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Wondrous Words Wednesday : The Art of Fielding

Another week when my reading didn't introduce me to a new word! But not because the book is overly simplistic. While it is a relatively easy read, The Art of Fielding from Chad Harbach is completely compelling. Please note I'm not a particular baseball fan; I have no idea who is currently playing first base for the Dodgers or a point of view on whether the Mets or the Yankees are the better team. The book isn't really about baseball. Oh it takes place in the world of baseball, college baseball actually, much the same way that Bull Durham took place in the world of minor league baseball. But I don't think you have to love baseball or know that much about it to love this book. I'm enjoying it tremendously and reco it highly.

That being said, here's my Wondrous Words Wednesday word. To play along, visit Kathy's Bermuda Onions website. She hosts the weekly meme where we post new-to-us words.
I once again turned to words with friends for my word of the week. One of my opponents played the word "louis".  Huh? I thought that was a proper noun, ala all those French kings. But Words with Friends accepted it!
Well apparently, louis is also short for louis d'or, and whether I like it or not, an acceptable word to play.
Here's the dictionary.com definition.
louis: gold coin circulated in France before the Revolution. The franc (q.v.) and livre were silver coins that had shrunk in value to such an extent that by 1740 coins of a larger denomination were needed. The French kings therefore had gold coins struck and called after their name Louis, or louis d'or ("gold Louis"). After the Revolution, Napoleon continued the practice but called the coins "napoleons." They had a value of 20 francs.


  1. I knew or is gold in French but that phrase was totally new to me.

  2. I also loved The Art of Fielding. And while I enjoyed watching college and pro baseball live on the few occasions I had the opportunity, I'm absolutely not what you cold call a baseball fan. So I totally back up your claim that you don't need to be a baseball aficionado to enjoy the book.

    p.s. saw abe lincoln vampire hunter two nights ago and thought of you.

    1. What did you think of Abe - I liked it but I think you had higher expectations. Some of the critics have said it lacked a sense of humor.

  3. I do love how new words can pop up anywhere. This was a new usage for me too. Always interesting to learn a new French fact. No point in being king if you can't name the money after yourself is there?

  4. I knew napoleon was a gold coin, but would be hard pressed to recognize a louis. Yet I guess you'd find the word in such books as The Three Musketeers or The Count of Monte Cristo, so I feel I should know it.

  5. A very interesting fact on a French word.

  6. I have not picked up this book because I am not really interested in baseball. After reading your review I think I may give it a try. Thanks!


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