Uncommon Words: Part Three (The Name of the Wind)

uncommon words

Welcome back to another edition of “Uncommon Words” featuring exciting words I find in fiction.

These articles feature words that I don’t use very often (if ever) along with their definitions and how they are used in the book. I will try to avoid any book spoilers by replacing them with dashes. I am doing this in the hope that I will start using more of these words in my writing. Let’s build our vocabulary together!

You can find other articles in this series here.

This article will feature a few words I found in “The Name of the Wind” which is book one in “The Kingkiller Chronicles” by Patrick Rothfuss.


  • verdigris. n. a bright bluish-green encrustation or patina formed on copper or brass by atmospheric oxidation, consisting of basic copper carbonate.
    • Usage in book: “Nearby there were three great pillars covered in green verdigris so thick it looked like moss.”
  • spurious. adj. not being what it purports to be; false or fake.
    • Usage in book: “Re’lar Ambrose, in the future you will refrain from wasting our time with spurious charges.”
  • inveterate. adj. having a particular habit, activity, or interest that is long-established and unlikely to change.
    • Usage in book: “Threpe was an inveterate gossipmonger with a knack for tasteless innuendo, and I have always had a gift for a catchy tune.”
  • rote. n. mechanical or habitual repetition of something to be learned.
    • Usage in book: “They are fine for rote learning, but the study of naming requires a level of dedication that ravel such as yourself rarely possess.”
  • remand. v. place (a defendant) on bail or in custody, esp. when a trail is adjourned.
    • Usage in book: “Re’lar Ambrose is officially remanded for laxity in his duty.”
  • mollify. v. appease the anger or anxiety of (someone).
    • Usage in book: “Arwyl seemed mollified.”
  • simulacrum. n. an image or representation of someone or something. <SPECIAL USAGE> an unsatisfactory imitation or substitute.
    • Usage in book: “You let the boy make a simulacrum of you, then bring him here on malfeasance?”
  • auspicious. adj. conductive to success; favorable.
    • Usage in book: “I took it to be an auspicious sign and walked in.”
  • sophist. n. a paid teacher of philosophy and rhetoric in ancient Greece, associated in popular thought with moral skepticism and specious reasoning. <SPECIAL USAGE> a person who reasons with clever but fallacious arguments.
    • Usage in book: “You sound like a sophist, boy.”
  • altruism. n. the belief in or practice of disinterested and selfless concern for the well-being of others.
    • Usage in book: “If this is to be a full and honest account of my life and deeds, I feel I should mention that my reasons for inviting Ben into our troupe were not entirely altruistic.”

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