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Note: I wrote a humdinger of a blog post – only to forget it at work. The Board of Directors Here at Spo-Reflections is furious. They disallowed me to ‘wait until tomorrow’; I have to ‘put out’ before midnight or face a penalty so terrible they dare not tell me the details but only hinted I won’t be able to count to ten any more. Oy. In a pinch, there is always “Urspo’s wicked words”. Please give an enthusiastic shout out in the comment section, lest I lose digits.
Bibulous – excessively fond of drinking alcohol.
Blivit – something for which one cannot find a word; something difficult to name.
Dolce far niente – a pleasing inactivity.
Drotchel – a slovenly untidy woman.
Eructate – to produce a rawther loud belch or burp.
Ferrule – a short metal sleeve or ring at the base or handle of a pole for reinforcing the tool. (really)
Imprecation – a curse; malediction
Kenning – a poetic phrase used in lieu of the usual name for a person or thing. Example: “wave traveler” for “boat”. or ‘snow puddings’ for ice cream. Jolly good fun!
Naufragous – something relating to or causing a shipwreck; something that creates a disaster. A very good word to keep handy.
Penetralia – the innermost parts or recesses of a place or thing; the private of places.
Phub – to ignore a person via cellphone use.
Shinrin-yoku – ‘forest bathing’; a meditative and medicinal walk in nature.
Tapleyism – undying optimism even in dire circumstances. These types need smacking.
I haven’t recently written a post on fancy fustian words. This borders on negligence, for I am forever collecting grandiloquent and archaic words guaranteed to bore people to death at parties (of which I am not invited) or annoy phone solicitors. The Board of Directors Here at Spo-Reflections absolutely hates these entries, as they draw no traffic. Well screw’em. I love words! Pleonasm is my middle name.
Here are a few of my recent finds, apropos for the holidays, winter months, and the pending political regime. Try using some in an email today.
Blivit – something for which one cannot find a word; something difficult to name.
Chicanery – the use of trickery to achieve a political, financial, or legal purpose.
Cumbly – benumbed with cold
Gambrinous – intoxicated by beer.
Gelid – f*cking cold, geezus could it get any worse.
Mardy – a sulky slightly aggressive moody teenager, usually female.
Mulligrubs – ill temper; colic; grumpiness.
Naufragous – something relating to or causing a shipwreck; something that creates a disaster.
Nescience – lack of knowledge or awareness.
Nudnik – a persistently dull, boring pest.
Potation – a drink or draft, especially of an alcoholic beverage.
Quisquillious – having the nature of rubbish (a splendid word indeed!)
Skiver – someone who skips or weasels out of a responsibility.
Viridity – greenness
Wimbeling – (n.) an old Yorkshire dialect word to busy yourself somewhere when you really should be getting on with something else.
Thank you everybody for your support and comments in the recent posts. I hope I don’t often get overwhelmed with despair and pessimism where I go bezerk. When I do I find it psychologically purging to vent and I hope no one thinks me too bad person for it.
The Board of Directors Here at Spo-Reflections lost their corybantic Nordic minds over “My worst Post Ever” but before I was bludgeoned they saw the ‘ratings’ and pragmatically gave me a reprieve. I voiced compunction and they seemed satisfied I hadn’t gone off the deep-end. Walter “Cnut” Fafner thought I should compose something bucolic “to calm the nerves”. So I am going to post some more lovely words.*
What with the election words to describe deplorable types have been on my mind . Here are some fustian lovelies to expand your lexicon past moron, jerk, and a-hole.
Heading this list: Snollygoster – an unprincipled man who will do anything to achieve office.
Fustilarian – someone who wastes time.
Minger – someone who is doing something ugly or disgusting/gross.
Pillock – a clumsy or forgetful idiot.
Ronyon – a mangy looking person
Slubberdeguillion – a dirty paltry sorry wretch of a fellow (quote/unquote).
Troglobite – an animal that lives in the dark part of caves; a light-less creature viz. a man who stays in darkness and ignorance.
Zonderkite– a person who creates mistakes and blunders due to his idiotic actions.
Try using them in an email today !
*Which may reverse their decision to bludgeon me.
I am not doing very well with one of my new year’s resolutions which is to avoid reading comments placed on news websites. This morning I see the sites are inundated with truculent posts over a cola commercial that has “America The Beautiful” in it, being sung not entirely in English. ** There is already a bellicose call for a boycott for Coca-Cola.
I wish people would be as passionate over real issues as they are other a television commercial.
“Speak English only” (and its ironical poor grammar structure) is a hot issue these days. Since I moved to Arizona in 2005 I’ve heard little else. At its heart is the conglomerate of anxiety, racism, and xenophobia; foreigners are moving in and taking over and we must resist lest we are annihilated. Language is the symbol.
I wish I could say this zeal for English based on the USA’s pride of ownership for its language, but I see little evidence of such. Hardly anyone is concerned with proper grammar and syntax, and less know or care about its basic concepts.
Mind, it is a difficult language, filled with oddities and exceptions; it has little rhyme or reason. But we were raised with it; we should know better.
Alas, English in the USA is like an elegant Swiss-army knife used only as a crude instrument to bludgeon others when we don’t know how to properly use it ourselves.
Unlike other (most?) countries in which more than one language is spoken within their borders, The USA is a the exception: we have always tried to assimilate people with the “Speak English only” philosophy. After all we are the best, why wouldn’t you want to become just like us? It has a certain Borg like charm to it.
Alas for the howlers in the comment sections, language is a grass roots movement, the original Wikipedia. Its growth has no one to guide or stop it. As more non-English speaking people arrive or don’t learn English, the English language will ingest (edacious as it is for new words! ) other tongues into its ever changing and growing state of being.
There is some irony here. The ability to assimilate is one of the chief reasons the English language is so successful in endurance and popularity. Certainly it is not due to its ‘ease’. Languages which try to keep themselves ‘pure’ from foreign words – and foreign devils- usually end up in language extinction.
The USA could take a lesson here, not only for the English language but for the country.
Language has many purposes; the chief one is communication. It can also be a means for artistic expression. Nearly every profession has its own lexicon to convey complex information in a concise way. Medicine is full of them. Medical words used in psychiatry can be rather hoity-toity but often they are just jolly good fun to throw around.
Here are a few of my favorites which I use in medical reports and to bore the pants off of others at parties.
Learn a few of these lovelies and you too can sound like a pompous doc !
Akathisia < this is a restless nervous sense of not being able to sit still; ‘ants in the pants’.
Confabulation < telling whopping tales all false and made up but without realizing you are doing so. Often seen in those with dementia or voted for Sarah Palin.
Dwam < a mindless state of being, induced by looking out the window while in a train or car. It is accompanied with a blank expression on the face. “Hello? Didn’t you hear what I said?” “Oh, sorry I was in a dwam”. It is better than admitting what your were really thinking which was Jack Gyllenhaal (see below: satyriasis).
Dysania < An extreme difficulty of getting up and going in the morning. If the word is too fancy for you, use “Mondays” as a synonym.
Enantiodromia < The creation of a state of being when you tried so hard to avoid that by being its opposite you create the very thing you are trying so hard to avoid. Example: someone who goes out of their way “not to be a burden to others” who end up being a pain in the neck.
Hypnagogic < an adjective to describe things happening in the transition from wakefulness to sleep or the other way around. Lots of quasi-hallucinations and confusion happen in this gray zone.
Kummerspeck < A German word which exactly translates into ‘worry bacon”. It is the word used to describe weight gain induced from emotional eating. I don’t use it much as nobody eats when they are upset, do they now.
Logorrhea < the “opposite end” of diarrhea; oral diarrhea, excessive motor mouth talking, which keeps on spewing.
Parapraxis < the actual word for a ‘Freudian slip”. This is a mistaken statement, which happens when you say one thing but really meant your mother.
Satyriasis < the male equivalent of nymphomania: the compulsion to have sex with as many men as possible. I am quite skilled at helping those with this condition, but the treatment is a long and hard.
Uhtceare < an old English word from ‘Uht” for predawn and ‘Ceare” for worry. This describes waking up at 4AM anxious and depressed with the mind racing about all sorts of things.
I am reading “The War Commentaries” by Julius Caesar. Not only am I learning how to properly decimate pesky Germanic tribes I’ve picked up a few new words: deputation, vanguard, osia, and oakum. For a military man he writes excellent English. I am certain Mr. Caesar is 100% objective when he explains the reasons for all he does. Given all his slaughters I wonder when he found the time to write such a lengthy biography.
Someone and I will return to Puerto Vallarta next February; this gives me five month to retry learning Spanish. This will be my third attempt at Espanol. Alas, my hummingbird mind refuses to retain anything other than a few amusing albeit useless expressions.* I daresay my Germanic genes refuse to wrap my tongue around a Romance language. What is the Spanish word for snob?
I am continually on the look out for new words to expand my lexicon and bore others silly at parties. English is a treasure trove of words having incorporated (stolen) tens of thousands from multiple languages. Adjectives and fancy nouns (to substitute the common ones) are my favorites. Currently I enjoy learning words for complaining** and dominance***. They should come in handy in PV – or at the next blogger soiree.
Then there is ASL. At one point I was fairly competent in waving my hands around in proper ASL fashion (rather than “Signed English”). Alas, my ASL receptive skills are quite rusty.
So wish me buena serta.
*My favorite: “Aviso! Vacas!”
** Remonstrate, vociferous, pugnacious, swivet, and implacable.
***Subjugate, apodictic, and suzerain.
Spo-fans know I have a fervent appetite for new words. Dictonary.com supplies me with my daily fix for the fancy and the fabulous. 19th century novels are a gold mine for atypical and infrequent words. Presently I am hearing a recording of “The Pickwick Papers”; I stop the book whenever Mr. Dickens uses a word I do not recognize or know the exact definition, I look it up and write it down in my list of ‘Words to learn’.
I drive Someone to distraction with ‘Word of the day’ which I use as many times as possible until I feel certain I have it. Someone always seems to know the words. Example: I’ll ask if he’s ever heard of the word “peripatetic”. He gives me a mild supercilious look and says ‘Oh, that‘ and quickly defines it.
I like fancy adjectives, especially words ending in ‘ous”. Like the Spice Girls they tend to blur together. Here are the current lovelies I’m trying to keep in my cranium:
scabrous (jolly good fun)
My over 50 years old mind has taken on a Teflon-like coating and very little sticks to it anymore. I either forget the word, or its meaning, or both. I recently found an old list of words. I couldn’t remember some of them. Most of them I could still define, but I haven’t used them viz. they haven’t gotten into my daily conversation, alas.
Here’s some examples, some of them I’ve managed to retain:
temerity vs. audacity vs. effrontery
and – wait for it :
Collecting old words is infinitely cheaper than collecting rubber stamps or Pacific Northwest Native American artwork. The few downsides to collecting uncommon words into a formidable vocabulary are: boring people to death, miscommunication, and (worst of all) malapropism. At least I will a fopdoodle rather than a fool.
When I discover something I often want to experience it in all its forms. For example: my studies of wine and whisky resulted in a desire to ‘try as many as possible’. When I go to a restaurant I look for dishes new and adventuresome rather than get the old favorites**. Live life to the fullest is my motto.
My panache for new words parallels this philosophy. There are over a million words in the English language, thanks to centuries of borrowing, incorporation or downright theft from other languages. Why use the same banal words over and over when there are so many others to use?
Thanks to Dictionary.com I receive a new word each day. I am vigilant and on the lookout for words I don’t know. I write them down and practice them until they get into my ‘muscle memory’.
As a consequence I have a chockablock of words most people don’t recognize or care to hear.
If you define the purpose of language as merely the means to communicate, then my ever expanding lexicon is backfiring. But I see fancy words like owning really good shoes. Why wear oh so practical loafers when you can stomp around in last years Pradas?
Adjectives are my favorites. I recently described a dessert as melliferous, rather than sweet as honey. I don’t get anxious nowadays as much as I go into a swivet. Last week I ate something bad and nearly chundered. Jolly good fun!
Here’s a list of some of my latest <
capricious vs. mercurial
parody vs. satire
reprobate vs. recalcitrant
temerity (not to be confused with tenacity)
You would surmise my use of exotic and uncommon words in everyday conversation would drive Someone to distraction, but it doesn’t. He seldom doesn’t already know their definitions. This is both admirable and it makes me a bit peevish. I suffer a lot from malapropism and he points out my mistakes.
A subset of these new words is using ‘extinct’ words rather than the atypicals. There are so many lavish words no longer being used which I think should be resurrected. Rumbullion is one – an old English term for an out of doors debacle. In the 1600s people were drinking alcohol made from sugar cane. The intoxicating liquor was named ‘rumbullion’ after the fracas created from its consumption. In time the drink’s name was shortened from ‘rumbullion’ to ‘rum’.
I may be a fopdoodle, but I will continue this pursuit, even when others think it merely snuffbumble.
** This is in contrast to Someone, who orders the same drinks, the same meals etc. In my world of novelty he is my constant.
Every morning Dictionary.com sends me ‘The word of the day’. The English has one of the greatest number of words and synonyms, being a language that has incorporated words from Latin, French, Scandanavia (thanks, Vikings!), and anywhere the British Empire exploited people. Some folks despise fancy words when small ones will do the job but I delight in a rutilant lexicon. Why be ‘gray’ when you can be ‘brindled”? Why complain, when you can vociferate?
The number of words actually being used is diminishing. More and more perfectly good words are going extinct from lack of use. Describing a politician as a sollygoster or as dastardly used to be common. Now they are simply crooks and morons. The point is more readily grasped but it sounds somewhat dumbed down. Words I have used all my life are becoming unrecognizable. Patients are often puzzled now when I ask if their medications are efficacious.
I blame technology for the decline in word usage. “Spelling checks” in word processing pressure the typist to write a small easy words. It is more work to go back to edit the proper spelling of a polysyllabic uncommon word. When I type the word apodictic (meaning incontestable and don’t question me) my laptop tells me ‘it is spelled wrong” – and there is no such word (!) To save time, just write a simple word learned in grade school. When we wrote things out in longhand we may have had more misspelled fancy words but at least they were used.
The other culprit in the demise of words is texting. Long elegant words are deemed too tedious to type. Worse, grammar and words disappear while texting. “How r u” and “done come home now” replace actual sentences.
I don’t know about you but I see something sinister in this. Holly-rollers claim civilization is declining due to reprobate living, but I think the loss of a rich vocabulary is more cimmerian.