Wordy Words


Your auto-correct feature will have a field day with some of these. The newest discoveries are on top.

chiasmus  A rhetorical device in which two or more clauses are balanced against each other by the reversal of their structures in order to produce an artistic effect (Never let a fool kiss you or a kiss fool you.)

patronymic  A name derived from the name of a father or ancestor, typically by the addition of a prefix or suffix 

stevedore  A person employed, or a contractor engaged, at a dock to load and unload cargo from ships

ameliorate  To make something bad or unsatisfactory better

portmanteau  A blending of two or more words

uxorious  Having or showing excessive or submissive fondness for one’s wife

lickspittle  A fawning subordinate

snickersnee  A large knife / from the obsolete snick or snee  To engage in cut-and-thrust fighting

carom  To strike and rebound as in billiards (The empty boxes tumbled across the floor and caromed off the legs of unassuming customers.)

acersecomic   A person whose hair has never been cut

enantiodromia   The changing of something into its opposite

gorgonize   To have a paralyzing or mesmerizing effect on; stupefy or petrify

infandous   Unspeakable or too odious to be expressed or mentioned

ktenology   The science of putting people to death

leptosome  A person with a slender or frail body

palaver  Prolonged and idle discussion (Despite all the palaver about betrayal, it doesn’t feel so terrible. An hour of aimless palaver was excruciating.)

pogonotrophy   The act of cultivating, or growing and grooming, a mustache, beard, sideburns or other facial hair

prevaricate  To speak or act in an evasive way (She is prevaricating until she can compose herself.  He seemed to prevaricate when journalists asked pointed questions.)

scripturient  Possessing a violent desire to write

welter  A confused mass; a jumble; turmoil or confusion

yonderly   Mentally or emotionally distant; absentminded


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