Words You've Learned from Reading and Writing

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oneblindmouse

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myrmidon- a follower or subordinate of a powerful person, typically one who is unscrupulous or carries out orders unquestioningly. It sounds wonderfully old-fashioned and archaic, but oh! how appropriate to these times we live in! I shall adopt it in my rants!
 

Chris P

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Hecto-: A metric unit of measure equivalent to 100 units, usually used for food oils, wine, grain and other agricultural products.
 

Jason

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List 11

Here we are folks - another 20-25 words (I think right at 20 this time), and we've got a new list of fantastic words that you may or may not have heard before. Thanks to all the AW'ers that have contributed to this thread over time:

List 11
shidepoke - any of various herons: such as a Green heron or night heron
quork - apparently a sound that ravens make, unique to the GoT series
ochre - an earthy pigment containing ferric oxide, typically with clay, varying from light yellow to brown or red (also just used as the name of a color chiefly pale brownish yellow)
paramour - a lover, esp. the illicit partner of a married person
Contumely - Rudeness or contempt. An insolent or arrogant remark.
Runnel - a narrow channel in the ground for liquid to flow through
Sawyer - a person who saws timber for a living
Firth - a narrow inlet of the sea; an estuary
encalmed - to becalm or settle
camerated - to divide into chambers
macerated - to soften or become softened by soaking in a liquid
Equinoctial - related to an equinox.
avascular - characterized by or associated with a lack of blood vessels
panopticon - a building, as a prison, hospital, library, or the like, so arranged that all parts of the interior are visible from a single point
Brumation - a torpor in reptiles similar to hibernation, but they do come out of it on sunny days
Condign - Deserved
portmanteau - a word blending the sounds and combining the meanings of two others, for example motel (from ‘motor’ and ‘hotel’) or brunch (from ‘breakfast’ and ‘lunch’).
Commodious​ - roomy and comfortable, especially in regards to furniture.
myrmidon- a follower or subordinate of a powerful person, typically one who is unscrupulous or carries out orders unquestioningly
Hecto - A metric unit of measure equivalent to 100 units, usually used for food oils, wine, grain and other agricultural products.

All the prior lists:
List 01
List 02
List 03
List 04
List 05
List 06
List 07
List 08
List 09
List 10
 
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Klope3

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Off the top of my head:

Piebald - having patches of various colors

Limelight - An actual kind of light invented in the 1800s (I had heard this word plenty, but only in figurative contexts)

Chancel - The space around an altar in a cathedral

Nave - The central part of a cathedral

Transept - The part of a cathedral crossing the nave to form a cross shape

Learned the last three from Ken Follett's excellent "Pillars of the Earth." I loved the way he made learning about church architecture (an otherwise dull topic for me) actually engaging.
 

Ricardo Salepas

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Okay so I got two which I really enjoy...

1) Malfeasance - pronounced: [Mal-fee-since] - Unlawful or criminal activity.

2) Wan - pronounced: [Waan] - it means weak.
 

Chris P

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Apothegm - ​a saying, aphorism, maxim, etc.
 

LadyRedRover

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I have a few that I've run across recently.

viviparous- adj. (of an animal) bringing forth live young that have developed inside the body of the parent. (of a plant) reproducing from buds that form plantlets while still attached to the parent plant, or from seeds that germinate within the fruit.

peritoneum- n. the serous membrane lining the cavity of the abdomen and covering the abdominal organs

And, this weird one:

pneumatic adj. containing or operated by air or gas under pressure. (chiefly of cavities in the bones of birds) containing air. (of a woman) having big breasts. (chiefly in the context of the New Testament) relating to the spirit.
 

Chris P

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I need some help with this one: Demmy.

It's used a lot in an American novel from 1859, is obviously slang and from the context seems roughly equivalent to "dammit." The speaker is an educated retired soldier but living in a rural area in Virginia.

"What do you mean by 'of course! of course!' you villain? Demmy! I'll swear she took care of herself, you varlet"

"Never touch wine! Here's another; here's a young prig! I don't believe you—yes, I do, too! Demmy, sir, if you never touch wine it's because you prefer brandy! Waiter!"

Google isn't any help that I could find. It keeps kicking me back to "demy" which is a size of paper or a unit of measure.

Whatsay y'all?
 
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frimble3

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I think the same, also in British books set in the same period, or earlier. (I vaguely recall it being used instead of 'Damn me' in 'The Scarlet Pimpernel'.) Also spelled 'Demme'.
 

Chris P

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Samphire: a European plant of the parsley family that grows on rocks and cliffs by the sea. Its aromatic, fleshy leaves were formerly much used in pickles.
 

weird_cat

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I recently started reading Cloud Atlas, and two new words I’ve come across are:

Importuning- urging or hurrying
Tatterdemalion- disheveled, decayed

Tatterdemalion is one of my new favorite words for sure! When I first read it, I got a mental image of a cross between a scarecrow and a watermelon
 

TheMontess

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It's not a new word to me, but today I learned that indentured is not spelled "endentured" - I don't think I'd ever seen it written down before.

Indentured - bound as if by contract (in this case, an enslaved person who was sold as property to pirates until she could pay off her worth)
 

neandermagnon

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Not a book, but I know what assonance is from watching the film Educating Rita.

What is assonance? They got the rhyme wrong! :greenie

(The official definition is when the rhyme is based on matching vowel sounds even if the ending doesn't match.)
 

Jason

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New word I learned today:

"Soaring skeins of Canada Geese flying in "V" formation are part of the fabric of fall across North America."

skein - a flock of wild geese or swans in flight, typically in a V-shaped formation

The source was an ornithological email subscription I get from the folks at Cornell (great newsletter btw: https://www.birds.cornell.edu/home/)
 

Maryn

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It's understandable that a person might mistake fletching for fledgling, IMO. The surname Fletcher means maker of arrows. (And in the distant past, a Cooper made barrels.)

Maryn, whose people carried bricks
 

mrsmig

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I learned that a fletching is not a baby bird, but the stabilizing feather on an arrow. (I blame Pokemon on that misunderstanding)

Pokemon called them "fletchlings," didn't they? Considering that it's a small bird ("fledgling") with two feathers on its tail that resemble an arrow's fletching, it's a nice portmanteau term.
 
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Maryn

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Oh, that is a nice one. I didn't know about Pokemon.

Maryn, who doesn't know lots and lots of stuff
 

TeresaRose

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One of my favourite discoveries: Ultracrepidarian:
adjective: noting or pertaining to a person who criticizes, judges, or gives advice outside the area of his or her expertise:
et. - The play provides a classic, simplistic portrayal of an ultracrepidarian mother-in-law.

noun
an ultracrepidarian person.

I know a few of these! :e2stooges:e2stooges:e2stooges
 

Keithy

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Hirsel - a group of sheep of the same kind
 

Chris P

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Aigrette ​- a woman's headdress featuring a white egret feather, but can also include jewels or other decorations.
 

Krampus Nacht

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