Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Wondrous Words Wednesday

Wondrous Words Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Kathy aka Bermuda Onion where we share new (to us) words that we’ve encountered in our reading. Feel free to join in the fun.

Today I bring you some words from A Small Furry Prayer by Steven Kotler:

Demodectic: Of, pertaining to or caused by parasitic mites of the genus Demodex.
"Gidget had demodectic mange" (pg. 24).

Mescaline: A psychedelic drug of the phenethylamine class found naturally in several species of cacti, including peyote, San Pedro, and Peruvian Torch.
"Her dance involved standing in one place and moving her paws straight up and straight down, not unlike a marionette on mescaline" (pg. 25).

Viga: a roughly made rafter or roof timber, especially in a Latin American village.
"Since Leo could still get out of a cone, during the two weeks it took that hole to heal, he spent his days under careful supervision and his nights stockaded, tied by leashes between two vigas on our back porch" (pg. 59).

Ungulate: a hooved mammal.
"Wolves were the top predator in Eurasia, able to keep pace with giant herds of ungulates..." (pg. 81).

Koan: A story about a Zen master and his student, sometimes like a riddle, other times like a fable, which has become an object of Zen study, and which, when meditated upon, may unlock mechanisms in the Zen student’s mind leading to satori.
"There is a famous koan first uttered by the Zen master Chao-Chou Ts'ung-shen in the seventh century" (pg. 86).

Techichi: The Mayan name for an early small dog that is an ancestor of the Chihuahua.
"The Mayan called these dogs techichi, and when the Toltecs conquered the Mayans they took a serious liking to the techichi" (pg. 121).

*All definitions are from