A Little Vocabulary to Tide You Over


I am almost ready to offer cocktail thoughts again. So close.

In the meantime, I suggest you incorporate a few obscure (abstruse, recondite) words to your working vocabulary. Because learning is fun.

Benighted: in a state of pitiful or contemptible intellectual or moral ignorance, typically owing to a lack of opportunity.

Obstreperous: noisy; defiant; unruly.

Pillory: to attack or ridicule publicly.

Threnody: elegy; a song for the dead; a lament.

Perfidious: deceitful and untrustworthy. Stems from Latin roots meaning a “to ill effect faith,” or as I prefer to remember it through a tie to French, “loss of faith”.

Periphrastic: using a long phrase where a shorter one would do; indirect and circumlocutory.

And on a frequent theme of Words to Bumble…

Perspicacious: having a ready insight into and understanding of things; shrewd, keen. Or as I like to define it: Dumbledore, which apparently has something to do with bumblebees, bumbling, buzzing and droning about in Old Modern English. There are so many sorts of English, aren’t there? Old, Middle, Old Modern, etc. Very complicated.

Supercilious: behaving or looking as though one thinks one is superior to others. Or as I like to define it: Draco Malfoy, whose surname of course, means something along the lines of “bad faith” in French.

Dolorous: causing, marked by, or expressing misery or grief. In French translations of the Harry Potter series, doloris is the incantation for the cruciatus curse. Also, Dolores Umbridge (“umbrage” meaning darkness/shadow, hint, suspicion or a fit of pique over some fancied slight or insult).

Laconic: Terse. Or as I like to define it: Severus Snape.

Definitions are taken from the Merriam Webster app for Android, the Oxford American Dictionary dashboard widget for Mac, and general inspiration from the cosmos. References to J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter characters may seem wholly fatuous, but could actually be good device for committing definitions to memory.

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2 Comments

Filed under Informative, Word of the Week

2 responses to “A Little Vocabulary to Tide You Over

  1. Bombastic words!! Thanks for sharing.. i like learning them for fun, so i can use them to confuse people.

  2. Thanks for reading, and for agreeing that even vocabulary can be fun!

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