Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Wondrous Words Wednesday

Wondrous Words Wednesday is a weekly bookish meme, sponsored by Kathy at Bermuda Onion, where you can share new words that you've discovered in your reading.

I'm a first-time participant in this meme, but I thought I'd play along this week because I am learning a plethora of new words with my current read (plethora--now there's a good word! One of my favorites). Here's what I'm reading:

Jessie Burton's novel The Miniaturist, set in late 17th century Amsterdam is CHOCK-FULL of words completely new to me . . . because they are Dutch terms from that time period. Here's a sample of my favorites so far:

Herenbrood--literally a "gentlemen-bread" that wealthy folk ate, made of wheat flour. Common people ate a cheaper bread made of rye.

Pattens--cloglike shoes with a wooden sole and leather strap. Worn indoors and outside, to protect softer leather shoes from dirt.

Donderbus--literally "thunder-pipe;" referring to an early form of shotgun.

Kandeel--a spiced drink made with wine, sometimes thickened with ground almonds, wheat starch, dried fruit, honey, sugar, and egg yolks (hmmm . . . does that sound tasty, or not? I'm not sure I'd want to try it!)

I love it when authors of historical fiction include some words from the time period; this can really help the reader feel present in the setting.

Have you discovered any new words in your reading this week?


  1. Welcome to WWW! Your words are new to me. I'm wondering if pattens are worn over leather shoes.

    1. Yes, I think so, from what I looked up on the internet! They wore soft leather shoes, but then put these wooden pattens over top of them to keep their leather shoes out of the mud and dirt on the street. Inside the house, they wore the pattens as well, to keep their feet off the cold floor tiles.

  2. Glad you decided to join this week! I love new words and all of your words are new to me!

  3. What great words! One of the things I love about reading is learning about other eras, places.

  4. I gave the family some fresh herenbrood (um, sourdough bread) with dinner, and I've just poured myself a nice mug of kandeel (well, ok . . . cabernet) . . . Going to settle in with The Miniaturist for the rest of the evening and see what Dutch words I learn next!

  5. Welcome to WWW :) All new words, I love them al!

  6. Thanks! I think I am going to be speaking Dutch before I finish this book . . . :)