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.)


I haven’t done this meme in a few weeks, but because I’ve been too lazy busy to write up a review this week, I thought I’d show you how dumb I am.  Many of you probably know these words already.. not me, though!

All of these come from Her Fearful Symmetry by Audrey Niffenegger.  I’m reading an ARC so the page numbers might be off in the final edits.

gormless– “He hung back, keeping his eye on them and feeling pervy and gormless, not to mention highly noticeable.”  pg. 108

definition:  –adjective 

 Chiefly British Informal.


bloviating–  “You’re just bloviating.  Get on with it.”  pg. 164  

definition:  –verb (used without object), ‑at⋅ed, ‑at⋅ing.

to speak pompously.

truncheon–  “Well, sorry to be such poor company, but I really do have to finish this or my editor will be at my door with a truncheon.”  pg 217

definition:  –noun

1. the club carried by a police officer; billy.
2. a staff representing an office or authority; baton.
3. the shattered shaft of a spear.
4. Obsoletecudgel; bludgeon.        


I used to think that, even if I didn’t know a word, I could usually infer the meaning from the context.  The only one in my list I guessed right on was bloviating.  What about you?  Do you normally guess right, based on the context, when you come across a word you don’t know?


12 Responses

  1. Your post made me feel a bit gormless–I didn’t know any of these words!
    I will try to remember them (when’s the vocab test?)!

  2. We know that you’ve been busy with a sick child and school’s beginning, not lazy! So there’s an excuse for that, but none for taunting us with indirect evidence that you were one of the lucky ones to receive Her Fearful Symmetry! :–)

  3. Sometimes I guess right via context; sometimes I don’t. That’s usually my first stop though, before I hit a dictionary. I didn’t know any of your words.

  4. Sometimes I think the same thing – that this meme just shows how dumb I am! I did know truncheon but the other two words were totally new to me and I didn’t guess either of them right. Gormless is one we could use, though! Thanks for participating.

  5. Half the time I guess right- and other times I’m way off! Those are all great words. I like bloviate, I never heard that word before.

  6. I didn’t know any of your words either but I don’t believe it’s a sign of dumbness. It means something like we are on a higher path to literary nirvana or some such malarky. Glad you were lazy, or whatever so you could play along.

  7. Hi,
    came here via TLC site –
    my book club read ‘Lottery’ and the author joined us by phone. It was fab! I highly recommend you consider doing this with your group. Changed how a lot of us felt about the book.

  8. I’m so going to use bloviating in a sentence today.

  9. Gormless? What a fantastic word. I too try to infer meanings and for the most part get it right. Though, these are all new words to me!

  10. I am reading a book for my book club called Year of
    wonders by Geraldine Brooks. These are words I
    thought I knew but looked up anyway. The book takes
    place in the1600’s. Pallett threw me because although
    I knew it was wood I could imagine that people sleep on them. In the 1600’s they did.

    Croft or crofter- small farm or owner of small farm
    Sennight- 7 days/lweek
    Pallett- something they sleep on in that time period

  11. I haven’t read Her Fearful Symmetry. I want to read it. I didn’t know the definition of either of your words. “Bioviating” seems like a hard one to spell.

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