1: a language user's knowledge of words [syn: vocabulary, mental lexicon]
2: a reference book containing an alphabetical list of words with information about them [syn: dictionary]
updated: 29 june 2016
godwottery n. 1. Gardening marked by an affected and elaborate style. 2. Affected use of archaic language.
lipogram n. A piece of writing that avoids one or more letters of the alphabet.
neologist n. One who coins, uses, or introduces new words, or redefines old words in a language.
[From Greek neo- (new) + logos (word).]
The newest language to get a Scrabble version of the game is Welsh. It does not contain some of the highest-scoring letters in the English version of the board game such as 'Q' and 'Z' but features tiles with combinations used in Welsh such as 'LL' and 'DD'. Experts have calculated one of the highest scoring words in the Welsh game is "angenrheidiaeth" ("necessity"), which could yield 164 points. (source: Reuters)
Average number of words in the written vocabulary of a 6- to 14-year-old American child in 1945: 25,000
[ Harper's Index, August 2000 ]
Average number today: 10,000
[ Harper's Index, August 2000 ]
my 10 favorite oxymorons:
act naturally airline food legally drunk soft rock Christian Scientists clearly misunderstood tight slacks pretty ugly rap music jumbo shrimp
4 favorite palindromes:
FYI: a palindrome is a word, phrase, or statement that can be read the same way forwards and backwards.
Kay, a red nude, peeped under a yak.
Tulsa night life: filth, gin, a slut.
Go hang a salami, I'm a lasagna hog.
Ogre, flog a golfer! Go!
From a Spanish-English dictionary, designed to facilitate conversations between street cops and civilians, written by Dr. Roger W Miller, who trains law-enforcement personnel in Arizona. Entries were selected based on "personal knowledge; words students had heard on the street; Mexican newspapers and magazines; words from the songs of música norteña (Mexican gangster rap) that describe encounters with the police; ride-alongs; and local Spanish-speaking radio and TV stations." The dictionary gives sample sentences in both English and Spanish; English examples are listed below.
more random definitions
A dark, sourish bread made from whole, coarsely ground rye.
[German probably from dialectal term of abuse: obsolete Pumper, breaking wind (from dialectal pumpern, to break wind) (from Middle High German to knock, frequentative of pumpen, of imitative origin) + German Nickel, goblin; see nickel.]
So I guess you could say that pumpernickel can be loosely translated as a farting goblin. ~ Woodge
The action or habit of judging something to be worthless.
Floccinaucinihilipilification (29 letters) is the longest word in the first edition of the Oxford English Dictionary. The 2nd edition shows a use of this word in a 1741 letter by William Shenstone (1714-1763), a British poet and essayist. It has been used by Sir Walter Scott and Senators Robert Byrd and Daniel Patrick Moynihan.
Floccinaucinihilipilification was also used by Press Secretary Mike McCurry in his December 6, 1995, White House Press Briefing in discussing Congressional Budget Office estimates and assumptions: "But if you as a practical matter of estimating the economy, the difference is not great. There's a little bit of floccinaucinihilipilification going on here."
For more info, see this link.
spelling errors that really tick me off:
alot definately chaise lounge ect. expresso vica versa your (you're) there (they're) it's (its)
words that are fun to say:
clandestine particulates excruciating mellifluent ponderous labyrinthine xenophobe fester two-fer euphonious onomatopaeia serendipitous quixotic tawdry beatitude fickle sonorous salivate sartorial iridescent duct dulcet fatuous malleable protean insouciant vapid lurid and "Hello! My name is Inigo Montoya! You killed my father! Prepare to die!"
Charade: Dividing a word, without changing the letter order, into other words that are not semantically related to the original. E.g.: amiable together (Am I able to get her?), attendance, significant.
Alternade: An alternade is a word with letters that, when read alternately, form two other words. So the first, third, fifth, etc. letters in the word form a new word, and so do the second, fourth, sixth and so on. Each of the hidden words is called a "nade." Some examples include:
Isogram: A word that contains no repeated letters. Also called a nonpattern word. E.g.: postneuralgic, ambidextrously, dermatoglyphics, and uncopyrightable.
Chronogram: A statement whose initial letters can be deciphered as the Roman numerals for a specific, appropriate date. E.g.: MCDXCII > "Made certain discoveries extraordinaire," Columbus informed Isabella. (1492).
Abecedarian word: A word whose letters appear in alphabetical order. E.g.: almost, billowy.
Retronym: National Public Radio President Frank Mankiewicz's term for a new adjective-noun word, the need for which arises because of newer senses of the noun. E.g.: hardcover book, stage play, natural turf.
Pangram: A phrase or sentence containing all 26 letters of the alphabet, ideally repeating as few letters as possible.
How could you rearrange the letters in the words "new door" to make one word? Note: There is only one correct answer.
Actor Charles Macklin (1697?-1797) once claimed that he could memorize anything. Upon hearing this, Samuel Foote (1720-1777) rose to the challenge and spouted off the following paragraph on the spot. Macklin is said to have refused to repeat a word of it.
So she went into the garden to cut a cabbage-leaf to make an apple-pie; and at the same time a great she-bear, coming up the street, pops its head into the shop. "What! No soap?" So he died, and she very imprudently married the barber: and there were present the Picninnies, and the Joblillies, and the Garyulies, and the grand Panjandrum himself, with the little round button at top, and they all fell to playing the game of catch-as-catch-can till the gunpowder ran out at the heels of their boots.
humuhumunukunukuapua'a means 'triggerfish with a snout like a pig' ... so you can probably guess what SeanMcNallynukunukuapua'a means.
mensa is slang for 'idiot'
gift means both 'married' and 'poison'
spelling bee winners
Scripps National Spelling Bee winning words:
a spelling lesson for tv-weened eejits:
it's vs. its
"it's" is a contraction of "it is" and "its" is possessive
It's a damn shame you're so stupid, son. Here, give me the hammer and I'll show you the proper way to skin a cat. It's really quite easy. First, remove its claws....
there vs. their vs. they're
"there" is a place, "their" is possessive, and "they're" is a contraction of "they are"
The neighbors will probably be less impressed with what we've done to their cat, son. They're picky like that. Throw the carcass over there behind their enormous sport utility vehicle.
your vs. you're
"your" is possessive, "you're" is a contraction of "you are"
Now son, your next course of action is to clean all the blood off that hammer. Unless you're a damned fool, you've got to get rid of the evidence.
Don't use a big word where a diminutive word will suffice.
New words and definitions
This contest makes the internet rounds as "Washington Post's Mensa Invitational", yet it is fictional. Who'd a thunk it?! Anyway, the object is to take any word from the dictionary, alter it by adding, subtracting, or changing one letter, and supply a new definition.
The following definitions are taken from The Superior Person's Book of Words by Peter Bowler, a book which was given to me by my darling wife who knows me all too well.
aprosexia n. Inability to concentrate.
Not, as incautiously may be assumed, après-sex activities. Useful when completing the "nature of illness" section on your sick-leave application form.
biggin n. A silver coffee pot with a separate container which holds the coffee as it is heated.
Always make a point of asking your hostess at least once during the evening if she has a biggin.
decorticate v. To strip or otherwise remove the bark, or husk, from; in other words, to peel.
"Would you care to decorticate a grape for me, O my beloved?"
ergasiophobia n. Fear of, or aversion to, work; diffidence about tackling the job.
Another good word to use on sick-leave application forms.
exungulate v. To trim or cut the nails or hoofs.
"Mom, it really is too much! I wish you could do something about it; it makes me sick. Richard is in the bathroom exungulating himself again."
famulus n. A medieval sorcerer's apprentice.
A pleasing appellation for your husband when he is helping you in the kitchen by peeling the potatoes, drying the dishes, etc. -- or when you are entertaining, "Come into the living room and make yourself comfortable while I have my famulus mix some drinks."
formicate v. To swarm like ants.
"Principal, I thought you ought to know the Seventh Grade is formicating all over the quadrangle."
superior words, part 2:
The following are taken from the second book in the series:
horrisonant adj. Sounding terrible. Your neighbor's cornet practice; your son's rap records; almost any modern so-called "serious" music; and the piano music of Scott Joplin.
interbastation n. Evoking as it does an impression of some unseemly form of sexual congress, this word could be useful for the disturbing of maiden aunts especially since the actual meaning is "quilting."
molendinaceous adj. Like a windmill. Mode of motion of two post-pubertal teenagers vying to be first to get downstairs, into the car, etc.
onomasticon n. An ordered list of names. "Mom, Hugo's in his bedroom, using the phone book as his personal onomasticon again! Can't you do anything about it? It's just disgusting!"