Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Wondrous Words Wednesday



Yay! The first official Wondrous Words Wednesday! This is going to be a tough meme for me - I had to really look for words I didn 't know. I guess I'm going to have to be on the lookout. A couple of these are words I was familiar with, but found that I wouldn't be able to give a good definition if someone called me on it. Hopefully, you'll learn some new words, too.

1. carrycot - from The Angel Maker by Stefan Brijs: "Victor Hoppe opened the rear door, ducked into the car and re-emerged a few seconds later with a large navy-blue carrycot, from which there arose a terrible wailing."

A carrycot is box-shaped baby bed with handles (for a baby to sleep in while being carried) .

2. pranging - from The Gone-Away World by Nick Harkaway: "We learn where to avoid pranging your own car in the course of an auto duel."

Pranging means crashing. A prang is an accident involving a motor vehicle, typically minor and without casualties.

3. obtrude - also from The Gone-Away World: "I have been careful in this context not to obtrude upon his notice."

Obtrude means to thrust forward or to force oneself or one's opinions on others. When I first read this, I thought it might be a typo, so I was compelled to check it out.

4. determinist - also from The Gone-Away World: "Old Man Lubitsch's horrible determinist bee society..."

A determinist believes that all actions are determined by the current state and immutable laws of the universe, with no possibility of choice.

So, were these familiar to you? I feel smarter already!

10 comments:

bermudaonion said...

Thanks for joining me in this meme! Your words are all new to me. I love pranging and am going to try to fit it into a conversation today.

maiac said...

These sound like British English, especially "carrycot" and "pranging". I'd heard "obtrude" and "determinist" before, but have probably never used them.

Lisa said...

The Gone-Away World is definitely a bit Brit, so you're probably right, Maia.

There are a lot of words that I've heard of and have a general Idea of what they mean, but this is going to make me really learn them.

Phyl/Bookishgal said...

What wonderful words, and what a great meme! Just what I was looking for today.

avisannschild said...

Fun meme! I was familiar with "prang" and "determinist," but I've never heard "carrycot" or "obtrude" before. (I agree with Kathy, "prang" is a great word!)

Phyl said...

I had to do a quickie today (and kind of cheated), but I love this meme and I'm going to do it as often as possible. Here's mine

Karen H. said...

Love this!

lisamm said...

NO, these were NOT familiar! LOL

If you'd like a book with a whole heck of a lot of unfamiliar words, might I recomment The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao. Lots of wacky words there.

fleurfisher said...

Your first two words are certainly very British. Pranging is fairly new whereas carrycots are rather old-fashioned. I haven't seen one for years! I've been wondering about "The Gone-Away World", so I'll be back to find out what you think.

Margot said...

I like your words. They seem when you define them. This is a fun meme and gives me a chance to focus on new words and not just roll over them. I played today also. Mine is up here: http://joyfullyretired.wordpress.com/2009/02/11/wonderous-words/