Wondrous Words #171

Hey, it’s time for Wondrous Words Wednesday. This is the third week I’m using words from My Antonia by Willa Cather (in case anyone was counting). For me, this was a rich novel in many ways: the story and the characters were splendid, and there was a wealth of new words. Here are some more:

1. torpor: She was the only one of his family who could rouse the old man from the torpor in which he seemed to live.

Torpor is a state of physical or mental inactivity; lethargy.

2. hartshorn: The wind had the burning taste of fresh snow; my throat and nostrils smarted as if someone had opened a hartshorn bottle.

Hartshorn is a liquid ammonia solution used as smelling salts. It got it’s name because it was formerly prepared from the horns of deer.

3. quinsy: The next day I came down with an attack of quinsy, which kept me in the house for nearly two weeks.

Quinsy is inflammation of the throat, especially an abscess in the region of the tonsils.

That’s all for this week. I still have more words from this wonderful book — enough for a few more weeks. See you next Wednesday.

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

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6 Responses to Wondrous Words #171

  1. I did know torpor but the other two are new to me. I wonder if smelling salts and hartshorn is used at all anymore. I sure hope I don’t get quinsy this winter.

  2. I knew torpor too and had heard of quinsy, but didn’t know what it was, it sounds awful. Hartshorn sounds as though it’s a word Agatha Christie might have used, although I don’t remember reading it in any of her books.

  3. amy says:

    Pretty words!! I like 2nd and 3rd words. Sounds good. Its Cool to come across these words.

  4. Staci says:

    2 and 3 are new words for me!

  5. Not counting, just feeling guilty because I read that book, loved that book, and STILL didn’t know what most of those words meant.

  6. Louise says:

    I knew torpor and quinsy, torpor is such a fabulous word, we should use it more often- I feel that way pretty often, every morning in fact. Never heard of harshorn before.

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