Words from my reading

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

dolorous, adj Feeling or expressing great sorrow or distress
page 142, Death Comes for the Archbishop by Willa Cather
“Here, these demonstrations seemed a part of the high colour that was in landscape and gardens, in the flaming cactus and the gaudily decorated altars, — in the agonized Christs and dolorous Virgins and the very human figures of the saints.”
I guessed this was related to suffering because of its closeness to Dolorosa, and I was right!

concupiscence, n Strong sexual desire, lust
page 146, Death Comes for the Archbishop by Willa Cather
“‘Since concupiscence is the most common form of temptation, it is better for him to know something about it.'”
This was pretty clear from the context.

burnouses, pl n [aka burnoose] Thick hooded cloaks worn throughout the Arab world and North Africa
page 150, Death Comes for the Archbishop by Willa Cather
“Gold-coloured men in white burnouses came out on the stairlike flights of roofs, and stood still as statues, apparently watching the changing light on the mountain.”

coruscation, n A flash or gleam of light, a burst or play of light, as the reflection of lightning by clouds or of moonlight on the sea
page 222, Death Comes for the Archbishop by Willa Cather
“Some split into great forks which arched down almost to the ground; some did not fork at all, but the main trunk dipped downward in a strong curve, as if drawn by a bow-string; and some terminated in a thick coruscation of growth, like a crooked palm tree.”

wastrels, pl n Wasteful or good-for-nothing people
page 245, Death Comes for the Archbishop by Willa Cather
“He had found the slopes under Pike’s Peak dotted with camps, the gorges black with placer miners; thousands of people were living in tents and shacks, Denver City was full of saloons and gambling-rooms; and among all the wanderers and wastrels were many honest men, hundreds of good Catholics, and not one priest.”

postilion, n A person who rides the leading left-hand horse of a team or pair drawing a coach or carriage, especially when there is no coachman
page 283, Death Comes for the Archbishop by Willa Cather
“The postilion’s horn sounded.”

More great words on my Words from my reading page. Last week’s words were from this book too (as were the week before’s).

Reviews of books cited here:
Death Comes for the Archbishop by Willa Cather

What new words have you found lately?


6 responses to “Words from my reading

  1. Wow, Death Comes to the Archbishop is a real treasure trove of new words, isn’t it. Wastrel is the only one I knew.

  2. Wastrels was the only word I had used before. Although they were all great, I’d like to try to use dolorous in my vocabulary! I am glad you are enjoying a book by a great Nebraskan author. 🙂

    Here are my words…

  3. I’ve heard burnoose before, but I couldn’t define it.

  4. Wow, I like this idea! Good way to build vocabulary.

  5. There are a lot of wonderful words in that book! I am going to look this book up on line. 🙂

  6. I’ve heard of the last two, and the last is one I’ve learned from a book. My latest are calumny and pelisse. The only problem is sometimes they turn out to be ancient words (when it’s historical fiction) and that makes it so confusing because you don’t know whether it’s worth remembering or not.

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