Words from my reading

New to me words this week:

ossuary, n A container, as an urn, vault, etc., for the bones of the dead
page 16, Fields of Blood by Eric Wilson
“The Collector brushed over the shape and recognized it now as an ossuary, a repository for the dead.”
The text itself does a pretty good job of defining this one.

sybaritic, adj, from the noun Sybarite: Any of the people of ancient Sybaris; anyone very fond of self-indulgence and luxury; voluptuary
page 17, Fields of Blood by Eric Wilson
“This place was creepy, murmuring to him in sybaritic tones.”

revenants, pl n People who return, as after a long absence; ghosts
page 42, Fields of Blood by Eric Wilson
“The eighteen revenants continued through the night.”

susurrus, n A whispering, murmuring, or rustling sound
page 115, Fields of Blood by Eric Wilson
“Ariston and the other Collectors ducked into subterranean darkness and shuffled along stone-cold walls, stirring the susurrus of those who had given their lives for this land.”

tuica (pronounced: tsweeka), n A traditional Romanian alcoholic beverage, usually made from plums
page 144, Fields of Blood by Eric Wilson
“‘You still want the case of tuica, don’t you?'”

macadam, n (after John L. McAdam, and pronounced accordingly) Small broken stones used in making roads, esp., such stones combined with a binder such as tar or asphalt
page 3, Charming Billy by Alice McDermott
“The place was at the end of a sloping driveway that started out as macadam but quickly diminished to dirt and gravel.”

breviary, n A book containing the Psalms, readings, prayers, etc., of the Divine Office
page 62, Charming Billy by Alice McDermott
“Shivering, I pulled it over my elbows and felt as I did a small square weight in one pocket — a breviary or a flask.”

tattersalltattersall, adj (after Tattersall’s, a London horse market and gamblers’ rendezvous, founded in 1766 by Richard Tattersall) Having a checkered pattern of dark lines on a light background
page 158, Charming Billy by Alice McDermott
“He was changed out of his suit but looked that much more polished in a pressed sport shirt and tattersall pants.”

colleen, n [Irish] A girl
page 252, Charming Billy by Alice McDermott
“Held out his hand and said, ‘Billy Lynch,’ and Eva, drying her hands on her apron like some Brigadoon colleen, said, ‘Billy Lynch, I know it’s you.'”

Reviews of the books cited here:
Field of Blood by Eric Wilson
Charming Billy by Alice McDermott

Earlier installments of this feature (more great words!)


11 responses to “Words from my reading

  1. Both ‘ossuary’ and “susurrus” have shown up in my book (The Fiery Cross), but I knew what they meant. My latest word is ‘punctilious’ which I discovered is an adjective that means “strict or exact in the observance of the formalities or amenities of conduct or actions.”

  2. Huh, I didn’t know that that kind of plaid/check/pattern had an actual name. Hey, it’s not even 9 a.m. and I’ve learned my new fact for the day! 😉

  3. You seem to have had a very heavy word week with nine new words. Looks like some heavy reading as well. Hope the reading was satisfying.

  4. Yes, you had several good words in this week’s reading, didn’t you? I was familiar with some, but quite a few (sybaritic, susurrus, tuica) were new-to-me, as well; Thanks for sharin’ those, and have a wonderful week ahead!

  5. Revenants is a great word. They follow me around at night (joking). Tuica is also new. Nice choices.

  6. I knew the word macadam but I didn’t know that’s how it’s pronounced.

  7. Great words! My favourite is susurrus. I also mentioned sybaritic in my list this week.

    Here are my Wondrous Words for this week.

  8. Excellent words! I feel very clever because I was familiar with all of them but tuica, but they are stumpers!

    My Wondrous Words are here.

  9. Absolutely love the word “sybaritic”. I wish I could use it more often!

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