Words from my reading

A few fun words that were new to me for this week:

rictus, n A sustained gaping, as of a bird’s beak or an animal’s mouth; the opening so produced; a fixed, gaping grin
page 92, In a Perfect World by Laura Kasischke
“The rictus of cacti, bleached to bone.”

sinecure, n Originally, an endowed church office providing a living for a vicar, rector, etc., not involving the care of souls; any office or position providing an income or other advantage but requiring little or no work
page 54, “The Queer Feet,” in The Complete Father Brown Stories by G.K. Chesterton
“The attendant of this place was temporarily absent, probably because the only guests were at dinner and his office was a sinecure.”

excrescences, pl n Normal outgrowths, natural appendage, as fingernails [this definition is now rare]; abnormal or disfiguring outgrowths or additions, as bunions
page 62, “The Queer Feet,” in The Complete Father Brown Stories by G.K. Chesterton
“In this, as in Hamlet, there are the rococo excrescences — yourselves, let us say.”

I think I’ll spare you (and me!) from photos of these words. The two that could be easily pictured don’t sound too appealing.

More great words on my Words from my reading page.

Books cited here (links to review(s):
In a Perfect World by Laura Kasischke
“The Queer Feet,” in The Complete Father Brown Stories by G.K. Chesterton (Note: I haven’t figured out how I’m going to handle reviewing this stories/this book. If we keep the pace of reading one story each week, it will take a year to get through the mammoth book. Bottom line: I don’t read enough short stories to have a good idea how I want to handle them for the blog. What do you think?)

What new words have you found lately?

4 responses to “Words from my reading

  1. Rictus is new to me but I love it. I also like the way the sentence is composed. I have a loved one whose rictus mouth sets just so when he is concentrating.

  2. I knew excrescences.. We used it very commonly in medical school while studying pathology. The others are new to me ..

  3. I’m glad you didn’t add a picture of those toenails. Great words!

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