Discovering New Words

I’m a list maker.  I have a “We’re All Out of…” list, a “Wants (Not Needs) List” (because it’s important to know the difference and I have way more wants than needs) and a dynamic “Must-Read list”.  Recently I started a “Word List” because it goes without saying that I love words and I am trying to increase my vocabulary.  My first attempt at introducing a new word into everyday conversation at home went pretty much the same way as the Titanic’s maiden voyage.


Here’s how it played out:

“J, is this what I think it is?”

“What?” Shouts response as he removes headphones.

“Is this sugar cane peeking out from underneath the printer on your desk?”

“What does it look like?”

“Well it looks like it could have once been a piece of sugar cane but then it could also be a piece of moldering bamboo.”

“It’s sugar cane.”

“Where did you get sugar cane?”  (Really a legitimate question considering where we live and the time of year)

“R gave me some.”



“I think this sugar cane should be defenestrated.”

Now it is possible – highly likely in fact – that I did not use this word correctly because J let out one long sigh and went back to watching Youtube. “Defenestration” means “to throw something or someone out the window” and while it did not in fact elicit a response from my teenage son I did get to pronounce this word out loud.

I stumbled upon another new word this week.  It’s adumbration (n).  The verb “adumbrate” means to “foreshadow vaguely” or “to suggest, disclose, partially disclose”. Synonyms include to “foreshadow” and “harbinger”.  I’ll have to slip it in somewhere in my novel…

What ‘new’ words have you discovered recently? 


11 thoughts on “Discovering New Words

  1. Thank you for ‘adumbration’ – it’s a new one to me! In exchange, have ‘gyre’ – a circular or spiral form, or as an intransitive verb, to whirl, to move in a circle or spiral. I recently came across it while reading Death Comes to Pemberley and had to look it up. When I encounter a new word I record it in my notebook, then I try to find a translation for it in Irish, French and Spanish (which are the languages I’ll try to have a proper conversation in). Doing so increases my odds for remembering it, but does sometimes lead to confusion!

    • To gyre! it has a lovely ring to it doesn’t it? thanks for this 🙂 I admire your multilingual abilities! I’ve been trying to “learn” Spanish for a few years now but despite being semi-fluent in Portuguese I am far from mastering Spanish.

  2. I love this! I subscribe to the word of the day emails and I’m addicted. One word I recently learned was, Chowderhead….love that word! It means dolt or blockhead, but I just loved the sound of the word and I don’t even like chowder!

  3. There is a new coffee shop in west van it is called temper, so to me this something like temper tantrum, but my daughter told me that you temper chocolate, no idea what that means………

    • That’s the first time I’ve heard of it too Corine 🙂 The verb Temper in the cooking definition means to stabilize certain substances…interesting.

  4. I was out having a beautiful walk with my friend the other day when she used the word “multitudinous”…
    “Is that an actual word? I asked, I mean it sounds like it should be”
    Well it is and I think it’s a lovely sounding word.

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