Wednesday 23 November 2011

Wondrous Words Wednesday 23/11/11

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.  

Recently I read the rather fascinating The Pedant in the Kitchen. Julian Barnes always provides us with lots of new words, and this book was no exception. 

1. Matutinal. Adjective. 

But male culinary competence was clearly limited to such matutinal dabbling. 

Of, relating to, or occuring in the morning; early. 

Black swan and white geese enjoying a Tasmanian morning

2. Avuncular. Adjective.

I need an exact shopping list and an avuncular cookbook. 

i) Of or having to do with an uncle. 
ii) Regarded as a characteristic of an uncle, especially in benevolence or tolerance. 

3. Prelapsarian. Adjective.

It surprised him to discover that gardening, for all its air of prelapsarian serenity, is furiously competitive, frequently indulged in by the envious, the deceitful, the quietly criminal. 

Of or relating to the period before the fall of Adam and Eve. 

4. Midinette. Noun. 

And the more I browsed through the 300 recipes intended 'for the student, the midinette, for the clerk, for the artist, for lazy people, poets, men of action, dreamers and scientists', the more the book seemed an aromatic trifle very much of it's age. 

A Parisian seamstress or salesgirl in a clothes shop. 

Picture credit

5. Umber. Adjective

After decades of cooking dauphinois potatoes the same way, I was instantly converted to his version; sloppier, creamier, the surface an eruption of umber bubbles, it took me back years and kilometres. 

i) Of or relating to umber. 
ii) Having a brownish colour. 

Also a noun. Any natural brown earth containing ferric oxides and manganese oxides, used as pigment.  All definitions from The Free Dictionary. 

Picture credit


Jennifer said...

That's an impressive grouping! This book does not sound like a fluff read, for sure.
The Beauty of Eclecticism

Peggy Ann said...

wonderful words! Avuncular is quite odd then to put with cookbook is it not?! Here are my words

Louise said...

Julian certainly doesn't write fluff! He's always rewarding- well despite England, England.

Julie @ Read Handed said...

I love the word prelapsarian. I featured it as one of my words earlier this year. It's just fun to say. Thanks for sharing all your new words. If you get a chance, mine are here.

Kath Lockett said...

I always wondered what 'avuncular' read and kinda sorta guessed it meant friendly or relaxed.

The others - wow, just .... wow. I wonder if he writes with a supersonic thesaurus at his side?

Anonymous said...

Great words,glad you shared.

Lady In Read said...

I knew umber and avuncular but the others are all new.. love prelapsarian !

bermudaonion said...

I felt like I should have known the first two, but I could define either one of them. I felt good because I knew umber!

Genie -- Paris and Beyond said...

I love reading a book rich in words, but would not have expected those traits in a book about kitchen experiences. With his OCD (way beyond OCD) nature, he would probably make an excellent macaron!


Susan said...

Great words. I just finished reading The Sense of an Ending this morning. I've got to read more Julian Barnes. I read Flaubert's Parrot many years ago and still have the book on my shelf. Maybe I'll start with a reread.