There's something so satisfying about pulling out a $15 word — the kind that you hardly ever get to use, but fits the situation perfectly. On the other hand, that feeling when you can't quite find the right word for what you're trying to express is incredibly aggravating. Well, we're here to help. Here are 25 weird, obscure, and downright cool words hidden in the English language.
Related Video: 10 Things You Didn't Know the Word For
i already knew aglet, tittle, defenestrate, bruxism and phosphene (though i wouldn't have remembered that those lights are called that, i knew what it meant when i saw it), and although i had not ever heard or seen preantepenultimate i could tell what it meant. ag dot com's spellcheck has not heard of four of those.
I knew four of the words.
Did not know Tyrotoxism - but upon seeing it I was immediately reminded of getting the recall message by phone (so it must have been important to track me down) from Costco on a pound of Stilton 30 minutes after I finished it.
While those were interesting and quite fun, I am disappointed that despite readily available tools online, many tend to use the same words repeatedly when there are so many that could easily be substituted for variety.
It is pretty boring to listen to a speech or read a book when the speaker or author has a pet word that seems to be used in this fashion.
English is a very limiting language in some ways, especially with respect to nuances in meaning and clarity...but, when people like you post things like this, it is fun again! Thanks! Love it!
~Epeolatry: The worship of words. What better piece of vocabulary to kick off this list with?
~Aglet: The little piece of plastic on the end of your shoelaces. (Also a great name for a cat, if you ask certain Curiosity editors.)
~Grawlix: You know when cartoonists substitute a bunch of punctuation marks for curse words? They're using grawlix.
~Borborygmus: A rumbling in your stomach. Time for lunch!
~Accubation: While you quell your borborygmus, you might engage in accubation — the act of comfortably reclining, often during a meal.
~Jillick: To skip a stone across a surface of water.
~Nibling: Here's a handy word you might just now realize you were missing. "Nibling" is a gender-neutral term for a niece or nephew.
~Tatterdemalion: Some words just sound like their meaning. A tatterdemalion is somebody wearing tattered clothing. It can also be used as an adjective meaning tattered or ragged in appearance.
~Tittle: The word "tittle" has got just one tittle in it, but this sentence has six — no, seven — more. It's the little dot above a lowercase "j" or "i."
~Pogonotrophy: You probably know someone who engages in pogonotrophy, the act of growing a beard, even if they don't call it that.
~Pilgarlic: On the opposite end of the spectrum, a pilgarlic is a bald-headed person — usually one you're mocking or feeling sorry for.
~Balter: One thing we can definitely do with confidence at the Curiosity offices is balter. It means "to dance badly."
~Pandiculation: When you get up in the morning, sit on the edge of your bed, and stretch your arms in all directions, you're actually pandiculating.
~Sciapodous: Having large feet. Simple as that.
~Natiform: Shaped like a butt. Perfect — no more relying on the peach emoji.
~Defenestrate: You've got to wonder about the kind of mind that thinks there needs to be a word for throwing someone out of a window.
~Bruxism: Do you grind your teeth at night? Tell your dentist that you suffer from bruxism.
~Phosphene: While you're pandiculating, you might also press your knuckles into your eyes until little stars appear. Those specks of light are called phosphenes.
~Cataglottism: Technically, you may already know another word for cataglottism, but it's a great way to make "french kiss" sound a lot less sexy.
~Lemniscate: A figure-8 turned on its side — in other words, the infinity symbol.
~Obelus: The division symbol (÷, which we were surprised had an actual name.
~Preantepenultimate: "Ultimate" is last, "penultimate" is second-to-last, "antepenultimate" is third-to-last, which makes this the preantepenultimate word on this list.
~Griffonage: You might call sloppy handwriting "chicken scratch," but "griffonage" rolls off the tongue much more easily.
~Archimime: Frankly, we didn't think that this word would mean exactly what it sounds like, but it does. The archimime is the chief buffoon or jester. The boss clown, in other words.
~*Tyrotoxism: Scratch what we said about "defenestrate" earlier — the fact that somebody came up with a word for "to poison with cheese" is much more unbelievable.