Tuesday, August 08, 2006


Today's word was especially intriguing. Plus, I need to get that disturbing post about sex off of the top of the page before my mother sees it. Oops, too late. Before mei-mei sees it. Oops, too late. Before Hilary takes my dare seriously. Oops, too late.

This week's theme: words related to forecasting and divination.

bibliomancy (BIB-lee-o-man-see) noun

Divination by interpreting a passage picked at random from a book,
especially from a religious book such as the Bible.

[From Greek biblio- (book) + -mancy (divination).]

If you are having a hard time deciding between turning groupie and following
your favorite band around or to stay put in your accounting job, help is at
hand. Try bibliomancy. Here's the step-by-step method:

1. Pick a book you trust a lot.
2. Put it on its spine, and let it fall open.
3. With your eyes closed, trace your finger to a passage.
4. Interpret the passage as your lifemap to the future.

You could even add more randomness to the process. To do that at the macro
level, visit a library and pick a book at random from the shelves. At the
micro level, instead of interpreting a passage, pick a single word and let
it point you to your path.

Then you could try awadmancy -- divination based on words from AWAD. Focus
on the question in your mind and then click here to get a random word from
our archives:

-Anu Garg (garg AT wordsmith.org)

"It was Margaret Drabble's new The Oxford Companion to English Literature,
which I'd been sent, to review. I'd been picking through it idly, looking
at this and that, seeing who was in and who was out, when, by a kind of
obscure bibliomancy, the book fell open at page 471, and there I was,
laid out drily between Robert Henryson, the 15th-century Scottish poet,
and Philip Henslowe, the Elizabethan theatrical diarist."
Philip Hensher; Brought to Book by the Literary Establishment;
The Independent (London, UK); Sep 6, 2000.

Sponsors' messages:
Always find the right word with the Visual Thesaurus. Wordsmith readers
save 10%. Try it free!
Subscribe to http://delanceyplace.com -- a carefully selected non-fiction book
excerpt free to your email each day. It's the thinking person's daily quote.
There is no coming to consciousness without pain. -Carl Jung, psychiatrist
Share the magic of words. Send a gift sub:
Remove, change, or subscribe address: http://wordsmith.org/awad/subscriber.html
Permalink: http://wordsmith.org/words/bibliomancy.html


TKP said...

Hahaha, is your sex thanksgiving going to be in the church bulletin? You are just so rude Jen. I love it.

hermit greg said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
JTB said...

C'mon, isn't this how you'll name all your kids? Think of the possibilities...

JTB said...

Just tried the "awadmancy" link in this post to determine what I should get my brother-in-law for his birthday and this was my answer:

Pronunciation: WAV or RealAudio
quean (kween) noun

1. A woman regarded as being disreputable, especially a prostitute.

2. Scots. A young woman.

[Middle English quene, from Old English cwene, woman.]

"A witch, a quean, an old cozening quean! Have I not forbid her my house?" Shakespeare, William, The Merry Wives of Windsor: Act IV, Scene II.

This week's theme: Words with slightly different spellings from some everyday words.