Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Wondrous Words Wednesday

Wondrous Words Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Bermuda Onion, where we share new (to us) words that we’ve encountered in our weekly reading.

houri (n) 1 : one of the beautiful maidens that in Muslim belief live with the blessed in paradise. 2: a voluptuously beautiful young woman. "Its walls were lined with rare editions, and its chairs and Chesterfield sofa suggested the embraces of the houris." (p. 13)

quiddity (n) 1. a: a trifling point : quibble. b: crotchet, eccentricity. 2: whatever makes something to be of the type that it is : essence. "Well, I'm glad the little man has so much of an alibi, said Lord Peter, though if you're only gluing your faith to cadaveric lividity, rigidity, and all the other quiddities, you must be prepared to have some sceptical beast of a prosecuting counsel walk slap-bang through the medical evidence." (p. 19) Odd that this word means both essence and trifle--I think Sayers means both here.

Words are from Whose Body? by Dorthy L. Sayers. Definitions are from Webster's Ninth New Collegiate Dictionary.


  1. I've seen houri as I am addicted to mid-east literature.
    Quiddity is new to me!!
    Here's mine;

  2. Two such great words. I really like them both.

  3. I don't think I'll have much opportunity to use houri but I can use quiddity, maybe even in a blog post. Thanks for playing along.

  4. I like the sound of the word "quiddity!" You're right - the almost double meaning is strange and interesting :)

  5. I knew houri, but not at all quiddity. Thanks !

  6. These are interesting and new to me.

  7. What a sentence "lividity, rigidity, and all the other quiddities" ... a terrific word for a trifling point!

  8. Both these words seem fun. Thanx.

  9. Hey, I have houri in my WWW post today too!
    Quiddity sounds funny.


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