Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Wondrous Words Wednesday

I've never participated in Wondrous Word Wednesdays before. Honestly, I don't look words up. I have a big vocabulary to begin with (so much reading as a kid, I guess) and 99% of the time, I can get it from context. That's good enough to me. But last week I ran into a word that had me baffled. Part of it that there was no context, so I actually had to check the dictionary.

Last week Shelf Awareness asked UK mystery/crime writer Mo Hayder what is her favorite line from a book:
The opening line of Earthly Powers by Anthony Burgess. "It was the afternoon of my eighty-first birthday, and I was in bed with my catamite when Ali announced that the archbishop had come to see me." Woah. Now there's a sentence that does the work of an army in terms of plot and characterization and pacing.
Catamite? Is that a big cat? Oh, no.

catamite: a boy kept for homosexual practices. ORIGIN late 16th cent.: from Latin catamitus, via Etruscan from Greek Ganumēdēs (Ganymede).

Learn something new every day, I guess!

Wondrous Word Wednesday is hosted by Kathy of Bermudaonion.

5 comments:

  1. I'm like you - I hardly ever come upon words I don't know. But that one would have tripped me up too!

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  2. never heard of catamite....

    http://fredasvoice.blogspot.com/2010/01/wondrous-words-wednesday_20.html

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  3. I never did WWW before today, either.

    Here's my link: http://suko95.blogspot.com/2010/01/wondrous-words-wednesday.html

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  4. Wow, that's a new one on me! Thanks so much for participating!

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