Wondrous Words #172

It’s Wednesday and time to take a look at the new words we found in our reading. I’m still working on the new words I found in My Antonia by Willa Cather.

1.  frontispiece: We had files of those good old family magazines which used to publish coloured lithographs of popular paintings, and I was allowed to use some of these. I took ‘Napoleaon Announcing the Divorce to Josephine’ for my frontispiece.

Frontispiece is an illustration facing the title page of a book.

2.  propitiatory: I loved the dim superstition, the propitiatory intent, that had put the grave there; and still more I loved the spirit that could not carry out the sentence–the error form the surveyed lines, the clemency of the soft earth roads along which the home-coming wagons rattled after sunset.

Propitiatory is a verb meaning to win or regain the favor of (a god, spirit, or person) by doing something that pleases them.

3.  bole: Her neck came up strongly out of her shoulders, like the bole of a tree out of the turf.

Bole is the trunk of a tree.

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

4 comments to Wondrous Words #172

  • I knew “bole” (but not from reading My Antonia)….again ashamed of myself for not looking up words as I read…every time I visit you on Wednesday I make a vow to do better.

  • The first two words don’t glide off my tongue too well. I would have guessed frontispiece was a piece of clothing but it’s definition makes sense to me. I hope I remember it the next time I see one.

  • Great words there Margot, and some wonderful synchronicity. I just did a post about a Napoleon exhibition I saw in Melbourne today! There may have even been some frontispieces on display. I’ve seen bole before, but it’s not a word I would normally use.

  • Hi Margot,

    I have heard of propitiatory before, but it is one of those words that I have never bothered looking up, so had no idea of its exact definition. It definitely isn’t one to be dropped casually into a converstaion either, I am not sure just when I would get the opportunity to use it.

    I knew both of the other words, although again they are not words that I would use on a daily basis.

    Thanks for sharing,


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