This morning I’m thinking about words.
I’ve got lots of word-nerd books. A dictionary of 2000 Obscure and Challenging Words; a History of the English Language; a Pirate Primer on how to talk like a pirate. And I have this book:
This book is excellent, because while it has some interesting trivia, it’s mostly word play and word games, quotations and riddles and interesting factoids about — language.
And while reading, I found out some things.
A “dignotion” is a tattoo, birthmark, or other distinguishing mark.
“Bucculent” means wide-mouthed.
“Illecebrous” means pretty or attractive.
“Bathycolpian” means having large bosoms and deep cleavage.
“Imberb” means beardless.
“Leptodactylic” means having long, slender toes.
“Lentiginous” means freckled.
“Kalopsia” is the overestimation of beauty.
“Circumbendibus” is a roundabout process or method, especially a circumlocution: and so is “circumbilivagination.”
The collective nouns for these animals are:
A sloth of bears, a singular of boars, a business of ferrets, a peep of chickens, a deceit of lapwings, a tittering of magpies, a mumble of moles, a cast of hawks, a siege of herons, a kindle of kittens, a crash of rhinoceroses, a mutation of thrushes, and an unkindness of ravens.
An unkindness of ravens! And I’ve only been hearing about that “murder of crows” thing, for years!
Allodoxophobia is the fear of other people’s opinions, catagelophobia is the fear of being ridiculed, didaskaleinophobia is the fear of going to school, scolionophobia is the fear of school, sophophobia is the fear of learning, gnosiophobia is the fear of knowledge, and kakorrhaphiophobia is the fear of failure. So Allodoxocatagelodidaskaleinoscolionosophognosiokakorrhaphiophobia is the fear of being a high school student.
To cabobble is to confuse, blutterbunged means confused or surprised or taken aback, inaniloquent means saying silly things, to jargogle is to mix up or garble something, a phlyarologist is one who constantly speaks nonsense, and to winx is to speak foolishly.
Blatherskite? Foolish person.
Dandisprat? Insignificant person.
Dowfart? Stupid, dull person.
Jackeen? Worthless person who thinks himself important. (This gives me a new nickname for someone at work.)
Shabbaroon? Mean-spirited person.
Slubberdegullion? Contemptible person, a wretch.
Wallydraigle? Feeble, slovenly person.
And I’m only halfway through the book.