Words from my reading

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

retsina, n A Greek wine flavored with pine resin
page 11, The Hidden by Tobias Hill
“He found a boarding house by the Hill of Wolves and walked up to the summit each day, his heart hammering at the gradient, the groves of wet cypress and pine soaking him when the wind caught them head on, the air under them awash with the smell of retsina.”
The only thing I could come up with was resin.

conurbations, pl n Extremely large, densely populated urban areas, usually involving a complex of suburbs and smaller towns together with the large city at their center
page 12, The Hidden by Tobias Hill
“He found two positions he might have filled, both menial by his standards, one in the harbour subcity of Piraeus and the other miles out in the industrial conurbations of Mégara; but both were taken when he telephones, with no expectation of further vacancies.”

eluvium, n An accumulation of dust and soil particles caused by the weathering and disintegration of rocks in place, or deposited by drifting winds, distinguished from alluvium
page 14, The Hidden by Tobias Hill
“The windows were gummed shut with eluvium, and when they got going again he heat built up, pleasant at first, then uncomfortable and finally alarming, the metal frames of the seats too hot to touch.”
Seems like it might be close to alluvial, but apparently not.

thutter, n A dull, vibrating sound
page 24, The Hidden by Tobias Hill
“The thutter and blurt of meat.”
Yay, an onomatopoetic word! :)

calyx, n The outer whorl of protective leaves (sepals) of a flower, usually green; in zoology, a cuplike part of cavity
page 24, The Hidden by Tobias Hill
“Once, while Kostandin was teaching him how to gut squid — drawing the calyx from each soft body like a glass pen from a well of ink — the Albanian told him a story of Nikos.”

hoplites, pl n Heavily armed foot soldiers of ancient Greece
page 39, The Hidden by Tobias Hill
“It was built on the backs of hoplites and helots.”
This was pretty well defined in the text.

helots, pl n Members of the lowest class of serfs in ancient Sparta; any serf of slave [derived from the Laconian town of Helos, whose inhabitants were enslaved by the Spartans]
page 39, The Hidden by Tobias Hill
“It was built on the backs of hoplites and helots.”
This was pretty well defined in the text.

phalanx, n An ancient military formation of infantry in close, deep ranks with shields overlapping and spears extended; a massed group of individuals, compact body; a group of individuals united for a common purpose; the people forming a phalanstery; in anatomy, any of the bones forming the fingers or toes
page 39, The Hidden by Tobias Hill
“A hoplite army fought as a phalanx, a massed force of spears, eight men deep and many men wide.”
I should have known this one on first reference, but by the end of the book, I think I’ve definitely got it down now.

runnel, n A small stream, little brook or rivulet; a small channel or watercourse
page 53, The Hidden by Tobias Hill
“A runnel of hot blood slid over the hilt of the knife and he swore, turned past Kostandin and ran water over the new burn.”

fossicking, v Prospecting or searching, as for gold; searching about, rummaging
page 58, The Hidden by Tobias Hill
“We’re just fossicking over old ground.”

More great words on my Words from my reading page.

Review of the book cited here:
The Hidden by Tobias Hill

What new words have you found lately?

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7 responses to “Words from my reading

  1. Yay for onomatopoeia! I like “thutter” too. You found lots of hard words!

  2. Sometimes I swear authors make up some of these words like conurbations but if you found it in the dictionary – it must be real. Actually, I can visualize it.

  3. That book is full of new words. I love the sound of thutter! I don’t think I’d want to drink retsina.

  4. Pingback: Words from my reading « Word Lily

  5. Pingback: Words from my reading « Word Lily

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