Two New Words

Learned a couple of new words today while reading a rewatch of Star Trek: First Contact.

First (and I’m really glad I finally learned this word), we have:

leitmotif – a recurring theme in a musical or literary composition.

It was fun in the beginning but in the later Star Trek movies they would always play the same music whenever Klingons, or specifically, Worf, appeared. In the scene where Worf is commanding the Defiant against the Borg cube, the Klingon music plays. I notice this every time I watch the movie, and now I know what to call it: a leitmotif.

The second word is:

petard a small bomb made of a metal or wooden box filled with powder.

This word is frequently associated with the phrase hoist by one’s own petard, having one’s schemes against others backfiring on one. According to the Straight Dope, this line originally came from Shakespeare’s Hamlet.

I’ll probably never use this word, but it’s good to know what it means in case I ever see it again.