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Monday, July 23, 2012

New Words...

I love learning! I recently finished re-reading "Foucault's Pendulum" by Umberto Eco. While I thought the book lacked the brilliant plot and dialogue of "In the Name of the Rose" (another brilliant Eco book), I was delighted by all the words I had to look-up while reading this book. Here is a list of fun words I read and their definitions from Google.

  • isochronal - equal in duration or interval
  • ogive - a Gothic arch
  • chthonian - dwelling beneath the surface of the earth
  • macumba - Brazilian religious cult using socery, ritual dance, and fetish
  • catoptric - relating to a mirror, reflector, or reflection
  • alembic - distilling apparatus; rounded necked flask
  • eolopile - a device that, when heated, spins, spewing steam
  • athanor - a furnace that feeds itself to maintain a consistent temperature
  • homunculus - a very small humanoid creature
  • notarikon - method for deriving a word using each of its initial or final letters to stand for another word, forming a sentence or idea from the words
  • plerome - central core of primary meristem of a plant
  • ogdoad - eight
  • apothegm - a concise saying or aphorism
  • hypallage - a transposition of the natural relations of two elements in a proposition
  • zeugma - figure of speech in which one word applies to two other words in two different senses
  • labile - easily changed ; having emotions that are easily aroused or freely expressed
  • catafalque - decorated wooden framework supporting the coffin of a distinguished person during a funeral
  • simoom - a desert wind that often carries dust/sand
  • oriflamme - banner or standard ; a principle around which people rally
  • syncretism - the practice of combining different beliefs while melding practices of various schools of thought
  • austral - having to do with the south
  • askesis - severe self-discipline
  • couchette - railroad car with seats that turn into sleeping berths
  • conventicle - secret or unlawful religious meeting
  • telluric - of the earth or the soil
  • philosopheme - a philosophical statement, theorem, or axiom
  • rocaille - 18th century artistic style of decoration defined by elaborate ornamentation with pebbles, shells, or little beads
  • cicatrix - scar of a healed wound, or on the bank of a tree
  • menhir - tall upright stone erected in prehistoric times in Europe
  • anamnesis - remembering things from a supposed previous existence
  • grimoire - a book of spells
  • hieratic - concerning priests
  • sclerotic - being rigid or unresponsive, not able to adapt
  • ithyphallic - having an erect penis
  • auscultation - listening to sounds from the heart or lungs
  • terraqueous - having both land and water
  • tenebrous - dark, shadowy, or obscure

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