clandestine - kept or done in secret, often in order to conceal an illicit or improper purpose
This word made many appearances when I was reading The Zookeeper’s Wife. I wasn’t terribly familiar with it (maybe not at all), so I actually looked it up in an actual dictionary. I can vividly remember replacing it in my mind with “secret” anytime I came to it while reading.
angst - a
I first heard this word five years ago. At that time, almost all of Mike’s eight siblings were keeping blogs (not so anymore), and so we decided to play a game on our blogs (Mike’s family is nothing if not creative and competitive). Each person was given their own list of words they had to use in posts over a two-week time period. If you used one of your words, and someone guessed it, they got a point. But if they either didn’t notice or there wasn’t really an assigned word in the post, then you got a point. (It was great fun, especially since, unless you were in on the game, you couldn’t tell there was anything particularly unusual going on, except that we all suddenly had much richer vocabularies.) Anyway, neither Mike nor I knew what it was to exhibit angst (it has since become a MUCH more popular word . . . everyone is filled with angst these days), and so we decided we’d have better luck pretending it was a typo for “against.” This is how we used it to describe a game of ping pong: "okay, so maybe my meager ping pong skills are pretty useless angst him, but my competitive nature can’t handle defeat.” Sadly, most of Mike’s siblings caught it.
menagerie - a
This word impressed itself upon me when we read this line in The Circus Ship: "Mr. Payne looked high and low, but still he couldn’t see the fifteen circus animals of his menagerie.” I knew the word before, but I was delighted to find it in a children’s book, and I can’t hear it now without seeing the page it goes with in the book.
snarky - rudely sarcastic or disrespectful; snide
Last year, my book club read Everneath, and we were lucky enough to have the author, Brodi Ashton, come to our meeting and talk about the book. The thing I remember most about that meeting is how often she said the word snarky. She called so many people snarky that I think she intended it as a compliment.
ineffable - t
This word is now forever linked in my brain with a British accent (Jim Dale’s British accent, to be exact). The word was dwelt on so much in Liesl and Po that you could almost call it a literary theme. The main character pronounced it in a very specific way--drawing it out and lingering on the f’s. Jim Dale’s interpretation was beautiful. I don’t think I’ve had an opportunity to use it out loud since I listened to that book, but when I do, you can be certain I’ll be British for the instant it takes to say it.
I have more words that maybe I’ll share at a later date, but tell me: Do you have any words with specific memories attached to them? Please share!