Welcome to the Cabinet of Word Curiosities! Are you a word-nerd? Or love historical vocabulary? Then feast your intellect on these odd words! One for every letter of the alphabet!
Abyssopelagic: (adj.) pertaining to the depths of the ocean.
“The leviathan slept in his abyssopelagic den after sinking his daily quota of ships.”
Bumbershoot: (n.) an umbrella
“tut, tut. It looks like rain. I may need my bumbershoot after all!”
Furthur Reading: Beneath an Umbrella, opens a new window
Collywobbles: (n.) the stomach ache associated with cholera morbus—cholera. Now, it is used more innocently for having a general upset stomach.
“That eel stew will give you collywobbles, I shouldn’t wonder.”
Further Reading: The Healthy Gut Workbook, opens a new window
Dragoman: (n.) a professional interpreter and tour guide.
“Our dragoman lead us across the Scottish countryside and into a small pub where he assisted us in ordering food since we struggled to understand the accent.”
Further Reading: Absolute Friends, opens a new window
Eucatastrophe: (n.) the happiest of happy endings when it seemed all hope was lost. The complete opposite of a catastrophe. Coined by J.R.R. Tolkien in his 1947 essay ‘On Fairy Stories.’
“The whole kingdom turned out for the eucatastrophe that was the wedding of all 5 princes to their true loves.”
Further Reading: The Lord of the Rings, opens a new window
Finifugal: (adj.) fearful of finishing something. Also used of a person who hates endings and therefore avoids the ending of a story, season of life, or relationship.
“This is the song that never ends...yes it goes on and on... oh, am I annoying you? Sorry, I’m a little finifugal.”
Further Reading: Finish: Gift Yourself the Gift of Done, opens a new window
Groke: (v.) to look at someone while they’re eating in the hope they’ll share their food.
Further Reading: Food Gift Love, opens a new window
Heliophobia: (n.) fear of sunlight.
“Between her anemia and heliophobia, they were beginning to suspect she was a vampire.”
Further Reading: Aunt Dimity Vampire Hunter, opens a new window
Infuscate: (v.) to tinge with brown; to obscure or cloud over with a brown color
“The cocoa powder infuscated the milk; soon they would have rich hot chocolate by the fire.”
Jentacular: (adj.) pertaining to breakfast.
“A jentacular dinner is one of the simplest pleasures in life.”
Further Reading: Big Bad Breakfast, opens a new window
Kinderspiel: (n.) A children’s play.
“The highlight of every parent’s year was the last night of school when the elementary class would put on their famous kinderspiel.”
Further Study: Glee, opens a new window
Lacertilian: (adj.) of or pertaining to lizards.
“The tracks in the river possessed long streaks as if made by large lacertilian tails.”
Further Reading: Lizards of the World, opens a new window
Macrosmatic: (adj.) possessing a strong sense of smell.
“Because dogs are macrosmatic animals, they make great hunting companions when sent to sniff out prey.”
Further Reading: The Scent Keeper, opens a new window
Negaholic: (adj.) pessimistic as rule or habit.
“Despite the donkey’s negaholic attitude, his friends routinely checked on him and invited him on adventures.”
Further Reading: Kiss That Frog!, opens a new window
Octothorpe: (n.) the # symbol.
Further Reading: Trending Topic #Murder, opens a new window
Peristeronic: (adj.) of or relating to pigeons
“The child eyed the cake with peristeronic interest.”
Further Reading: Wringer, opens a new window
Quire, opens a new window: (n.) two dozen sheets of paper.
“I would like to acquire a quire, please. I don’t need an entire ream of paper.”
Further Reading: Short Stories, opens a new window
Reticule: (n.) a small ladies handbag, usually woven.
“The lady slipped the microfilm into her reticule and excused herself from the table.”
Further Reading: Etiquette & Espionage, opens a new window
Salutiferous: (adj.) conducive to overall health or well-being.
“Many affluent found a trip to the seashore salutiferous. They claimed the salty air was a remedy for multiple ills.”
Further Reading: The Vibrant Life, opens a new window
Tautophony: (n.) repetition of the same sound. Can also be used as a literary device.
“As they observed the video gamers, they noticed that the tautophony coming from the scene added an annoying quality to the general cacophony of gameplay.”
Further Reading: War Against War, opens a new window
Umbrage: (n.) shade or shadowy, as if cast by trees; offence, annoyance, displeasure or slight suspicion, doubt or hostility.
“The professor took umbrage at the clear indications that her students did not respect her authority.”
Further Reading: The Things We Cannot Say, opens a new window
Vulpine: (adj.) cunning, crafty. From the Latin vulpes, meaning “fox.”
The inspector followed the vulpine suspect, hoping he would soon return to his den.
Further Reading: The Scarlet Pimpernel, opens a new window
Wayzgoose: (n.) An annual outing or dinner honoring employees.
“This years’ wayzgoose was held at a stake house 15 minutes from our office building so everyone could arrive quickly after work.”
Further Reading: 1501 Ways to Reward Employees, opens a new window
Xenodochial: (adj.) hospitable, inviting towards strangers.
“Her xenodochial personality made everyone around her feel at ease; friends knew they could bring uninvited guests to any party and they would leave as part of the family.”
Further Reading: The Gospel Comes with a House Key, opens a new window
Yonderly: (adj.) mentally or emotionally distant.
“The yonderly young man sitting in the corner was a soldier pining for his sweetheart.”
Further Reading: The Remains of the Day, opens a new window
Zoanthropy: (n.) The delusion that a person has changed himself into an animal.
“Unlike The Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka, a person afflicted with zoanthropy will not changed at all.”
We hope you’ve enjoyed this collection of cooky words. Come again!
For more fictitious fun and odd stories, have you tried H.P Lovecraft, opens a new window? Or sample some weird yet true subjects with Ripley’s Believe it or Not! Encyclopedia, opens a new window.