One of the joys of reading is that you constantly learn new things. But it’s not just what the author is intentionally trying to teach you.
Sometimes you walk away from a book with bonus knowledge in the form of a new word. A new piece of language that you never knew existed before. And I love this feeling.
Now some of you may see these words and think, “What do you mean you didn’t already know that word? Any literate adult surely already knows what that word means.” Well, I guess not. I think the funny thing with native languages is that we only use a tiny fraction of the words in our daily lives. The English language has over 170,000 words that are in current use. Not to mention the nearly 300,000 that are considered obsolete but still may crop up in older works of literature.
It’s just not possible for any one person to know every word, even in their native language. If you already know the definition of all of these words, good job! Keep reading and keep learning. Seek out new books that will offer you fresh words because trust me, they are out there.
This all makes me think back to high school when I had to learn endless lists of SAT vocab words that just didn’t seem to have any place in the real world. Well, maybe a few of them did. I was learning words that didn’t have a use. But it just goes to show that each person has their own unique set of words that meets their own communication needs. I will have to make a point to learn and incorporate these new words in the future now that I’ve seen them being used in the ‘real world.’
So, anyway, here are a few words that were new to me when I read them. I dutifully looked them up and recorded some definitions here. Now, if you want a chance to learn a new word in context while taking in some good books, you can! My only regret– I should have jotted down the whole quote where the words were used! Maybe next time…
Juvenile, childish, silly
Word learned from: Day Zero by C. Robert Cargill, Page 43
An act or instance of vomiting
Word learned from: Under a Graveyard Sky by John Ringo, Page 123
Lighthearted unconcern, nonchalance
Word learned from: The Invisible Library by Genevieve Cogman, Page 64
Not conducive to health, unwholesome
Word learned from: Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them by J.K. Rowling, Page 188
Incapable of mixing or attaining homogeneity
Word learned from: Legacy by Greg Bear, Page 39
All definitions are from https://www.merriam-webster.com.