Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Wondrous Words Wednesday: 'D' Words

It ain't brain surgery.

But it does give your brain a little workout.  I'm talking about Wondrous Words Wednesday, a weekly meme hosted by Kathy from BermudaOnion's Weblog.

Today's words are brought to you by the letter 'D', and hail from my trusty 365 New Words-a-Year calendar.  Without further ado, here are my 'D' words.

1. declivity: downward inclination; descending slope

Debbie was afraid to ride her bike down the steep declivity; she feared that riding over a pebble or rock would cause her to lose her balance.

This word has the Latin word clivus in it, which means slope or hill.  Other words that contain clivus include acclivity, which means an upward slope, and proclivity, which means leaning or toward, and refers to a personal inclination or predisposition.  (I knew proclivity, but not declivity or acclivity.)

2. doch-an-dorris: a parting drink; stirrup cup

Desmond declined the doch-an-dorris because he was the designated driver.

Doch-an-dorris quite literally means "drink of the door", in Scottish Gaelic (deoch an doruis) and Irish (deoch an dorais).  The English version is stirrup cup.  I Googled "stirrup cup" and learned that it's a parting drink given to guests, especially when they are leaving on horseback (with their feet in stirrups).  It's also a drink--like port or sherry--served before a traditional foxhunt.  This term can also mean the cup that such a drink is served in.

3. dundrearies: long, flowing sideburns

Dundrearies were quite fashionable for English and American men between 1840 and 1870.

Often capitalized, this term comes from the name of Lord Dundreary, a character who wore long sideburns (called "Piccadilly weepers" in England) in the play Our American Cousin by Tom Taylor.  According to Wikipedia, Lord Dundreary is "the personification of a good-natured, brainless aristocrat".

Ed Sothern as Lord Dundreary, courtesy of Wikipedia

What new words have you recently discovered?


  1. Great words! We actually know a guy with dundrearies and I am not a fan!

  2. Hi Suko,

    The only one of your words that I know this week is declevity, the other two are completely new to me.

    I know about the stirrup cup being given to the huntsmen, once they are saddled up and ready to set off on the fox hunt (not that I agree with hunting in any way, shape or form), however I don't know about its Scottish equivalent.

    I found it difficult to even look at the picture of the man sporting his dundrearies, as I can't stand facial hair of any description. When I first met him, hubbie had a neat moustache, but that soon disappeared, before I said yes when he proposed!

    Excellent words this week, I enjoyed this post,


    1. Yvonne, thank you very much for taking the time to write such a thoughtful comment. The part about your dislike of dundrearies made me laugh! :)

  3. Great 'd' words, although I think that declivity is the only one I'm likely to have any day to day use of!

  4. Great selection, I've always loved the word dundrearies.

    Wondering why I keep appearing and disappearing on Google Friends ..... now that's what I call an abstruseness which, meaning a mystery, is my word for the week.

  5. Really wondrous words : I like a lot the story (and the photo) of Lord Dundreary !

  6. Awesome words! I particularly like dundrearies. I also really like that picture of Ed Sothern.

  7. I think doch-and-dorris is a fun word that I never would have guessed just by reading it in a sentence. I don't like long sideburns and I think the word dundrearies suits it just fine.

  8. What a great post! Loved reading this. Someday I will join in this meme.

  9. Suko, Thanks for the thorough lesson on declivity- I love learning etymology stuff, as I (perhaps foolishly) believe that it will help me retain information! Also love the picture- that should help the old memory too!
    Thanks for listing giveaways on your sidebar! Very cool.

    1. Julia, I enjoy listing giveaways, my own as well as those hosted by others. Thanks for stopping by!

  10. Beware the doch-n-dorris when going down a declivity...

  11. I like your idea of bringing us all your D words. Fun way to play this weekly game. I also agree with Julie on declivity.

    1. Thanks, Margot. I like to have a theme for this meme.

  12. Great words Suko and I now know that dundrearies are very unattractive :)

  13. I always love these posts because I learn new words from them :) And I'm pretty much convinced that I haven't known any of the words that you have shared yet...they've all been new to me!

  14. It's interesting to learn these new words. If only I can think of a way to use them in a sentance . . . :-)


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