/Vocabulary for a Lexiconographer

Vocabulary for a Lexiconographer

Vocabulary

I have always believed that having a good vocabulary is necessary in order to be able to express myself clearly. However, there is a gray area, an undefined line, that divides possessing a broad and versatile command of language and being a pedantic show off. I dislike people who use big words just for the sake of using big words. More often than not I find that while the words are often used in the correct context it is the result of memorization rather than effective understanding of the words themselves. For example, instead of the phrase “big words” which everyone understands I could easily have substituted sesquipedalian, which very few people would know.

The Rosetta Stone

I have written several posts this summer already about interesting words, invented words and idioms. I think words are fascinating – the etymology, intricacies and translations are tied to evolution of man and our ideas. As a student of math and physics I can see the “language” of math, particularly geometry, everywhere in the Universe. It should come as no surprise that our thoughts and our language should also be thus derived. There are no linguistics classes here at Quincy College, or even logic for that matter, but next year at whatever university I find myself I will certainly enroll in an etymology class.

Enjoy these fun words.

Antidisestablishmentarianism

Lake Char­gogg­a­gogg­man­chaugg­a­gogg­chau­bun­a­gung­a­maugg

(also known as Lake Webster in Webster, MA)Webster Lake


schadenfreude

Schadenfreude

noun | SHAH-dun-froy-duh

Definition: enjoyment obtained from the troubles of others

 

chthonic

Lord Chthulu
Lord Chthulu

adjective | THAH-nik

Definition: of or relating to the underworld : infernal

 

splenetic

Splenetic
chinese characters for irritable

adjective | splih-NET-ik

Definition: marked by bad temper, malevolence, or spite

 

manumit

verb | man-yuh-MIT

Definition: to release from slavery

 

assay

Whats it worth to you?

verb | a-SAY

Definition:

to analyze (something, such as an ore) for one or more specific components

to judge the worth of : estimate

try, attempt

to prove to be of a particular nature by means of analysis

 

onerous

An onerous task
Sisyphus

adjective | AH-nuh-rus

Definition:

involving, imposing, or constituting a burden : troublesome

having legal obligations that outweigh the advantages

 

dithyramb

Dithyramb
Dancing the dithyramb

noun | DITH-ih-ram

Definition:

a usually short poem in an inspired wild irregular strain

a statement or writing in an exalted or enthusiastic vein

 

perspicuous

adjective | per-SPIK-yuh-wus

Definition: plain to the understanding especially because of clarity and precision of presentation

 

castigate

castigate
did you say “castigate”?

verb | KASS-tuh-gayt

Definition: to subject to severe punishment, reproof, or criticism

 

upbraid

verb | up-BRAYD

Definition:

to criticize severely : find fault with

to reproach severely : scold vehemently