Category: Word Nerd

Word Nerd 1.1 – Palpated

Source: Grendel’s Guide to Love and War: A Tale of Rivalry, Romance, and Existential Angst by A.E. Kaplan, page 27

Context: “I palpated my head for signs of trauma. ‘Like a hole in head,’ I agreed.”

In Their Words:


transitive verb

to examine by touch especially medically

In My Words: To feel around for an injury or broken bone,

In pictures:

Word Nerd 1.1 – Mucilaginous

Source: Rabbit & Robot by Andrew Smith, page 300

Context: “I’m the real victim here, not you! Not you! Parasite! Thieving capitalist! Impostor! Fraud!” said another cog that was just a head and torso belching out anger and mucilaginous creamy goo from multiple wounds where arms and legs used to be.

In Their Words:

2: of, relating to, full of, or secreting mucilage

In My Words:

Sticky and slimy liquid, kind of like the trail a snail leaves behind.

In Pictures:

Word Nerd 2.4 – Hecatomb

Source: History of the Scofield Mine Disaster, page 203

Context: “It may be, too, that this hecatomb of human lives offered at the shrine of capital amid the tears and lamentations of helpless widows and fatherless children, may touch and soften its heart, so it may, at least, realize how much it owes to labor and the great sacrifices the latter has, sometimes, to make in order to serve the former and promote its growth and interests.

In Their Words:

  1. (in ancient Greece and Rome) public sacrifice of 100 oxen to the gods.
  2. any great slaughter

In My Words: when a lot of people die for the good of everyone else.

In Pictures:

Word Nerd 2.3 – Hepped

Source: The October Country by Ray Bradbury, page 10

Context: “Lay off him is all I ask; you’ll get nothing but trouble for your dough. [Goodness gracious], Aimee, I never seen you so hepped on anything.”

In Their Words:

adjective Informal.
  1. greatly interested or preoccupied, almost to an irrational extent; obsessed (usually followed by on

In My Words: fixated on something you’re worked up about.

In Pictures:

Word Nerd 2.2 – Plangent

Source: The Martian Chronicles by Ray Bradbury, page 118.

Context: “Behind him would race six others, and the first boy there would be the Musician, playing the white xylophone bones beneath the outer covering of black flakes. A great skull would roll to view, like a snowball; they shouted! Ribs, like spider legs, plangent as a dull harp, and then the black flakes of mortality blowing all about them in their scuffling dance.”

In Their Words:

  1. resounding loudly, especially with plaintive sound, as a bell.

In My Words: Something ringing out after being struck or hit.

In Pictures:

Word Nerd 2.1 – Coruscating

Source: The Martian Chronicles by Ray Bradbury, page 186.

Context: “Now the great ships turned as lightly as moon thistles. Their wing-sails flapped with a sound of soft applause on the air. The masks were coruscating, turning, firing the shadows.”

In Their Words: verb –

  1. to emit vivid flashes of light; sparkle; scintillate; gleam.

In My Words: flashing or reflecting flashes of light.

In Pictures:

Say What #3 – chunter

Source: Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, by JK Rowling, page 349

Context: “Ron continued to chunter under his breath all the way down the street.”

In Their Words:

intransitive verb
to talk in a low inarticulate way: mutter

In My Words:

mumble or mutter

In Pictures:

Say What #2 – frisson

Source: Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, by JK Rowling, page 87

Context: “A frisson had gone around the table at the mention of Voldemort’s name.”

In Their Words:  

a brief moment of emotional excitement: shudder, thrill

In My Words: The feeling you get when you are excited or creeped out and it makes you shudder.

In Pictures:

Say What #1 – colophon

Source: This word comes from Ready Player One by Ernest Cline, on page 260.

Context: When I accessed the colophon, I saw that Syrinx’s author was listed as “Anonymous.”

In Their Words: 

  1. a publisher’s emblem on a book
  2. (formerly) an inscription at the end of a book showing the title, printer, date, etc

In My Words: a place in the book that shows the name of the author and other publishing information.

In Pictures:

Say What 2.1 – hidalgo

Source: The Lonesome Gods by Louis L’Amour, page 320

Context: For as long as she could remember, Aunt Elena had been rising at daybreak. She supposed it was her father’s influence, Although he had been an hidalgo with vast estates in both Spain and Morocco, it had been his custom to ride each morning with the rising sun.

In Their Words:

  1. a man of the lower nobility in Spain.
  2. (in Spanish America) a man who owns considerable property or is otherwise esteemed.

In My Words: a member of Spanish nobility who owns a lot of land.

In Pictures: