'I am simply a 'book drunkard.' Books have the same irresistible temptation for me that liquor has for its devotee. I cannot withstand them.' L.M. Montgomery

'There are no faster or firmer friendships than those formed between people who love the same books.' Irving Stone

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Wondrous Words Wednesday

Wondrous Words Wednesday is a weekly meme where we share new (to us) words that we’ve encountered in our reading. It is hosted by Kathy over at BermudaOnion's Weblog. If you've come across an interesting word or three this week in your reading, run on over to BermudaOnion's and grab the button, write a post and link up at her blog!  

Words this week are from 'The Man in Lower Ten' by Mary Roberts Rinehart

Elephantinely:   pg. 78

'Not far from us a very stout, middle-aged man, apoplectic with the heat, was elephantinely jolly for the benefit of a bored-looking girl...'

Adj.1.elephantine - of great mass; huge and bulky;
above average in size or number or quantity or magnitude or extent;

Chimerical:  pg.90
'And a man who, so far, had been a purely chimerical person.'

chimerical, chimeric    adj.

1. wildly fanciful; imaginary
2. given to or indulging in fantasies
chimerically  adv.
chimericalness  n.
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003

Poltroon: pg. 108
'And I'll tell you I felt like a poltroon-whatever that may be-when I turned her down.'

poltroon  noun

an abject or contemptible coward
adj.          a rare word for cowardly

[from Old French poultron, from Old Italian poltrone lazy good-for-nothing, apparently from poltrīre to lie indolently in bed, from poltro bed]
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003

Mendaciously:  pg. 51
'It was hardly worth mentioning,' I said mendaciously, with my heart beating until I could hear it.'

men·da·cious  adj.

1. Lying; untruthful: a mendacious child.
2. False; untrue: a mendacious statement. See Synonyms at dishonest.
men·dacious·ly adv.

This book had lots of great words in it that we don't seem to use anymore. How about you find any interesting words this last week?


  1. Elephantinely makes perfect sense, but I don't think I've ever seen that word before. I like poltroon and think I can sneak that one into a conversation.

  2. What a lovely group of words. I've heard of all of them, but couldn't have guessed the meaning of poltroon. Sometimes you need to see words like this again and again to remember them. It would be a nice one to remember.

  3. We use poltron, for poltroon in French, chimérique for chimerical, éléphantin or éléphantesque for elephantinely, but I didn't found any word for mendaciously. Thanks for the definition !

    1. Hi Annie,

      It is amazing that when I hear French (or any other language for that matter) spoken, the words always sound so different, however, when you actually break a sentence down into the individual words, many of them are actually very similar.

      It is always said that if you take two people who speak different languages, the only way they can usually communicate, is in broken English. I have seen and heard it for myself, so know it to be true!

      Have a good week.


    2. Interesting group of words, I've heard of elephantine before.


  4. Hi Peggy,

    I haven't come across this book before, but I am intrigued by the synopsis and might well end up by giving it a try.

    If your word selection is anything to go by, it definitely sounds like my kind of thing.

    It should be quite easy to slip any one of those words into a conversation without offending anyone too much, with the probable exception of 'Elphantine' which wouldn't go down too well, at least it wouldn't if someone said it to me!!

    I had come across all of these words before and that has to be a first in this meme ... I feel quite smug and pleased with myself .... I'll bet I wouldn't be able to recall them again if you asked me in a few weeeks time!!

    Enjoy the rest of your week.


  5. Very interesting group of words. It gives me a good sense that I might enjoy the book.

  6. Excellent words! I knew elephantine and a few others, but it's always good to read their definitions again.

  7. Those are great words! I've heard poltroon before, and I think elephantinely and chimerical make perfect sense. They're very unusual and musical.

    My words are here.

  8. Great words. I feel like I should have known a couple, but I couldn't begin to come up with definitions except for a decent guess on elephantine.

  9. I enjoyed your words this week. I know I've heard Chimerical before, but I've never looked it up. I think I just assumed I knew what it meant by it's context. Thanks for sharing!

    My words are here: http://upallnightreading.wordpress.com/2012/02/22/wondrous-word-wednesday-5/


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