February 5, 2010

26 Words That Probably Aren’t In Your Vocabulary

Do you sometimes like to sneak a rare, obscure or funny word into a manuscript? I do. I enjoy catching my readers off guard and tickling them to think about a word’s meaning.

Here are 26 unusual words meant to tickle your brain—one for each letter of the alphabet. See how many you know. Their definitions are at the bottom of the post.

Give yourself two points for each correct answer.

A anonymuncle (n.)

B blatteroon (n.)

C cribble (v.)

D diplasiasmus (n.)

E engastrate (v.)

F fuscoferuginous (adj.)

G galeanthropy (n.)

H haptodysphoria (n.)

I illeism (n.)

J jowfair (n.)

K kyphorrhinos (n.)

L lexiphanic (adj.)

M mabble (v.)

N nosism (n.)

O oligosyllable (n.)

P pyknik (adj.)

Q qualtagh (n.)

R redactophobia (n.)

S smellfungus (n.)

T turngiddy (n.)

U umbecast (v.)

V vernalagnia (n.)

W witzelsucht (n.)

X xenobombulate (v.)

Y yeuky (adj. you-kee)

Z zenzizenzizenzic (n.)
(BONUS: Add 50 points if you can pronounce “zenzizenzizenzic” correctly, find an online reference to prove it, and say it fast 10 times without stumbling!)


anonymuncle: a petty anonymous writer (Do you have anonymuncles leaving comments on your blog?)

blatteroon: a person who blabbers or boasts incessantly

cribble: to pass something through a sieve

diplasiasmus: the incorrect doubbling of a letter when spelling a word

engastrate: to stuff one bird into another (Ever heard of a turducken?)

fuscoferuginous: having a dark rusty color

galeanthropy: the mental condition of thinking that one has become a cat

haptodysphoria: an unpleasant feeling caused by handling any fuzzy surface (Peaches anyone?)

illeism: the practice of referring to oneself as "he" or "she", or by one's name (Jean likes this one.)

jowfair: an event which does not occur after much planning, such as a wedding without a groom

kyphorrhinos: a nose with a bump on it

lexiphanic: the use of pretentious words (Hmmm… Is this a lexiphanic blog post?)

mabble: to wrap up

nosism: the practice of referring to oneself as “we” (Often used by editors and known as the “editorial we.” We found an error in one of these definitions.)

oligosyllable: a word with fewer than four syllables

pyknik: short and fat

qualtagh: the first person entering a house on New Year’s Day

redactophobia: a fear of editors or editing (Are you redactophobic?)

smellfungus: a person who finds fault with everything; a complainer

turngiddy: dizzy

umbecast: to ponder

vernalagnia: spring fever

witzelsucht: inappropriate or pointless humor

xenobombulate: to malinger

yeuky: itchy

zenzizenzizenzic: the eighth power of a number

How did you do? A perfect score, including the bonus, is 102.


Jamie said...

Dear Jean..I didn't fare so well in quiz. Actually started to wonder halfway through if they were actually words? That was fun. But am sad no Brett in today's Super Bowl. I did buy some hot wings for game which should help. Take care.

Jean Fischer said...

Hi, Jamie.

I tried out a few of the words with friends this weekend. They looked at me like I had butternut squash growing out of my ears. Oh, well. I like words!!

I tossed a coin, and I will be cheering for the Saints today. That's fine with me since they beat Brett in the playoffs. I think I'm happy about that.

quietspirit said...

I couldn't pronounce these words, let alone define them. I was suprised by some of the meanings.

PS, GO COLTS. (I live in Indiana.)

Karen Lange said...

Okay, so I didn't get a lot of points...this was fun though:)


Jean Fischer said...

Hi, Karen and Quietspirit.

I had fun choosing the words. I couldn't pronounce them either, Quietspirit, especially the "Z" one.

Jean Fischer said...

Anonymous and Spam comments are automatically deleted....just sayin'

Susan Panzica - EternityCafe said...

Wow! I failed Vocabulary today!
Very funny & interesting though.


Jean Fischer said...

Hi, Susan.

Thanks for stopping by and taking the quiz. I'm xenobobulating today :-)


Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Jean -

LOL! One word ending in "phoria" I misread as "phobia." I thought, "aha, that's a fear of some kind." I'll have to go back and study my vocabulary. :)

BTW, there's a website, www.freerice.com, that has lots of strange vocabulary words. You'd love it.


Jean Fischer said...

Thanks for stopping by, Susan. www.freerice.com is a great suggestion. (Improve your vocabulary and earn free rice for the United Nations World Food Program.)