Does anyone else keep these lists?

Words I’ve managed to use in conversation:

  • pecuniary
  • smarmy (which sounds just like it means)
  • brickbat
  • offing
  • stripling
  • apposite
  • phthisis
  • juxtapose
Words I’m still trying to work into the conversation:

  • lickspittle
  • pulchritude (which sounds nothing like what it means)
  • disingenuous
  • phantasmagoric
  • ontic
  • perfidy
  • the phrase “I’m not really into Pokémon
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8 Comments

  1. sneaselcouth says:

    When you post these – if you are ever bored – Id love definitions with them, as about 1/3 of the words I dont know.

    Ever since learning the word this fall, I too have been trying to work lickspittle into a conversation! We’ll see who wins!

    You havent used disingenuous? Thats a fun word but it seems common enough to be able to use.

    • Alan says:

      As always, I should start by recommending the Firefox dictionary tooltip (and noting that Firefox even runs on Macs). Also, you can search for “define:pecuniary” &c on Google. Having said that,

      • pecuniary: relating to money and finances
      • smarmy: like a slick, greasy yes-man
      • brickbat: a heavy-handed insult
      • “in the offing”: in the distance, for close values of distance such as at the end of the block
      • stripling: youngster
      • apposite: similarly corresponding
      • phthisis: a debilitating disease such as tuberculosis
      • juxtapose: to offer up two things for a comparison or trade
      • lickspittle: a person who does unsavory things to curry favour
      • pulchritude: physically very sexy
      • disingenuous: giving a false impression of sincerity
      • phantasmagoric: dreamlike (or originally, like a shadow-puppet show)
      • ontic: having an existence
      • perfidy: treachery for the purpose of breaking someone’s trust

      While I’m at it, here are some more for my “not yet used” column:

      • acquiesce: to passively agree
      • loquacious: making a lot of small talk
      • pidgin: a specialized dialect full of jargon

      and one more for the “already used” list:

      • to be enamored of something: to be very fond of the thing, often romantically
  2. passingfancy says:

    I’m sure if you discuss certain politicians, you could stick ‘disingenuous’ into the sentence – and perhaps even ‘perfidy.’ :) And perhaps one could think of the Miss America pageant as a place where one could find pulchritude en masse (at least from the beauty aspect, I personally don’t find faces that are 60% blinding smile very sexy).

  3. hmcmodelt says:

    I have a similar list, but not quite as sophisticated as your’s:

    Used:
    – ubiquitous
    – banal
    – wicked awesome
    – criterion
    – “you know what else is _____?”

    To Be Used:
    – hella
    – 2 point conversion (used in the proper context)
    – persnickety
    – “That’s what she said”

    Oh, and I love the Pokemon one. I may use that today. It just sounds like a show-stopper. Oh, and how wicked is it that the new Firefox has automatic spell-checker? It’s almost as good as using a 2 point conversion to get past the bouncer. . . One day I’ll get it right.

  4. hmcmodelt says:

    I read more of that phantasmagoric comic that is full of striplings trading brickbats. And I saw this one and thought of you http://www.xkcd.com/c192.html

  5. Anonymous says:

    Weather words

    Hey Alan Im actually using a blog :) cant say i use too mant of those words- usually in the weather building we stick with things like LIDAR, Cumulonimbus cirrus spisatus, frontogenesis, potential vorticity or holy sh*t if there is a tornado :)

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