Monday, January 6, 2014

More weird and wonderful words

A month ago I listed 10 words that were new to me and, I would guess, unknown to most English speakers. They are words we seem to manage very well without, yet I am delighted that they exist. Here are 10 more such words, also found in Barbara Ann Kipfer's Word Nerd.

admarginate: to note in the margin

agerasia: looking young for your age or not appearing to age

begrutten: having a face swollen from weeping

extraforaneous: outdoor

ginnel: a long narrow passage between houses

gnurr: the substance that collects over time in the bottoms of pockets or cuffs of trousers

kippage: commotion or confusion

kirkbuzzer: someone who robs churches

paraffle: an ostentatious display or flourish

warth: a shore of stretch of coast

Some of these words, especially begrutten and kippage, could easily be used by any of us in speech or in writing. No doubt William F. Buckley Jr. knew them and used them. The problem for most of us, however, is that if we used them, chances are nobody would know what we were talking about. The purpose of language, after all, is to communicate, not to impress. So these perfectly good words go mostly unused.

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