Hey! Randy

more vocabulary to know

Posted by heyrandy on July 25, 2009

Here are some more words that I came across in my reading.


abaft adv. toward the stern prep. toward the stern from

affine n.,  adj. related by marriage

alienist n. an forensic psychiatrist

allodial adj. free, not subject to the rights of any lord, opposite of feudal

anaphoria n. the tendency of resting eyes to turn upward

antiscorbutic adj. prevents scurvy

apercu n a precis, a summary based upon a first impression

apophatic theology to express the nature of God in negative terms. i.e., God is not hate. ant. kataphatic

apothegmatist n. a maker or collector of apothegms or proverbs

atomism n. Phil the view that atoms make up all reality, the view that individuals are the ones who determine everything

attar n. an oil obtained from flowers

aulic au lik adj. pertaining to a royal court

avast inter. stop

aventurine n. an opaque or semi-translucent brown glass flecked with minerals


basilisk n. Myth. a dragon that could kill with its breath or glance

bathos  anticlimax, trite style

benthonic adj. of the bottom of a body of water

bethink vt. to cause one’s self to think, remember

betimes adj. early

bromidrosis foul smelling perspiration also called osmidrosis

bildungsroman n. a novel concerning the moral development of a person

bilious bad tempered

bonhomie goodnaturedness

brille n. a clear eye lid

brilliantine n. an oily hair dressing

Buckley’s chance n. no chance at all

busk vi. to play music in public while soliciting money

bumptious adj. arrogant, conceited


cachalot n. sperm whale

calabash n. a gourd bottle

calomel n. mercury chloride

canakin n. a little can or cup

carapace n. an outer protective shell

carbuncle n. a localized painful sore of the skin 2 a red precious stone

cark vt. vi. to burden with worry

Carthaginian peace  a peace brought about by the total destruction of the enemy

cataphoria n. the tendency of the eyes to angle down after visual stimuli has been removed

cateran n. a Highland robber, a kind of irregular soldier

catholicon n. a panacea

cerebrate vi vt to use one’s mind to think

chador n. a loose usually black head to toe robe that Muslim women where

cicisbeism n. the consort, admirer, or lover of a married woman

chignon a knot of hair worn at the back of the neck

chirurgy  surgery

cineaste  n. a person involve in making of movies, a movie enthusiast

claque kalk n. a group of people hired to applaud at performances, fawning admirers

clout n. a blow from the fist

comedogenic adj. tending to cause or aggravate acne

complaisant adj. willing to please

congener n. a member of the same class

cope a long garment

corposant n. St. Elmo’s fire

cosset vt. to pamper

coster-monger n. a fruit seller

cozen vi. vt. to cheat

cozzening vi. vt. to mislead

cuirass n. the breastplate

Cyclopean adj.  vast, massive, huge, 2. a primitive style of architecture that uses large rough stones


demyship n. a scholarship at Magdalen College, Oxford

demotic adj. of the common people   demotic entertainments

denary adj. of the tenth one

descry vt to see from afar

devagination to wander about

diachrony n. the change in language over time

dispost vt. to remove from a post, eject

distrain vt. to seize and hold property to pay a debt

distrait dis tray  adj. to be inattentive because of anxiety

divertissement a diversion or amusement

dramaturgy n. the art of the theater, especially the writing of plays


edacious devouring

eldrich adj. spooky, weird. an eldrich scream

Elysium n. the place of ideal happiness

emprise n. a chivalrous or adventurous undertaking

epanaphoria n. Rhet. therepeating of the same word or phrase in each new sentence

epicene adj. having both male and female characteristics

epigraphic  n. an inscription on a statue or building, a quote that starts a written work

equable adj. free from extremes, steady

erethism n. a part of the body that is sensitive to stimulation or irritation

erotomania n. excessive sexual desire

estoppel n. Law a bar that prohibits one from denying what  one has previously stated as true


fain adj. happily

fenestration n. the design and placement of windows in a building

flambeaux n.  a lighted torch

fob vt. to cheat

forcing house  a green house for the forcing of plants

fougasse n. an improvised mine

fen n. a low, swampy land; a bog or a marsh

flaneur an idler, loafer

frisson  free saun  n. a moment of sudden excitement e.g., a frisson of terror

fundament n. the geological characteristics of a region

fugelman n. a leader, especially a political one

funipendulous adj. hanging by a rope


gamboge n. strong reddish yellow

gambol to leap about playfully

gallard n. a type of dance for two dancers

galloon a narrow braid used as trim

gematria n. the numeric value of Hebrew letters

glabrous adj.  bald

gnomic adj. containing aphorism as gnomic verse

gorget n. a piece of armor protecting the throat, and ornamental collar

gorgon n. a woman considered ugly or terrifying 2. the Medusa

gules n. adj. gyoolz the color red


habergeon n. a coat of mail

hyaloid, hyaline adj. resembling glass, glassy

Helot a serf

heliotrope n. a plant that turns toward the sun

hendiadys n.(hen die a dis)  a figure of speech where two words connected by a conjunction are used in place of a noun and adjective e.g.,  grace and favor instead of gracious favor

hie vt. to hasten, speed, go in haste

hieratic adj. associated with those in sacred office, sacerdotal

hircine adj. of a goat

hieratic of the priests

Holocene n. adj. of the geological period

holonym n. a thing as a whole

hypallage  n. Rhet. to give the attributes of one noun to another for effect.

hypernym n. the word describing the class as a whole

hymeneal adj. of marriage

hypocorism n. a pet name

hyponym n. the word describing the member of a class

hypotyposis n. Rhet. a vivid description of a scene


idiolect n. individual language usage

indite vt to compose or write

intellection the use of the intellect

integument n. a natural outer covering as a skin.

interpellation vt. to question formally

intussuscept adj. to take within; invaginate

irrefragable  adj. impossible to refute


jalop n.  a carthartic drug

jape  vi vt to joke

jerkin  A close-fitting, hip-length, collarless jacket having no sleeves but often extended shoulders, belted and worn over a doublet by men especially in the 16th century.

jussive n. a word or mood used to express a command


kataphatic theology  to express the nature of God in positive  terms, i.e., God is love. antonym apophatic

kentledge n. pig iron used as ballast

knell (nell)  vi vt to toll a bell, signal by ringing

kudurru n. a stone document used by Mesopotamian kings to record land grants to     vassals


laager n. vi.  a defensive encampment encircled by tanks or wagons

lagniappe n. a small gift given by a store owner to a customer when a purchase is made

lustrate v.t to cleanse, purify We were lustrated with holy water. n. lustration


marmoreal adj. resembling marble in it smoothness, hardness, or color

meed n. a just recompense

meronym n. the part of the whole

mingy adj. small, meager

mizen n. the third mast of a sailing ship with three masts

misprision (of a felony) failure to report knowledge of a felony

modus vivendi n. 1 a manner of living; a way of life 2. a temporary agreement pending the final agreement

monopsony n. a situation in which there is only one buyer for many producers

monism n. Phil. the view that everything is a unified whole

mordant adj. bitingly sarcastic

morion n. a type of helmet

mummery n. a pretentious or hypocritical show

myrmidon one who obeys without question

mythopoeic adj. generating myths


nabob  a rich or influential man

neurasthenic adj. mental anguish

nictitate vi. to wink

niddering adj. cowardly or base

nidify vi. to build a nest

nidus n. a nest

nisus n. (nye’ sus) an effort or striving to reach an aim or goal

niveous adj. resembling snow

nonary adj. of the ninth one


octonary adj. of the eighth one

ophidian adj. of a snake

orlop n. the lowest deck of a ship

osmotic adj. of osmosis

osseous adj. of bone

ovine adj. of a sheep

orison n. prayer



Panglossian  naively optimistic

pari passu at equal pace, side by side

parrhesia n. Rhet. boldness of speech.

pathopoeia n. Rhet. a speech or figure of speech designed to move emotion

pas de deux n. 1. a dance for two 2. a close relationship between two things

pelisse n. a long loose cloak of fur, a woman’s loose light cloak

pendulous adj. to hang loosely

pennon n. a streamer or pennant

pertinacious adj. holding tenacious to an opinion, coarse of action, belief

petrous adj. of or pertaining to rock

picaresque adj. (pick uh resk) of or involving clever rogues or adventures, especially in fictional, often humorous, stories. His book is a picaresque story of the famous Mr. Doneitall.


planisphere n. a map showing one half of heaven

plutonian dark, gloomy

pogonotrophy  the growing of beards

pomatum n. vt. a perfumed pomade, to dress the hair with a pomatum

poniard  (pon’ yard) n. a dagger, vt. to stab with a dagger

potlatch n. a ceremonial feast of the northwest Indians marking important events

poser n a puzzling question

prelusive adj. of a prelude

proas n. a swift Malayan sail boat with an outrigger

Promethean creative, original

provenance n. the place of origin

ptosis adj. to sag droop

puerperal adj. of childbirth or the time immediately after

puissant n. adj. power, might

pullulate vi. to sprout or bud; to breed rapidly; to teem or swarm

puncheon n. a large cask

purblind adj. dull witted


quaternary adj. of the fourth one

quatrain n. a poem of four lines

quinary adj. of the fifth one

quondam adj. what once was but is no longer


Rantipole n. adj. vi. a wild young person

rarefaction n. (rare uh fac tion) a decrease in pressure

refection n. refreshment with food

renitent adj re nite ent recalcitrant

repine to be discontented

rodomontade n. adj. vt.  rod ud mon tade pretentious bragging

roil  vt. to make cloudy, vi. to be in a state of cloudiness

roister to boast or swagger, to have a disorderly good time

rood n.  a crucifix, a 1/4 acre of land

ruck n. a crowd of ordinary people, those who are followers not leaders, vt. to fold or crease, vi. to have a fold or crease


sable adj. dark, black

sallow adj. a sickly yellow color

saltation n. the act of leaping or dancing; to advance by leaping

salubrious of good health

sardonic adj. scornful, bitter, mocking

saturnine adj   sullen, melancholy

saurian adj. of a lizard

scaramouch n. a boastful coward

scrofula a form of tuberculous

seignior n. a man of rank and distinction

senary adj. of the sixth one

senescent adj. growing old

septenary adj.  of the seventh one

son et luminere sound and light

Shamus a private eye

Spoonerism n.  a mix up of the initial syllables

stative adj. used of verbs that express a state

Stygian hellish, infernal

subaltern n.  a subordinate adj. to be lower in rank, secondary

surtout n. a man’ s outer coat, esp. a long one

squib n. a short satiric writing or speech

schweik n. a feeble-minded soldier, opposite of German militarism

syncope n.  sing’ ka pee Gram. to shorten a word by omitting a middle sound

syntagm, syntagma n. a string of words that form a part of a larger syntactic unit


taff-rail n. the stern rail of a ship

Tantalus Gk. Myth. a king condemn to stand in water that receded when he tried to drink it and beneath fruit that was out of reach

tessellated like a mosaic

theomachy n. a fight among the gods. The theomachy between Zeus and Athena was absurd: they did not exist

tilbury n. a light two wheeled carriage

thole-pin n. fulcrum pin for an oar

threnody a dirge

tierce n.  (tires) a measure of liquid capacity equal to 42 gallons

titration to chemically determine the solution strength

Tosefta n. a secondary compilation of Jewish oral law

trope n. a figure of speech using words in a non-literal way as in a metaphor

tuft-hunting n. the practice of hanging on to persons of importance

tun n. a large cask for liquids


undulant wave like

urethra n. the passage through which urine is discharged


vale n. 1. a valley 2. farewell

vertiginous adj. revolving about an axis, producing vertigo

vertu n. discernment and taste in art v.. artistic quality

vestry n. a room in a church where vestments are put on, a committee that oversee church affairs,  a classroom in the church

vorlage n. the posture assumed in skiing by bending the ankles forward without lifting the heals


ween vt. to think, suppose

weltanschauung world view

whelm vt. to submerge

wraith n. 1. a ghost of a dead person 2. a vague thing

5 Responses to “more vocabulary to know”

  1. […] See the rest here:  more vocabulary to know […]

  2. Adam Jacot de Boinod said

    Dear Sir

    I wondered if you might like a mutual link to both my Foreign word site and my English word website or press release details of my ensuing book with Penguin Press on amusing and interesting English vocabulary?


    with best wishes

    Adam Jacot de Boinod

    (author of The Meaning of Tingo)



    or wish to include:

    1) TINGO
    When photographers attempt to bring out our smiling faces by asking us
    to “Say Cheese”, many countries appear to follow suit with English
    equivalents. In Spanish however they say patata (potato), in Argentinian Spanish whisky, in French steak frites, in Serbia ptica (bird) and in
    Danish appelsin (orange). Do you know of any other varieties from around the world’s languages? See more on http://www.themeaningoftingo.com


    The Wonder of Whiffling is a tour of English around the globe (with fine
    coinages from our English-speaking cousins across the pond, Down Under
    and elsewhere).
    Discover all sorts of words you’ve always wished existed but never knew,
    such as fornale, to spend one’s money before it has been earned; cagg, a solemn vow or resolution not to get drunk for a certain time; and
    petrichor, the pleasant smell that accompanies the first rain after a
    dry spell.
    Delving passionately into the English language, I also discover why it
    is you wouldn’t want to have dinner with a vice admiral of the narrow
    seas, why Jacobites toasted the little gentleman in black velvet, and
    why a Nottingham Goodnight is better than one from anywhere else. See
    more on http://www.thewonderofwhiffling.com

    with best wishes


    • heyrandy said


      Thanks for the links. Best wishes on your book.

      I have already started working on a new list of words I have come across in my reading. It never ends, I hope!

  3. Extenze said

    thanks !! very helpful post!

  4. Maybe you should make changes to the blog subject title more vocabulary to know Hey! Randy to more catching for your content you create. I liked the the writing withal.

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