Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Collywobbles, Infrangible, Widdershins and more


I collect words that are new to me, that have a fun look or sound, and/or that make me smile.
I am a writer and hope to use these words in my writing some day.
My best sources for these words are when I read British authors and also when I read Marcel Proust.
From Proust's "Swann's Way" and "Within a Budding Grove": serried, ineluctable, evanescent, infrangible, hierophants, fulminate, mendacity. Marmorean, sapient and stoup.
Thank you to Marcel Proust and his gifted translators. I prefer the edition translated by C.K. Scott Moncrieff and Terence Kilmartin.
A few of these words I already knew but haven't used in a book or article or poem yet, including mendacity and fulminate.
Other words in my collection: twee, wrackspurt, nebuly, widdershins, ebullition and the wonderful collywobble.
These are just some of the highlights of my list.
Please leave some of your favorite words in the comments so my list will grow.

17 comments:

jenann said...

It is quite sad that the most interesting words in both standard and dialectic English seem to be falling out of regular use, more and more rapidly.
Here's another one for you - taken from the Welsh, but used by English speakers in East Wales -. Cwtch (pronounced cooh-ch) means to hug, as in, 'Give your grandma a cwtch then.'
Jenni

P.S. I have a little donkey called Cosmo Colleywobbles!

donna baker said...

Love all the British words.

Happyone said...

Words can be fun to use. You've come up with some good ones. : )

Denise said...

Enjoyed, thanks for sharing.

Blondie's Journal said...

I love the expressions of the British. I follow a few blogs written by gals in the UK and I get a chuckle from some of their wordings...none come to mind off hand.

I really love the application I get on my Nook reader. You can touch a word you might come across and find out it's meaning, pronunciation and origin. I learn a lot using that feature.

XO,
Jane

Green Girl in Wisconsin said...

Those Brits do have a knack for language. I'm a PG Wodehouse fan for that very reason.

Joyful said...

This was interesting to me. I have a book where I write new words that I come across. But I've been lazy lately You've come up with some ones I haven't heard before.

Dee said...

I look forward to reading your poems using some of these words. I love reading vintage books and find myself smiling at the words. :0

Gattina said...

I love writing too, but I have no special words, I just write what comes through my mind !

Weekend-Windup said...

It is nice to learn new words and use them in your writing.

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Marie said...

I too am a writer, and I do love words! I always wanted to take a class in word origins. Sometimes the sound of a word is far more interesting than its meaning. As I get older I am losing some of my vocabulary, and I hate that. Loved your post!

Cheapchick said...

Thanks for stopping by my blog! I just joined up as a follower. I read some of your older posts - I would love to have spent a year in Turkey. I only spent one day (on a cruise a long time ago) and absolutely loved the people and the country. A place I definitely have to get back to. Cheers!

NanaNor's said...

Hi there, I've never heard these words before and have to admit that I don't have favorite words.
Hope you have a great weekend.
Hugs,
Noreen

Jane and Lance Hattatt said...

Hello,

Yes, we can totally identify with this. Often one picks up a particular word from reading and then go on to use it indefatigably from then on.

A thesaurus is often at our side when we write as one can get stuck in the rut of overusing certain words or phrases and it is good to branch out into pastures new from time to time.

Disingenuous is a favourite at the moment.....

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Terra - thanks for coming by and reminding me you are blogging .. I'll add you to my Feedly.

We do have some amazing words and I love their derivation .. and the phrases that have travelled the centuries ... let alone their etymology - language is amazing.

Sadly we don't use enough of our language - and you've highlighted a few good words here ... the early writers knew how to write and use our language ...

I'm sure I'll think of many just after I post this .. but I love serried, fulminate .. and collywobble ...

I thought of hewed, it seems more comfortable than hewn, for a post I want to write sometime soon ..

Cheers Hilary

Lynn @The Vintage Nest said...

such a fun post and hobby. I was an English major in college and studied the origin of words. I used to play a game with my children of making up words and their meanings and they had to guess which was a true word.

Lady Jane said...

Love your post. I too love words but am often stuck for one as I age. I hate it also.