Words You've Learned from Reading and Writing

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mrsmig

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Pong, a strong, unpleasant smell, as in the pong of unwashed boy.

I actually learned that one via a post from another AWer, and fell in love with it immediately.
 

Maryn

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Makes me rethink the first video game I ever saw, though.
 

Yarns

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That's a very good comment. I never knew that Pong was an English word either outside of the game.
 

Jason

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List 3

Latest additions:


Luddite - Any of a group of British workers who between 1811 and 1816 rioted and destroyed laborsaving textile machinery in the belief that such machinery would diminish employment.

sesquipedalian - given to or characterized by long words, or long-winded.

polysyllabic - Having more than two and usually more than three syllables.

epitome - A representative or perfect example of a class or type

ferrule - a metal ring or cap placed around a pole or shaft for reinforcement or to prevent splitting

fleuron - a flower-shaped ornament, used especially on buildings, coins, books, and pastry

fungible - Returnable or negotiable in kind or by substitution, as a quantity of grain for an equal amount of the same kind of grain.

finial - A sculptured ornament, often in the shape of a leaf or flower, at the top of a gable, pinnacle, or similar structure.

triskelion - A figure consisting of three curved lines or branches, or three stylized human arms or legs, radiating from a common center.

trefoil - Any of various plants of the pea family, chiefly of the genera Trifolium and Lotus, having compound trifoliolate leaves.

caduceus - the greek symbol of commerce, thieves and tricksters: a winged staff with two intertwined snakes. Often confused with the rod of Asclepius, the symbol of medicine, which is a single snake coiled around a staff (the caduceus is often used instead of the rod of Asclepius to represent medicine in America, but this is considered incorrect elsewhere)

pong - a strong, unpleasant smell, as in the pong of unwashed boy
 
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Jason

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Some new additions: :)

Sepulcher - a burial vault
Aurochs - a large wild Eurasian ox that was the ancestor of domestic cattle
Redoubt - a temporary or supplemental fortification, typically square or polygonal and without flanking defenses
Sigil - an inscribed or painted sign or symbol considered to have magical powers
 
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Jason

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[FONT=.SF UI Text][FONT=.SFUIText]Caparisoned - an ornamental covering spread over a horse's saddle or harness[/FONT][/FONT]
 

Jason

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[FONT=.SF UI Text][FONT=.SFUIText]Plinth - a heavy base supporting a statue or vase
[/FONT][/FONT]

[FONT=.SF UI Text][FONT=.SFUIText]Crone - an old woman who is thin and ugly
[/FONT][/FONT]

[FONT=.SF UI Text][FONT=.SFUIText]Skirl - a shrill sound, esp. that of bagpipes[/FONT][/FONT]
[FONT=.SF UI Text][FONT=.SFUIText]Tremulous - marked by trembling, quivering, or shaking[/FONT][/FONT]
 

Beanie5

Live a poem...Or die a fool. \/
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roundhoused hit with a big sweep of the hand
phantasmagorical dreamlike
 
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Keithy

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I learned about this today:

Dazzle Camouflage - complex patterns of geometric shapes in contrasting colours, interrupting and intersecting each other.

Google it for pictures. It looks weird, to put it mildly.
 

yumpty-tum

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Chthonic - of, or related to, the Underworld

Quaquaversal - spreading from a single point to every direction equally, like ripples in a pond or a domed roof.

Xylem - the water and nutrient transport system in plants
 

Jason

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Parliament can also mean a group of owls, aside from the more obvious meaning of a governing body
 

Keithy

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I just got beaten at scrabble with a word I'd never heard before: Tabi. It's a kind of Japanese sock. Oh, really, like I think about Japanese socks all the time!

But then I had a leaf through the scrabble dictionary - and it struck me how many words I'd never heard of before.
 

Ms.Pencila

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Cinnamon sandies, I love this!

Ah, NWBL syndrome (Nerdy-Word-Book-Learned)... I still have it bad, but not quite as bad since I befriended a few dictionaries and decided that their pronunciation guides existed for a good reason.

So glad somebody mentioned sesquipedalian; that's one of my favorite words.

I haven't typically made lists while reading books unfortunately (usually just look up the word asap, and hope I remember it).

I do however remember starting to read Billy Budd and thinking "Erm, Melville, your vocabulary doesn't sound like your education was lacking in the English department)," and starting a list.
Pusillanimous lacking in courage-- literally small-souled in Latin-- still sticks out to me from his description of Claggart.
 
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Jason

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Cinnamon sandies, I love this!
...
Pusillanimous lacking in courage-- literally small-souled in Latin-- still sticks out to me from his description of Claggart.

Great word! I knew this only from a M*A*S*H reference when Winchester referred to Radar as a "pussillanimous little squirt..." Hmmm...methinks another list update is needed too, so one should be forthcoming later today. :)
 

Tazlima

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Pronking - that bounding gait peculiar to deer, antelope, and a few other animals, where they move around in a series of leaps.

Automaton [ah-TAH-muh-tahn] - A moving mechanical device made in imitation of a human being. (As a child, having only read the word, I thought it was prounounced [otto-MAY-tahn])

Cupule [ˈkyo͞opyo͞ol/] - A cup-shaped organ, structure, or receptical in a plant or animal (i.e. the shape of an acorn-top)
 
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Jason

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List 4

Great additions here all - here is the latest list (slightly more than 20, sorry) of compiled words we’ve learned from reading! :)

Sepulcher
- a burial vault

Aurochs - a large wild Eurasian ox that was the ancestor of domestic cattle
Redoubt - a temporary or supplemental fortification, typically square or polygonal and without flanking defenses
Sigil - an inscribed or painted sign or symbol considered to have magical powers
Caparisoned - an ornamental covering spread over a horse's saddle or harness
Plinth - a heavy base supporting a statue or vase
Crone - an old woman who is thin and ugly
Skirl - a shrill sound, esp. that of bagpipes
Tremulous - marked by trembling, quivering, or shaking
roundhouse - hit with a big sweep of the hand
phantasmagorical - dreamlike
Reticule - a handbag or purse that closes with a drawstring
Dazzle Camouflage - complex patterns of geometric shapes in contrasting colours, interrupting and intersecting each other
Chthonic - of, or related to, the Underworld
Quaquaversal - spreading from a single point to every direction equally, like ripples in a pond or a domed roof
Xylem - the water and nutrient transport system in plants
Parliament - can also mean a group of owls, aside from the more obvious meaning of a governing body
Tabi - a kind of Japanese sock
Pusillanimous - lacking in courage
Pronking - that bounding gait peculiar to deer, antelope, and a few other animals, where they move around in a series of leaps.
Automaton [ah-TAH-muh-tahn] - A moving mechanical device made in imitation of a human being.
Cupule [ˈkyo͞opyo͞ol/] - A cup-shaped organ, structure, or receptical in a plant or animal (i.e. the shape of an acorn-top)
 
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oneblindmouse

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conroi - group of five to ten knights who trained and fought together in the Middle Ages.
mesnie- medieval household.
destrier - a medieval knight's warhorse.
braies- medieval men's underwear.

Guess who's currently reading about medieval knights?
 

Jason

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Wayn: wagon?

I couldn’t find this one in a cursory search, but based on context (from GOT: Clash of Kings):

”Some were driving animals before them, others pulling wayns...”
 

Jason

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Yeah, I was looking for something from OED or AHD, but in the absence of anything official like that, the Fire and Ice Wiki and other less authoritative sources helped me suss it out. And may I also take this moment to observe that GRRM seems rather notorious for throwing out very archaic semantics in his writings?
 

boatman

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A few (fairly) common English ones:

Privvy - toilet
Miffed - upset or offended
Numpty - incompetant or unwise
Spawny - lucky
Midden - slurry or septic tank
Tosh - nonsense or rubbish
 

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