Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Wondrous Words Wednesday 4-17

 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. Visit Kathy at BermudaOnion and check out words that fellow readers have discovered. 

This week I am reading The House at Riverton by Kate Morton. It makes me think of Downton Abbey. The timeline is the same, the fact that there is dissent regarding who will be the heir. The downstairs staff and most of the characters are similar. I find myself thinking of these characters as the actors from the PBS series. 

1. primogeniture: noun

"....given that no new arrangements were made after news of Major Hartford's death, the estate will pass, in line with the ancient laws of primogeniture, to Major Hartford's eldest male child."

  a)  the state of being the firstborn of the children of the same parents
  b)  an exclusive right of inheritance belonging to the eldest son.

I was sure of the meaning of this word because of the sentence structure and usage. But I wanted to look it up anyway. I am not familiar with the word, even though I am the firstborn of the children of  the same parents. But I am not the eldest son, nor is there any inheritance to be gained!  It was of great importance in the early 1900s. Not so much any more maybe, since women have the right to vote and can now hold property and make their own fortune. 

2. panoply: noun

"Through the kitchen I went, past Mrs. Townsend's workbench covered with a panoply of sweetbreads and cakes,and up the stairs. "

Surely this meant an abundance or great many.

a : a full suit of armor
b : ceremonial attire
: something forming a protective covering
a : a magnificent or impressive array panoply
of a military funeral>
I am assuming the author used the word in the 3rd definition. This was a new word for me and I am going to try to add it to my vocabulary. I had to listen to the word spoken though, I did not guess the pronunciation correctly.

Both these definitions came from the Merriam - Webster dictionary downloaded to my computer. I really like the fact that I can "click" on the speaker icon and hear the word pronounced. 

So what are you reading this week? Have you discovered any "new to you" words? 

Until next time,

Stay Busy and Stay Happy


  1. I love panoply- and boy would I love to have a panoply of sweetbreads and cakes on my kitchen table! Thanks Judy

  2. I know panoply from personal experience. The way I use the word it means a huge or impressive collection of things. For example, I have a panoply of yarn and quilting fabrics. I guess it could also be applied to all of us book bloggers and our books,

  3. I should have known panoply - there was a gift shop by that name in a town we used to live in. Great words today!