Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Words You'll Never Use (But Wish You Could)

English is an awesome, complex, infuriating, wonderful language. Many an English-speaking writer has held a long love affair with words, with their many nuances and combinations capable of evoking so much. It's said that a writer's toolbox should contain a multitude of words in order to paint the most perfect picture possible (without, yanno, actual pictures).

However, there are some wacky and wonderful words you just won't ever find in a book, unless the author is a) unbelievably pretentious, b) completely clueless, or c) going for that rush-for-the-dictionary reaction, because there is just no other word.

Here are just a few of the words you'll never see in one of my novels - despite my most fervent desire to use them:

Erinaceous: Like a hedgehog

Denefestration: The act of throwing someone or something out a window

Sturm and drang: Storm and stress (root: German)

Mesonoxian: Pertaining to midnight

Floccinaucinihilipilification: An estimation that something is valueless (go ahead and try to pronounce that one :-)

Nihilarian: A person who deals with things that lack importance (e.g., your boss)

Mungo: A dumpster diver (person who extracts valuable things from the trash)

Soodle: To walk or stroll leisurely

Groak: To watch people eating, and hope they'll ask you to join them

Blinkard: A person with bad eyes; or one who is dull and stupid

Artuate: To tear limb from limb

Tyrotoxism: To be poisoned by cheese

Ananym: A pseudonym devised by spelling one's name backwards

Widdiful: A person who deserves to be hanged

Nudiustertian: The day before yesterday

Pulveratricious: Covered with dust

Wamble: To stagger

Aren't these fun? I'd love to work some of them into my fiction. If only I had a character that was like a hedgehog; I'd use erinaceous in a heartbeat. Feel free to add your own weird words, or borrow some of mine. :-)

Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm off to artuate a Nihilarian . . .


Marta Stephens said...

Ha!! I LOVE these. :)

I've met a widdiful or two in my time. LOL

Aaron Paul Lazar said...

S.W. - did you make these up??? They're too good to be real! Now I must wamble off to dinner. Gosh - I loved these!!!!

jean said...

Delightful post :-)

Bill Frank said...

Great post.