Wondrous Words Wednesday

vocabularyWondrous Words Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Kathy at Bermudaonion’s Weblog where we share new (to us) words that we’ve encountered in our reading. Feel free to join in the fun. (Don’t forget to leave a link in your comment if you’re participating.)


My wondrous words this week come from Life of Pi by Yann Martel (yes, Sheri, I’m reading it!).

raiments – “They stir and leave their shelter and tiptoe to the water’s edge. They show their raiments.” pg. 15

Definition: –noun

clothing; apparel; attire.

onanists – “And there are indecencies even more bizarre: onanists breaking a sweat on monkeys, ponies, birds; a religious freak who cut a snake’s head off; a deranged man who took to urinating in an elk’s mouth.” pg. 29


1. one who withdraws the penis in sexual intercourse so that ejaculation takes place outside the vagina; coitus interruptus.
2. masturbation.

agouti – “Nonetheless, our golden agouti vanished, stolen by someone who ate it, Father suspected.” pg. 30

Definition:–noun, plural -tis, -ties.

1. any of several short-haired, short-eared, rabbitlike rodents of the genus Dasyprocta, of South and Central America and the West Indies, destructive to sugar cane.
2. an irregularly barred pattern of the fur of certain rodents.
3. an animal having fur of this pattern.

Oh, dear. My blog just went from a G to a PG-13 rating. Darn onanists!!

13 Responses

  1. I don’t remember any of that from Life of Pi. But it was definitely on the edge!

  2. I know the feeling; I had onanism as one of my words last week.

  3. It’s been so long since I read that book that I don’t remember those words. Somehow, I don’t think I’ll be using onanists in a conversation any time soon. Great words!

  4. “Raiments” is a Bible word. Good thing you put it first on your list. 🙂

  5. Uhh, there are parts of the Bible that are not G rated. I always learn something new when I read it. Same thing with your new words. Fun how over thousands of years we use new words to talk about the same things.

  6. The last two words are new to me. Thanks!

    Wondrous Words Wednesday

  7. Well, then! I spend a lot of time with young men with my two sons and all of their friends hanging around. Wonder if I can work in onanists and see if I can shock any of them? Don’t think it will ever come up in any other conversations!

  8. I don’t remember that content, although I read and really liked the Life of Pi. Was it in the first part of the book…?

  9. Oh my, racy words indeed. I felt compelled to look up “tarpaulin” after Pi mentioned it a billion times. Turns out it’s just another way of saying “tarp”—there goes my nautical street cred. Glad to hear you’re reading Life of Pi!

  10. I really don’t recall the word ‘onanist’ in the book. Going back to have another look now.

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