Interesting words

etiolated
Pale through lack of light (as of a plant in the dark); thus to be weakened or feeble. From Norman French étieuler “grown into haulm”.

suppurating
To fester; to form pus. ORIGIN late Middle English, from Latin sub- ‘below’ + pur ‘pus’,

chthonic
Relating to the underworld. ORIGIN Geek khthōn ‘earth’.

nidicolous
another term for altricial. ORIGIN early 20th cent. from Latin nidus 'nest' + colus 'inhabiting'.

altricial
born in an undeveloped state. Contrast precocial. Synonym: nidicolous. ORIGIN late 19th cent. from Latin altrix, feminine of altor 'nourisher'.

maenad
(In ancient Greece) a female follower of Bacchus, traditionally associated with divine possession and frenzied rites.

appetence
A strong longing or desire; a tendency or propensity; a natural attraction or affinity.

apotropaic
Having the ability to dispel evil or bad luck.

lagniappe
(lan-yap) something given as a bonus or extra gift. (Louisina French, from Spanish *la ñapa*)

tmesis
To separate a compound word by inserting a new word in the middle. Un-bloody-believable.

quidnunc
A gossip.

termagant: A quarrelsome or overbearing woman

oxter: The armpit (though the BBC apparently thinks it's the part under the arm below the armpit)

floccinaucinihilipilification
the action of estimating something as worthless ("the word is used chiefly as a curiosity", says my computer's dictionary)

palimpsest
Writing material on which writing has been erased but traces remain.

maieutic
"intellectual midwifery" -- the Socratic method

crenellat
To furnish a wall with battlements.

metanoia
Change in one's way of life through penitence or spiritual conversion.

ailurophile
a cat lover.

adduce
Cite as evidence. ORIGIN late Middle English : from Latin adducere, from ad- ‘toward’ + ducere ‘to lead.’

antediluvian
of or belonging to the time before the biblical Flood. (Humorous) ridiculously old-fashioned. ORIGIN mid 17th cent.: from ante- + Latin diluvium ‘deluge’ + -an .

cavil
make petty or unnecessary objections. ORIGIN mid 16th cent.: from French caviller, from Latin cavillari, from cavilla ‘mockery.’

coruscate
(of light) flash or sparkle. ORIGIN early 18th cent.: from Latin coruscat- ‘glittered,’ from the verb coruscare.

crepuscular
of, resembling, active in, or relating to twilight. ORIGIN mid 17th cent.: from Latin crepusculum ‘twilight’ + -ar.

demotic
denoting or relating to the kind of language used by ordinary people; popular or colloquial. ORIGIN early 19th cent.: from Greek dēmotikos ‘popular,’ from dēmotēs ‘one of the people,’ from dēmos ‘the people.’

empyrean
belonging to or deriving from heaven. ORIGIN late Middle English (as an adjective): via medieval Latin from Greek empurios, from en- ‘in’ + pur ‘fire.’ The noun dates from the mid 17th cent.

encomium
a speech or piece of writing that praises someone or something highly. ORIGIN mid 16th cent.: Latin, from Greek enkōmion ‘eulogy,’ from en- ‘within’ + komos ‘revel.’

exiguous
very small in size or amount. ORIGIN mid 17th cent.: from Latin exiguus ‘scanty’ (from exigere ‘weigh exactly’ ) + -ous .

farrago
a confused mixture. ORIGIN mid 17th cent.: from Latin, literally ‘mixed fodder,’ from far ‘corn.’

ipsilateral
belonging to or occurring on the same side of the body. ORIGIN early 20th cent.: formed irregularly from Latin ipse ‘self’ + lateral .

nycthemeral
a physiological time unit: 24 hours made up of one day and one night.

paronomasia
a play on words; a pun. ORIGIN late 16th cent.: via Latin from Greek paronomasia, from para- ‘beside’ (expressing alteration) + onomasia ‘naming’ (from onomazein ‘to name,’ from onoma ‘a name’ ).

philtrum
the midline groove in the upper lip that runs from the top of the lip to the nose.

plicate
folded, crumpled, or corrugated. ORIGIN mid 18th cent.: from Latin plicatus ‘folded,’ past participle of plicare.

salmagundi
a dish of chopped meat, anchovies, eggs, onions, and seasoning. A general mixture of things. ORIGIN from French salmigondis, of unknown origin.

scow
a wide-beamed sailing dinghy; a large flat-bottomed boat, having broad, square ends. ORIGIN mid 17th cent.: from Dutch schouw ‘ferryboat.’

sempiternal
eternal and unchanging; everlasting (18/Apr/2007). ORIGIN late Middle English : from Old French sempiternel or late Latin sempiternalis, from Latin sempiternus, from semper ‘always’ + aeternus ‘eternal.’

sesquipedalian
(of a word) polysyllabic; long. Characterized by long words; long-winded. ORIGIN mid 17th cent.: from Latin sesquipedalis ‘a foot and a half long,’ from sesqui- (one and a half ) + pes, ped- ‘foot.’

shibboleth
a custom, principle, or belief distinguishing a particular class or group of people, esp. a long-standing one regarded as outmoded or no longer important. ORIGIN mid 17th cent.: from Hebrew šibbōleṯ ‘ear of corn,’ used as a test of nationality by its difficult pronunciation.

solecism
a grammatical mistake in speech or writing. ORIGIN mid 16th cent.: from French solécisme, or via Latin from Greek soloikismos, from soloikos ‘speaking incorrectly.’

susurration
whispering, murmuring, or rustling. ORIGIN late Middle English : from late Latin susurratio(n-), from Latin susurrare ‘to murmur, hum.’

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