Words from my reading

A few new to me words this week:

missals, pl n A large book containing the prayers, readings and rubrics authorized by the Roman Catholic Church for the celebration of Mass; any small book with such a content for use by people attending Mass
page 25, The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafón
“The remaining copies had been returned and pulped for printing missals, fines, and lottery tickets.”

incunabula, pl n The very first stages of anything, infancy, beginnings; early printed books, especially books printed before 1500
page 40, The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafón
“It was obvious that, as well as books, incunabula, and all manner of arcane bibliography, Don Gustavo also collected statues, paintings, and altarpieces, not to mention abundant fauna and flora.”

funicular, adj Of, worked by, or hanging from a rope or cable, a mountain railway on which counterbalanced cars on parallel sets of rails are pulled up and lowered by cables
page 147, The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafón
“Suddenly I felt like taking the funicular up the hill to visit the old amusement park crowning its top and wander among its merry-go-rounds and the eerie automaton halls, but I had promised to be back in the bookshop on time.”

lacunae, pl n A space where something has been omitted or has come out, gap, hiatus, especially a missing portion in a manuscript, text, etc.
page 188, The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafón
“As I listened to myself, it became increasingly clear to me that there were many lacunae in that story.”

dovecote, n A small house or box with compartments for nesting pigeons, usually on a pole
page 212, The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafón
“He always carried with him a penknife he had removed from one of his father’s drawers, and he liked to carve wooden figures with it, which he kept in the school dovecote.”

macaque, n Any of a genus of monkeys of Asia, Africa and the East Indies, with a long or short tail that is not prehensile, including the rhesus monkey and Barbary ape
page 232, The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafón
“He brought back rather more than a fortune from the New World: with him were an American wife — a fragile damsel from Philadelphia high society who didn’t speak a word of Spanish — and a mulatto maid who had been in his service since his first years in Cuba and who traveled with a caged macaque in harlequin dress and seven trunks of luggage.”

nabob, n A native provincial deputy or governor of the old Mogul Empire in India; a very rich or important man
page 235, The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafón
“The police and Jausá’s lawyers were responsible for closing the file on the case, but the nabob Jausá wanted to continue.”

seraglio, n The part of a Muslim household where wives or concubines live, harem; the palace of a Turkish sultan
page 315, The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafón
“I wondered whether that was the enormous sum with which he was going to finance the visit to the sumptuous seraglio of Iberian nymphs.”

perfidious, adj Treacherous, faithless
page 335, The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafón
“‘For you I”ll always be the perfidious Clara Barceló.'”

cortege, n The group of attendants accompanying a person, retinue; a ceremonial procession, as at a funeral
page 406, The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafón
“No sooner had the sinister cortege left the shop than the hatter set off toward the cathedral chapel where he had first met Sophie.”

Earlier installments of this feature (more great words!).

Reviews of books cited here:
The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafón

What new words have you found lately?


Don’t forget about my giveaway of The Night Watchman!

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13 responses to “Words from my reading

  1. Wow, such a big list of new words. It looks like you had to read with the dictionary close at hand. Hope the book was worth it.

  2. I liked the word funicular. I like the way it sounds.
    Great list.

  3. Great words! I knew funicular because they have one in the city we lived in in France.

  4. Shadow of the Wind has some great words!

    My words are here.

  5. Great words from a wonderful book – hope you enjoyed the story as much as I did!

  6. Great words! I knew several of them already, but my favourite new-to-me word is definitely incunabula!

  7. Do you ever notice those words you read all the time, and know what they mean, but have never heard them spoken out loud? And then when you do hear them spoken, you find out they’re pronounced completely different than the way you say them in your head. Or you say the word to someone else, and end up corrected and red-faced.

    Guess it’s a byproduct of reading more than you socialize!

    • Alas, yes. I have one or two painful memories from when I was a kid about mispronouncing words because I’d never heard them, only read them. At least now I’m better about guessing how a word is pronounced!

  8. This is a fun feature! I rarely write down words that puzzle me, anymore, but I should. That’s how you learn, right? I remember learning what “countenance” meant while reading Great Expectations in high school. It’s amazing how many times you see the words after you know what they mean.

  9. Pingback: Saint Julian by Walter Wangerin Jr. « Word Lily

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