October 18, 2007


When Will I Use These Thirteen? *

It is time once again to delve into the archives of my Doctor Dictionary Word of the Day. In spite of my sesquipedalian proclivity, today's selections are of a "WTF?" nature as to the frequency of their usage and/or that they just seem made up. As always, I offer an example of my usage in italics:

matutinal \muh-TOOT-n-uhl\, adjective: Relating to or occurring in the morning.
Walk me out in the matutinal dew, my honey.

abstruse \ab-STROOS; uhb-\, adjective: Difficult to comprehend or understand.
Maybe you thought I was the Packard Goose, or the Ronald McDonald of the nouveau-abstruse.

dolorous \DOH-luh-ruhs\, adjective: Marked by, causing, or expressing grief or sorrow.
Despite having lost all his cash, he felt dolorous.

disquisition \dis-kwuh-ZISH-uhn\, noun: A formal discourse on a subject.
¿Nadie cuenta con la disquisición española, sí o no?

lumpen \LUHM-puhn; LUM-puhn\, adjective; 1. Common; vulgar. 2. A member of the underclass, especially the lowest social stratum.
As the cop walked his beat by the river, he took notice of the hot and lumpen night.

celerity \suh-LAIR-uh-tee\, noun: Rapidity of motion or action; quickness; swiftness.
Mindful of his impending dinner with André, Cecil flitted through the produce section with celerity.

abecedarian \ay-bee-see-DAIR-ee-uhn\, noun: 1. One who is learning the alphabet; hence, a beginner. 2. One engaged in teaching the alphabet. 3. Pertaining to the letters of the alphabet. 4. Arranged alphabetically.
5. Rudimentary; elementary.
Okay, we get it. Abecedarian, yeesh.

excursus \ik-SKUR-sus\, noun: 1. A dissertation that is appended to a work and that contains a more extended exposition of some important point or topic. 2. A digression.
The censors were up all night working on their excursus of Professor Dipshit's disquisition.

animadversion \an-uh-mad-VUHR-zhuhn\, noun: 1. Harsh criticism or disapproval. 2. Remarks by way of criticism and usually of censure -- often used with 'on'.
Animadversion has got to be the stupidest word I've ever come across.

flibbertigibbet \FLIB-ur-tee-jib-it\, noun: A silly, flighty, or scatterbrained person, especially a pert young woman with such qualities.
With the possible exception of flibbertigibbet.

bloviate \BLOH-vee-ayt\, intransitive verb: To speak or write at length in a pompous or boastful manner.
And the LORD spake saying, "Thou darest bloviate in my presence? That be my turf, jack."

supposititious \suh-poz-uh-TISH-uhs\, adjective: 1. Fraudulently substituted for something else; not being what it purports to be; not genuine; spurious; counterfeit. 2. Hypothetical; supposed.
Reading the definition above, it makes me wonder why linguists of yore had to create a word as pretentious as supposititious. Hey, you forgot "fake."

gallimaufry \gal-uh-MAW-free\, noun: A medley; a hodgepodge.
Though somewhat abstruse and dolorous, I was delighted to see a gallimaufry of flibbertigibbets bloviating with celerity their animadversions of the excursus on the lumpen masses of the tenements.

* with O'pologies to Mathman

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Very interesting... I'm sure Will Self has used all of those words (maybe even within the same paragaph?) but before I read your post I knew what only five of those words meant. But you've expanded my vocabulary this morning - no bad thing! :)
I've seen a few of these too....bloviate, flibbertigibbet, celerity, dolorous. I know abstruse from a song, but damned if I can think of what song it is.
Fun! I've seen the same ones Joe has, plus lumpen, though I thought that had to do with my SIL's cooking. :)
Got it! You've heard the word "abstruse" also, O'Tim - in the Zappa song "Packard Goose."

Man, that was buggin' me.
Cheezy - Just promise me you'll always save the best words for those kneejerk types who are always first out of the gate whining about the usual suspects and whatnot.

Miz UV - Yeah I wasn't sure if lumpen went better with "hot" or with "cold."

Joe - In honor of your brain racking I have changed my example sentence, even if it is technically a compound word in the Zappa song.
But you know what? Fuck all them writers with the pen in their hand!
Words like these 13 are proof that we humans should utilize a much larger portion of our brains. So many unused/unknown words out there, just waiting to be put shared in clever ways.
Will do. People like that have brains that are a gallimaufry of lumpen flibbertigibbet...erm...ness.
shit. i certainly managed to mangle that comment above. serves me right, blogging after sharing apple lambic with the man and now-21-year-old daughter.
forgive my stupidity, as well as the word "put", which doesn't belong at all.
You're going all out with those apples, huh Annie? The lambic sounds yummy (and apparently fun).
No O'pologies necessary but how about some salsa?
I'm almost afraid to admit that I've used eight of these words, more than once, in my fiction writing.

In my defense, it was a novel set in 1885, told in an authentic first-person narrative voice. People spoke differently back then, right? Uh, right.

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