Clarice James

Smart, Fun, Relatable Fiction


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Twelve Words for a Word Searcher’s Vocabulary #8

Gracious speech is like clover honey—good taste to the soul, quick energy for the body. ~ Proverbs 16:24 (MSG)
When I can’t sleep at night, I get up and read a couple of chapters of whatever book I’m enjoying. After that, I try to bore myself to sleep by doing a few word search puzzles. 

This usually does the trick–until I come across words I don’t know. Here’s a list of them. Do you know their meaning? 

  1. bismutha) gray and overcast; b) brittle, grayish-white metallic element; c) standing ovation; d) grandiose
  2. coeval – a) equally old; b) architectural detail; c) hut built over a mine shaft; d) wide and shallow
  3. drupe – a) ancient alphabet; b) to doubt; c) to hang on or over; d) any fruit with an outer skin, pulpy middle, and hard inner shell
  4. fipple – a) indecisive; b) block that forms a flue in wind instruments; c) type of dwarf tree; d) public disturbance
  5. jaggery – a) sharp protrusion; b) sugar made from the sap of a date palm; c) unrestrained indulgence; d) latest Rolling Stones album title
  6. muntin – a) aged; b) flesh of a mature sheep used for food;) playfully mean or cruel; d) strip separating panes of glass in a sash
  7. nitid – a) idiot-like; b) handmade; c) bright and lustrous; d) infected by the egg of a louse or other parasitic insect
  8. piggina) small wooden pail; b) newborn pigs; c) type of fastener; d) type of English pudding
  9. rondellea) type of French cheese; b) vegan casserole; c) circular jewel; d) type of saw
  10. scow – a) look of disapproval; b) jurisdiction over a territory or over people; c) large flat-bottomed boat with broad square ends; d) fist fight
  11. twite – a) beyond a shadow of a doubt; b) small finch; c) stomach of a ruminant; d) to flutter about
  12. valgus – a) essential amino acid; b) earthly or mortal; c) not easily discerned; d) knock-kneed or bowlegged

thinking capHave you chosen the correct definition? Can you use the words in a sentence? Scroll down to see how you did.

People can tame all kinds of animals, birds, reptiles, and fish, but no one can tame the tongue. It is restless and evil, full of deadly poison. Sometimes it praises our Lord and Father, and sometimes it curses those who have been made in the image of God. And so blessing and cursing come pouring out of the same mouth. Surely, my brothers and sisters, this is not right! Does a spring of water bubble out with both fresh water and bitter water? Does a fig tree produce olives, or a grapevine produce figs? No, and you can’t draw fresh water from a salty spring. ~ James 3:7-12 (NLT)

Here are the correct answers.

  1. b) Bismutha brittle, grayish-white, red-tinged, metallic element used in the manufacture of fusible alloys and in medicine
  2. a) Coevalof the same age, date, or duration; equally old
  3. d) Drupeany fruit, as a peach, cherry, plum, etc., consisting of an outer skin, usually a pulpy and succulent middle layer, and a hard and woody inner shell, usually enclosing a single seed
  4. b) Fipple: a wooden block that forms a flue at the mouth end of certain musical instruments
  5. b) Jaggerya coarse, dark sugar, especially that made from the sap of East Indian (date) palm trees
  6. d) Muntin: a strip separating panes of glass in a sash
  7. c) Nitid: bright and lustrous
  8.  a) Piggin: a small wooden pail with one stave extended upward as a handle
  9. c) Rondelle: a circular object; especially a circular jewel or jeweled ring
  10. c) Scow: a large flat-bottomed boat with broad square ends used chiefly for transporting bulk material (as ore, sand, or refuse)
  11. b) Twite: a small finch, Carduelis flavirostris, of northern Europe, having streaked brown plumage and, in the male, a pink breast
  12. d) Valgus: an abnormally turned position of a part of the bone structure of human being, especially of the leg. Bowlegged, knock-kneed, or the like

Jumping for joy over your score?

10-12  May I call you in the middle of the night when I can’t sleep?

07-09 When you speak, do blank faces stare back at you?

04-06 My kind of person!

00-03  I don’t think you’re trying very hard.


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Twelve Words for a Thinker’s Vocabulary #7

Many of the words I chose are from The Thinker’s Thesaurus by Peter E. Meltzer.

The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom; all who follow his precepts have good understanding. ~ Pslam 111:10 (NIV)

  1. apothegm – a) saying; b) growth on throat;  c) respiratory condition; d) architectural detail
  2. codswallop – a) British fish and chips; b) backhand; c) nonsense; d) swallow whole
  3. deflagration – a) slander; b) explosion; c) mass migration; d) corporal punishment
  4. harpocracy – a) berating; b) silence c) glad-handing; d) fear of harps
  5. keelhaul – a) rebuke; b) drill a doorknob hole; c) climb aboard; d) shuck shellfish
  6. mobocracy – a) agility; b) political control by a mob;) of robotic limbs; d) type of poem
  7. neoteric – a) lighthearted; b) self-centered; c) genius; d) recent
  8. ostreal – a) of or relating to oysters; b) night sky; c) of or relating to ostriches; d) unfathonable
  9. pleonasm – a) stinginess; b) type of political lobby; c) legal pleadings; d) redundancy
  10. rataplan – a) caste system; b) zuchini and tomatoe sidedish; c) repeating noise; d) type of roof shingle
  11. smellfungas – a) wine taster; b) faultfinder; c) mushroom tester; d) person with huge nose
  12. ulracrepidarian – a) presumptuous; b) liberal; c) delusional; d) unkempt

thinking capHave you chosen the correct definition? Can you use the words in a sentence? Scroll down to see how you did.

Blessed are those who find wisdom, those who gain understanding, for she is more profitable than silver and yields better returns than gold. She is more precious than rubies; nothing you desire can compare with her. Long life is in her right hand; in her left hand are riches and honor. Her ways are pleasant ways, and all her paths are peace. She is a tree of life to those who take hold of her; those who hold her fast will be blessed. By wisdom the Lord laid the earth’s foundations, by understanding he set the heavens in place; by his knowledge the watery depths were divided, and the clouds let drop the dew. ~ Proverbs 3:13-20 (NIV)

Here are the correct answers.

  1. a) saying
  2. c) nonsense
  3. b) explosion
  4. b) silence
  5. a) rebuke
  6. b) political control by a mob
  7. d) recent
  8. a) of or relating to oysters
  9. d) redundancy
  10. c) repeating noise
  11. b) faultfinder
  12. a) presumptuous

Jumping for joy over your score?

10-12  So, I see you enjoy being an introvert and book worm.

07-09  People only pretend to know what you’re talking about.

04-06  You might not want to try out for Jeopardy.

00-03  If I were you, I’d stick with Word Search puzzles.


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As Rusty As the Spokes On My First Tricycle

tricycleMy memory is as rusty as the spokes on my first tricycle. Unused for years, many words are long gone or have morphed into variations never heard before. Who knows if I ever had them right to begin with?

Is it tact or tack? Further or farther? Affect or effect? Moot or mute?

Don’t get me started on biological or medical terms. More than once, I’ve said, “I fell prostate before the Lord” when I meant prostrate.

Speaking of prostates, I’ve told people I take Flomax instead of Flonase for nasal congestion. Flomax is an alpha-blocker that relaxes the muscles in the prostate and bladder neck, making it easier for men to urinate. Instead of Zantac, I raved how well Xanax works to relieve heartburn, when Xanax is used to treat anxiety and panic disorders.

Hm. Perhaps, it is Xanax I need.

For those of you like me struggling with recall and vocabulary, I’ve made this easy-peasy quiz by giving you the definition. All you have to do is circle the word it goes with. May the farce be with you! 

I think it is right to refresh your memory as long as I live in the tent of this body, ~ 2 Peter 1:13 (NIV)

  1. a sieve, especially a very fine one – a) carse; b) farce; c) sarse; d) parse
  2. lacking a tail or tail-like appendage – a) masticate; b) flagellate; c) castigate; d) acaudate
  3. put an end to, put a stop to, nip in the bud, put the lid on — a) scotch; b) botch; c) swatch; d) splotch
  4. the method of beginning play in which the forwards of each team crouch side by side with locked arms; play starts when the ball thrown in between them and the two sides compete for possession – a) plumb; b) scrum; c) bumb; d) rhumb
  5. a small stream; especially one that dries up in summer– a) dyke; b) sike; c) shrike; d) pike
  6. (of horses, dogs, and other animals) shortish and thickset; stocky – a) dobby; b) cobby; c) nobby; d) knobby
  7. have legs that curve outward at the knees; bowlegged – a) bandy; b) chandi; c) grandee; d) shandy
  8. turn or hold (a hand, foot, or limb) so that the palm or sole is facing downward or inward – a) rotate; b) pronate; c) probate; d) notate
  9. the pulpy acidic fluid that passes from the stomach to the small intestine, consisting of gastric juices and partly digested food — a) clime; b) chyme; c) slime; d) rhime
  10. subject to prolonged examination, discussion, or deliberation rip-rap – a) hex; b) aix; c) vex; d) sphex
  11. to cause the infliction of (vengeance or punishment) – a) wreaking; b) tweaking; c) cheeking; d) piquing
  12. a small locomotive used to move cars around but not to make trips – a) bunter; b) shunter; c) punter; d) blunter

    Have you found the words to go with the definitions? Can you use the words in a sentence? Scroll down to see how you did.

    Instruct the wise and they will be wiser still; teach the righteous and they will add to their learning. ~ Proverbs 9:9 (NIV)

    memory-loss_1024

    Here are the correct answers.

    1. c) sarse
    2. d) acaudate
    3. a) scotch
    4. b) scrum
    5. b) sike
    6. b) cobby
    7. a) bandy
    8. b) pronate
    9. d) chyme
    10. c) vex
    11. a) wreaking
    12. b) shunter

      How do you feel about your score?

      10-12  Did you cheat? Come on, you can tell me.

      07-09  You must be young and still in AP English.

      04-06  You guessed better than most.

      00-03  You’re not losing it; you’ve lost it.

      Want to know what the other words mean? As my father would say, “Then look ’em up!”