Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Wondrous Words Wednesday


Happy Wednesday! I have some great words this week - most of them about books and printing. I'm currently reading Lethal Legacy by Linda Fairstein, a murder mystery involving the New York Public Library. I'm learning lots of interesting things about the library and about collecting books and maps

The first word on the list is from an email I received (about a book) and the rest are from Lethal Legacy.

1. Jeremiad - "The book is no jeremiad."

A long and mournful complaint.

2. Primogeniture - "You know about primogeniture, of course. He was the third son of a third son and so on."

The system of inheritance or succession by the firstborn, specifically the eldest son. This was the definition I was familiar with, but it also means the state of being the first son.

3. Incunabula - "There were early English Bibles and Shakespeare Folios, incredibly fine incunabula -"

A book printed before 1501; an artifact of an early period.

4. Rhumb lines - "Meticulous engravings they were - all about navigation - so soundings and rhumb lines and the markings for every little coastal port were of major importance."

In navigation, a rhumb line (or loxodrome) is a line crossing all meridians at the same angle, i.e. a path of constant bearing. You can find more on this at Wikipedia: charts and mathematical derivations and so forth.

5. Elephant folio - "What's an elephant folio?" Mike asked.

A very large folio; an American book size with a height measurement between 24 and 25 in. (61 and 63.5 cm).

Books, maps and navigation - all sorts of interesting new words! What words made you smarter this week? Check out some of the other interesting word posts over at Bermudaonion's Weblog.

9 comments:

Kelly (AKA bookfool) said...

So-there's a lot of "whinging" in a jeremiad, huh? (And folks thought I'd never work that word into a sentence from Kathy's words last week...*snicker, but I just knew it would come in handy someday!)

Great words!

Lenore said...

I always called Daniel's big design book elephant books so I guess I wasn't far off!

avisannschild said...

Great words! My fave is incunabula, although I'm not sure how often I'll be able to work that into a sentence!

My words are here.

Kaye said...

Good one Kelly!! you have some great words here. Now I'll have to think of a way to work some of those into a conversation. Hmmmm

bermudaonion said...

Kelly is too funny! There will probably be some poor kid running around with Jeremiad as a name after someone reads this book. Thanks for playing along.

carolsnotebook said...

Interesting list.

Anthony Drake Mocony said...

I'm going to try to implement these in general conversation. I have no doubt I'll fail miserably and look like an ass, but it's worth trying.

Margot said...

Super words this week. I especially like Jeremiad. Don't know if I thanked you for the Save A Word last week but that was great fun.

Jeane said...

I like learning words that have to do with books! I remember learning all the terms of book sizes- the different 'folios once, but since I never use them, have sadly forgotten. Thanks to the computer they're easy to look up, though.