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Obscure Word Directory From A to M

Updated: Mar 28

There's something deliciously satisfying about discovering new words. Here's OGN's compilation of obscure (but useful!) words.

Collection of old printing press letters

Acnestis - The part of the back between the shoulder blades and the loins which we cannot reach to scratch. If you've got an itch on your acnestis, grab a back scratcher.

Amphibology - Phrase or sentence that is grammatically ambiguous, such as 'She sees more of her kids than her husband.'

Apricate - To bask in the sunshine.

Ataraxia - A state of freedom from emotional disturbance and anxiety; tranquility.

Balter - To dance without skill but with great enjoyment.

Barbatulous - Having but a small beard.

Brobdingnagian - Giant. The Eiffel Tower is brobdingnagian and so was the Titanic.

Cachinnate - to laugh loudly.

Callipygian - having shapely buttocks.

Chiasmus - A rhetorical device: that of repeating some of the words you've used in reverse order. John F Kennedy's "Ask not what your country can do for you – ask what you can do for your country," and Byron's "Pleasure is a sin, and sometimes sin's a pleasure" are both examples of chiasmus.

Clowder - A cluster of cats.

Concinnity - The skillful and harmonious arrangement or fitting together of the different parts of something. Concinnity is the idea that harmony is the perfect combination of two different things coming together.

Eunoia - The shortest English word containing all five main vowels. It comes from the Greek word εὔνοια, meaning "well mind" or "beautiful thinking." It's also a rarely used medical term referring to a state of normal mental health. In rhetoric, eunoia is the goodwill a speaker cultivates between himself and his audience, a condition of receptivity.

Filipendulous - suspended by or strung upon a thread.

Fipple - the mouthpiece of a recorder or similar wind instrument.

Fleshment - excitement associated with a successful beginning.

Floccinaucinihilipilification - The action or habit of estimating something as worthless.

Glabella - the flat area of bone between the eyebrows.

Grawlix - You know when cartoonists substitute a bunch of punctuation marks for curse words? They’re using grawlix.

Groak - To look on silently, like a dog, at people while they are eating, hoping to be given something to eat.

Gumusservi - Moonlight shining on water. As in: To see a silvery trail of gumusservi alone in the quiets of night is paradise on earth.

Hallux - A big toe.

Homodox - Having the same opinion.

Imparadise - to make supremely happy, transport with delight or joy.

Incunabulum - An early printed book, especially one printed before 1501.

Interrobang - a printed punctuation mark (‽), available only in some typefaces, designed to combine the question mark (?) and the exclamation point (!).

Mudita - The feeling of happiness that comes when other people are happy.

More? See OGN's Obscure Words Directory from N to Z


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