Thursday 13 October 2011

Wondrous Words Wednesday 12/10/11

Wondrous Words Wednesday is a fabulous weekly meme hosted by Bermuda Onion, where we share new (to us) words that we’ve encountered in our weekly reading.  

My words today come from Christos Tsiolkas' controversial Australian book The Slap

1. Solipsistic (Adjective)

Was art for the good of mankind or was art only good when it was elitist and solipsistic?

I know that I've looked this word up multiple times, for some reason it never sticks. Maybe this time. 

Solipsistic, refers to solipsism
i) The theory that the self is the only thing that can be known and verified.
ii) The theory of view that the self is the only reality. The Free Dictionary. 

2. Firmament (noun)

She drove in ten-hour stretches, seeing nothing but the burnt scrub and the infinite blue firmament, parking the car in isolated service stations and braving the freezing cold of that emptiness while she willed herself to sleep. 

The vault or expanse of the heavens; the sky. The Free Dictionary. 

The Australian firmament

3. Bricolage (noun)

He was the only one with balls enough to denounce the hopelessly outdated postmodern bricolage of the artist's work.

i) The jumbled effect produced by the close proximity of buildings from different periods and in different architectural styles. 
ii) The deliberate creation of such an effect in certain modern developments. The Free Dictionary. 
I noticed the beauty of the bricolage in Luxembourg last year- I just didn't know it had a name!

4. Catamites (noun)

Vasili Grigorovich D'Estaing, the legendary French Huguenot admiral who had defected to the court of Queen Elizabeth I, was infamous not only for being the bastard child of Ivan the Terrible, but also for his ribald behaviour: it was said that he had boasted of one hundred mistresses and a dozen or so boy catamites. 

(This is from a fictional account written by a teenage boy)

A boy who has a sexual relationship with a man. A boy kept for homosexual purposes. The Free Dictionary. 


bermudaonion said...

I've looked up solipsistic before too. I think I have to use a word for it to really stick. I love bricolage - it sounds like what it is.

Kath Lockett said...

Solipsistic is one I always read, look up and forget too.

And now I know what bricolage means!

Satia said...


Solipsistic seems to be the issue, and not the readers, because clearly you are not alone. It is simply a word that never seems to stick for me. Maybe it's too sibilant and simply slips away.

Peggy Ann said...

I love solipsistic! Great words this week. Thanks for stopping over at my Post!

Anonymous said...

New words for me, enjoyed them.

Margot said...

I like bricolage. I've noticed it occasionally. Now that I know it has a special name, I'm going to look out for it and use it more often.

Jennifer said...

Firmament I had, since I basically cut my teeth on the good old King James Version. Catamite...also pronounced "dis-tur-bing".
The Beauty of Eclecticism

Annie said...

Like you and a lot of others, there are words I knew and forgot immediatly ! But for firmament and bricolage it was ok for me : French words !

Joy said...

I also knew firmament from the KJV and hymns. Solipsism is a word I know I've looked up before. It's a slippery word!
Joy's Book Blog

Virginia said...

I was thrilled I knew one of them...firmament. Now bricolage I thought I could answer because I was relating it to the French stores, which might be connected in some way to your definition. A bricolage in France is like a hardware store perhaps. Hmmmm.
Very interesting and informative post today. Thank you.

Louise said...

So glad that I'm not the only one who can't remember solipsistic! How funny it's such a slippery word. Wonder if it's the word or the concept?

I had no idea that firmament was biblical. I did suspect that bricolage was French.

Anonymous said...

Love learning new words! Firmament I knew from Shakespeare, actually (Hamlet: ...this brave o'erhanging firmament, this majestical roof...).

Bricolage is interesting, I never knew we used it in English. In French it refers to DIY or home improvement, so the meanings are not entirely dissimilar.