Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Weird and wonderful words

We're told that 90 percent of all writing employs just 1,000 words. All the thousands of other words in the English language, therefore, make up the remaining 10 percent. And many of those other words are hardly ever used at all. I discovered a few of these words that few people even know and fewer still actually use while browsing through Barbara Ann Kipfer's Word Nerd. I challenge you to use three or more of these words in actual sentences before the day is up:

abracadabrant: marvelous or stunning

charientism: an elegantly veiled insult

disbosom: to reveal or confess

faineant: a person who does nothing, an idler

imbirferous: raining or bringing rain

matutolagnia: an urge to have sex in the morning

maulifuff: a woman without energy or one who makes a fuss but does little or nothing

noddary: a foolish act

predormition: the period of semiconsciousness before sleep

toploftical: haughty

My speller challenges each of these 10 words, which isn't surprising. None of them is used often enough to warrant including in most computer spellers. Some of the words, such as toploftical and disbosom, seem totally unnecessary. We communicate in English very well without them. Yet, whether most of us use them or not, I am very glad they exist. As with rare animals we never see, it's nice just to know they're there.

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