Wondrous Words Wednesday is hosted by BermudaOnion each week. It's an opportunity to share new words you've encountered in your reading, or highlight words that you particularly enjoy.
Currently I am reading People of the Book by Geraldine Brooks. I have encountered lots of unknown words. Some I can figure out , because of the way they are used in the sentence and in the context of the story.
These two were unknown and I couldn't decide what they might mean. So I had to look them up. I was reading in bed, I keep a small notebook and pen on the bedside table, so I just wrote them down and the page number they were on. Then I took the time to look them up the next day.
1. a. of, like, or characteristic of an ointment or unguent; oily or greasy
b. made up of or containing fat or oil
2. like oil, soap, or grease to the touch: said of certain minerals
3. soft and rich: said of soil
4. plastic; moldable
5. characterized by a smug, smooth pretense of spiritual feeling, fervor, or earnestness, as in seeking to persuade; too suave or oily in speech or manner
In the book, page 84 the sentence reads: “Josip had risen as an administrator because of a charming manner that sometimes bordered on unctuousness.”
So , the #5 definition applies here.
plural noun sing. incunabulum
1. the very first stages of anything; infancy; beginnings
2. early printed books; esp., books printed before 1500
The first two sentences on page 85 : When they arrived at the library Faber nodded curtly and spoke for the first time. “Let me see your Jewish manuscripts and incunabula.”
When I see the #2 definition, it now makes more sense. Both definitions come from my online dictionary, Webster’s New World Dictionary.
This is a good story, and refers to some of the same time as other historical fiction I have been reading lately. Fall of Giants by Ken Follett and Russian Winter by Daphne Kalotay.
Until next time,
Stay Busy and Stay Happy