Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Wondrous Words Wednesday: The Clan of the Cave Bear

Wondrous Words Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Kathy aka Bermuda Onion where we share new (to us) words that we’ve encountered in our reading. Feel free to join in the fun.

The Clan of the Cave Bear by Jean M. Auel

mouflon (14)
a wild sheep, Ovis musimon, inhabiting the mountainous regions of Sardinia and Corsica, the male of which has large curving horns.
"To absorb moisture and soft milky stools any of several materials were packed around them: fleece from wild sheep gathered from thorny shrubs when the mouflon were shedding, down from birds' breasts, or fuzz from fibrous plants."

loess (69)
a loamy deposit formed by wind, usually yellowish and calcareous, common in the Mississippi Valley and in Europe and Asia.
"Toward the northeast, a vast cloud of soft loess dust shrouded an undulating mass of shaggy brown movement accented by curving black spikes..."

sapient (80)
having or showing great wisdom or sound judgment.
"Both sapient, for a time both dominant, the gulf that separated them was not great."

inimical (83)
adverse in tendency or effect; unfavorable; harmful
"It would take away with it any unseen forces that might be inimical to them, purge the cave, and permeate it with their essence, the essence of human."

palmate (96, 373)
shaped like an open palm or like a hand with the fingers extended, as a leaf or an antler.
"Giant deer ranged the grassy plains, their huge palmate antlers spreading as much as eleven feet in the larger animals, along with oversized bison with horn spreads of similar dimensions."

discoidal (226)
having the form of a discus or disk; flat and circular.
"Droog held the discoidal nucleus firmly on the anvil, and gauging the distance and point of impact with precision, he struck the small dent he had made, with the bone hammer."

illimitable (373)
not limitable; limitless; boundless.
"Thick, matted, old-season growth cushioned their steps as the clan wove their way across the illimitable prairie, leaving a temporary ripple behind showing the way they had come."

orogeny (377)
the process of mountain making or upheaval.
"The southern mountain range, like the one at the lower tip of the peninsula which was folded during the same orogeny, was a refuge for the flora and fauna of a continent during the Ice Age."


Joy Weese Moll said...

I knew some of the words from taking an interest in the natural world, but not all of them! Orogeny is new to me, possibly because we don't have many mountains right around St. Louis...

nomadreader said...

I'm hoping to read this one in January or February. Looking at your list, I'm glad I have it on my Kindle, where the dictionary is so accessible!