Wednesday 10 April 2013

Wondrous Words Wednesday 10/4/13

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.  

Today's words are the second selection of Wondrous Words from my recent reading of Howards End is on the Landing. The first are here

1. Mawkish (Adjective)

Graham Greene is one of the moderns who best conveys a great many aspects of love, whereas D.H. Lawrence is mawkish. 

i) Excessively and objectively sentimental.
ii) Sickening or insipid in taste. 

2. Recondite (Adjective)

Some of the alphabetical entries are predictable- Beginnings, Beauty, Humour, Food and Drink- but others are more unusual and give rise to more recondite and provocative entries. 

i) Not easily understood; abstruse. 
ii) Concerned with or treating something abstruse or obscure. 
iii) Concealed; hidden. 

3. Factotum (Noun)

I got a two-pounds-a-week job at the Belgrade as a general factotum, which was how I got to know Arnold and his wife Dusty, and how, when I went to King's, I spent happy evenings babysitting their small children. 

An employee or assistant who serves in a wide range of capacities. 

Turns out it's a book and a movie!

4. Tendentious (Adjective)

Some of it is sentimental, some of it tendentious. 

Marked by a strong implicit point of view; partisan. 

5. Bruited (Verb)

The satisfaction and illumination that come from reading more or less nothing but Anita Brookner for three weeks are immense, and have alerted me all over again to how disgraceful it is that so many of her books are no longer in print, how much better she is than talents bruited more loudly abroad, how she ranks among the very best novelists of the late twentieth century. 

To spread news of; repeat. 

I was really interested in bruited, as I'm very familiar with bruit- a medical term for the sound of turbulent blood flow in an artery, it was clear that meaning didn't work here. 

All definitions today from


Anonymous said...

All new words for me, thanks! for sharing.

Julia Tomiak said...

Wow! That's an impressive list. And how about that- you found a word that had been made into a movie! Not the definition I expected for "factotum"- thanks for sharing and doing a little extra research.

Sim Carter said...

Pretty nifty book concept! I was surprised to see that Susan Hill is the author of Portrait in Black; the book was made into a film last year starring Daniel Radcliffe of Harry Potter fame. So glad you decided to bruit about this one! (Do you think I've used it correctly?)

Margot said...

I like all your new words but especially factotum. I've heard the word but honestly didn't know what it meant. Your movie poster helps a lot. I think use that one myself.

Susan said...

Interesting words! This is a great meme. I always enjoy your choices and learn something new.

Joy said...

Great list of words -- new to me!

Joy's Book Blog

Suko said...

I knew recondite but the rest are new to me. Excellent words this week!

bermudaonion said...

I knew mawkish but had no idea that's what factotum means. Great words today!

MedicatedMoo said...

Knew 'em all except 'bruited.' Hadn't even read or heard of the word before!

Yvonne @ Fiction Books Reviews said...

Hi Louise,

The only one of your words which was new to me this week was recondite.

Mawkish and factotum were my favourite words, I had forgotten that we have such eccentric and unique words in the English language, some of them are so much better than the modern equivalents which we insist on churning out!

I really like the sound of the book in which you discovered the words as well. I went back and checked out the link and the synopsis and I did have a little chuckle to myself, as I have so many books still on my bookshelves, which remain unread after many years of being there. I am a bit more controlled these days, however I used to buy books at an alarming rate, never having any thought for when I was actually going to get the time to read any of them, yet still unable to resist and unable to cull them, despite several half-hearted attempts to do so!

Just as an exercise, I did a rough count a few months back and gave up when I got to 2 thousand and that's just my fiction book, not counting hubbie's reference books!!

Great post and a good book recommendation for me, thanks,