New (to me) Words

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I’ve always enjoyed Word Lily’s feature of the new words she’s discovered in her reading. Lately I’ve been reading some books that have been stretching my vocabulary, so I thought I’d let you know the words that I had to look up. All definitions are from the Oxford Dictionaries Online.

cretinous (found in Painted Drum by Louise Erdrich) – the adjectival form of cretin, “a stupid person.” Now that I think of it, I have heard it used as a noun, but the adjective is new to me.

supernal (found in Painted Drum by Louise Erdrich) - “of or relating to the sky or the heavens; celestial.” Doesn’t have the same ring to it as “celestial” does, does it?

raconteur (found in What Good is God? by Phillip Yancey ) – “a person who tells anecdotes in a skillful and amusing way.” I like the French spelling, and wish I was a raconteur.

pyrrhic (found in To Change The World by James Davison Hunter) – “(of a victory) won at too great a cost to have been worthwhile for the victor.” This seems like a useful word.

bromide (found in To Change The World by James Davison Hunter) – “a trite and marginal idea or remark, typically intended to sooth or placate.” I definitely get that.

paramour (found in A Short History of a Small Place by T. R. Pearson) – “a lover, especially the illicit partner of a married person.” I could figure out the meaning in context, but I was curious about it as it’s obviously not a word we use much today.

What words have you learned lately? Bonus points if you can use any of them in your comment!

4 thoughts on “New (to me) Words

  1. Yay, love that you posted this! :D

    One of the latest words I’ve learned (it was defined in the text) is prosopagnosia, a condition characterized by an inability to recognize faces (also called face blindness). I’m certainly glad I don’t suffer from prosopagnosia!

  2. A few weeks ago Brian told me he couldn’t take a shower because the water was too sprayable. I told him it wasn’t a word.
    Today I told Brian while he was showering to wash his hair more vigorously. He laughed at me and said it was just just like sprayable- not a word.
    I guess that doesn’t really answer your question… but it was funny. Most of the words I learn wouldn’t make any sense to many people since they are Macedonian.

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