Happy new year, everyone!
On the last Thursday of 2015, I am thankful for our basic units of language. In other words, words.
As a writer, words are more than a way to express ideas. They are my trade, currency, and way of life. Sometimes I find seldom used, forgotten, or humorous sounding words that I’ve never seen before. Including these in novels or stories would only confuse readers, so I don’t have a chance to use them. But they’re too entertaining to relegate to forgotten dictionaries that no one will ever see. Here's a few of them.
Did you know that a sabermetrician (SAY-ber-meh-TRISH-un) is someone who studies baseball statistics? (Get it, Royals fans? I’ll give you a hint: his first name is Bret.) I associate these statisticians with gambrinous (GAM-brih-nus) people, which means they are full of beer. Maybe they also practice labeorphily (lay-bee-OR-fill-ee). Get your mind out of the gutter -- it's the collection and study of beer-bottle labels.
Here are some words that give you a hint of their meaning in the word itself:
- Cachinnate (KACK-in-ate) -- Laugh loudly. To cackle.
- Embuggerance (em-BUG-er-anse) -- A small annoying problem. Something that bugs you.
- Excerebro (ecks-er-REE-bro) -- To stupefy, make senseless, or bash someone’s brains in. As in, to exacerbate a cerebral removal.
- Flexuous (FLEX-shoe-us) -- Sinuous or winding.
- Frigorific (frig-uh-RIFF-ick) -- Causing cold, chilling. Terrifically frigid.
- Kakistocracy (kack-ih-STOCK-ruh-see) -- Government by the least qualified, least principled, or worst. I’ve always thought “kack” meant shit. Thus, it means politicians full of, well, you know.
- Killcow (KILL-kow) -- A bullying person. (nyuk nyuk.)
Here are some terms that could be substituted for today’s popular words or phrases:
- Ecdysiast (eck-DIH-see-ast) -- A stripper. From the Greek word for molting.
- Octothorpe (OCK-toe-thorp) -- #. A pound sign. Another term for hashtag.
- Pooterish (POOH-ter-ish) -- Pompous, self-important. To me, “to poot” means to pass gas. So, it's a person who is full of and releasing hot, stinky air.
- Rixatrix (RICKS-ah-tricks) -- A quarrelsome woman. A bitch.
On that note, I bring my adoxography (add-ox-OG-rah-fee -- skilled writing on a trivial subject) of lexiphanic (lex-ih-FAN-ick -- pretentiously verbose) musings to an end.