methow grist 2011-2014 archive

Favorite Fancy Words I Never Use But Often Want To
Even Though I Always Forget What They Mean

amanuensis: (ah-MAN-you-en-sis) someone skilled in the transcription of speech (aka: secretary)

bagatelle: (bag-a-TELL) thing of no importance (I don't know if you have to prove that to use the word)

concupiscence: (con-QUE-pa-sense) strong desire, especially sexual (probably hear that all the time at the pubs)

demersal: (de-MER-sull) living close to the floor of a sea or lake (fresh demersal tastes best)

effulgent: (e-FULL-gent) radiant, shining forth brightly (like all of our new best friends)

fulsome: (FULL-sum) excessively complimentary or flattering (like if you said I was funny)

gormless: (just like it's spelled) lacking sense or initiative, foolish (glad I'm over that phase)

hagiographer: (hag-ee-AH-gra-fer) writer of the lives of saints (eventually we're gonna need one here)

inchoate: (in-CO-et) not completely developed or formed (like the house we build ourselves)

jejune: (ji-JUNE) without significance, simple, childish (is there such a thing as jejune concupiscence?)

kerfuffle: (cur-FUFF-il) disturbance, fuss (you see it a lot in local police reports)

lalochezia: (lal [like pal]-o-KEY-zee-ah) relief gained by using foul or abusive language (THAT'S what it's called?)

meretricious: (mare-a-TRISH-us) seeming attractive but of little value, based on pretense (occasionally used during the mining days)

nebbish: (NEB-ish) timid, meek or ineffectual person (or so you think)

obdurate: (OB-dur-it) stubbornly resistant, hard-headed (probably not of much use around here)

peripatetic: (pare-a-pah-TET-ick) walking or travelling about (pedipatetic is the bike version)

querulous: habitually complaining (should be a category on the bulletin board)

recondite: (WRECK-un-dite) very profound or difficult to understand (I used that on a resume once)

solicitous: (so-LIS-i-tus) full of concerns or fears, meticulously careful (as if those two things are connected)

tautology: (taw-TAHL-o-gee) useless repetition of an idea in different words (well, SOMETIMES it works)

uxorious: (uck-SOAR-ee-us) excessively fond of or submissive toward a wife (like my friend Andy)

vituperative: (vie-TOO-purr-a-tiv) harshly critical, characterized by verbal abuse (sounds like a good premise for a TV network)

witzelsucht: (VITZ-ul-zookt) feeble attempt at humor, inappropriate humor (don't you dare say it)

xylopolist: (zy-LOP-a-list) one who sells wood products (they added 10% when I used this at the lumber yard)

yatter: (like chat-ter) talk incessantly (not a fancy word, but a perfect word)

I don't have a z word, other than zenzizenzizenzic which means raised to the 8th power but when would you EVER use that? Pretty good band name, though.



Have a comment?

Now we know how to spell them and what they mean - how about how to pronounce them!
PS. Uxorious is my favourite.

Josephine Bristol


Hmmm. Never thought about pronunciation since I never thought I'd ever use them.
Good point - I'll add that right . . . now.

Curtis Edwards

I always thought that zonk was a good all purpose Z word, albeit perhaps too simple for your salubrious application.

Coupeville, WA

First definition in my dictionary for your "M" word "meretricious": of or relating to a prostitute: having the nature
of prostitution, as in meretricious relationships.

Dave Sabold

Well, like I said, used occasionally during the mining days. Thanks. Your dictionary sounds more fun
than mine. Mostly it's nice to hear from another dictionary person. Want to start a non-profit?

Your Humble Author