Wednesday 12 September 2012

Wondrous Words Wednesday 12/9/12

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.  

My words this week are from my recent reading of A Wrinkle in Time

1. Swivet (Noun)

'I've been in such a swivet- It may not do any good, but at least I can try.'

Extreme distress or discomposure.

2. Sumac

And though it was warmer than it had been when they so precipitously left the apple orchard, there was a faint autumnal touch to the air; near them were several small trees with reddened leaves like sumac, and a big patch of goldenrod-like flowers. 

I was very surprised to see her reference sumac here. In Australia it refers to a Middle Eastern herb. It's quite common here now (I've got some in the pantry), but wouldn't have been more than 10 years ago, let alone 50 years ago. I figured there must have been another usage. And so wiki tells me Sumac in the Americas refers to a rather vast genus, Rhus, which includes Poison Ivy and Poison Oak.


bermudaonion said...

I knew sumac - not from personal experience, thankfully. Swivet is new to me and I really like the sound of it.

Brona said...

Swivet sounds like a word I would like to use, as long as I'm not in the context!!

Anonymous said...

Heard of the word sumac before.

Genie -- Paris and Beyond said...

Swivet is a word we commonly used growing up, mostly said, "Just don't get in a swivet" to almost anyone except parents - hah!

We have many varieties of sumac where I live. The shrub version turns gorgeous autumn colors and is harmless.