PERSIFLAGE:  ”frivolous or flippant style of treating a subject in speech or writing”

Ignorance: the quintessential platform for effective persiflage.


TERGIVERSATE:   ”change one’s attitude with respect to a cause”

Read ‘Pride and Prejudice’, by Jane Austen, for light-hearted lessons in trust and tergiversation.


LUGUBRIOUS: “sad; mournful, esp.in an exaggerated or affected way”

Whenever I ask Bowser to wait for me outside the store, I’m haunted by his lugubrious objections.


CREPITATE: “to crackle; to rattle”

How much more I could enjoy the show without your cornball commentary and candy wrap crepitation.


DISCOMBOBULATE: “disconcert; confuse ”

Perimenopause: for nighttime deprivation and daytime discombobulation.


NUDIUSTERTIAN: “of the day before yesterday”

The exact hour that I heard shots fired escapes me, but it was sometime nudiustertian.


STENTORIAN:  “very loud or powerful in sound  (In Greek legend, ‘Stentor’ is a herald with a voice loud as fifty men)”

I would love another shortbread cookie, were it not for the stentorian dictates of my scale.


PROLIX:  “using too many words; too long; tedious”

Professor DeWitt’s lectures stultify us with all the prolixity of Polonius.


DIAPHANOUS:  “1. usually of fabric, light and transparent  2. vague”

Halfway through a robust argument, the author seems to excuse herself to slip into something more diaphanous.


DILUVIAL:  “made up of debris left by a flood or glacier”

A second marriage can be rocky if riddled with diluvia from the first.


EXPATIATE:  “write or talk much (on)”

Ah, the dentist! I prefer any blitz of pick and drill to the relentless drone of his barometric expatiation.


NICTITATE:  “to wink”

On a windy, cloudless night, you may glimpse the stars nictitating beyond the branches of trees.


OMNISHAMBLES:  “a situation of total disorder… seen as shambolic from all possible perspectives”

The world is an omnishambles: bats in our mutual belfry and clutter in our communal drawers.


VITUPERATE:  “find fault with in abusive words; revile”

Macbeth might never have done the dirty deed, had his virility not been the subject of his lady’s vituperation.


SPECIOUS:  “seeming or trying to seem reasonable or good, but not really being so”

Beware the prattling politician: behind every spacious promise is a specious intent.


DIPSOMANIA:  “an abnormal craving for alcohol”

Welcome to an evening of wine-tasting at the ‘Perceptive Palate’. Dipsomaniacs, check your enthusiasm at the door.


OSCULATION:  “1. the act of kissing  2.  a kiss”

All my love I send to you in a letter affixed with an osculation.


PELLICLE:  “a very thin skin”

Peter is pellicularly partial to not picking fights with petulant people.


POSTPRANDIAL:  “after dinner”

Every evening, I tackle the dishes while George savours his remote control and postprandial toothpick.


PHUBBING: “the tendency to look at your phone in social situations”

Forgive my phubbing. I have no idea what this text is about, but it’s got to matter more than whatever it is you’re saying to me now.


SPOONERISM:  “an accidental, often humorous, transposition of initial sounds of words. After Rev. W.A Spooner of Oxford”

As in “When he hired me, he told me he was going to ‘pave my way’.  Haven’t seen a penny since!”


PETTIFOGGER:  “a person who quibbles over small details”

Since I already have the weather report, kindly cut past the platitude and pettifoggery and shine a light on my complaint.


POLTROONERY: “cowardice, pusillanimity”

Sometimes, what the head calls caution, the heart knows for a symptom of pure poltroonery.


LITOTES:  “a form of rhetoric in which something is said by denying its opposite”

As in: “Sir, you appear to have had not a little to drink this evening.”


TESSELLATE:  “to cover, by repeated use of blocks or tiles of a single shape, without gaps or overlapping”

I would try the plush corridors of your heart if I could get beyond the slick tessellation of your mind.


CASUIST:  “a person who reasons cleverly, but falsely, especially on moral issues”

I assure you, my lamb,” said Mr. Lupus, with a leer, “that my intentions regarding your virtue are entirely casuistic.”


MELLIFLUOUS:  “sweetly or smoothly flowing”

He plied the lady with inexpensive wine and mellifluous nothings in her ear.


SOLECISM:  “1. a violation of grammar or usage; 2. a breach of etiquette”

The Internet: your source for interpretive fact and solecistic abandon.


GUSTATORY:  “of the sense of taste; to do with tasting”

Insects: the latest buzz in gastronomics. Cheap, nutritious, and a gustatory delight.


FRUGIVOROUS:  “fruit-eating, as certain bats”

None for me, thanks. I am frugivorous. But … may I use your restroom, please?

PRESTIDIGITATOR: “a person skilled in sleight of hand”

Have your wallet ready. Dear Uncle Harold is ever prestidigitatous in picking up the tab.


SESQUIPEDALIAN:  “of many syllables” (after Horace’s ‘sequipedalia verba’: “words a foot and a half long”)

The trick is to render your contract so dry and sesquipedalian as to leave clients begging to sign it unread.


VERDIGRIS: “a green or bluish coating that forms on brass, copper, or bronze when exposed to the air for long periods of time.”

It’s cold and I wish the bus would get here! I’m either freezing to death or taking on a layer of verdigris.


JALOUSIE: “a window shutter made of adjustable slats (French = jealousy, for possibility of looking through without being seen)”

Wearing my green-tinted glasses, I read horror between the lines my jalousie.


QUIDNUNC: “an inquisitive person; gossip (from Latin: “what now?”)”

Gladys Kravitz could only be described as a quirky, querulous quidnunc.


EXCRESCENT:   ”forming an unnatural growth or a disfiguring addition”

While the Victorian woman would find the mini skirt scant, her bustle was nothing short of excrescent.


EPIPHENOMENON:  “any secondary phenomenon, such as a complication from an illness.”

The party last night was amazing, but my headache this morning is epiphenomenal.


MANSUETUDE:  [man-sway-tood] “gentleness in behaviour”

When she called him weak, he softly replied, “You can say anything, but lay off of my mansuetude.”


PERIPATETIC: “1. walking about, itinerant 2. jumping from one subject to another; discursive”

An appetizing premise, but the peripatetic plot gave me reader’s indigestion.


CRAPULENT:  ”sick from too much eating or drinking”

For some, the breakfast buffet is a festival of opulence and crapulence in equal parts.


PROPINQUITY:  “nearness in time or place, esp. personal nearness”

Even when we’re a world apart, my dreams of you are propinquitous.


PUNCTILIOUS:  “1.very careful and exact  2.paying strict attention to details of conduct”

Seeking punctual pupils with punctilious punctuation. No punks need apply.


PREPONDERANCE: “the chief or most numerous element”

Isn’t it ironic how a preponderance of statements are made without an inkling of forethought?


PARSIMONY: ”extreme unwillingness to spend money or use resources”

I’ve been saving my ex’s parsimony to buy myself a Swiffer and I think I’ve finally got enough for the handle.


CRUNNICK: “a twisted, dry piece of firewood (from Old Irish ‘crann tree’)”

My mother-in-law is a pointy-toed shoe-in for a witch, with her hatchet face and crunnick arms and legs.


MALEDICTION: “the uttering of a curse”

I am at a loss for words to describe you but will consult my maledictionary.


PEJORATIVE:  ”tending to make worse; disparaging”

There is a disturbing disconnect between the threat of global warming and a pejority of voters.


ABSQUATULATE: “to leave abruptly”

Santa Claus: wider than any chimney and yet, master of absquatulation.


MENDACITY: “1. untruthfulness  2. lie, falsehood”

The most menacing mendacity is the subtlest distortion of truth.


BOONDOGGLE:  ”to do trivial or pointless work”

My nephew’s grand plan is to schmooze his way through school, bamboozle himself a credential, then boondoggle it right to the top.


SCIOLISM: “the practice of rendering opinion on subjects of which one has only superficial knowledge”

Poor Uncle Albert is a closet soliloquist with sciolistic tendencies.


BRABBLE: “to argue stubbornly about trifles”

Whenever we play ‘Monopoly’, light-hearted banter is swiftly reduced to hot-headed brabble.


SUSSURATION:  “whispering, murmuring”

Once a week, I book a sitter and head to the library for a round of cerebral resussuration.


MOGIGRAPHIA: “writer’s cramp; scrivener’s palsy”

The new mogigraphia is all about the thumbs.


DELICIATE: ”to delight oneself; to indulge in feasting or revels”

How divine to be invited to dine and deliciate in your dishes of delicate fishes


ACRASIA: “the state of mind in which someone acts against their better judgment through weakness of will.”

KYLE: “My doctor says I’m acrasiatic.”
KURT: “You don’t need a degree for that. I’ve been calling you a crazy addict for years.”


GROAK: “to stare longingly at someone while they are eating”

The day before payday, you’ll always find Leonard at his local diner for a cup of tea and a groak.


APODYOPSIS: “the act of mentally undressing someone”

Fred always wore sunglasses to parties, less for protection from harmful rays than as an aid to apodyopsis.


PARANYMPH: “bridesmaid or best man at a wedding”

Lily is best described as a wallflower of purely paranymphic inclination.


IMPECUNIOUS: having little or no money

I often like to window shop at Birks, though my prospects for purchase are woefully impecunious.


EMBROCATION: The act or process of moistening and rubbing a part of the body with a liniment or lotion

I think his interest is more than just platonic. He seemed to take my offer of coffee as an invitation to embrocation.


ZETETIC: proceeding by inquiry or investigation

The inclusion of a Z-word on this list is a measure of my zetetic zeal.


LAMPROPHONY: loudness and clarity of voice

How do you cram your whole foot into your mouth and manage it with lamprophony?


POLYGLOT: multilingual; a person who knows several languages

We speak so many languages at our house that we nicknamed our parrot ‘Polyglot-a-Cracker’.


PELF: stolen goods; booty; spoil

I’ve never returned a library book in my life. Would you care to see my shelf full of literary pelf?


SUPERANNUATED: 1) too old to serve usefully 2) obsolete

Old Mrs.Collins had dust on her doorknob, bats in her belfry, and superannuated condiments in her icebox.


OMNILEGENT: reading, or having to read everything

Breadth of knowledge in trivia is a product of aimless omnilegence.


CONTUMELIOUS: scornful and insulting; insolent

Forget diplomacy! According to Donald J.Trump, the biggest contender is the most contumelious.


ECCEDENTESIAST: one who fakes a smile
(modern coinage from LATIN: ‘ecce’ = ‘I present to you’/ ‘dente’ = ‘tooth’/ ‘iast’ = ‘performer or enthusiast’)

When it comes to plastic surgeons, never trust an eccedentesiast.


GELOGENIC: provocative or productive of laughter

Her face was all sobriety as if in defiance of her gelogenic dress.




















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