A short list of obscure words

obscure wordsThere comes a time in every blog’s career when it seems only prudent to populate it with lists of obscure or interesting words. Actually, this came about because I wanted to put something different on Twitter for the month of December – an advent of vocabulary instead of self-indulgent links. The result, my days of Christmas – a list of some of my favourite obscure words. Some of these are less common than others – some simply sound nice to say. They all come with examples, so you can use them wisely.

Abscond – to leave discretely. As I

Apricity – the warmth of the sun in wintertime. As we see today.

Agrestic – rude or uncultured; the agrestic advance of the unwashed masses.

Avuncular – to have the characteristics of an uncle. As in, “You avuncular bastard!”

Boondoggle – a waste of time, or something done solely to take up time. As is this.

Confabulate – to chat. Frankly, the internet would’ve been more successful if it had confabulation rooms.

Cockalorum – a man with a high opinion of himself. Often a short man, at that.

Curmudgeon – a miserable person. Bah.

Defenestration – the act of throwing out the window. But we all use this one fairly regularly, yes?

Egregious – clearly bad. This egregious message has upset me. No more.

Eructation – a guttural belch. The eructations of our generation cannot be ignored.

Emunctory – related to the blowing of one’s nose. As in, the emunctory suppositions of our sick brethren.

Fulminate – to issue an explosive verbal assault. Or an explosion in general. “Oh, look at that fellow fulminating. What a jerk.”

Glabrous – smooth or bald. It was the best of times, it was the most glabrous of times.

Hyperbole. The best word.

Incongruous – lacking harmony, not fitting together. An incongruous collection of ideas both fun and egregious.
Logomachy – an argument of words. Oh they’re just locked in logomachy. Best not disturb them.

Masticate – to chew. That vile boy has been up in his room masticating for hours – it’s the last time I give him liquorice.

Orison – a prayer. Say your orisons.

Pontificate – express yourself in a pompous way. He pontificated about cheese.

Porcine – relating to the pig. The porcine missteps of the underclasses.

Rhinocentric – pertaining to the rhino. “That fellow has a rather rhinocentric nose.”

Scintilla – a spark, a flash, a small amount. Throw a scintilla of butter in the pan.

Sesquipedalian – using long words. “Isn’t it time we got more sesquipedalian in this affair?”

Snoutfair – a handsome fellow. Or possible dame, it’s not a word that’s still in use.

Tatterdemalion – a person of poor attire; a ragged or tatty clothed scoundrel if you will.

Twattle – useless talk, or idle gossip. As is this.
Ubiquitious – everywhere. These ridiculous words are ubiquitous on writer’s websites.

Yethhound – I’ve got my doubts about this one, because the references I’ve found to it are often confined to ‘interesting words’ lists like this one. But supposedly the yethhound was a dog that carried women away into the wilderness in the night.

2 responses to “A short list of obscure words

  1. Tina mulholland

    What fun for the 2nd Jan, Phil! Can’t yet get my head into work mode so intend to baffle my family by incorporating my top 3 into as many conversations as possible today. And in case you’re interested they are: Eructation (shouldn’t be too difficult after Xmas)
    Confabulate (I confabulate, therefore I am)
    Cockalorum (my New Year good spirits forbid me from naming anyone in particular, but am sure I’ll find a use for it at least once today…)

  2. Thanks Tina, glad you enjoyed it. You can, of course, also use the noun confabulation as well as the verb.

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