Wondrous Words #191

Wondrous Words Wednesday is a fun meme I love to play each week. It keeps me looking for new words wherever I’m reading.

I’ve been reading If You Lived Here I’d Know Your Name by Heather Linde. It a great story about Heather’s life in Haines, Alaska. Here are some words I discovered:

1.  moiety: “Tlingit names areare based on the moiety, or reciprocal group, to which they belong.

I found the word (and the sentence) to be a little confusing. There are a couple of ways to look at the definition. Moiety could mean each of two parts into which a thing is or can be divided. In this case I believe moiety refers to the meaning in anthropology: each of two social or ritual groups into which a people is divided.

2.  potlatches: “When a Raven dies, it is the Eagles who plan the funeral. Eagles sing songs to Ravens at potlatches.

Among North American Indian peoples of the northwest coast, a polatch is an opulent ceremonial feast at which possessions are given away or destroyed to display wealth or enhance prestige.

3.  gillnetter: My oldesr daughters, Elia and Sarah, are working as deckhanfds on a gillnetter, fishing mainly for chum salmon eggs, or roe, which will be sold to a caviar company.

I figured a gillnetter was some kind of boat, but I’d never heard of it. The boat is named for the kind of net that is used on the boat. A gill-net is a net that is hung vertically so that fish get trapped in it by their gills.

Wondrous Word Wednesday is sponsored by Kathy @ Bermuda Onion’s Weblog.

7 comments to Wondrous Words #191

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