Wondrous Words Wednesday



Kathy over at Bermudaonion is the host of Wondrous Words, a fun and educational weekly meme where we list  all the words that had us stumped over the last week of reading.

This week my words came from  The Midwife: A Memoir of Birth, Joy, and Hard Times, by Jennifer Worth.

  • ordure– fecal matter: solid excretory product evacuated from the bowels fecal matter: solid excretory product evacuated from the bowels
  • creosote– a colorless or yellowish oily liquid obtained by distillation of wood tar; used as an antiseptic/ Chimney and stove pipe deposits originating as condensed wood smoke (including vapors, tar and soot). Creosote is often initially liquid, but may dry to pryrolze to a flaky or solid form.
  • fundus– (anatomy) the base of a hollow organ or that part of the organ farthest from its opening; “the uterine fundus”; “the fundus of the stomach”

I also read an interesting article in the Times Online UK about words over the history of time including which words have changed the most and the least. You can read the article here.  Apparently the words which have changed the least over the years are- I, Who, We, Thou, Two, Three and Five

Sigh.  I feel smarter already.  Thanks Kathy!

Happy Wednesday everyone! What new words have you learned this week?

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  1. Okay, ya got me with “ordure”. I knew “creosote”, because they used to coat the telephone poles with it when I was a kid, and I took two years of human anatomy, so fundus was already in my vocab – But, they’re all great words!! Thanks for sharin’ em, and teachin’ me somethin’!

    Have a great week ahead…

    mo’s last blog post..A Duo of Definitions

  2. Creosote is the only one I knew. Frankly, your book sounds a little yucky although I strongly support the work of midwives. I guess I’m too squeamish to actually read about it. Hope you are okay with it.

    Margot’s last blog post..Wondrous Words #9

    1. That’s the hard part. I only remember them about half the time. If I didn’t pay attention I would have the same words every week.

  3. great post, I have the Midwife in my TBR.

    bookworm’s last blog post..Wordless Wednesday 4.8.09

    1. It’s so good Naida. I am really enjoying it so much. it’s so informative but conversational at the same time. I am learning a lot.

  4. I know ordure as a French word (it just means garbage), but I didn’t know what it meant in English. Nor was I familiar with fondus! Sounds like an interesting book, but I’m not sure I’d be up to reading it either.

    Oh and thanks for the link to the article! I’m not sure I see how water, eau (pronounced “oh”) and aqua sound anything alike though! (Or did I misunderstand what they were saying?)

    avisannschild’s last blog post..Wondrous Words Wednesday (April 8)

    1. I thought ordure was some European spellling for odor which made sense in the context, so I was little surprise to find that it was so specific.

      I wasn’t quite sure how they figured eau and water were anything alike either. I guess you just had to be there.

  5. This is actually a good practice, especially since I’m on my sixth-grader’s case to do exactly this when he finds words he doesn’t know and it would be hypocritical not to do the same!