Wondrous Words Wednesday: web-based

Wondrous Words Wednesday is a weekly meme where we share new (to us) and interesting (to us, again) words we encountered in our readings. See this week round-up at BermudaOnion’s blog!

Because these past weeks I’ve been reading mostly in Italian, my words for this week come from texts I read on the Internet.


He ignored Saurent’s warning that he was entering uncharted territory – that there could be booby traps, serpents coiled and waiting – and Abu’s admonitions about lurking spirits more dangerous than snakes.

booby trap: n. a device designed to harm or surprise a person, unknowingly triggered by the presence or actions of the victim.
*This definition comes from Wikipedia

This actually comes from a book, The Book of Lost Fragrances by M J Rose, and I read it in a teaser posted by Joanne P of Booklover Book Reviews.

I have to admit that I was fooled by this word, and thought it meant something like “women ready to lure you out of your way” *giggles* so I was grateful to Wikipedia for the following etymology explanation:

The Spanish word bobo translates to stupid, daft, naive, simple, fool, idiot, clown, funny man, one who is easily cheated and similar pejorative terms. The slang of bobo, bubie, translates to dunce.


We’re talking cents here, not thousands of dollars, so declining a project because the client won’t pay one more cent per word can leave a translator feeling like kind of a petty miser. But here’s the thing: say that most full-time freelancers translate 400,000 or 500,000 words per year.  Let’s say 500,000 because I’m not that great at math and it’s easy to multiply by five. That seemingly petty one cent per word? If you extrapolate that over 500,000 words per year, it’s actually $5,000.

extrapolate: v. extend the application of (a method or conclusion) to different or larger groups.

This comes from a discussion on price negotiations on Corinne McKay’s Thoughts on Translation blog.

I cringed at this word, because I thought it meant the opposite (i.e. taking a detail out of context) and I couldn’t believe the author had made such a mistake. Turns out she hadn’t, and I learned something new!


(All definitions are taken from the Concise Oxford English Dictionary © 2008 via WordReference.com unless otherwise stated.)


8 comments on “Wondrous Words Wednesday: web-based

  1. You know the way I usually put images in these posts? This morning, before posting, I did a quick Google Image search for booby traps, and I guess I am not the only one making that connection 🙂

  2. Extrapolate is a word I don’t see very often. I’d probably have to look it up too. Interesting to read what you thought it was and then learned the opposite.

  3. I knew extrapolate = extrapoler in French, but not at all a booby trap… and I’m not sure to understand exactly what it is..

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