Wednesday 15 August 2012

Wondrous Words Wednesday 15/8/12

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.  

This weeks words are from Sonya Hartnett's intriguing The Children of the King. And quite excitingly, and rather surprisingly, it's an all verb edition today. 

1. Wittering (Verb)

Large groups of children had already disembarked at two or three stations earlier along the way; now, at this grand station, the last and largest group was disgorged, wide eyed and wittering. 

To chatter or babble pointlessly or at unnecessary length. The Free Dictionary

An absolutely fabulous concept!

2. Flensed (Verb)

The flensed creature stared through white holes where its eyes should have been. 

To strip the blubber or skin from (a whale, for example). Norwegian. The Free Dictionary

3. Smutted (Verb)

She scanned the ruins and couldn't see anything but smutted stone and smudged sky. 

To blacken or smudge, as with smoke or grime. The Free Dictionary. 

4. Whiffling (Verb)

When fresh tea had been brought and steam was whiffling from the cups, the storyteller resumed.

i) To move or think erratically; vacillate
ii) To blow in fitful gusts; puff.
iii) To whistle lightly. The Free Dictionary. 

5. Smirched (Verb)

The walls of the castle, decorated by weeds and smirched by the mossy hands of years, folded around each other like a stony house of cards stilled in mid-collapse.  

To soil, stain, or dirty with or as if a smearing agent. The Free Dictionary.

Cool picture, but I can't find the source.


bermudaonion said...

Those are all new to me but several, like wittering, make perfect sense to me.

Anonymous said...

I love the word wittering. I am going to use it this school year.

Anonymous said...

The only one I knew was smirched.

Yvonne @ Fiction Books Reviews said...

Hi Louise,

Whiffling and wittering are words in everyday use in most parts of the UK.
I am constantly accused of 'wittering on' about things!

Smirched and smutted are both known to me, although you wouldn't readily hear them used in everyday conversation.

Flensed is a horrible word and the definition just made me cringe, I haven't ever come across ths one before ... I suppose it might be some derivitive of cleansed?

Great words, although the book itself isn't probably one that I would read.

Thanks for sharing,


Sim Carter said...

What wonderful words! I especially love wittering - I guess it's similar to 'nattering' . I'm intrigued by the book too. Is it for young readers? My mother was one of those evacuated from London during the blitz (along with her two younger brothers) so I find the subject especially fascinating.

Louise said...

I'm glad we all like wittering, to me it is so close to twittering I initially thought that it was a typo. It has a wonderful sound, and I hope it's one that I remember. I love that it's in common usage in England still. That's fabulous. Flensed is a horrible word, and I am glad that I have no further use for it. It said it was Norwegian and I guess they did have need for words for doing things with whales.

Sim- the book is marketed for young readers, I read quite a lot of childrens and YA books, and I enjoyed it quite a bit, although I don't think it will end up being one of my favourite of Sonya Hartnett books ever, but if you're particularly interested in the Blitz it's a nice book about that time.