currents, the fog was thinner here."
Definition: An extravagant or erratic notion or action


  1. Wow! You found a lot of great words last week. I love nonce. Thanks for playing along.

  2. Anonymous3/04/2009

    "Spang" was totally new to me. I love the new words!

    And do you know where "laconic" came from? It was an adjective coined to describe the ancient Spartans (or Laconians) who believed in being men of few words. So we've got a really ancient word in "laconic." I love it!

    Mine are here.

  3. I find it strangely ironic that a book that presents you with the word "laconically" seems to be absolutely full of words and wordiness. Two absolutely new words: "spang" and "vagary". Two reminders: "nonce" and "putative". And two words I really like. Good haul.

  4. Bermudaonion- "nonce" is my favorite, too! Although I can't imagine myself ever using it.

    Phyl- I had never seen "spang" before either. I actually thought it was a typo, at first. Thanks for sharing some background on "laconic", that's very interesting!

    Anonymous Child- Yes, it's pretty ironic, isn't it?


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