Apr 8, 2009

wondrous words

Some of the words I have for this week are from the end of Emma, the rest are from the book I just finished, Sand. Quite a difference in subject and theme- from Victorian drawing rooms to the American West and cowboy lingo!

From Emma:

Conundrum-"Agreed, agreed. I am making a conundrum. How will a conundrum reckon?"
Definition: a riddle whose answer is (or involves) a pun

Acrostic- "I had an acrostic once sent to me upon my own name which I was not at all pleased with."
Definition: a poem or verse where the first (or last) letter of each line forms a word or phrase

Ostler- "... when Mr. Elton came back, he told us what John the ostler had been telling him..."
Definition: a stableman at an inn (I remember this word now, from Black Beauty)

Extenuation- "Let us wait, therefore, for this letter. It may bring many extenuations."
Definition: to excuse a fault (archaic meaning, the more common definition is to make something thin or stretched)

From Sand:

Nubbin- "Sometimes tho, he thought, he sure would rap them hands of his and make him let go of the nubbin."
Definition: a short, projecting part (here the saddle horn)

Rowel- "...and with a well placed rowel against the shortribs of that horse, lined him out from the one spot and set him going for other sods on a long crowhopping lope."
Definition: a sharp-toothed wheel on a spur

Senatorium- "And another thing, this camp is no riding academy, nor senatorium."
Definition: a resort for the improvement of one's health

Whang, Marlin spike- "There was rawhide hobbles, a marlin spike, a few strips of whang leather which, Skip had told him, was handy to mend things with."
M-S- a pointed metal spike used to separate rope strands while splicing
W- a thong or whip made of hide or leather

Hackamore- "Then, amongst other odds and ends, was a hackamore, a rope full of the knots which the Kid had started teaching him to tie...."
Definition- a halter or bridle with no bit, having a noose to tighten around the nose or a wide band that can be lowered over the horse's eyes, used in breaking to halter

Soogan- " 'Well, I guess it's time for me to hit the soogans,' he says"
Definition: a bedroll

Latigo- "Ropes are muddy and stiff, so are the latigoes and everything else a cowboy touches."
Definition: a strap that tigthens the saddle girth

Queer- "There been just a snag which come near to queering everything."
Definition: slang for to ruin or thwart

Visit Bermudaonion's Weblog to see what new words others have found this week.


  1. You sure did find a lot of words last week. I was surprised when I saw queer on your list until I saw how it was used. Thanks for playing along.

  2. You always find the most fascinating words! By the way, left you a little award on my latest post.

  3. These are some great words. I'm sure I've heard of nubbin before but that is an interesting definition for queer. My words are here.

  4. Anonymous4/08/2009

    That's quite a list.

  5. Based on your words, I'd say you've read two very good books this week. I'm especially interested in Sand as I love westerns. I will look for your review.

  6. Nice list of words from Sand. By the way, maybe I'm wrong, but isn't it spelt sanatorium?

  7. Bermudaonion- It was very strange to see "queer" constantly used with this meaning.

    Trish- Thanks so much! That's sweet.

    Jo-Jo- I'm off to check out what you found.

    Carolsnotebook- I was surprised at how many I found this week.

    Margot- Sand is posted, I put it up later this same day. See what you think.

    A Hazra- You're right. But this book is packed full of misspelled words. Rather annoying.

  8. Conundrum has been one of my favorite words since maybe sixth grade. Nice to revisit the official definition.


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