Thursday, 23 December 2010

Wondrous Words Wednesday



I came across this meme just a few days ago, and it seemed perfect for me. I'm becoming more and more intrigued by new and unusual words. I still remember finding amanuensis in Dickens's Bleak House a few years ago. I'm rather thrilled that not only have I remembered the word, but I've also remembered the meaning and even used it in conversation more than once.

What new words have I found recently? My favourite new word of the last week was barbotage. It came up in conversation at work, not in reading, but it's still a great word. It's always vaguely embarrassing to find a new medical word that I don't know, and I particularly like that it's from the French.










bar·bo·tage (bärb-täzh)



n.
The production of spinal anesthesia in which a portion of the anesthetic solution is injected into the cerebral spinal fluid, which is then aspirated into the syringe and a second portion of the contents of the syringe is injected. The partial reinjections and aspirations are repeated until the contents of the syringe are used.


The New York Times has weighed in on what it sees as the most important new words of 2010. New words are usually disappointing and puerile. Star whacker and robo-signer being typical examples. Although vuvuzela is a fun word, but of course the sound of one is abysmal. And I must say I hadn't heard belieber, but I think that's funny. Shellacking I see as non-noteworthy, I presume that it must be of rarer usage in America. 

















8 comments:

bermudaonion said...

I hope I never have the need to know about barbotage first hand. Thanks for the link to the NY Times article!

Louise said...

I hope you don't either. You might enjoy another fantastic word article I saw recently. I love tartle- I do it all the time!

http://matadornetwork.com/abroad/20-awesomely-untranslatable-words-from-around-the-world/

Tribute Books Mama said...

bur·qa or bur·ka (bo͝orˈkə)
noun
A loose, usually black or light blue robe that is worn by Muslim women, especially in Afghanistan, and that covers the body from head to toe.

From the book Lipstick in Afghanistan (page 1) by Roberta Gately.

Fiona said...

Fascinating! Never heard of it! How bizarre to inject and aspirate, then re-inject - maybe to prevent inadvertant IV injection??

Louise said...

I have the impression it is to mix the drug with the csf more quickly, to aid speed of onset of the block. I'll check with an anaesthetist friend.

Amy said...

Barbotage has a great sound and a very interesting meaning, objectively, so long as we don't get to know it on a personal level, if you know what I mean!
Thank you for the link to the NY Times article. I cannot believed I missed it. Words are wonderful and, as you say, intriguing...unfortunately, many new ones tend to be disappointing. But I like making up my own!

by the way, wicker is lovely!

Margot said...

Very interesting new word. I also like the new words listed at the NYTimes. To my ear, shellacking is not new, if it's the one I'm thinking of. I'll have to check it out. Thanks for the link.

Margot said...

Very interesting new word. I also like the new words listed at the NYTimes. To my ear, shellacking is not new, if it's the one I'm thinking of. I'll have to check it out. Thanks for the link.