Weird Words

alex atkins bookshelf wordsAlthough the English language contains over a million words, the printed edition of the Oxford English Dictionary (OED) only defines about 750,000 of them. Of course one of the joys of owning the OED is that the entire English language (or at least most of it) can be held in yours hands. One way to expand your vocabulary quickly is by serendipity — looking at the words around your target words. A dictionary should never be read cover to cover (unless, of course, you are Ammon Shea, who read the entire OED in one year), but it should be browsed or explored from time to time. And it is by serendipity, that one might encounter some of the most wonderful and weird words. Astonish and amaze your friends by using them soon in a text or email. Here are some of the fascinating weird words in the dictionary.

absquatulate: to leave abruptly

anfractuous: circuitous

argute: shrewd

Barmecide: imaginary and thus disappointing

blatherskite: a person who talks a lot and doesn’t make a lot of sense; i.e., Trump

cacoethes: the urge to do something inadvisable

chiliad: a thousand things or 1,000 years

colporteur: a person who sells bibles

criticaster: an incompetent critic

doryphore: a pedantic and annoyingly persistent critic of other people

emacity: fondess for buying things

eucatastrophe: the happy ending to a story

gasconade: extravagant boasting, e.g., Trump

humdudgeion: an imaginary illness

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Read related posts: How Long Does it Take to Read a Million Words?
How Many Words in the English Language?
How Many Words Does the Average Person Speak in a Lifetime?

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