Wondrous Words Wednesday


It’s that time of week again, that time when we talk about and define words that we’ve encountered in our reading in the past seven days. This exercise was created by Kathy at Bermudaonion’s Blog, so if you have new words this week, leave some links for me in the comments, but be sure to go there and add yours to her list.

Meanwhile, as usual, I’m cheating a bit.

1) ambuscade – ambush; to attack from a concealed position; to lie in wait, ready to attack from that position.

This word comes from the Old French, “embuschier,” and Old Italian, “imboscare.” They stem, ultimately, from the Frankish word, “boscu,” which meant “bush” or “woods.” Fascinating development.

I didn’t actually encounter this old, lovely word in a book. It’s part of the title of a collage done by a friend of mine, made with pieces from some old Victorian illustrations: A Brazen Ambuscade. This collage is part of a wonderful set of similar works, called Mysteries of Amorvaine. Check it out if you can.

2) infirmarian – (in a religious house) a person who nurses the sick.

This is from a book, but it’s still sort of cheating, since it’s from yesterday’s Tuesday Teaser, about The Traitor’s Tale by Margaret Frazer, and I haven’t as that far yet. 🙂

So those are my words this week. Got any of your own?


    1. Kristi says:

      Good words – I had not heard of either one of them!

    2. Kerri says:

      I like ambuscade! That is a new word for me.

    3. Jo-Jo says:

      Infirmarian sounds like a word I could use sometime…haven’t we all done that as parents…or even wives? lol
      Thanks for stopping by my blog today.

      • Phyl says:

        You’re welcome, Jo-Jo, it was a pleasure. I was familiar with “infirmary,” since I’d been in it a time or two during my years at Bible school in my old fundamentalist days. But “infirmarian” was something I hadn’t heard.

    4. Jeane says:

      I love that you share the history of “ambuscade.” what a cool word.

    5. Lisa says:

      Those are great words! And I think reading them on the internet or in the newspaper is just as valid. Sometimes I’m scrounging for good words, so I use what I come across, wherever I come across it.

      • Phyl says:

        It’s tough to be so darn well-read, eh? Knowing every word in the language! Ha. But I agree — whatever new words we find, they’re fair game. And “ambuscade” simply filled me with happiness.

    6. Both of your words are French in origin, so I had an idea of what they meant. (A nurse in French is an infirmière, although that’s not quite the same as an infirmarian.) I definitely like ambuscade best — and thanks for providing info on its etymology!

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