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Fun Words

abattoir
slaughterhouse
ad hominem
-[NL, to the man] appealing to a person's feelings or prejudices rather than his intellect
adfenestration
to sneak in through a window.
antepenultimate
before the next to the last (compare penultimate)
anthimeria
the substitution of one part of speech for another; typically a noun used as a verb -- also known as (and for example) "verbing a noun"
aphasia
inability to use or comprehend words
apodictic
evident beyond contradiction; expressing absolute certainty
apophasis
a figure of speech which alludes to something specific by denying that it will be mentioned (e.g. "I won't mention the fact that Representative Smith has been supporting three children from adulterous relationships") [compare paraleipsis]
cacoepy
incorrect pronunciation
callipygian
having beautiful buttocks
coprolalia
the uncontrollable use of obscene language
cynosure
center of attention
catamite
a boy kept for purposes of sexual perversion
dasypygal
having hairy buttocks
demotic
relating to the common people: popular
deuteragonist
1) the actor taking the part of second importance in a classical Greek drama
2) a person who serves as a foil to another (second banana?)
eclogue
a poem in which shepherds are introduced conversing
eisegesis
the interpretation of a text (as of the bible) by reading into it one's own ideas
elenchus
refutation; esp one in syllogistic form
ephemeral
beginning and ending in a day
defenestration
throwing a person or thing out the window
deipnosophobia
a fear of dinner conversation
deliquesce
to melt away; to dissolve gradually and become liquid by attracting and absorbing moisture
deltiology
the collecting of postcards
diasyrm
/DAI a sirm/ a figure of speech expressing disparagement or ridicule; also, damning with faint praise
dysteleology
the doctrine of purposelessness in nature (compare teleology)
dystychiphobia
the fear of accidents
ebriection
mental breakdown from too much boozing
eccedentesiast
a person who fakes a smile, such as on television [coined by Florence King, of whom George Will wrote, "If Mencken were alive, he would be her."]
eidetic
marked by or involving extraordinarily accurate and vivid recall
einfuhlung
understanding so intimate that the feelings, thoughts, and motives of one person are readily comprehended by another
elucubrate
to work out or express by studious effort; to burn the midnight oil
embolalia
the use of... um... virtually meaningless filler words, phrases, or... er... stammerings (or so-called hesitation-forms) in speech, whether as... uh... unconscious utterings while arranging one's thoughts or as... like... a vacuous, inexpressive... you know... mannerism
enantiosis
the rhetorical device of stating the opposite of what is meant, usually ironically; affirmation by contraries
epanorthosis
the correcting of a statement as one is making it
epideictic
rhetorically demonstrative (showing off in argument, i.e., me -Stu)
epigone
an inferior imitator of a creative thinker or artist
epistrophe
repetition of a word or expression at the end of successive phrases, clauses, sentences or verses especially for rhetorical or poetic effect government of the people, by the people, for the people
eremophobia
the fear of being left alone
ergophobia
the fear of work
eristic
pertaining to dispute, argument or controversy; argumentative, controversial
eschaton
the last thing (the end of the world)
immanentizing the eschaton - R.A. Wilson
eudaemonism
the theory that the highest ethical goal is happiness and personal well-being
explaterate
to talk continuously without stop; to run off at the mouth
fantod
1) a state of irritability and tension
2) an emotional outburst: fit
felicific calculus
a method of determining rightness of an action by balancing probable pleasures and pains that it would produce
fescennine
[n] a style of poetry using coarse language
[adj] vulgar; obscene
fin de siecle
[F, end of century, (19th)] relating esp. to its climate of sophistication, world-weariness and fashionable despair
fissilingual
having a forked or cleft tongue
floccinaucinihilipilification
the categorizing of something as worthless
foma
harmless untruths; useful and harmless b.s. -- coined by Kurt Vonnegut
frottage
1) the technique of taking a rubbing from an uneven surface, by rubbing graphite over paper laid on top of the rough texture
2) the practice of obtaining sexual gratification by rubbing against someone, both parties usually being clothed
funambulist
a tightrope walker; one who is (mentally) agile
fustian
pretentious and banal (writing or speech)
fustigate
to criticize severely
futilitarian
one who believes that human striving is futile
fysigunkus
someone who is totally devoid of curiosity
gadzookery
[Brit] the use of archaisms (as in a historical novel)
galeanthropy
the delusion that one is a cat
gammerstang
[Brit] a tall, awkward person, usually a woman
gamophobia
an extreme fear of marriage
gharnao
a raft made of inverted ceramic pots
glossolalia
speaking in tongues
glurge
improbable stories with moralistic undertones, intended to tug at your heartstrings; coating a kernel of an idea with a saccharine layer of deception to make the inspiration that much easier to swallow
gnathonic
obsequious, toadying, parasitical, flattering and deceitful
grammaticaster
a petty grammarian; a pretentious grammatical pedant
graphospasm
writer's cramp
groak
one who stands around while others eat, in hopes he will be asked to join
gynecocracy
political supremacy of women
gynotikolobomassophilia
a proclivity for nibbling on women's earlobes
hadeharia
constant use of the word 'hell'
hapax legomenon
[Gk, something said only once] a word evidenced by a single citation
haver (HAY-vuhr) verb intr.
To vacillate
hebetate
to make dull or obtuse
hebetude
lethargy, dullness
hegira
a journey esp when undertaken to escape from a dangerous or undesirable situation; exodus
hemidemisemiquaver
a 1/64 note in music [see also demisemiquaver]
henotheism
worship of one god, without denying the existence of others
hermeneutical
interpretive
hermeneutics
the study of the methodological principles of interpretation
hominist
someone who advocates equal rights for men
houghmagandy
fornication
hypercorrect
refers to a linguistic construction or pronunciation produced by mistaken analogy with standard usage out of a desire to be correct, such as "open widely" or "on behalf of my wife and I"
icarian
1) flying beyond a safe height
2) unable to execute an ambitious project
ignis fatuus
[L, foolish fire] deceptive goal or hope; light from marsh gas
ignoratio elenchi
[L, ignorance of proof] the fallacy of ignoring the point in question and arguing the wrong point
ignotum per ignotius
[L] the unknown (explained) by means of the more unknown: an annoyingly obscure explanation
imbrication
an overlapping of edges (as of tiles)
imprecation
the act of cursing; to invoke evil upon
ineffable
unspeakable, indescribable (see also inenarrable)
infibulation
the act of fastening with ring, clasp or stitches to prevent sexual intercourse
inficete
dull, unfunny, deadly serious, humorless
jactation
restless tossing in bed, characteristic of severe fevers and certain mental disorders
jamais
[F] never (jamais vu - the denial of something actually seen)
jarkman
a vagabond who fabricates counterfeit passes, licenses and certificates for others [archaic]
jehu
a coachman, especially one who drives at a rattling pace
"The driving is like the driving of Jehu the son of Nimshi; for he driveth furiously." - 2 Kings ix. 20
jeremiad
a prolonged lamentation or complaint
jiffy
1) 1/100 of a second
2) one millisecond
3) approximately one nanosecond
4) indeterminate time from a few seconds to forever
kakistocracy
government by the worst men of the state
kalopsia
the delusion that things are more beautiful than they really are
katzenjammer
[German] 1) hangover
2) distress, depression or confusion resembling that caused by a hangover
3) a discordant clamor
labefaction
a weakening or impairment esp. of moral principles or civil order: downfall, overthrow
latitudinarian
[adj] broad and liberal in standards of religious belief and conduct
leptology
a minute and tedious discourse on trivial matters
lethologica
the inability to remember the right word
lethonomia
the tendency to forget names
lickpenny
an absorber or devourer of money
Law is a lickpenny. -- Sir Walter Scott
limivorous
swallowing mud for the organic matter it contains
loganamnosis
/LAHG an um NOH sis/ an obsession with trying to recall a forgotten word
logastellus
"a person whose enthusiasm for words outstrips his knowledge of them" - John McClellan
logomachy
dispute over/about words; controversy marked by verbiage
logomisia
disgust for certain words
logorrhea
excessive and often incoherent talkativeness or wordiness
luftmensch
[Yiddish] an impractical dreamer having no definite business or income
lugubrious
mournful or doleful to a ludicrous degree
macaronic
1) characterized by a mixture of vernacular words with Latin words
2) characterized by a mixture of two languages
macrologist
a dull conversationalist, usually met at dinners and parties
macrology
long and tedious talk; prolonged discourse without ideas; superfluity of words
maffle
[Brit dial] to speak indistinctly: mumble, stammer; to cause to become confused or bewildered
maieutic
relating to or resembling the Socratic method of eliciting new ideas from another (also, questioning someone until they come up with something they didn't know they knew)
malapropos
in an inappropriate or inopportune way
malkin
[Brit] 1) an untidy woman: slattern
mastigophorer
[obs] a fellow worthy to be whipped
matutolypea
getting up on the wrong side of the bed
meliorism
he belief that the world tends to become better and that humans can aid its betterment
mendacious
given to or characterized by deception or falsehood or divergence from absolute truth mendacious tales of his adventures
metonymy
/met ON ah me/ a figure of speech in which one word or phrase is substituted for another with which it is closely associated, as in the use of Washington for the United States government or of the sword for military power
mezzobrow
a middlebrow, in a fashionable and superior way (coined in the US in the 1920s)
misandry
a hatred of men [opposite of misogynist]
misanthrope
one who hates or distrusts mankind
misology
a hatred of argument, reasoning or enlightenment
mogigraphia
writing only with difficulty; writer's cramp
mokita
[Papuan] the truth that everyone knows but no one talks about
mordant
biting and sarcastic in manner, thought or style
mumpsimus
someone who obstinately clings to old ways, in spite of the clearest evidence that s/he is wrong
obscurantism
opposition to the spread of knowledge; deliberate vagueness or abstruseness
oneiric
of or relating to dreams; dreamy
oniomania
an uncontrollable urge to buy things
oojah
[Brit slang] a "what's its name?", a thing whose name has been forgotten
ossuary
a depository for bones of the dead
otiose
/OH she ows/ 1) lacking use or effect, functionless
2) being at leisure, idle
3) sterile, futile
palimpsest
writing material (as a parchment or tablet) used one or more times
pantophobia
the fear of everything
paraleipsis
a figure of speech which implies something more serious by deliberately concise treatment (e.g. "I don't have time to mention Representative Jones's other faults.")
parisology
the deliberate use of equivocal or ambiguous words
peripatetic
walking about from place to place, pedestrian, itinerant
peripeteia
a sudden or unexpected reversal of circumstances or situation esp. in a literary work
philogynist
a lover or friend of women; one who esteems women as the higher type of humanity
philomath
a lover of learning; a scholar
polymath
a person of encyclopedic learning
pool-pah
the wrath of god; a sh*t storm
porlock
to interrupt an artist engaged in aesthetic creation (from 'the Man from Porlock', who interrupted Samuel T. Coleridge while he was writing 'Kublai Khan' -Stu)
posslq
Person of the Opposite Sex Sharing Living Quarters
presque vu
[F, nearly seen] a feeling that you are on the edge of grasping something very, very important
procrustean
marked by arbitrary often ruthless disregard of individual differences or special circumstances (from Procrustes, who used to tie guests to his bed, stretching them out on a rack if they were too short, and cutting off limbs if they were too tall -Stu)
prolix
long-winded; wordy
pseudoantidisestablishmentarianism
the phony opposition to the withdrawal of state support from an established church
psychopomp
a conductor of souls to the afterworld; e.g., Charon, Hermes
quodlibet
1) a philosophical or theological point proposed for disputation
2) a whimsical combination of familiar melodies or texts
recherché
exquisite, choice; exotic, rare; excessively refined, affected; overblown, pretentious
sangfroid
\sa{n}-f{r}wa\ - [F, cold blood] self-possession or imperturbability especially under strain
saros
a cycle of 6585.32 days in which eclipses of the sun and moon occur in same sequence and at the same intervals as in the previous such cycle
schadenfreude
[G] enjoyment gained from others' troubles
schlimmbesserung
[G] making something worse through an attempt to make things better
sedulous
involving or accomplished with careful perseverance; diligent in application
sexotropic
constantly thinking about sex
shibboleth
slogan, catchword; a custom or usage regarded as a criterion for distinguishing membership (Biblical, but don't remember the exact story -Stu)
sinecure
a position that requires little or no work, but provides income
sin-wat
"A man who wants all of somebody's love. That's very bad." - Kurt Vonnegut, Cat's Cradle
solipsism
the belief that the self is all that exists
spiv
[Brit] one who lives by his wits without regular employment; slacker
stercoranist
a disparaging nickname given to one who holds that the consecrated elements of the Eucharist undergo digestion in and evacuation from the body of the recipient
struldbrug
the appellation given to the immortals in Gulliver's Travels who were incapable of dying but continued to exist in a state of miserable decrepitude, regarded as legally dead, and receiving a small pittance from the state -- hence in allusive uses
syzygy
Alignment of 3 celestial bodies
taphophile
one who loves cemeteries and funerals (see Harold, in "Harold and Maude")
tautology
needless repetition of an idea, statement or word; a redundant (tautologous) statement (See, 'Nick' -Stu)
temulent
intoxicated, drunken [inkhorn term]
thanatophilia
an undue fascination with death
tragolimia
in a man, an overwhelming and indiscriminate urge to have sex with any woman, regardless of her looks or age
tushery
writing of poor quality distinguished esp. by the affected choice of archaic words
ullage
the amount which a vessel, as a cask, of liquor lacks of being full; wantage; deficiency
ultracrepidarianism
giving opinions outside of one's knowledge
urinator
one who dives under water in search of something, as for pearls; a diver
uxorious
excessively fond of or submissive to a wife
walla-walla
an unintelligible sound made by many people talking at once
wallah
a person who is associated with a particular work or who performs a particular duty or service - usually used in combination; e.g., the wwftd master is a word wallah
weltanschauung
[G] a comprehensive conception or apprehension of the world, esp. from a specific standpoint: world-view
weltschmerz
[G] 1) mental depression or apathy caused by comparison of the actual state of the world with an ideal state
2) a mood of sentimental sadness
witzelsucht
a morbid tendency to pun, make poor jokes, and tell pointless stories
xenodochiophobia
the fear of foreign hospitality [worry about foreign hotels]
zeitgeist
the general intellectual, moral and cultural climate of an era
zenzizenzizenzic
the eighth power of a number
zugzwang
in chess, when all possible moves weaken the position
zumbooruk
a small cannon fired from the back of a camel
zwischenzug
[G] in chess, a temporizing move (i.e., a delay in capturing, usually via a check)
zymurgy
the branch of applied chemistry dealing with fermentation processes


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