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.


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

  2. never heard of catamite....

  3. never heard of it either

  4. I never did WWW before today, either.

    Here's my link:

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


I love to get comments and welcome them on any of my posts. There is comment moderation on posts older than 14 days, but your comments will appear immediately on current posts.

Due to th eabsolutely insane number of spam comments I have been getting recently, I have unfortunately had to turn on word verification. Please email me if you have problems posting a comment.