Wondrous Words Wednesday

Wondrous Words Wednesday is a weekly meme where we share new (to us) words that we’ve encountered in our reading. It is hosted by Kathy, over at BermudaOnion’s Weblog.

My words this week come from After the Armistice Ball by Catriona McPherson, set in 1922.

  • jounced – ‘Alec increased the speed again as we passed the sign for Reivers Rest and we jounced over the close-cropped turf faster and faster until the car rounded the last of the gorse into the open and skidded to a slithering halt.

I could tell from the context what ‘jounced’ means, but it’s a word I’ve not come across before. Looking it up I found it does mean just what it sounds like – ‘to jounce is to move or cause to move with bumps and jolts’ (from The Free Dictionary).

I like the Wikipedia definition of jounce – ‘in physics, jounce or snap is the fourth derivative of the position vector with respect to time, with the first, second, and third derivatives being velocity, acceleration, and jerk, respectively; in other words, the jounce is the rate of change of the jerk with respect to time.’ As I said, just what I thought it was!

  • Thawpit – ‘I should begin calmly but ready to dissolve into tears if the occasion arose and a corner of my handkerchief was soaked in Thawpit to help with the dissolving.’

I had no idea what Thawpit was – and amazingly discovered that it was a a stain remover, a solvent that containing carbon tetrachloride. It’s no longer available, presumably because of the danger of sniffing it etc. No wonder Dandy Gilver (the amateur sleuth in the book) ‘succumbed to a fit of weeping’ when she ‘dabbed her eyes’ with the Thawpit soaked hankie.

  • chafing-dish – ‘I trigger no obvious trip-wire en route from my bedroom to the ground floor, but every morning Pallister appears with a chafing-dish just as I’m sitting.’ He then cooked Dandy’s eggs.
An old woman poaching eggs in a glazed earthenware chafing dish over charcoal

A chafing-dish is a new term to me. Wikipedia explains that it is ‘a kind of portable grate raised on a tripod, originally heated with charcoal in a brazier, and used for foods that require gentle cooking, away from the fierce heat of direct flames.’


8 thoughts on “Wondrous Words Wednesday

  1. I thought chafing dishes are what caterers use when they are trying to keep their foods warm for serving. I can see how this evolved from the origins of your definition. Nice to see you at Wondrous Words Margaret.


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