Wondrous Words #170

Thanks for stopping by to check on my new words this week. I’m still reading My Antonia and still gathering new-to-me words. Willa Cather is quite the wordsmith but I’ll share just a few.

1. oracular: But, as he uttered it, it became oracular, the most sacred of words.

Oracular refers to or is related to something from an oracle. The classical definition of an oracle is someone who is the medium through which prophecy or advice is given. In this case the author is probably thinking of oracle as a person or thing regarded as an infallible authority or guide on something. Thus, whatever was being said was “gospel,” or sacred.


2. windlass: The Russians had a neat log house byilt on a grassy slope, with a windlass well beside the door.

A windlass is a type of winch used especially on ships to hoist anchors and haul on mooring lines. As you can see in the picture, it was also used to lower buckets into and hoist them up from wells.

Wondrous Words Wednesday is a meme sponsored by Kathy at Bermuda Onion. Be sure to visit her for more new words.

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5 Responses to Wondrous Words #170

  1. Those are both new to me! Too bad there aren’t any wells around here – I could drop windlass in my conversation – I think I can remember that word.

  2. Louise says:

    I think I’ve heard of windlass before, certainly the picture is familiar. Oracular makes sense.

  3. I really loved this book (did I already tell you that) and each sentence brings back memories of it. (But I skipped over the word windlass). Oracular, I think I figured out correctly.

    Have you reviewed ‘on the road’? I have had it on Kindle for a while but can’t seem to work my way through more than two or three page turns at a time….

  4. Staci says:

    I knew what a windlass was but not the name!! Great words!

  5. Belle Wong says:

    I’ve heard of windlass before but never knew what it was. I would have thought oracular had something to do with eyes or vision, but it makes sense that it’s something related to an oracle!

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