Thursday 5 May 2011

Wondrous Words Wednesday(ish) 4/5/11

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

Recently I read Robert Cormier's The Chocolate War. Sadly I didn't love it, and it wasn't loaded with new words, but it was an interesting book to read, and there's always at least a few new words to learn in life. 

1. Simonizing. Apparently the present participle of Simonize (Verb)

Polish with wax.

This was clearly a brandname in the Kleenex, Hoover, Mylar idiom. 

Merriam-Webster tells me it's from Simoniz, a trademark first used in 1934. It seems to be still going strong

This appears to come from the longest sentence in the book!

But first of all, the old faithfuls, the people who had become regular customers: Mrs Swanson who sometimes smelled of drink but was always eager to buy anything although she kept talking too long, rambling on about people John Sulkey didn't even  know; and good old reliable Uncle Louie who was always Simonizing his car although Simonizing cars seemed part of the Dark Ages these days; and then the Capolettis at the end of the street who always invited him in for something to eat, cold pizza that John wasn't exactly crazy about and the smell of garlic that almost knocked you down but you had to make sacrifices, big and small, for the sake of Service To The School.....

2. Catchbasin. Noun.

A cistern or vault at the point where a street gutter discharges into a sewer, to catch bulky matters which would not pass readily through the sewer.

Finally, tired of smuggling it into the bathroom for swift perusals, and weary of his deceit, and haunted by the fear that his mother would find the magazine, Jerry had sneaked it out of the house and dropped it into a catchbasin.

I think I'd probably just call that a drain normally, my plumbing knowledge not being all that vast, but now I know it's a catchbasin. 

1 comment:

bermudaonion said...

I don't think I've ever heard anyone use simonize, but I would have figured that one out. Catchbasin is totally new to me.