Wednesday 4 July 2012

Wondrous Words Wednesday 4/7/12

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.  

I read Zazie in the Metro a few months ago. Zazie in the Metro is a French classic, said to be a children's book. Check out my review here. It didn't bowl me over actually. There were lots of words I didn't know. The vocabulary was complex, and there were many, many neologisms, which I find irritating. But I thought it would be fun to match up Wondrous Words with Paris in July. 

1. Alexandrine (Noun)

The first that came into his head was an alexandrine:

i) A line of English verse composed in iambic hexameter, usually with a caesura after the third foot. 
ii) A line of French verse consisting of 12 syllables with a caesura usually falling after the sixth syllable. 

It's terrible if you need to look up a word to understand the definition isn't it? I have no idea what a caesura is either. Turns out it's a pause in a line of verse dictated by sense or natural speech rhythm rather than by metrics. I don't really understand what is meant by third foot either. 

The gorgeous but unrelated Alexandrine parrot

2. Muscadet (Noun)

'I'll have a muscadet with two lumps of sugar."

A French white wine, from the western end of the Loire Valley. Wiki

3. Lamellibranchia (Noun)

The lamellibranchia that have resisted the process of cooking are forced out of their shells with merovingian ferocity.

An earlier name for the class of Mollusca including all those that have bivalve shells, as the clams, oysters, mussels, etc, now called Pelecypoda or Bivalvia.

4. Merovingian (Adjective)

The lamellibranchia that have resisted the process of cooking are forced out of their shells with merovingian ferocity.

Of or relating to a Frankish dynasty founded by Clovis I, which ruled Gaul and W Germany from about 500 to 751 AD. The Free Dictionary. 

5. Mephistophelian (Adjective)

'No but really, you don't seem to realize what's hanging over your head,' says the chap, getting more and more bloodily mephistophelian: 'white-slavery, poncing, homosessuality, eonism, balanoid hypospadias, that little lot'll earn you some ten years hard.'

Showing the cunning or ingenuity or wickedness typical of a devil. The Free Dictionary. 
Mephistopheles is the devil in the Faust legend to whom Faust sold his soul. 

6. Eonism (Noun)

The adoption of female dress and behaviour by a male. Named after Charles Eon de Beaumont (died 1810), French transvestite.

Paris in July hosted by BookBath and Thyme for Tea


bermudaonion said...

All of those words are hard for me to say! I guessed alexandrine was a gem - I was way off on that one!

Tea said...

The Alexandrine Parrot is gorgeous. I don't like books with a lot of big words either. Kind of takes your mind off of the story.

Genie -- Paris and Beyond said...

Well, I knew the wine reference and remember Mr. Mephistopheles from "Cats" but the rest were new to me. I would be more inclined to read "Zazie" but your review made me think "later."