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 The Return by Victoria Hislop. The book is mostly set in Spain and two very iconic activities have a major role, so most of my words this week are actually Spanish.
Without giving anything away, I can tell you that one of the characters is interested in bullfighting. From him I learned the following words:
- verónica: n. a maneuver in bullfighting in which the matador stands with both feet fixed in position and swings the cape slowly away from the charging bull. (source: The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, via TheFreeDictionary.com)
- muleta: n. a short red cape suspended from a hollow staff, used by a matador to maneuver a bull during the final passes before a kill. (source: The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, via TheFreeDictionary.com)
- traje de luces: n. (lit. suit of lights) the traditional clothing that Spanish bullfighters wear in the bullring. The term originates from the sequins and reflective threads of gold or silver. (source: Wikipedia)
The following video, a movie trailer, shows a torero in his traje de luces, executing veronicas with a muleta (the video does not include extremely violent scenes, but watch at your own risk):
It is not a mystery that flamenco also has a big role in the novel. Here are my flamenco words:
These are all different rhythms for dancing flamenco. The differences are quite technical, so if you are interested I found this explanation. To give you a better idea, enjoy some videos:
The alegría rhythm in its essential aspect (actually, a flamenco lesson!):
The completely different rhythm of a siguiriya:
And a soleá show:
And to finish off, a German word!
This was a real place, she thought, nothing ersatz here.
ersatz: adj.(of a product) made or used as an inferior substitute for something else. Not real or genuine.
(All definitions are taken from the Concise Oxford English Dictionary © 2008 via WordReference.com unless otherwise stated.)