Words we distinctly remember learning from books

Lia Zneimer  //  Feb 28, 2014

Words we distinctly remember learning from books

I was browsing Book Riot recently when I came across this great piece on the words and phrases we remember learning specifically from books. (For example, the author of the piece recalls learning the word “sinew” from Island of the Blue Dolphins by Scott O’Dell.) The word I’ll forever remember learning is “Episcopalian”—I first saw it in print while reading The Education of Little Tree and thought it was pronounced “epi -scoh-LOP-ian.” I asked my mother what that meant, and am proud to say I’ve pronounced the word properly ever since.

In a similar vein, I asked me fellow OOMers to share stories of their own about the words they distinctly remember learning from books.

  • Mike: “Take chances. Make mistakes. Get messy! I learned that from Ms. Frizzle and The Magic School Bus.”
  • Brittany:  “Someone one recommended I read the book Snow Crash by Neal Stephenson and I remember having to look up numerous words while diving into this sci-fi realm of firmware programming. I distinctly recall having to research the term ‘glossolalia,’ which I now know means “speaking in tongues.”
  • Morgan: “I learned a lot of vocabulary words from The Westing Game by Ellen Raskin. I remember in particular the word ‘benefactor,’ which I'd never encountered before reading it. Also, I learned everything I know about the stock market from Turtle Wexler!”
  • Kristen“When my younger sister was little, she described something as ‘humble.’ My mom was a little surprised that she knew the word and asked her what she meant by it. My sister, who had just finished reading Charlotte’s Web, explained that ‘humble’ meant ‘short and fat.’ (In the book, one of the words that Charlotte spins in her web above Wilbur the pig is Humble, which my sister decided must describe a pig—short and fat! Now I can never hear the word humble without thinking of Wilbur.)”
  • Nadia: “My cousin and I were actually just talking about this! She learned what the word ‘adjourned’ means because of The Baby-sitters Club books. Kristy ends every meeting by saying ‘Meeting adjourned.’ In second grade, my cousin ended up writing a report and using the word ‘adjourned’ in it; her teacher was super impressed!”

How about you? Are there any words or phrases you remember learning from a book? We’d love to hear them!