Wondrous Words Wednesday: Charles Dickens (2)

Sorry for being MIA! I didn’t plan to disappear so completely, but I was traveling and, as often happens, my online time was reduced to zero. Back just in time for this week’s words, though!

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!

My words for this week come from Bleak House by Charles Dickens (which still offers plenty of beautiful words!).


She might have coaxed me to say no if I had been the hardest-hearted duenna in the world.

Duenna: n. an older woman acting as a governess and chaperone to girls in a Spanish family.


For he is the most self-satisfied, and the shallowest, and the most coxcombical and utterly brainless ass.

Coxcomb: n. archaic a vain and conceited man; a dandy.


The house was a real old house with settles in the chimney of the brick-floored kitchen and great beams across the ceilings.

Settle: n. a wooden bench with a high back and arms, typically incorporating a box under the seat.


He’s as obstinate a young gonoph as I know.

Gonoph: n. A pickpocket or thief.
*This definition comes from TheFreeDictionary


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

7 comments on “Wondrous Words Wednesday: Charles Dickens (2)

  1. Bleak House is full of words, for sure. Gosh I remember loving that book … I don’t think I could manage its heft these days!
    You’ve got to have gonads of steel to be a good gonoph!

  2. I knew duenna from something I read last year (I can’t remember what it was) and gonoph from The Godfather movies. The other two are new to me and I love Coxcomb, I want to find away to add it to my vocabulary.

  3. @ sim: you certainly don’t need to participate in WWW: I had to check the dictionary to read your comment *LOL*
    @ martha: coxcomb is difficult to guess, but sounds great, especially as an expletive 🙂 Thanks for following!

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