Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Wondrous Words Wednesday - 2/24/16

Kathy at Bermudaonion's Weblog hosts this weekly meme where you can share new words you've encountered or spotlight words you love. If you want to play along, write a post then go to Kathy's blog to link your post.

These words were found in the first few pages of The Liar's Club by Mary Karr. It is not a read for the faint of heart. It is gritty, unforgettable and the real deal.

"My eyes were belt-level with his service revolver and a small leather sap that even then must have been illegal in the state of Texas."

sap - noun

I could not find this word in any online dictionary, but I googled it and this is what I found:

The SAP is a blunt weapon, a self-defense weapon. You just put it in your hand and then strike a target with the head of it. Typical carriers would be prison guards, and police. Police sometimes would have PD stamped into the base of the head on the leather.
They come in different weights and lengths.
While a blackjack has a coiled spring, the SAP has a long piece of metal, flexible, and sometimes with a small, metal ball at the head.

The head is wider, but shorter than the handle. Often, there is a strap, on the handle end, to make it easier to hold on to the SAP.

"At some point the talk got heated, and Paolo called Mother a strumpet, for which Daddy was said to have stomped a serious mud-hole in Paolo's a_ _. "

strumpet - noun dated

a prostitute or promiscuous woman

This from the Urban Dictionary, among many other more graphic examples.

first used by Shakespeare to describe loose women - "Thou art a strumpet"

What interesting or wondrous words did you find this week?

Stay Busy and Stay Happy


  1. I think I knew what a strumpet is, but I'd never heard that definition of sap.

  2. I knew strumpet (don't ask me why) but the only sap I knew was what comes from trees.

  3. Sap is new to me. It looks like what used to be called a billy club. Sounds like you've got a winning book there.

  4. Shakespeare contributed many of the words today; this is a colorful one. Also, I didn't know that definition of sap either. Thanks!

  5. I knew strumpet but not sap, thanks! for sharing.

  6. I've seen sap before, used in scenes of torture. Not a pleasant word. Strumpet is a fun-sounding word and I usually see it used when 'prostitute' would put too fine of a point on it.

  7. Gee, I thought a sap was a person who is an easy target or highly emotional. I've learned something!

  8. First of all, thanks for commenting on my post for "First Chapter, First Paragraph", and sorry for the late comment back. Sometimes life gets in the way.

    This is an interesting meme! It serves to increase one's vocabulary.

    I know the word "sap" in other contexts, but not in this one. I had never heard of this weapon before. It might not look very dangerous, but I'm sure it hurts when used!

    As for the word "strumpet", I've come across it before in classics, as it's not a common word nowadays. I might have also have seen it in some early modern book, but can't recall which.

    Thanks for the interesting post! :)