Wondrous Words #164

Thanks for stopping by to check on the new words I found in my reading this week. I finished reading Caleb’s Crossing by Geraldine Brooks. The story is set in the 1600s so there are lots of new-to-me words. Here are a few:

1.  declension: “At first, when I gave out a Latin declension, fathe4 was amused, and laugheed.”

Declenasion, in Latin or Greek, as the sentence suggests, is the variation of the form of a noun, pronoun, or adjective, by which its grammatical case, number, and gender are identified.

2.  decoction:  “Goody Brach was pleased to have me at her side as she collected plants and made her decoctions.”

I thought decoction sounded like concoction in this sentence. There is a subtle difference. Decoction is the liquor resulting from concentrating the essence of a substance by heating or boiling, esp. a medicinal preparation made from a plant.

3. sumptuary:  “Yet this seemed to go against so many of our preachments, against the sumptuary and the carnal.”

Sumptuary refers to laws that limit private expenditure on food and personal items.

Wondrous Words Wednesday is the brain child of Kathy at Bermuda Onion. Be sure to visit her for more new words.


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6 Responses to Wondrous Words #164

  1. Those are all new to me. I find it interesting that they had limits on private expenditures on food and other items. I bet I’d find tons of new words in that book too.

  2. Libby says:

    Sumptuary is like sumptuous – so it makes sense. Did not know these though. But, I DID read Caleb’s Crossing! I liked it, but I LOVED her novel, People of the Book!

  3. Louise says:

    I’ve come across declension somewhat recently. And had similar thoughts about concoction, I’m glad we no longer have sumptuary laws I’d find them particularly difficult.

  4. Annie says:

    Declenasion is déclinaison in French : difficult to learn for the poor pupils. We use too décoction. Have a nice week, Margot !

  5. Staci says:

    Love the words this week!!

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